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

Stephen Boyce

Stephen Boyce


I have been looking to the East
where they tell you everything
is illusion, nothing lasts.

The night of the strawberry moon,
though I saw it, I was shuttered
in a windowless room.

I saw you standing in a field
with your back to that glowing moon
among grasses, clovers and orchids.

You were looking in my direction,
the gift of love in your eyes.
It felt like you’d been there forever.

How close you have come in your orbit.
I asked myself what had I done
in my life to deserve this.

And though it was my imagining
I knew everything to be just
as it seemed. I had no doubt of it.

And no wish for it to be otherwise –
the moon’s ancient light, your smile,
the grasses brushing our thighs.

Bridget Khursheed

Bridget Khursheed

Plotting Doggerland

There are farms you reveal as our plane slides
towards Amsterdam. An ex-navy surveyor
of forgotten seafloor, you have seen
this obscure bombscape drilled into neolithic

geography. Using a digital weather-eye,
submersible and deep dive, you sometimes
– you say – rub sludge to pluck bombs
factory fresh if they are German;

sometimes decay. The uncertain degraded explosive
shares the shoal path in mounds
maybe farmstead midden, eggshell,
antler in the missing oak tree.

At the clearing where once grain was cut soon
mills can farm the air again; it is all
a matter of looking and finding spent explosions.
Were we at the academy together?

A rhetorical question just like
where and when does Europe end?
And why can’t another harvest be
threshed in some untraced shortcut alley.

More Guest Poems

Jeff Skinner

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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...

Peter Sutton

Here I Stand Here I stand for I can do no other,tied to my neighbours, my enemies, friends,cousins and siblings, ancestors, offspring,pushing and shoving and reaching for light,building up brawn and strengthening sinews,bartering messages, crisscrossing limbs,digging...

A. C. Clarke

Crossing the language divide We commit to speech as we do to a bridgein the faith it will bring us to the further shorewithout cracking, in the faiththe further shore is where we want to be.What if our words shape themselves differentlyin the listener’s ear, distorted...

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 palmsunderneath the desert...

George Davey

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Mike McNamara

Writing in Ice It gets harder to claimthe lie of few summers livedwhen so many wintershave taken their toll. The deceiver fools you.More fool you. Writing in ice on frozen bonecontusions of ruptured words,mortality’s woundson the immortal soul. The reaver robs...

Jennifer Horgan

Gap ione birdfor weeks the young boy saw one bird on every wire iiyesterday, it fanned its tail feathersand he felt his growing bones reacta shared balancing act, a mirroron the northside of the citydown as far as the dock bridge iiiwhere yesterday toohe saw an otter...

Peter Lockhart

Winter in these parts We lug paving slabs onto wheelie bins,Coax the smaller animals into the spare room,Sling frayed hawsers over outhouses and hen coops.Glacial swamps appear from underground.We cradle our children from school, weight them downWith rocks, free up...

Liz Adams

apple blossom if I were to disappear from here, beneaththe wing of the day, where the apple blossomsemerge a whitish pink, and the bee hovers mesmerised – where the hellos gather upthen spill open like flowers, and the beeretreats as the light fades, the white petals...

D. A. Hickman

The Dreamer’s Song We wish, we worry, we long to conquer things,but is the world stage ours to impose on like perpetual star gazers, never satisfied or contentwith a spinning planet that needs our care? What is it about the wild storm inside? Fuellingour edginess, we...

Anthony Head

Angels My Angels don’t answer. They never do. Sources disagreeon how many each of us has, but often have I pleadedfor mine to show themselves or leave at least some evidence.Never a whisper or sign, no sudden ruffling air on a windlessday, no bright light at the end...

David Ball

To those who will come after us after Bertolt Brecht who will work longer to pay off the debtswe have accumulated, rememberhow many things we had to buy,how many interesting things there were to do,how many places in the world to visit.The cars, in which we went...