Poem of the day

A Winter Prayer

by Carol Rumens

A berry, flirting from the crowded holly,

Or dropped at its dark foot, slightly crumpled,

But certain that the folded good inside it,

Though not the word for spring, is still a word

As bitter, bright and crystal-complex…Lammas,

The earthed berry promises: good morrow.


2 December

Chamber music

by Bob Cobbing

2 December

The Night Dropped the Stars from the Sky

by Ak Welsapar

1 December

The first snow

by Paul Peter Piech

30 November

Love Planet

by Rachael Nicholson

In the photograph, Venus looks cool:

a blue-eyed fishbowl of oceans

scarfed with diaphanous lace.

But looks can deceive.


She’s neverbeen out of the sun.

Thermal, swaddled in blankets

hundreds of layers deep,

she doesn’t know how to sweat.


Ten thousand fathoms of Earth’s sea

might equal the weight of her breath,

and her eyes are cataracts;

nothing of her can see.


She weeps an acidic hail,

driven by winds that shriek

with fright at their own wild speed,

and no-one comes


close to her.


29 November

Old House, New Home

by Carrie Etter

Following by eye the dark beams 

as they rise and meet, rise and meet, 

learning these new rooms’ shades 

of natural and artificial light, 

I smell rain on stone, in the view 

of a sky of stone, storey upon storey 

of weavers’ apartments, long derelict.


Five years in a foreign country – 

the ghosts are not my ghosts. 

This morning I hummed a childhood tune, 

this afternoon I rummage for the words.


Tonight clouds will obscure the stars, 

forsake me in unnavigable water. 

What’s to do but drop anchor; wait 

and wake to the smell of rain, the view 

of a sky of stone; hum an old tune 

and wait, humming, for words –


28 November

5 poems

by Ian Hamilton Finlay

27 November

Sea Hare

by Angela France

The Sea Hare slips from water-forms,

scribes patterns in sand with ivory shells


and seagull bones to light paths unseen.

She rides the storms on ribbons of kelp,


stalks waves when they covet slivers

of painted wood or steel mirrors for vanity.


She spins, with sea hare skill, tunnels that twist

and shimmer in blue, green, black; sequins


them with plankton glow to guide lost

sailors home to her green-lit halls.


The slow old river soothes to her whispered

challenge; he falls into her web of tricks,


losing each game to give up small swimmers

he would hoard in rooms of woven weed.