Young Poets

Published here are some of the excellent poems we receive from our gifted young writers.

You can submit poems either by post (please enclose a stamped address envelope for reply), via our on-line portal, or by email to Please mark the contents ‘Young Poet Submission’, put this in the subject line if you are submitting by email, and put your name, age and address on each page of the submission.

Please submit no more than four poems. You should be aged between 16 and 25 years, the work should be unpublished. 

More information about submitting your poetry

Michael Liu

Michael Liu


Teeth, the bones I clean,

bite into this pillow.

This bed is not mine,

it is perhaps my late grandfather’s;

or just another metaphor

left in this parcel of land

that could have belonged

to my grandfather.

Inside my eyelids:

two melting balls of chocolate.

Outside my eyelids:

the fields and its bones of rice

seen through the window.

Long ago my grandfather’s son left

for some exodusted nation

and so did I.

Here, the smell is unbearable

and the eyes of my eyes forget themselves

amidst fog, amidst my grandfather’s body

shaped in a certain way when he boils long long noodles.

The chickens sleep and don’t judge us anymore.

They wait, as I do too.

the makings of blood

Under this streetlight you will watch

eight million photons dissect this puddle

until its basic formula is revealed.

From it derives a time without water

when we had held a drop of rain

holier than blood drying

on the side of a temple, a priest

chanting prayers for rain,

holding up a human heart

for the children to see.

From it derives a time without water,

when a hundred thousand trucks

drove down to southern California

with water in their metal wombs.

Let yourself fall in love with it again,

because we are nothing

but memories of the rain.

Look at this puddle one more time,

and watch the rubber wheels of a car

roll through it, blowing out

eight million photons

and the acrid smell of gasoline.

These are the facts of the puddle,

its chemical composition and acidity,

the bottom of little boots that splash them,

and the fingerprints they accumulate.

Ella Pheasant

Ella Pheasant

Gabriel’s Harley

Your old Harley rusts next to a broken ATM,

gum-tacked mirror smashed in by the church’s poker iron,

your fingers bloody and buried inside me,

before dawn daubed its collared black puff

over your thick, stained-glass lids.

I want you to know that I’ve made it real far,

but I won’t tell you how,

not over a cigarette in your barren backyard,

the pond’s filtration system clogged with Christ,

cause I fear that if you knew the truth,

you’d never sleep a wink again.

I’ve never been the pious type, darlin’,

not like you, a sinner now in Gabriel’s glad rags,

but when you got to your knees,

kneeled before me on those

hot, silver-silken evenings,

I hope God was watching.

Dog Teeth

You came walking that day,

past the house of dog teeth,

canine picket white fence, sewn with

human floss and Prussian blue cuffs.

Your limp quickened; hope burnt

out to a prayer’s wick, the shoreline

littered with cigarette ends.

It faltered eventually, snuffed out,

It will never be you. You will never come

back home

to that lonely four-walled woman.

They Asked For One More Day

Time chased them underneath a thousand suns,

missing nothing with her mindful eye,

pocket watch a tall and grand fellow, embalmed

in white-hot iron. Neither fought the dying of

the clement afternoon, for the darkness of dusk

was not feared as long as they dreamt in

colours of vermillion, scarlet, oleander red

in the moon’s pale underbelly. 

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