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 You should be aged between 16 and 25 years, the work should be unpublished.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

Sidney Lawson

Sidney Lawson


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.

O God-Drop

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.

Audrey Hunter

Audrey Hunter

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 nowhere,

Headed north,

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

Little Movements

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

Nodded off

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

Imogen Davies

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Callum McGee

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...

Penelope Beretta

Folding Ennui I saw a man do it once. I was standing on the cobblestones, The smell of rain still in the air. His long fingers scored the paper Like knives. He made the hours Into a little swan, And watched it flutter away. I made mine into a clock, And set it...

Cecilia Padilla

Fictional females I’m not that woman whose silence you praise behind the cover of your book. Who will wait for you, late, with a warm bed, a static smile and an amnesic morning. I’m not that woman who forgives every slip of temper, Who cradles every slap you blow and...

Abi Skeldon

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Sidney Lawson

Garden (for Joan Lawson) You are my opus,My valuable,My green-thumbed work. As rainbow-producingHose sprays of aquaScatter your greenery, Your beauty becomesObvious to me.When I litter little seeds — Or pull weeds from thePermeable soilIn your dominion — Or watch...

Struan Gow

An Announcement: ‘Come here,’ my father had said. His brow was a weathered headstone. The sofa was soft beside him. Worn and stained and comfortable The words jolted and scratched out of his mouth. A machine breaking down but still running. Sentence by sentence, his...

Catriona Sutherland

Braemar I wanted this new start. To appear to others as something different. I think part of me, and this makes me feel a bit sick to admit, was drawn to starting a job as a psych nurse, as I knew I would be around people who were ‘clinically confused’- they had an...

Will Staverley

Dragonflies Dragonflies are playing on the terrace; the pools reflect back jade-green and gold. Each one casts its gleam on the other. And if you asked me to describe the scene, I’d kiss you on the forehead and say never, for what is the use of this empty talk; Better...

Charlotte Haley

The Umbrian Hound Behind You Turn left, you’ll reach the highs of life Turn right, you’ll meet the lows. For the mean old hound who bays and howls Sees all and, limping, follows. On crossroad one you’ll stumble, On crossroad two you’ll pause, But as long as you keep...

Heather Hughes

Dreamworks The boy on the moon is fishing, his shape slumped on the crescent. His feet dangle from the ledge, as he casts the rod. It hits the water with a plop. I want to ask him what he catches before the film starts. I’m wondering if that blue pool contains the...

Jessica Brown

Lemon A man threw a lemon into the air And caught it up, on a February afternoon. It was unseasonable: he didn’t care. The air smelled of flowers and the day-wrong moon – Or the woman-in-front’s expensive scent: It was all one. There was a brightness to the hour That...

Mai Wallace

La Lune In a tumble of luminescence You spill from the sky as though Made of nacre - crystalline crescents That ribbon from La Lune. Like a phantom, you opalesce against the late-night, Like a voyeur, you prowl- Through the rose sense of past and night-frosted glass,...

Mrityunjay Dixit

This is Not a Mobile Phone It is me escaping never being in love with a girl or always being made fun of in school because of an ugly mole on my nose by becoming Harry Potter or Pennywise the Clown or Tarzan under my night-blanket with my eyes trained on the screen,...

Jen Hughes

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