To those who don’t want poetry in GCSE

It would be nice
If you didn’t spend all that time
Writing poetry.

He could be blunt
When he wanted to.
All that time.

What about reading it?
Yes, reading too.
Why read something you can’t use?

I sipped my tea slowly.
It was the late afternoon light.
Autumnal, the kind you like on your bare back.

What about watching it?
Watching poetry.

You look out and watch the light turn.
Birds slide in like meaning.
A little light changes as you watch.

That’s a poem, he said, and added, for sure.
It would qualify.
What about us? I almost asked.



Amlanjyoti Goswami‘s recent collection of poems River Wedding (Poetrywala) has been widely reviewed. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies around the world. His poems have also appeared on street walls in Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg, an e-gallery in Brighton and buses in Philadelphia. He has read in various places, including New York, Delhi and Boston. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.




Probing with the Pedoscope

Scientist, technician, explorer
of the unexplored – the possibilities
were endless. You’d step up, keen

to take the stand, move both feet
into position, place your eyes
against the viewfinder and simply

stare. The magic never failed. Bones
you only knew were there stared up
unadorned, as mother, shop assistant,

both, urged you to wiggle every toe,
explore the space the x-ray scope
revealed. While mind and eyes

were glued to it, and hands clapped
hard against its sides, the fantasy
went on. But all too soon the moment

came to loose your grip, step back
from the screen. Your feet returned to
boring black-buffed, new school shoes

your mum was now assured were
full of all the necessary space that you,
the scientist, had lately viewed.



Brian Johnstone’s poems have appeared in over twenty countries worldwide. He has published seven collections, plus a memoir Double Exposure (Saraband, 2017). His pamphlet Juke Box Jeopardy (Red Squirrel Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the Callum MacDonald Memorial Award 2019.




Eyes Haiku

When I close my eyes
I see your eyes. Seeing through them
I am not blind.



Giles L. Turnbull is a blind poet living in south Wales. His work has appeared in Poetry Wales, Acumen, Three Drops from a Cauldron, and Nine Arches Press, amongst others. His debut pamphlet, Dressing Up, is published by Cinnamon Press.