We can now announce that October’s ‘Pick of the Month’ is Heat by Jody Porter. Jody is poetry editor of The Morning Star. His work has appeared in Magma, Best British Poetry (Salt) and elsewhere. Originally from Essex, he now lives in London and runs events at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Jody has asked that his prize of £10 be donated to the French Red Cross.

Heat was originally posted on 10th October as part of the Ink Sweat & Tears feature on Light for National Poetry Day.





In these heat days

when the sun displays a fiery godhead

and ordains the liquefaction of Tarmac


and the deadest of nights bring a crackle of crickets

and all the bedrooms burn in airless struggle


to turn the pillow then and face its coolness

is like the ocean’s hand upon your cheek

and is the sweetest saviour after love.


 Voters’ comments included:

Succinct yet richly imagined.

It’s simplicity is refreshing

It’s beautiful

Powerful images, short and well constructed.

A maturely executed poem of sensual tension… control of language… pace… the imagery was tactile, I felt this poem on the pillow… language accessible, engaging and always en point, poised for that final cool resonance.


As always it was a close contest with a number of respondents noting how difficult it was to choose. Comments on the other shortlisted poems included:


Abigail Beene, Untitled

The wisdom. And we’re swept along by the writing.

So much truth…very refreshing 🙂 x


Natalie Burdett, The Knight

I like the narrator’s ambivalence and the snappy way the piece is written.

I like this poem’s strong appeal to the senses which makes it very immediate and realistic.


Jennifer A. McGowan, Secretary of God

I love its sparse words, its sense of mystery. I’m not even sure why, but it stays.

Simplicity, the kind that makes you stop and catch your breath. Word perfect.


Bethany W Pope, Midnight Illness

Pope’s writing is dense and rich, packed with meanings, very exciting to read.

Atmospheric, insightful and lyrical. Plus its skilfully crafted.


Tim Turnbull, A Lucky Charm

A great story, beautifully written.

Tim Turnbull! Need I say more?