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

Duncan Wu

Duncan Wu

Fired Up

Ruthless hot the angry August sun glares
down upon the slope. Nothing moves. My
dog sleeps in a pool of light while I stare
at a gap in the outer wall which I
will have to fill. But not right now. With luck
I can ignore it till the weather cools.
This is the unforgiving rut I’m stuck
within – a heat-induced inertia rules.
Yet this inaction, I begin to think,
is that to which all human business tends,
for everything resolves as rest; a blink,
and all that once was living finds that end.
Whatever is, is burning up – you, me;
to burn to ash is what it is to be.

Louise Walker

Louise Walker


With each deep breath, the flute will utter prayer,
its voice vibrating with the purest note
of G in the first octave. Then you can float
up to the next because you know it’s there.
The painter knows how to balance sea and air,
concealing rules that have been learned by rote;
the same that give the poet secret hope
that all will be in order, nothing spare.

But look – the sunflower makes a perfect turn
with each new seed; at heart it knows the code
which gives each one sufficient space to grow,
facing the light. It never had to learn
to ask the question Fibonacci posed
of eight and six, the golden ratio.

More Guest Poems

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...

Christopher M James

Traces Isaan, the vast rice-growing plateau in north-east Thailand Endless paddiesstencil the land, enmesh the living.Their waters smudge a setting sun’s inks. A handhas wiped leftover pigmentson a cloth of sky. A motorcyclescratches the landfor epidermic dust,...

Nicola Warwick

Launching the Moon Does it really take two hands to toss it skywards? You’d think it could be done in the space of an owl’s blink, but you’re wrong. You cup this glossy thing, roll it over and over in your palm, hold it to the light and it’s a crystal ball crammed...

Robert Stein

Finis This is it: the final leaving,The stars loitering and out of luck.The dice ceased rolling. All numbers up. This is the gone at the end of going,The rotted apple after knowing.The box nailed. The straw. The shut. The trap tripped, sprung through and up.The...

Frances Sackett

Free Spirit Bordering the road,but theatrical, the wayit looked like someonehad planted a gardenrich in wildness. A rocky outcropwith ragwort and willowherb,vetch and wild thyme –the hills beyond mantled with sun. I scatter you here,watch as a wisp of smokelifts along...

Sue Spiers

Jealous of the Listening Air She tells me her deafness is more complete,no sound penetrates her ears, masks are difficulties. Imperfect silence of devices switched off but stilloutside chunters; car engines, birdsong, the wind. Conversation in another room with no...

Douglas Cole

The Lighthouse Keeper In this season he knowswe are smaller than wind,as the storm blast singsthrough the boarded glass. He opens his doorto the sting and stab of rain,making his way as he leansunder the arc-lamp light. In the radio house he listensto distress codes a...

Cathra Kelliher

we sat holding the lamb we sat holding the lambRichard and Ithe field soft about uscold coming on below the ash treesand the farm buildingssilent as flint through the arrow slits how slight it wasand how meagre the pullof its miniature mouth on my fingera smear of...

Anthony Lawrence

The Moonlit Lakes of John Atkinson Grimshaw have all the hallmarks of ice, when seen througha hawthorn hedge or drystone wall,and you’d be forgiven, the way a witness,driven to description, not of a man,but of animals on the surface of the moon,is forgiven for seeing...

Patrick Osada

Rooks Each evening they appear at duskin ones and twos –return from distant foraging.Flapping untidy wings in laboured flight,they circle,gathering as a cawing group,heading for their roost in Hazelwood. Today, nest building in the tallest treesthat screen the...