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

Tim Dwyer

Tim Dwyer

After Chang Chi-Ho

These twenty years of banishment
became a gift. Though it is said
I fled from the world, here I found it –

my beloved, the moon,
my friend, the sea,
my shelter, the sky.

I wake to the welcome
of dawn’s open door
and the gull’s spirit call.

I didn’t flee the world,
the world found me.

Chang Chi-Ho, dead for years.
I’m the grey-haired fisherman
of water and mist, who

casts the line empty of bait
into the constant river,
fish swimming free, until

I will join the dust.

Jan FitzGerald

Jan FitzGerald

Sky Goodbye

I didn’t see you at the funeral.
You weren’t there.
I believe you escaped in a shaft of light
streaming through the stained glass window,
before the organist went all stops out
and speakers leant too long on the pulpit —
as far away as possible from all that palaver.

Out into the crunch of snow,
skis over one shoulder,
you tramped to the highest ridge
looking down on the village
as mourners now traipsed towards a hall
for hot scones and a gabfest

and appraising the last slope
before daffodils poked through the thaw,
you adjusted your goggles, took a deep breath
and propelled yourself
                                             into air sweet as heaven.

More Guest Poems

Anna Barker

When I think of my body as a crow We slide together:my flesh, your feather, your jet eye, the haw you draw across in sleep,the patient keel of your sternum,the steel of your rib your beak to stitch the vane, the silken ley,the tap of talons on glass,the hollow bone...

Jonathan Greenhause

Our Shrinking Plot of Earth Blue whales bathe in our birdbathcradling the Atlantic, our chilly attic the outer atmosphere,its drop-ceiling a cloak of altocumuli.  Our footfallsextinguish species; Our breaths brew cyclonic storms;Each of our verses is a new...

Edward Ragg

Final Diner at the Banquet of Dreams Eight months of English sun and rain sifting through the shadows of towering cumulus billowing like ships’ sails in the northern wind have composted your remains in the uncaring earth. Never had imagination so vividly and swiftly...

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...