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.


14 December


by Ian Storr

From Win Hill to Hope Cross

branched crystals of hoar frost

light on the heather


13 December


by Robin Fulton

So much time has passed. Snow-

flakes fall round lit street lamps.

They’re falling in Glasgow

in 1948.

They’re falling in Norway

in 2004.

Would it be good for me

not to say “so much time”?

Would it be better if

I could say “I’m alive

in 1948

and I remember snow-

flakes falling round street lamps

when I was very young

in 2004”?


12 December

George Orwell letter from the grave

by Dennis Gould

11 December


by Ros Barber

Here, the sea is milk. A fishy milk, a cold

bouillabaisse of chalk and fin, served on a clatter

of stone. Within its clouded vision, cod fatten,

mackerel cut their zig-zags through the fog

like children dawdling to a school that has disappeared

and may not, they pray, be there when the whiteness clears.


These cliffs are temporary. Reduced and solid,

born from the warm, tropical broth of stock

and stored in a stack above, an Oxo block

now broken off in chunks and re-dissolved

in the cooler, less forgiving froth

of this liquid finger from the north.


So life revolves. We, too, are soup.

Temporarily solid vats of DNA

fleshed out just long enough to find a mate

with whom to create a different brew.

We dawdle through the fog. Circling above:

vagrants and migrants, the murderous cries of gulls.


10 December

Songs at the bottom of winter

by David Troupes