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

Ursula Kelly

Ursula Kelly

When I Can Make it to the Pub Again

It’s not so much the pain but
fear 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 faith
that a rearticulated ankle will still hold,
the pins will not give way.

Moonboots sound magical. I’ve dreamed of dancing
in the County Feis, defying gravity with scissor kicks
and slip steps, treble shoes clattering on a wooden floor,
finding my feet in speed and fury.

But reality begs to differ, when every visit
to the bathroom must be choreographed.
I pace myself in steady clunks, relinquishing the safety
of the zimmer frame, then managing to make do
with just one crutch. Next up, a walking stick.
When I can make it to the pub again,
I’ll buy you all a drink.

Jayant Kashyap

Jayant Kashyap

Child as a Piano

During the ultrasound, it lies there,
dormant, like a landmine inside you.
Later, it erupts – a months-quiet volcano
of its own. Now the constant ticks,
the continuous whirring of me, me,
me, mommy, me
. A four-legged
sinister machine in the beginning,
advancing with growth, now it can
multitask – handle scissors before age,
snip your hare/hair carelessly, throw
styrofoam at the dog to feed, or feed
itself, spill water, urine, oil on the floor,
its generous slickiness. This small
machine of easy wear and tear,
easy blithering, breaking, bleeding,
becoming bone-hard, voluntary
but still the hum of mommy, me,
prized possession, precious substance,
jewel, gem, loved, loving learns melting,
waking under warmth.

More Guest Poems

Elaine Jarvest Miller

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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...

Polly Walshe

Painting You There is a city in your face, I see it in the shadows this fierce light creates. You build a new one every day – Babylon was there, a shimmer of Jerusalem And many a smaller place. They will all fall but only one of them will rise again. Are your cities...

Lola Haskins

The Plants in a Skipton Concrete Yard The chives are xenophobes. They dig their roots in deeper every year and have taken over their tub. The courgette is an exchange student from France. She is blossoming as hard as she can. She has always wanted to be a ballerina,...

Jeremy Robson

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Penelope Shuttle

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Lynne Hjelmgaard

Night Journey: On the Greyhound Bus I trusted the soft-spoken driver, the sound of his foot on the pedal, humming of the engine once we reached the highway, cocooned by other passengers, coaxing me into a dreamless sleep. When we were further south, past midnight, we...

Colin Bell

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Lenora Steele

Day Dreaming It is mid-January. The forecasters are forecasting snow. A woman is lying atop of her made-up bed. There’s a single electric candle in the window, a left-over from Christmas. Across the street in the growing dark, the neighbours’ lights come on and a...

Mantz Yorke

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Lori Drummond-Mundal

Rooks Over Mariupol Rooks raise a complaint, but cannot erase the blinding mist. I live in the mist of a distant land. The sun is veiled yet I know it exists. Raucous rooks tear from branch tips, black into squall. Tempest of wings rip at seams, imagined and real....

Huw Gwynn-Jones

Say her Name Not the physical boy but the masculine shadow, cruciform over the family. Geraldine Clarkson Sometimes I see his ageing face, that stare, pained and cold as a codfish. Is this how it was, Uncle, the incessant hunger, your mother’s belly, trial by fire?...

Kathy Miles

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Sydney Lea

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John Muro

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