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 email@example.com. 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 You should be aged between 16 and 25 years, the work should be unpublished.
I’d like to have her laugh / Which erupts like a broken hose / Fixing at the wrong time, or his shoulders / Which people love to lay their head on. (from The Party by Sinéad O’Reilly)
In dizzy rooms awash with eyes of green,
The air is smoke, the water something pink,
And I whose shoulder people love to lean
Their heads on might not be what they think.
My silken hair is wrought with curls of fire,
Will promise bliss for those who catch my eye,
For rumours single touches drive desire
Wild, they’re true, it’s true I make them cry.
They hover drunk in swarms towards my scent
(Chanel, almost) to lap from fountains gold
Which feed my font of honeyed truth, and lent
As if by Gods, or Lucifer, to whom I sold my soul.
I see myself in cigarettes and yearn.
Oh God, oh Christ, oh fuck, oh fuck, I burn.
The truth finds me, the truth loves me. Pilgrim,
You haven’t the gold for the truths I’ve told,
Couldn’t handle that which hides behind lies of old.
The grass unloads its griefs upon my feet
As if I am God, its prickling a prayer. Not
God but O gold-winged messenger of mighty Gods.
My fables float towards the gates of heav’n.
Saint Pete panics, unsure of what to make
Of me, he who knows more of worlds than deity.
Thunder follows lustrous footprints in my wake,
For I have awoken the malevolent king, I,
Teller of tales, I, the Creator’s greatest mistake.
I crave, kill pain, gift faith to soulless sentience.
This fleshy stack of muscles, veins, and nerves
Will praise your healing works, your little miracles.
O plastic capsule, globule, God-orb, God-ball
Who’s eucharistic in the act of feigning lifelessness,
I beg, I pray to you to numb the burning nerves.
And while you wield a lethal dynamism
Disguised beneath benevolent guise,
I know, I know, I cannot help but think,
Be haunted by the years before your birth,
Before Asclepius, his snakes in extremis,
When all there was was hurt and hurt breathed.
This Is What I’m Thinking
Rain on the window & the ground
Everything is impermeable
So we leave behind streetside streams
& we leave in them
I want to go home
But I rue the journey
Hate the water that drowns the roads
Hate the water that ends up where
I’m wanting to go
I know what it means to be taken for granted
Sprinkle down & write your message in
On the windshield
Watching out for what’s next
You know what it means to have no idea
There is nothing left between the walls
That hold me up in place here
So I am facing skywards
I am falling with my eyes
And then the rest of me
Headed to the gulf,
Traveling smooth but splashed up and around
By reckless, wantless tires
And nothing is lost to the concrete
But something is lost to the air
We can laugh it off all we want but
It won’t change a thing.
It hangs around us,
The air is thick and clouded like stream water
I never have any idea what to say.
Swallow smoke and spit out blindness
Nothing left after the sun rises
& eats up homes,
Cleans out the valley,
And nothing is left except the sighs,
Hitting the walls of the hills
This (like everything) Is About Self Esteem
After my friends across the hall have
I’ll be the loud one
I’ll call the front desk
I am the ghost, the prankster
All my feelings come in seasons
Brought on my rafts of heavy rain
There’s nothing I love all the time
I am a hummingbird,
A big bee,
I weigh nothing, I cost nothing
If you hit too hard
If you look too long
I fall off the face of the earth
I leave nothing
I play songs that become you down halls that
Drip and ooze
Your feet fall on velvet drums
And make velvet songs
I open doors quiet
But I close them loud
There’s a call, a creak for help either way
I cost nothing, I leave nothing
More Young Poets
Rain and cheer Innocence darted through streets alone,hair dancing in the rush of itamid dense smells and bids and cumin and saffronlittle lungs a-panting. Now, with top button stiffly done,greying hair flattened and...
The First Affair I rinse my hands of the way your skin felt, Brush my teeth thinking of how you tasted. The soap’s scent is reminiscent of your Intense fragrance, something I won’t forget In a hurry. I remember the sight Of you in that red dress, the slight gasps you...
till dawn do us part late night kisses behind closed doors no one has to know you’re mine for the night unwavering devotion you write novels on my skin then tear them to pieces leaving me severed and shattered your beautiful work destroyed no one has to know...
Josephine It’s been ten years of Josephine, and the world will give us decades more. But if that’s cut short by the gods above, I would upturn all our climbing trees, I would dry out all our oceans, I would leave no corner of the world unchecked searching for her. As...
dinner party ‘conversation’ It has a haunting quality, does it not? How shadows leave the table when lights flicker on, but their presence is constant and reminded when birthday candles are blown out. The way a sour aftertaste an be remembered for days on end, but the...
The Bristol hum I’m looking for the secret portal where the air quivers above the grass because I want to get away from here from the place where emotions are berocca dissolved in the white wine served with dinner, swallowed with our plates of macaroni cheese and...
Sandpaper There is not much difference between words. Maybe there is, maybe it is different. There is horror in thoughts, in desiring Something unknown; it seems known to others. It is kept hidden, secret, and it is unfair. When words bubble up, they are strange....
finding nemo in the ward the aquarium of her ward was rich as ever in the Great Barrier Reef Hospital. Old fish diving in the shallows of the ED. The pillows a lush anemone, her clownfish gown swallowed in. My smile daft as Dory’s. Brief as bubbles, or the...
Adoption I didn’t spend 9 months in your womb, growing into a creation of my own I wasn’t the result of your great love story, but of one unknown You didn’t feel the emotion when the second line appeared There were no tears of joy and no little kicks that you endeared...
Swapsies Your favourite jumper is draped, Languishing on the back of my chair The tattered sleeves unmoving, Its snot stains ever-present And the colour clashing As always With your imagined outfit. The window looks on, Sheets of sunlight In heavy layers over the...
Esplanade I saw a man on the edge of the sea one black morning. No sand, just stones, and me on the Esplanade. He paused at the lap of the waves and surveyed. Where I stood on the grey I could tell his upset Too far from his wife who rose and fell further out....
Strange Winter river pouring daily puff of coal chatter of friends press of water against the lock gates overflow balsamic moon I am swallowed up I am swept away in the overflow of turkey tails lobular expanses drops of rain strung like beads of liquid starlight...
Exile Displaced I break myself up in a million pieces Can’t forget the taste of the sky more bitter than my aching tears or the airport-coffeed flavour in my mouth Eyes closed uncomfortable flicker Out of the window the trees are running away Disjointed thoughts to...
Starlings Flit from Lobster Pots Starlings flit from lobster pots The harbour – a nest Of buoys and nets – A breath – To the beat of boats And wings – Sun and sea sing – Salt clear notes – blue Chasing dawn’s dissolving hue – Hulls bead and dimple dew Over paint that...
Withered church of Ormskirk God’s stone temple returns to weed brittle bricks of busted bones slant sideways a shadow of its former self, glass sockets empty, shrivelled foundations Green veins entwine brown vessels solid clots collect dust, splintery bones wither...