Guest Poems

We love to read your poetry and, even though we receive over 1,000 poems per month, we always take time to read every single one.

A few of the poems we especially enjoyed and which were selected for publication in our Journal are reprinted below.

For more information, please see our Submissions page.

Guest Poems

Myra Schneider

Myra Schneider

Brussel Sprouts

When the February sky is weighty with clouds and the wind,
a ferocious animal, knocks over fences and rickety sheds,
rushes rubbish down streets, rocks trees madly,
tears off their branches and crashes any it can to the ground,

when the paper is packed with such grim news
you throw it out, take a bagful of Brussel sprouts,
those small globes that grow on thick stalks
topped with floppy leaves. You’ll be surprised

to discover these hardy winter characters
are axillary buds from which long stems would sprout
and yellow flowers bloom if they’re left in the ground.
Pick one up, hold it between thumb and index finger,

gaze at its fresh-faced shine and consider its construction
which is more subtle than a work of art. Feel
the dense layers, they fit together more tightly
than the dressing gown and duvet you pull round your body

as you lie in bed in the winter trying to fend off reality,
more tightly than a rosebud’s many petals. Simmer
these small vegetables for a few minutes, then sit down
and savour the warmth and goodness of each tiny ball.

Martyn Crucefix

Martyn Crucefix


like a falling flower-print cotton dress
            has dropped its round spoor
                        in the breathy silence on the bedroom floor

like the moment one who has been reading
            instructions on propagation
                        understands and the room blooms with light

like an ascending sun-lit valley mist
            has eaten its way through all appearances
                        to substitute its own luminous idea

like the salt-wetness breaking bounds in my eyes
            in an original participation
                        I lean over and touch what is there

my hand passing through what I thought was there all along

in an instant it is clear all the bridges are down
            how can I speak to anybody about that

More Guest Poems

Carla Scarano D’Antonio

Words are good ‘Words dry and riderless’, Sylvia Plath, ‘Words’ The echo of the inexpressible appears among lines carving what I don’t know yet configuration of signs. Are words good enough? We feel to use them literally. What’s my pleasure in using words? I encounter...

Jennie E. Owen

Staycation No bright. No mullock moon. No day, no night. No texture left, no crack of ice nor ridge of dirt so hard it jars the knees, instead just rain. Muck, sucks and sighs the breath of fog; where mushrooms, mildew, lichen creep like ghosts to polka dot the trees...

Patricia Gao

The Swim I am tired of people not knowing everything about how we loved each other. Car doors locked from inside, left hand on the wheel so the right can dangle imprecisely whereyouwere, whenyouwerehere. Even I don’t know everything about how. I am tired of forgetting...

Clifford Liles

Greenfire As frost smothers fire at the fulcrum of dawn, you are there, hands burrowed in your fleece, ambling round our garden, past Silurian ferns. Wood-smoke drifts from November’s stoves. Leaves curl and crisp. The greenfire burns down. It will take all year, as...

David Gilbert

Be The Vines Take me with you so I won’t have to write from such distance again or resort to sing-song across the tumultuous blue then be hedged by silence when you leave me in your trails, those dissolving beads and curlicues of sky. Let’s more often twine our...

Chrissie Gittins

Live Like A Winter Flowering Cherry In the summer I’m unremarkable, biding my time, satisfied to let peonies and poppies take centre stage. In autumn I begin to come into my own – layering your lawn with a daily tapestry of rust, orange, yellow. When you’ve done...

Martin Johns

Blackthorn Edgy, always at the edge but can tip a winter into a pre-spring look of something beautiful. Bonny in blossom, a beguiling frothy white. The humble Blackthorn, its knurly built-in rebuke. Dark thorns, purple, something venomous like being bitten or strung....

Shirley Wright

Ha-ha! * The trouble with your average wall is visibility. Dezallier d’Argenville had the right idea. He understood the power of illusion, the artifice of panoramic views unbroken to the far horizon and no invading cattle to destroy the lawn or nosey neighbours...

Alan Zhukovski

The Blasphemy of Fire The wind still smokes cigarettes of old trees in chaotic packs and throws their ashes onto the village. Numerous people have gathered to save what remains of the ancient forest. Sacred trees, black and white, fall to pieces. They crumble like...

Matthew Stewart

Translator, Traitor The War was 39 to 45,of course. Suffering for the sake of a cause –common enemies, common memories. La Guerra, 36 to 39,was brother killing brother, scores settledwith the neighbours, decades of reprisals, memorials in every village square.They...

Martin Worster

Enough Sudden sunlight drops a thin layer of white over the World where I sit. It’s just a few photons thick but is enough to be a whetstone to my sight, Enough to make the pond a glittering mass of precious stones And the flowering Magnolia a mass of bright white...

Anne Ryland

The Marias of Lisbon On my winter morning run to the basilica, I slow and pause to read washing lines – strung from rooftops, reaching window to window across scrunched alleys, they marry opposed households. The Marias of Lisbon have threaded their own map through the...