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

Colin Pink

Colin Pink


I lie awake at night
the ghost-of-myself paces the city
gets on and off buses
hurries through turnstiles
pauses to look in shop windows
gives a beggar a coin
just stands in the street for no reason
raises suspicion from passers-by
hurries ahead again
enters the Underground, boards a train,
sits staring at the ads opposite
gets up, gets off, exits the station,
goes into Pret, buys a coffee,
finds it too hot, forgets to drink it,
dumps it in a bin
the ghost-of-myself leaves a trace
across the city streets, slick with light,
like a snail’s silver-slime-trail
inscribing the hieroglyphs
of my personal psychogeography
that no one reads, not even me,
my eyes have looked but not seen
my mind has thought and then forgotten
but the cameras see everything,
remember everything, sift the evidence.

Jemma L. King

Jemma L. King

3 Month Scan

A bell curve of grey static against black.
What new worlds, old suns burn here?

This space, hushed, aseptic. We are sideliners
on the brink of history before her instrument

as it ploughs the stars,
sends galaxies and all of creation tumbling from view.

Flotsam and jetsam wax and wane
are swallowed again by oil slicks,
voids of blood, dark matter.

Unknown forces, such geographies.

A length now, a structure, bone?
Two rounded eye sockets, Martian fingerprints and

the perfection of skin padding an illuminated spine.
Your heart-beat as giddy as a moth.

This, your private universe,
this salted black sea in which you swim
dormant and unseen.

Are you aware of me? My own distant planet

sending signals, signals of life
through the screen, unwitting,

‘It’s a boy’ she says,

and I see light glowing on the horizon.

More Guest Poems

Alex Barr

In Praise of Sheds In the glow of a paraffin lamp from ‘Spick and Span’master of my domain long agoin the old rocking chairthat ground the floorboards in a heavy rhythm busy with some childish occupation,humming the ancient hymns I believed inI watched through the...

David Seddon

Return This is a note to say I’ve arrivedin Nowhere-next-the-Sea,I’ve dumped the baggage overboardbut sent you back the key. Hang out the washing on the cliffs,flap and wave the cloth;skiffs will flex their ribs and strakes –embrace the water’s wash. Sun shall rake...

Doreen Hinchliffe

In The Wind’s Singing voices are in the wind’s singingT. S. Eliot The sound of the wind beneath the dooris nothing new, and yet tonightI feel compelled to listen to its music. It sings of a rickety stile, a gate that creaksand fields where blackberries hang in...

Alison Chisholm

Intrusion The house is drifting into moon’s dim light.The television’s off and no lamps glow.I’m listening to sounds that stir the night. The carriage clock ticks quietly, there’s a slightpersistent shush where rustling breezes blow.The house is drifting into moon’s...

Alexander Peplow

Sack and Sugar Let us imagine Falstaff as a cake. He sits there, a great cherry-in-a-chair,and lets us watch him, studying outhis layers. Fruitcake, sure, in allits connotations, thumb-pressed throughwith candied peel or currantsconcealed like other people wouldhave...

Anne Stewart

Walking Home at One I have told you how I love the airat 2:00 a.m. when it’s so clean and clearthe night birds’ warnings not to interfereseem 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...

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 aroundforever, roosting high in trees. They’ve caughtthe change and flown on it. Some surf the breezethen flap to keep...

Gareth Culshaw

I Will Walk Before it Snows Somewhere in the sky the heavy lightness of snowwaits. I snap my knees again hope my trouser beltkeeps me whole until I reach home. My spine tries to balance on the legs, allow yawnsto grow through my windpipe, then release into the skyas...

Christine McNeill

Alive That wet April evening,so vivid in memory; how we marvelledat the trees’ branches intertwined as things connect when we look back and a mirror dropping off the wallwithout being touched we laughed off and unknowingly each yearpass the date of our deathand stay...

Kenneth Steven

Geese One of the first things I can remember:being lifted by my father high to see the geese.It was late at night in mid-November:the days so short, fields beginning to freeze.Now I live close to the sea in the west –small hills and lochs, and birds on every side;so...

Wendy French

Crossing It’s two strangerscrossing a bridgein opposite directionsover a dried-up river.And the sun beats downon the back of oneand in the face of the otherand as they passthey are holdersof the moment. One stretchesout her hand,the other takes it.They clasp each...

Jeff Skinner

Returning to the Island you see nowwhat you missed the first time children playing in the streets, barking dogs,balconies of bikes, flowers, shirts dryinglike this Boats bob uncertainly in the harbour The sun is going downtaking the day with it – children, dogs,...

Kathleen McPhilemy

Imagine Christmas Day, or a day like Christmasfrom a window in a different citysnow-capped rooves, snow-capped ruinsjagged at first light. Beyond its boundariescomfortless, uncoloured,the hummocked fields stretch outsilent with heavy breathing. A choice in what we...

Elizabeth Barton

Polishing his Shoes My father visits me from deepin 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 popsthe lid off the tin, dips bristles in wax and I hear the reassuring sweepof...

Roger Harvey

Questions on a Hill  I climbed Cat Bellson 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,was wonderful.No-one could tell it true. I want you to wonderwhy it is that men climb highto feel...