Today’s choice

Previous poems

Mick Gidley




Home Front

For days after the children leave for their homes in the South
we discover unexcavated battlefields, nonsensical as Towton.
Small formations of infantrymen guard the lower book-case shelves,
lone snipers lurk behind the curtains, and the abandoned fort,
its battered walls camouflaged with leaves and twigs,
starts to gather dust under the spare bed.
While on television we watch the bombardment
of oil-wells somewhere, the final cavalryman,
his leg twisted under him, waves his bandaged arm
from his lookout on the piano stool, urging us onward.
When I switch off lights to go to bed, the bayonet
of the foot soldier hidden in our carpet
stabs between my toes.



Mick Gidley has always written poetry, and in the 1960-70s some appeared in such magazines as Poetry (Chicago) and the Poetry Review. As a university teacher he concentrated on publishing scholarly works (see, e.g., ). He hopes to see some of his newer poems in print. @GidleyMick

Helen Sheppard

      Hair Growing up in small towns hairdressers offer crew cuts, curlers, wigs in severe bobs. In cities my fuzz is flat ironed, acid straight, topiary trimmed. In cosy bars, strangers clink pints on our table. Sweep sweaty palms across tips of my...

Dan Stathers

      Escape of Harold ‘Rubber Bones’ Webb Chaplain asked me if I’d renounced my criminal ways, Depends on my girl, I confessed rattling the concrete flinders in my pocket. I’d sprung by midnight, slipped down my chiselled rabbit hole following hot...

Richard Williams

    Dreamer Set the sat-nav for home but drive in the opposite direction without any sense of where or why you are going or where this will end or who you really are or might become each junction passed is a single recalculation of opportunities missed of...

Jon Miller

    West Beach, Berneray You want your days to spread along the bay, a coat of gold light wind harvesting machair tuned to a sky littered with geese, sanderlings skittering in every direction a ferry waltzing the low tides of the Sound where you walk on sand...

Celestine Stilwell

    Little boy dream  My brother used to burn ants with a magnifying glass. I blamed the sun for tempting his half-talking, grazed knees to kneel on hot tarmac. He’d run his pink-licked fingers through the slab’s trenches, collecting worm eggs beneath...

Jenny Robb

    Shap Fell In the murk of evening and car-heater fug, a thud. My five-year-old head hits the roof. The sheep is not quite dead. Bloodied on the top of Shap Fell her breath disappears into mist. No cars pass. I pray to see the sheep haul up onto matchstick...

Ben Hartridge

    Spring Song I remember spring and everything a freshly washed clean smell of green. A newborn kind of rain left the parked cars shining like a passed shower. I remember cycling, the tarmac deep black and streaming, past the shoppers queueing the high...

Molly Beale

    Wanting Joy Glory be to the changeable wretch I am       condemned to dance within. Spirits thumb a ride       surging synapse and hurling ourselves in directionless tangles. Joy is hard. Joy must. I seek sepulchred secret caves inside guts where sin...

Cai Draper

    The Way I Grace the Passes with Jason as my witness Christmas day’s a thieving twice. once my time & next my wishlist: Wustof, steel, all six inches. that’s never him pinching our wages. Jesus! proprietor full of food & promises. can I get more...