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

Anne Stewart

Anne Stewart

Walking Home at One

I have told you how I love the air
at 2:00 a.m. when it’s so clean and clear
the night birds’ warnings not to interfere
seem to include me in their reach of care.

And, here, I’m walking home alone again.
But this is early by comparison. Only 1:00.
The town still has too many houselights on.
A corner has been bitten off the moon

and through some trick of light I can’t explain
Mars alone, butting pinkly at the stars, looks twinned.
The night birds are not ready, yet, to cry shame
on grey intruders crossing their domain.

It is too early for the magic to begin when,
because I love you, I forgive you everything.

Piers Cain

Piers Cain

The Rooks of Stromness

It’s plain the rooks of Stromness own the town.
They’re taking over slowly, plot by plot.
These black and clever birds have been around
forever, roosting high in trees. They’ve caught
the change and flown on it. Some surf the breeze
then flap to keep on going, feathers outspread
like hands, then sweep and swoop a bit, at ease
with life today. Rooks perch above the wary heads
of folk who’ve seen the spattered paving stones.
Engaged in grave discussion, abstract debate,
they tweak their stance like scholars wearing gowns,
their raucous chorus echoes off the slates.
But do they think of us below their roost
or have they seen the film? Should we be spooked?

More Guest Poems

Janet Laugharne

Context Means All Ysgol can be ladder and school in my country’s other language. No surprise, is it, that Wales has exported all those teachers (maybe still does, in disguised, social media forms). Practical word building in the German Handschuh for glove, Frau and...

James Fountain

Under the Microscope A scientist scrutinises a drop of liquid showcased on the slide through his thousand times magnified lens, with steady eyes wide to its vitality, globules imitating the curve of the world, global scope of this vaccine enough to rattle the...

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...