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

Peter Lockhart

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 down
With rocks, free up fireplaces and rebalance chimney stacks.
Around the kitchen table a single candle
At mealtimes measures the awkward stretch
From each wooden chair nailed down in haste
When the bottom half of the double-doors blew in.
Daylight is a rumour spread by the insane and the zealots,
Or a practical joke, the apprentice sent out for tartan paint
For the umpteenth time. But we are serious people
And in these parts we take winter seriously.

Liz Adams

Liz Adams

apple blossom

if I were to disappear from here, beneath
the wing of the day, where the apple blossoms
emerge a whitish pink, and the bee hovers

mesmerised – where the hellos gather up
then spill open like flowers, and the bee
retreats as the light fades, the white petals

in the blue-dark, luminous, otherworldly,
they collect like memory, until we turn,
waving goodbye beneath the rising moon

More Guest Poems

Jennifer Johnson

Exposure So, you live in a magnificent duck house, a five-foot Swedish home complete with door, windows and roof, floating on a rich man’s pond. You kept that quiet, never mentioned it any of the times you quacked with us pretending you were no different. You just...

Bren Simmers

Once Beloved You hadn’t been diagnosed yet; days you couldn’t get out of bed. Took a semester off to transition from class three rapids to chronically ill. You’d make a meal in the back kitchen, row of single panes overlooking a raggedy tenant’s garden. Table pushed...

Steve Noyes

Mars Low in the southern sky, a coppery glint, Mars, planet of war. Across that distance a memory sifts in, of the Juan de Fuca Strait on a still evening, when an aircraft carrier, the Ronald Reagan, half a mile long, slate-grey, was sent by the Empire to demonstrate...

Nicki Griffin

Streetwise The pretty street is lined with gas lights convincing in their Victorian guise throwing down a mantle of respectability. Nothing to see in the shadows you know and that thing you noticed that slithered away wasn’t there. You can trust me. Look how the...

Owen Bullock

Mousehole you ease out of the chimney walk down the lane fall out of dark cloud into a boat slide from blue shimmer in a fix of sun over water level the roof of the house with your chest heave the dinghy onto the harbour wall smudge eyes with raindrops collapse onto...

Timothy Houghton

Hummingbirds Some people say not to worry about the air Some people never had experience with Air. —Talking Heads It’s the small talk of wings brushing windows, vibing the casita. The circle of four fake flowers is a compass, a fraught blood-colored universe. I wait...

Ann Gibson

Archaeologists’ Handfasting at Stonehenge Against wind and rain, in pre-dawn dark the wedding party troops towards the stones. Pendragon, vestments flapping, leads guests in waterproofs and hiking boots. An hour’s access to the site granted, we’re still stopped at the...

Leonard Lambert

Dog Heaven ....these beings wholly dependent on us whom we have helped lift themselves to gain a soul, but for which there is no heaven... (Letters, Rainer Maria Rilke) Rilke was wrong: .....dogs have their own Heaven, no soul required. As if Devotion were the domain...

Merryn Williams

Red White and Blue When I drive past an elder in full flower on June roads, on some national holiday, I yearn for its distinctive scent and colour. There was a poet who saw cow parsley not as a weed, but a luxuriant drift of pure colour, white as you need to get. The...

Michael Gittins

Translation of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) The Wild Rose-Bush How it stands there in the gloaming of a rainy evening; young and pure; offering its shoots with outstretched arms and yet in deep rose-essence, very sure; the nascent blossoms, open here and there, each...

Veronica Beedham

The Old Empire Between Dreamland and the Amusement Arcade, Art-deco’s brown-gold, the foyer – polished wood, bakelite and glass – lit up so you could easily walk in, the usherette in chiaroscuro gloom, ready to take you down with her single torch beam to your numbered...

Rex Sweeny

The silent place Two sets of heavy doors, solid as weightlifters’ shoulders as they roll on their hinges noiseless apart from a small cough of protest or welcome and then you’re in the space: the grand rectangular mural-encrusted incense-hinting carved varnished...

Rosemary Jenkinson

After Daniel McColgan’s Murder His body lies on the pad Under the ash, next to a blackthorn, In the soft hollow of the devil’s punchbowl (His dad says the devil only lurks in dark corners). Ravens stalk his head And tatted flowers creep round The braeface of the caves...

Elaine Jarvest Miller

Like Sunrise My uncle said it could come at any time, the knock on the door. The policeman, the waiting car, the high-speed journey through pre-war London. That night there was no time, no time for the usual procedures. They took him straight to the hospital bed, to...

Hilary Hares

Daily Bread Based on the words of a Ukranian farmer, 5 March 2022 We grow the wheat, give it, for free, to the men who drive the lorries. The men who drive the lorries deliver it, for free, to the bakers of Kyiv. The bakers of Kyiv bake it, for free, into bread for...