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

Edmund Prestwich

Edmund Prestwich

The Ground of our Music

Now the warm moist air is alive with voices.
Frogs are singing. Soft introspective crooning
makes the mild night throb with erotic feeling.
Somewhere above them

owls are calling, female to male; haunting
breeze-blown signals float between houses. Once,
a fox’s gasping cry sets our neighbour’s spaniel
barking in frenzy.

Slugs emerge. Though silent to human hearing,
tongues of teeth are tearing the Elephant’s Ear.
Frogs will follow, gulping them down alive, and
creeping through shadows.

Under all these songs there are fainter murmurs:
earthworm bodies whisper, sliding through earth, and
microbes, feeding plants, are the ground of our music,
soundless as starlight

Beth Junor

Beth Junor


i.m. Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), mathematician

Don’t be afraid. Like the first brushstroke
of the Mona Lisa, it begins simply enough.

The partition of three is three,
the partition of four is five.

Meaning, you can arrive at three in three
different ways and end up with four in five.

Ramanujan took partitions farther and farther
into the labyrinth of his genius, unveiling new truths.

The partition of a country of three hundred and ninety
million souls is injury, individual, incalculable.

There are some words we have
not left in peace to evoke beauty alone.

More Guest Poems

Bridget Khursheed

Plotting Doggerland There are farms you reveal as our plane slidestowards Amsterdam. An ex-navy surveyorof forgotten seafloor, you have seenthis obscure bombscape drilled into neolithic geography. Using a digital weather-eye,submersible and deep dive, you sometimes–...

Colin Pink

Surveillance I lie awake at nightthe ghost-of-myself paces the citygets on and off buseshurries through turnstilespauses to look in shop windowsgives a beggar a coinjust stands in the street for no reasonraises suspicion from passers-byhurries ahead againenters the...

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 sidelinerson the brink of history before her instrument as it ploughs the stars,sends galaxies and all of creation tumbling from view....

Duncan Wu

Fired Up Ruthless hot the angry August sun glaresdown upon the slope. Nothing moves. Mydog sleeps in a pool of light while I stareat a gap in the outer wall which Iwill have to fill. But not right now. With luckI can ignore it till the weather cools.This is the...

Louise Walker

Octave/Sestet With each deep breath, the flute will utter prayer,its voice vibrating with the purest noteof G in the first octave. Then you can floatup to the next because you know it’s there.The painter knows how to balance sea and air,concealing rules that have been...

Deborah H. Doolittle

Like Wordsworth in Wales Who doesn’t like ruins? The oldstone shaped to make the landscape wild. The fragmented walls, like thoughts, framethe sky with Gothic windowpanes. Now, blue is the preferred hue forreflection that is wide enough. Ivy climbs the parts of...

Don Rodgers

Magnolias What do we make of magnolias?Like beaks of exotic birds, their budsbreak from bare branches, singingthemselves open into sculpturalpink and white waxworks of flames. You were given a Magnolia Susanone birthday. Not caring for our garden,it managed one clutch...

Richard Schiffman

The Wisdom of Seeds You don’t seed a cloud with another cloud,but with bone dry particles of dust. Sahara dust blown to the Amazonmakes the mineral-poor soils fertile. The Amazon seeds its own rains which blownoff course make the Sertão desert bloom. Hopelessly off...

Myra Schneider

Jungle It’s January but outside the lawns and grassy vergesare very green after months of rain and the palm treesin the frontage at the end of our road are thriving. I love the spread fans of their spiky leavesand the yellowish cacti spears underneath them –they jump...

Janet Dean

Angels in the Air Morning spills sand from its bucket, a clock ticksone Mississippi, two Mississippi. Deserted by an outgoing tide, an afternoonspread flat and dreary, wet with longing. She spent years learning to silence the ticking clock,change her voice, open...

Jock Stein

The First Snowdrop Modest, trembling, they appeared together:why be first when you can burst upon the scenelike mini US cavalry, genes and ethics matched,despatched midwinter on a mission, gently bentto tame the harsher shades of government,calm down showers of...

Ursula Kelly

When I Can Make it to the Pub Again It’s not so much the pain butfear of pain, that makes me hesitate.I am learning to bear my own weight again,with crutches and a moonboot.Every tiny step’s a giant leap of faiththat a rearticulated ankle will still hold,the pins will...

Jayant Kashyap

Child as a Piano During the ultrasound, it lies there,dormant, like a landmine inside you.Later, it erupts – a months-quiet volcanoof its own. Now the constant ticks,the continuous whirring of me, me,me, mommy, me. A four-leggedsinister machine in the...

Isabel Miles

Night Vision At noon the garden’s open as a flower,its beauty fitting to our spectrum and our scale.Green lawn, brown earthand flashing red, black, white,three partridges that sprint across the grass.Plain everyday. The midnight garden’s a dark pool.Upon it strands of...

Michael Tanner

Pavement Poppies A half dozen or solending a delicate beautyto vertical brick,trodden tarmac,swayed by the passageof traffic down to the town. None noticed their green emergencefrom the crack that time digsat the base of walls –big enough to admit dustand water, the...