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

Isabel Miles

Isabel Miles

Night Vision

At noon the garden’s open as a flower,
its beauty fitting to our spectrum and our scale.
Green lawn, brown earth
and flashing red, black, white,
three partridges that sprint across the grass.
Plain everyday.

The midnight garden’s a dark pool.
Upon it strands of brightness float.
Tonight the moon has picked some flowers
from the blossoming plum tree.

All else is shadow, liquid,
darkly bright,
more full of wonder than a solstice dawn.

A whispering of wings, a snuffling on the lawn.
Hedgehog and owl are hunting
prey invisible to us.
For them this night is commonplace
and day’s too dazzling strange to linger in.

Michael Tanner

Michael Tanner

Pavement Poppies

A half dozen or so
lending a delicate beauty
to vertical brick,
trodden tarmac,
swayed by the passage
of traffic down to the town.

None noticed their green emergence
from the crack that time digs
at the base of walls –
big enough to admit dust
and water, the staples
of their being.

One day, perhaps,
their progeny will cross
to the other side
though that does not receive the sun:
something they knew from the start.

More Guest Poems

Greta Stoddart

A Glass of Water So many ways of looking at a glass of water – why is one clearly not enough? Because there are many ways to look and it’s a different kind of sustenance we’re after when we look at a glass of water and maybe there’s no such thing as failure when we...

Rosie Jackson

Grief: A User’s Guide Follow the instructions carefully. Do not use your grief for purposes other than the one for which it is intended. Extreme caution must be taken. Lift your grief, do not drag. If you find any resistance, cut into pieces. Gently shake if...

Doreen Hinchliffe

Memento Mori at an exhibition of Victorian photographs of the dead Posed and dressed in Sunday best, their heads clamped tight in a metal vice, their bodies propped on stands or chairs, they stare at us across the years and fix us with their unreal eyes, inviting us...

Geoffrey Winch

In this Silence To her the silence had been in itself a prayer, the deepest, the holiest, the most illuminating. T. F. Powys: Mister Tasker’s Gods its utter depth and width can only leave one standing on this canyon’s rim entirely without speech its walls stacked so...

Barbara Cumbers

Of all the stars, the loveliest ... Sappho: Fragments on love and desire ... are the Pleiades for they are blue like the sparkles of ice in the coldness of air for they cluster like buds of angelica for the glow that surrounds them is the birthplace of stars for they...

Isabel S. Miles

Sunflower Potatoes, cherry trees and wheat begin in darkness, as sunflowers do, rooted in dank clay, eating ochre, seeking light. With brush for bow and canvases for instruments, in colours only he had vision clean enough to see, he played sonatas filled with blossoms...

Estill Pollock

In Places We Invent In places we invent, cities not cities In ways we knew, in our little understanding Of structures and remorse, where stations prosper From years of long cold, or in savannahs Dry winds strip breathless, our new lives Printed veils of fabrics, tools...

John Gosslee

Below the Night Sky and Blazing My bones hollow, but I don’t grow feathers like a good bird. The village torches mark the trails from the foothills into the rows of shops, onto the box-heavy-delivery-truck-filled roads, the scabs of progress flicker under the...

Robert Dorsett

Voice for the War Refugees The suffering of others is always a foreign language. They speak, leave gaps for others to fill. Keep meaning close, crisp and dangerous. Packed into camps, huddled behind wire, they bandy facts into lies, clench fear into a pause. And speak...

Eleanor Westwood

Breaking News 16.3.22 the child, too excited for school the husband, heart in his guts twisting the woman kissing her parents goodbye the passport bearing her name in her own hands her sweat impregnating the cover joins the man whose family wait for him negotiators...

Hannah Linden

The Woodcutter’s House from Wolf Daughter Now the wolf is dead, dissected into pieces and the knife has been cleaned and put back into the drawer. No more dwelling on it he said. Take some pills and put a smile on your face, no need for red capes now. What was your...

Paul Surman

Sparrowhawk You have come to rest on a stave of the low wooden fence yards from our window, a desperate look of tired ferocity in your eye. Next to our neighbour's forsythia, your feather cloak's duller shine. You look haughty, like an old nobility fallen on hard...

Frank McMahon

Saving Byzantium Every time he asks, is this allowed? They do not paint God’s face, our enemies. They are ocean, plague, unanswered swords, surely God must love them more? They tell him: this is a settled question and this is your commission, The Triumph of Orthodoxy....

Bert Molsom

Inside the house I am safe, all I want is here. These people tell me – what I think is right. They are my family, think like me, speak like me, behave like me. Outside it doesn’t work as my family say it must. Outside is danger, weakness. We know what is right, the...

Dinah Livingstone

Rose Garden I see things in black and white, he says. He means he sees them plainly with a will proudly to describe the truth in prose and strip away the fantasy and frill. Red rose of passion, yellow rose of peace, the flaming orange and soft violet stir feelings as...