‘It is so spare – every word used to the max – beautiful, slow, confident, visceral words. I love it!’

Yes, voters loved the spareness of it but also the way it played with the senses, the imagery, the ‘the s-s-s sounds in the poem as if to mimic the “slumbering world”‘ and it’s subtle, perseverent rhythm. They read it over and over again to capture its many meanings. And it is fr these reasons that Sue Burge’s ‘Pomegranate’, part of editing intern Kayleigh Jayshree’s popular Greek feature, is the first Pick of the Month for 2024.

Sue Burge’s two poetry collections are: In the Kingdom of Shadows and Confetti Dancers (Live Canon).  Lumière and The Saltwater Diaries, both pamphlets, are published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. Her third collection, The Artificial Parisienne, came out with Live Canon in January 2024. www.sueburge.uk

She has asked that her £20 ‘Prize’ be put towards two bales of hay and a sack of mixed corn for the Hillside Animal Sanctuary.


More voters’ comments included:

That opening couplet really grabbed by the nose with its fleshly fruitfulness. I love how it gives Persephone not only agency, but wisdom; she knows exactly what she is doing.

The poem brought to me so strongly awareness of sight and touch that I was drawn to re read it several times. Although it was a struggle to choose out of several of the others, I felt in the end Sue’s must have my vote

I love the trajectory and the grotesque images of this poem.

I read this poem over and over again, mesmerised by the words and vivid images, each reading illuminating something missed and still needing to be explored and savoured.

Vivid image of fruit and unusual

A joy to read – the sounds slip off the tongue.

First the quiet but insistent rhythm. Then the repeated s and sh sounds until the final part which lifts it off the page. Makes you want to read it several times.

Carefully considered links between fruit and the human condition.

Pomegranate won because of its luscious imagery.

it bridges the gap between the modern and myth via the reality of menstruation and is as finished and tightly perfect as the fruit itself

I love the s-s-s sounds in the poem as if to mimic the “slumbering world”. Beautiful Persephone poem!

This is an economical and sensuous re-telling of the myth of Persephone -I like the way that we as readers are invited to bring our own interpretations to it.

A fine set of poems. Sue Burge’s poem is a signal ahead. — both contemplative and juicy.

It has hidden meaning that you could interpret how you wanted which is delivered in a clear way. It’s a good length and you don’t lose interest.

The metaphor, the subtle, elegant craft of her word.

The economy of means, the vivid imagery, the call to the senses…. wonderful.

Such beautiful imagery, tender and devastating.

Awesome interpretation of a mythical story. Compelling!

I love poems that play with myths, Sue does it with skill and packs its spareness with layers of meaning.

The concise and consistent use of its metaphor with rich imagery, resonance, and perfectly controlled pitch in its painfulness and grief.

Lyrical and taut ,evocative language, bigger than the sum of its parts!

The poem brought to me so strongly awareness of sight and touch that I was drawn to re read it several times. Although it was a struggle to choose out of several of the others, I felt in the end Sue’s must have my vote

enjoyed the struggle of coming to terms with what was going on






On one side– my heritage
on the other side­– their heritage
on both sides– carnage
everywhere– endless grief.

To lift the weight sitting in my chest.
I need to be away from people.
In an edgeland of drab fields and ditches,
I seek solace, not beauty.

I struggle to follow a path
pitted with deep puddles.
My only possible route– a thin ribbon
of grass at its centre.

On either side, craters of dark water.
I cling to the precarious
middle. If water strays across,
at least I can still see grass.

In October sun, sheep lie peacefully
ruminating, Elsewhere, people lie
under rubble. Others tell lies.
Poplar branches susurrate

as a casual breeze seizes its offspring,
scatters them on the road.
Some gleam bright and golden
others have already turned to rust.


Rachael Clyne – Her pamphlet Girl Golem (4Word Press), explores her Jewish, migrant background. Her new collection,You’ll Never Be Anyone Else (Seren), expands on themes of identity and otherness to include family, relationships and sexual orientation. rachaelclyne.blogspot.com



I heard a rumour that Pandora moonlights

She wears sunglasses in the lounge
knives flexed and ready for battle

It’s not Sunday but lambs need carving

She’s a weapon of disruption
unleashed to worm rumours
where words have no walls

Paid for all the right reasons
around fundraisers and school runs
she twists guts and stabs eyes
of those too awake to be trusted

Leaves her meat fresh as daisies
for wolves and carrion to smear

An everyday assassin in suburbia
sent to tie witches to posts
says all’s fair in war and favour
as she pours another Molotov
over the flames in her feed


Jason Conway is a British poet and professional daydreamer, director of the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and editor of Steel Jackdaw magazine. His poetry is published in Poetry Bus, The Poetry Village, Impspired, Wildfire Words, Dreich, Fevers of the Mind and Ink Sweat & Tears. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and is an Arts Council funded poet.
Website: www.thedaydreamacademy.com


Roy Duffield’s poems can be read in Feminist Review, Lucent Dreaming, and their collection Bacchus Against the Wall  (Anxiety Press, 2023). They’ve won stuff and been nominated and shortlisted for other stuff, including the 2023 Maya Angelou-inspired Still We Rise competition for revolutionary poems. linktr.ee/royduffield



How a Plastic Bag in an Elm Tree on Winter St. Learned to Mimic the Moon
for Özge Lena

It’s growing in what was once the tree
with the great green room.
It’s singing in yogurt
and fluttering like an amorphous pearl
of necrosis.
It tilts at windmills
because we don’t pull the injured from harm,
we don’t triage battlefield evacuations
like Matabele ants who lick the wounded;
we watch the wounds grow
and grow
more volatile, crack and crevice
until branches bleach like coral
and all the leaves fall out

I say goodnight
and tuck my son in the blankets
so tightly

he can barely breathe.


Damon Hubbs: gardener / casual birder / lapsed tennis player / author of the chapbooks Coin Doors & Empires (Alien Buddha Press) and The Day Sharks Walk on Land (Alien Buddha Press) / recent poems inRed Ogre Review, Broken Antler Magazine, Dreich, Sage Cigarettes Magazine, Cutbow Quarterly& elsewhere. Twitter @damon_hubbs






          born of clay          webbed in fate          w/ 

parents that smiled with their eyes & a body 

that i didn’t hate          the sea curled round my eyes

          my feet knew sand          my torso knew sunlight 

          i was 13 when the nymph held me in 

the lake & changed me          all this new flesh flecked 

with shame          i held eggshells up to my ears 

hoped to hear the sea again          all i heard 

were the cracking sounds of growing pains


Elliot Waloschek is a poet, performer and artist from London. An alumnus of Roundhouse Poetry Collective and Apples & Snakes Writing Room, his work has been featured on BBC radio and published in the Poetry Society. He was the winner of the 2020 Roundhouse Slam. He has performed at festivals around the uK and also curates poetry events. He performed his debut solo poetry show, Waterlog, at Roundhouse Last Word Festival 2023.