Julian Dobson

October 12, 2016

The Open Mouse

Blood moon

Between Orion and the Plough
a blink of wing-lights. We
watch our shadow tip
across the moon. In valleys
unwanted light puddles, spreads.
On Stanage Edge the breeze
is fluid as family, the glittered sky
brittle as dried teasels.
Air traffic control is humming,
sketching new constellations.
We forget the names of stars.

Copyright © Julian Dobson 2016

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield, England, where men call each other ‘duck’. His poems have appeared in publications including Brittle Star, The Interpreters’ House and The Poets’ Republic, and on a bus in Guernsey. He tries to post a poem a week at 52poemsinayear.wordpress.com

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Josephine Corcoran: Featured Poet

October 10, 2016

The Poetry Shed



In Town For A Funeral, We Drive Past Our Old House And See It Is For Sale

so we three sisters stumble home and find a widow
wandering from room to room, with a fragile smile,
as if she knows there’s someone missing from our tale.

As we trail graveyard gravel along her doormat she tells us hers:
We moved here to be near the sea but within a year, he’d died.
We say we’re sorry and do not glide across the hallway ice-rink

the way we used to, or lasso our scarves around the banisters, but we slide our dusty shoes
in spirals of our past and, when her back is turned, twirl arthritic fingers
over stories in the walls, lingering in tiny swirls of punctuation, familiar under years of paint.

On the news, balaclava’d, black-clothed men are abseiling again
down white stucco walls, exploding grenades, marking…

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Jinny Fisher – 2 poems

October 10, 2016

The Poetry Shed

Fish-paste Sandwiches

After Anthony Rudolf’s “Perfect Happiness”

My grandmother wears a floral frock and a grey cardigan, no bra. She doesn’t hug or kiss. The hall smells of damp and lavender. I hang my blazer and satchel from the coat-stand and follow her into the kitchen to sit at the Formica-topped table. There is no heating. Grandmother makes the tea in her Victorian silver teapot and serves it in a rosebud china cup, with a saucer. There are fish-paste sandwiches and a rock bun, which she serves as a treat, but it’s hard to swallow. When I need the lavatory, I can choose between the bathroom upstairs, which is cold, and the one by the back door. That one has spiders in the top corners.

After tea, we go into the sitting room. There is an upright piano, but she doesn’t ask me to play it. We play Bezique, which…

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Lingua Anglica by Jacqui Rowe

October 10, 2016

I am not a silent poet

European Day at Birmingham Literature Festival

You can time your journey

through this city by how long it takes

to hear a syllable of English. Twenty minutes

is the mean. Korean on the campus, Portuguese

on one end of a phone, laughing Spaniards

teach each other tic-kets on the bus.

Belarusian, Armenian, Hungarian, Bulgarian,

Gagauz, German, Greek, Polish, Moldovan,

Slovak, Yiddish, Russian, Rusyn, Krymchak

Crimean Tatar, Azerbaijani, Karaim, Romani, Romanian

are the languages of Ukraine. Writers war displaced

from Donetsk to Kiev use English to discuss

the role of conflict in their art.

You might fade from Europe. English won’t,

an Italian opines. Expunged of you and angst

and beauty it will morph into convenience.

Innocent of languages,  you won’t stop chasing

subtitles to Welsh and Scandi crime scenes.

Galicians, Poles, Germans, Turks, Swedes have

spoken English to you today. The end of hesitation

is where the poetry lies.

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Lifesaving Poems: Charles Wright’s ‘After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard’

October 9, 2016

Anthony Wilson


After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard

East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.
Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
up from the damp grass.
Into the world’s tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.

Charles Wright

I first came across this poem via the Poets.org website just after I started blogging on Posterous, around 2010. I did not know what I was doing, but had learned enough…

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10 Classic Autumn Poems Everyone Should Read

October 5, 2016

The best poems about Fall (or autumn) ‘Now the leaves are falling fast’: so begins W. H. Auden’s ‘Autumn Song’, which features below in this compilation of ten of the best autumn poems in all of En…

Source: 10 Classic Autumn Poems Everyone Should Read

Friday Poem – ‘What the Dead Don’t Know’, Anne-Marie Fyfe

September 23, 2016

Seren Books Blog

Our Friday Poem this week is taken from Anne-Marie Fyfe’s latest collection, House of Small Absences.

House of small absencesAnne-Marie Fyfe’s poems have long dwelt on the role that the spaces we inhabit, the places in which we find security, play in our lives: House of Small Absences is an observation window into strange, unsettling spaces—a deserted stage-set, our own personalised ‘museum’, a Piedmont albergo, underground cities, Midtown roof-gardens, convent orchards, houseboats, a foldaway circus, a Romanian sleeper-carriage—the familiar rendered uncanny through the distorting lenses of distance and life’s exigencies, its inevitable lettings-go…

What the Dead Don’t Know

Grows quickly, daily, from the perimeter
of a postage stamp, until it’s twice the size
of Norway, and growing fast.

What the deceased can’t understand
is why they don’t still hear from us
day-by-day, hour-by-hour.

What the departed don’t see
is how the lead story has moved on.

What the dead won’t say

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‘On Laundry Day’ by Florence Lenaers

September 23, 2016

And Other Poems

On Laundry Day

on laundry day check the pockets, question
them, make them tell you what they know. (for

the washing machine won’t hear of it.) slip
your hand inside—careful, don’t fall head over

heels. eel-catch-catch a folded candy wrapper;
looks familiar, doesn’t it? like an ear, dried

& pressed in a blank book for hours; looks like
a lonely Sunday morning multiplied by that

failed math test from x years ago. catch a
crumpled receipt—did you really buy that

much reformed ham & happiness from the super-
market with the pretty cashier who smells like

a conspiracy of melons & half-forgotten
Latin declensions? catch by the tail, catch

by the head coins from countries not sung by
the news; countries whose capital, highest

point, most polluted river, most slaughtered
animal you don’t remember from school.

catch sand under your nails; so many grains in
your pocket—in case of insomnia?…

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INDIGO DREAMS PAMPHLET PRIZE 2016 Closing Date: 14 October 2016

September 22, 2016

The Poetry Shed


Details: Two winners will receive a royalty publishing contract from award-winning Indigo Dreams and receive 20 copies of their poetry pamphlet Submission: Full poetry pamphlet up to 30 pages 36 lines max inc line breaks.

Entry Fee: £15 per block of poems.


All entries must be accompanied by cheque to correct amount made payable to ‘IDP’ or via PayPal.

See full submission rules at


Postal submissions to

Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize, 24 Forest Houses, Halwill,

Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5UU

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10 of the Best Morning Poems Everyone Should Read

September 21, 2016

Interesting Literature

The best poems for morning 

Dawn, morning, sunrise: these are perennial themes of English poetry. From beautiful aubades to morning prayers, English literature is ready to rouse us from slumber with cheering, inspiring, moving, and thought-provoking poems about the dawn. So let’s rise and shine with some of English literature’s best poems about the morning, the finest poems about dawn, the most classic poems about sunrise. We’ll start by travelling back more than half a millennium…

Anonymous, ‘A Medieval Morning Prayer’. Let’s begin our whistle-stop tour of the best morning poems in the fifteenth century, with a prayer thanking the Lord for seeing us through the night all right and keeping us away from the Devil.

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