Guest Poem by Myra Schneider

Myra Schneider’s most recent collection is Siege and Symphony (Second Light Publications), 2021. Poet Marvin Thompson, Literature Officer for Wales, listed it in Poetry Review as one of his choices for 2021. Her other publications include books about personal writing. She has had 11 full collections of poetry published and her work has been broadcast on Radio BBC4 and BBC3. A new collection Believing in the Planet, is due from Poetry Space in May 2024. This poem is from Acumen 108.


It’s January but outside the lawns and grassy verges
are very green after months of rain and the palm trees
in the frontage at the end of our road are thriving.

I love the spread fans of their spiky leaves
and the yellowish cacti spears underneath them –
they jump me to a holiday we had years ago

in Trinidad where our bodies always felt clammy
and even the grass smelt of heat. A mini forest
is flourishing next door and every year the amount

it’s grown surprises me. On the verge
dandelions are in flower and I wonder if the planet
is forgetting winter-cold. The parakeets have disappeared

from our back garden but they’ll be back by spring
and maybe screeching cockatoos will arrive too.
Last night I dreamt I heard tomato frogs

croaking in the brook at the bottom of our park
and I smiled at monkeys swinging on our plum trees,
believing England had reverted to rainforest.