The Stain on London’s Dress

By Sophie Thynne

She walks among us, silently shouting as chipped nails crawl across empty wrappers as Friday night’s quick treat turns into a sick craving for more and more until the breaking point leads to a moan of agony as we blatantly ignore the dark stain on London’s dress, scrubbing at the starving and skinny mark that […]

Starving for You

By Meredith LeMaître

Tonight I’m dreaming of your lips again, it’s saffron spring and I’m longing for love, specifically yours.   In the kitchen Mama’s weeping chemical tears whilst    chopping bitter onion ends. She’ll sauté them with mushrooms (so small you could swallow them like pills)     we bought for 10p three days ago reduced to clear. Last […]

#EndHungerUK

By Carol Chen

She sits before an empty table, her eyes empty and sad. Will the food ever arrive? She’s waiting for her Dad. In the room next door a young girl cries. ‘I don’t want my greens! I just want to eat fries!’ She doesn’t have the energy to give her Dad a hug, He returned empty-handed, […]

My Grandmother Tells Me About A Famine

By Annie Fan

it was july. no / june. there were no birds / no children, my hands / you wouldn’t know how to / boil bark & live. the deadness of mud, how the earth could spit you out / alone; & so / britain. we drive to the shops, my body that has never hungered, / […]

Concerning A Letter Written To My Local Council, Signed Your Conscience

By Rohan Chakraborty

i feel sickened as the plot thickens in the kitchen the broth of nothingness starts brimming and it feels like i’m sinning FIRST WORLD COUNTRY, YOU’RE LIVING so i daren’t complain, though i daresay i feel pain, though i feel half a man i look it and i feel it, my ribs don’t protrude like […]

Universal Basic Income

By Dipo Baruwa-Etti

Workin who knows when, what uh way ta make uh livin. I drop Alfred at school, hear they too may stop givin. I take uh long walk down thuh High Road, handin out CVs like a hundred metre race. All distributed, I take uh lil trip ta Camden, ma fav’rite place. I’m there in two […]

A Closed Fist

By Natasha Moore

I am hungry, But you feel no need to feed me. I ask you, ‘why?’ You quite simply give no reason. You would much faster feed a dying dog in the street Than acknowledge a fellow human in need. Or am I not human? Am I not human enough for you? Or are you not […]

The Miracle of Mould

By Jade Cuttle

You might think I’m more mould than mind, tampering with the gravitational pull between spinach and scale in the grocery store; a flat-packed scam folded into waste-paper skin. But swallowing so many honey-glazed lies I’ve simply learnt to nurse the glint of sun into gold; spin miracles from mangled bits of bread, minced excuses and […]

i pass the Nearly on my way to school

By Felix Stokes

i pass the Nearly on my way to school, back pressed against the smooth of a huffing train carriage, slick. it looks at me from the tops of buildings, and snakes words on pages until my fingers suffocate and bleed. like a row of citrus-thorns, vinegar in sludge, it traces the waves of voice in […]

Missed

By Abby Meyer

To the driver that nearly hit me the day the clouds pasted themselves over the super blue blood moon: I was always afraid of being you. Jumped into a snowbank just to save you from it. That day, someone had stolen the moon away. Robber-like, I had welded into shadows, made myself into silver; a […]

this is not a letter but my arms around you for a brief moment

By Marina McCready

nearly made you a bird, but the feathers wouldn’t fit together so i became frustrated, feeling futility in my hands instead of wings. nearly held on anyway. nearly cried that first day but someone had to be the strong one. swallowed the sadness with a cup of tea and a pinch of salt. nearly coughed […]

I nearly kept a secret

By Tilly Goodwin

I nearly kept a secret kept it in my mouth kept it boiling and bubbling but safe within my mouth I nearly didn’t slip Nearly held myself up Above the lining of reality safe above the closeup of the ground I nearly learnt to dance with colors and grace To feel a talent stitched into […]

Resurgam

By Annie Fan

but, shibboleth; what’s salvageable in halves? again my broken english is wrenched past monday west-ends, free declamations riffed at speaker’s corner, pigeons under trees, the same shadows turning tricks; this morning as i walked out of the house, i stopped parsing my way; & i saw that every window was open to the storm-drawn air, […]

Had I Lived

By Maya Miro Johnson

Had I lived                               I would not have remembered to be grateful, would have never learned the meaning of gracefulness, during the long, limping, somnambular TripToTheMoon through a meteorite-lanced horizon, or alternately during the descent down the stairs in the bleary way […]

The Name Behind the Jersey (Mikel John Obi)

By Lydia Wei

When your father gave you your name, Nchekwube for hope and Obi for his heart, he tucked away the dreams he had for you in words that would call you to dinner, in words said over staticky long-distance telephone calls, in words breathed into the night air like the draw from a cigarette. He spoke […]

Big Man Like You

By Hazel Vimbainashe Kamuriwo

Big man like you – I see you offside Tackling hot winds On unpaved roads Beneath the scorching sun, Dark skin sizzling like a snail No shoes, no shirt, no stress Just shorts and skinny dry legs. Shoot! In between those two sticks Quick, shoot! Mind not the defensive Sahara dust Though it stings your […]

eni

By Natalie Perman

“people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.” – Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird   pencil ready      pencil suit at your   first training camp       where you learned to carry the    ball on the tip of your foot       just as the […]

I Dream

A collaborative poem by Young Poets Network users I dream that when I’m older I would be able to play really good on the piano. I dream loud for ultra-reality. I dream of capturing time in a handful of words. I dream of a universal written language. I dream of a library of forbidden books. […]

Swapping Places With Grandad

By Matilda Houston-Brown

he wants to run again, like the golden man on the top shelf who gathers the dust, stick left behind, feet in the mud, camping and carbolic soap and kissing a young and joyous wife, and walking up stairs without that nagging tug of frustration, because it is beautiful to be young and ready to […]

Rose Garden Lane

By Kyle Liang

December 24th, 2017 This morning, I helped my father remove leaf carcasses from his tenant’s gutter and imagined him slipping off the ladder I was told to hold. A part of me wants to believe that he would scream but I know he wouldn’t. I know his body would strike the earth like a fist. […]

shades of brown

By Fiyinfoluwa Timothy Oladipo

if I could wake up this morning and find five shades of brown nestled under the furry pine leaves of hanged angel wings I would first go to the cathedral and press my brown fingers into the brown paint and my thumbs against all the ceramic cheeks and the stained glass till they all look […]

Ode to Food that is “Too Spicy”

By Michelle Yang

You, who birth accidental tears and coughing storms, plow trails down my throat and remind me of your existence the next morning when I think the worst has passed. You, best cure to a stuffed nose, exorcism of the weak and untrained: an honor badge. You, who make white boys trying to impress their girlfriends […]

Wanting, needing, having

By Jake Street

I want to want to need to do something I need to want to want to need to do something I have to need to want to want to need to do something and the pleasure is in the having. Needing and wanting are just suffering in different winter coats but having is fulfilling and […]

Wish List

By Iona Mandal

I woke up from late afternoon slumber Caught you, hands curled in action Back arched against the Christmas tree Eyes gleaming towards the waning December sun You clutched a Yankee candle that sat stil The leftover wax arresting it To the prison of the windowsill From the last time we had a candlelit dinner I […]

‘I wish to see the man in the moon’

By Cecilia Hornyak

I wish to see the man in the moon, I never knew what it could ruin, when men above hide from my eyes, like Rorsarch blots I can’t disguise. “We’ll tell the moon goodnight,” she said, Her nightgown white beside the bed, my words stick fast before I choke, She cries. I leave. I never […]

Love in the Time of Cold

By Laura Potts

Before the dawn that walks the northern morning from the moors; before the swans sing winter on and cough the fog upon the ponds, we ask that through the Christmas mist and bells that bring December in you pause and long-remember this: ever through the blizzard lives the hospice on the hill, sleeping in the […]

catalogue of lights

By Ella Standage

light of daylight, light of december daytime, 52% of a day not darkened, light of sun, soon sunlight on moon reflected, lightning collected, light of LEDs strung around the fireplace, fireplace light, light playing at light of lightbulb, bulb of light, soon daffodil-light, soon more-light, warm-light, and not these trees in photosynthesis-frozen half-light, street-light-lit night, […]

Dandelion

By Amelia Doherty

My sweet lion’s tooth, The star-flower, the yellow buds That bloom, the wish-granting blossoms, Tap-rooted, northern born and bred, wild. Lobed, rosette, a prize for the lion’s teeth The paddock’s stars, the clock-seeds, We’re running out of time, you’ll wilt soon. Florets, sun rays, wind-walkers, parachutes, Sweet sun of the land, the stars that grow […]

The Adolescent Adventures of the Bold Brunettes

By Katie Kirkpatrick

Start at Dover Cliff house. White and crumbling, it’ll be there for a while. Turn off down Stephen King Lane. The wide tarmac road will smile at you until it’s dark. That’s when people disappear, you know. Cross Great Dane Field. The more dogs you see, the more likely it is you’ve found the way. […]