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

Charlene Langfur

Charlene Langfur

On the Cusp of Climate Change

Days are like thimbles now, full of small needs,
whatever works, potluck, making do.
I plant aloe in clay pots on the porch, arugula,
orange nasturtium, parsley because it matters.
I am a woman walking under the fan palms
underneath the desert moon at night
in heat none of us like and none of us learn
to live with, no matter how practiced.
Meals are simpler in the recession, black beans,
brown rice, expectations that are smaller.
No big plans. I throw the old petals on the wild grass.
My dog leaps and the lizards race.
Yucca blooms like lilies, elegant, whitish.
Easy down stuff. I put on my best blue shirt
the colour of the sky on a clear day, another way
to make it through, living with what we know.
Seeds to plant. Old jokes to tell again and again.
Lists of what to forget and what always to remember.
The little and the less, all of the I-don’t-know
what comes next but doing it anyway.
Easy down, always ideas of love again, in the pandemic, with days
opening like flowers, blooming, rippling open, colourful, all agog.

George Davey

George Davey

Goldilocks and the three percent inflation rate

Three bowls of porridge
all differing in sizes,
her silver spoon rises
to her
rosy red lips.
She sips.
She gulps.
She convulses.

Porridge icy
like her harsh moral code.
Three skinny bears,
return to their humble abode.

Fur ragged and
bodies haggard. They spot
half-eaten breakfast
on the table top side.
Gloopy tears trickle from their burgundy eyes as
baby bear cries and he cries.

Too weak to punish the girl in
the bed, their survival hangs by a
wire thin thread.
All three wishing for a more forgiving
cost of living.

More Guest Poems

Chiara Salomoni

Heartwood Sheltered by young cypressesand thick-leaved olive trees,a plum tree stands in my family garden. The knobby branches hold clustersof round, juicy plums in summerso heavy they twist. The smiling crop persists for a month at least;the taste is so sweet, it...

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...

Martyn Crucefix

‘when’             whenlike a falling flower-print cotton dress            has dropped its round spoor                        in the breathy silence...

Michael Henry

The Brownfields of England This “Go-Between” of a summerthe heatwave’s a marqueand hours and days repeat themselves          like a slo-mo film. This chameleon summera hare jogging in a fieldturns out to be a man       ...

Richard Lister

Turner’s flight Fishermen at sea, 1796 by JMW Turner As a youth he learnedhow watercolours spillthrough canvas grain and weight,now oils shiver in his hands.He paints the wavesclear enough to glow yet with such thump and throwthat they could snap apartthese men upon...

Martin Reed

Finisterre The lawn is browning, hydrangeas are leached,colours dried to taffeta,summer fading early. Parched.Last night we left a saucer of waterfor linnets who gather on the telegraph wire;insects have drowned in it overnight. Through a gap in the ferns beyond the...

Jennie E. Owen

Advice on Caving for Survivalor Marriage as an Extreme Sport Caving is a polarising sport: underground/marriageis one of those places you’re either happy or you’re not. As the leader, you will have to take control. Mistakescould rapidly escalate a situation into...

Simon Jackson

The Light You are composed of heavenly light and shade,arms raised like Caravaggio’s Saint Paulin his Conversion on the Road to Damascus.Your hands reach into the surgeon’s light.I am relegated to the shadowslike Saul’s servant, holding the horse’s head,a role of...

Ali Blythe

Still, still So being in loveis a lake. The worldturns upside down. We shatter itwhen we dive in. How darkit had to become. To see the unnumberedsparks on each shook swell. To feel their goldhooks fixed in us.

Christine Tainsh

Magritte The surreal was always problematic,shape-shifting and strangelike a helium balloonthrough melted stratospheresand haunting melodies stuck on a soft grooveand always lilting and lifting beyond itbut the artist chose itfor someone always has to bereaching above...

John Arnold

Footnotes My sock, turned inside outamong the laundry –woolly pile, soft to touch. So this is what my feet see,feel, as they walk my ways;then, pressure off, relax as I sit: nothing to concern them,no worries over money or relationships;cocooned from a harsh cold...

Stuart Handysides

You might think we would talk after Absent in the Spring. Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie) A desert station home for several daysno view to speak of, only space our books already read, no outside worldno view to speak of, only space. One day the train will just...

B. Anne Adriaens

Pietà, inverted I meet you halfwayacross the wasteland of your mindto find you plonked on the ground,drawing circles in the dust.I sit down behind you,wrap myself around your frame,so small I could doubtyou gave birth to me – you,this shell I’m holding and rocking...

Graham Mort

Talking to a Spider in the Bath(January, 2022) There you are in the corner of my eyescurrying sideways a black atom, a stain against enamela venomous intruder or is that me, stepping into theshower’s caul of steam? I notice how careful we areof each other a kind of...

Regi Claire

When it is Time The beeches were the last to leave. Too stately maybeor too full of themselves they stayed on, blazed morefiercely copper in the sun, soaked up dusk until they inkedto darkness. Then they threw their arms around the stars,called them theirs, their one...