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.
Polishing his Shoes
My father visits me from deep
in the cupboard of my memory.
He sits in the kitchen, Sunday’s papers
spread out on the floor before him.
There’s a waft of turpentine as he pops
the lid off the tin, dips bristles in wax
and I hear the reassuring sweep
of his horsehair brush on leather.
It’s a ritual, ingrained as Sunday Mass,
drilled into him since army days
in the barracks of Kettering,
where he learnt to spit-shine boots
until he glimpsed his face in them.
His outsized feet are his secret agony,
his Oxford shoes, his penance –
nailed, stitched, pinching bunions,
blistering soles and yet he treats them
with the loving attention he gave us.
Some wounds are beyond repair
but he lingers on scuffed edges,
damaged heels, shows me how to hide
the scars of a lifetime’s buffeting
with a little paste and a rag, torn
from his old check shirt to burnish.
Questions on a Hill
I climbed Cat Bells
on the first day of winter:
mist above and below me,
sleet in the air.
The view of lakes and islands,
green and brown and silver-grey,
No-one could tell it true.
I want you to wonder
why it is that men climb high
to feel like gods.
Are we star-children
reaching pitifully home,
or merely runners from our cares below?
in sullen towns I could not see,
men were living who had done these things:
felt the thrusting mountains at their feet,
the cold wind on their eyes.
How many kept their memories fresh?
How many heard the wind?
More Guest Poems
Love Songs When we banter on the phone, there’s much left to uncover, and how many love songs have I left in me yet? When you humour me, I’m better than myself, how many love songs are hovering in the air? When we pull it together and get lost in our rooms, how many...
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Robert Schumann, Resident for a Year at Endenich Asylum, is Under the Supervision of Dr. Franz Richarz Last Tuesday they rolled both pianos down the hill. In the pile at the bottom, near the farm, Are sheet music, newspapers, four notebooks, The upended instruments...
Lori Drummond-Mundal Photo 1964 November birthdays are dark in the North, untouched by the light of four thin candles on a snow-white cake. Her harsh words hit as if honed through generations, your face ironed flat by the scolding’s scarlet slap. You stare into the...
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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...
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...
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