WILD NATURE POETRY AWARD competition now open.



138 x 216mm


36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK












Scene i


I stand at the end of the pier

looking out to the last point,

Dad’s advice is

to do this when I’m sea-sick

but this is further and further where

stars dangle and the sea is black

no mackerel sky

scales glittering on the waves.

I can’t even smile, I usually do,

when I picture the animals from the Tower

running through their tunnel

to paddle in the sea.

No seagull swooping on a beached razor shell.

I feel alone inside,

filled with dread that my parents will die

and I won’t know where to find them.

I know this when I look

at the emptiness of sky

splashed by wild sea, its hugeness

when I compare it to me.



In Formation


Children squeeze paint

through doyleys stipple sky

with filigree cutting shapes

they unfold paper fan into figures

hand in hand birds flying

tail to beak horses trot

tail-flicks to flank.


Pattern pulsates figures dancing

in line holding onto the waist

in front birds follow a leader

who tires then drops behind

replaced by another and horse-herds

gallop together, sometimes

one horse near the front

shows an eye bulging with fear.


In Idlib small children scavenge

together scrabbling in a dump

for food for plastic. One finds

a pomegranate passes from hand

to hand torn apart. They chant

each lost-family-member but

only cry when they see other

children passing by in   formation

on their way to school.

Scene ii


The corner of a picture curls

in my left thumb,

I can see the edge of a dream

the sleeve of a red robe pokes through

worn by what appears to be a woman

on a chaise-longue

playing a saxophone,

her left thumb presses the octave key.

I am outside looking in.

Is it me?




Notes for a Poem about Love


A blue rooster in Trafalgar Square snorts

out colour through his bill

slicing mist more bravely than any sun.


Jasmine starbursts scattering

a November hedge, a lonely blackbird

singing at dusk, harbingers


more poignant than roses

in summer, swallows doing their thing. And ―

St Anne’s arm holding the Virgin Mary on her lap,


a friend who rubs the hollow between                  

shoulder blades, the scarf that Cary ties

round Ingrid’s bare midriff,


a hand that plucks stray food from a chin,

the brush painting a swathe

of green round that brutal nude.



Scene iii


I catch Scarlatina, couldn’t be meaner

at six years old. In isolation,

I sit at a bay window

eating cornflakes

so my parents won’t worry as I look down

at two small people on the hospital lawn,

I suppose they are my parents. I am

only partly there I don’t fully exist

without my tribe, see myself in their eyes,

hear their news listen to views see

the walls of my house distempered eau de nil.

And once I find chocolate under my pillow,

a nurse says my Dad has been

but because of Lady Scarlatina

he can’t be let in. And

when I return home, my baby sister

is walking and my Mum looks

at me differently and nothing seems

the same so I know that everything

can change.





Picture This


Janet Clarice Murray




The poems in Janet Clarice Murray’s debut collection

Picture This are in free verse and divided into three scenes.

They are rhythmic and sound-conscious using internal rhyme

Alliteration, onomatopoeia and assonance.

There is a strong people and colour thread throughout.






Janet Clarice Murray grew up in Lancashire and until recently lived

in Sheffield.


In 2019 she moved to South West London and now lives near the Thames.


In 2018 Janet won the Fish International Poetry competition with her poem ‘Vernacular Green’, an ekphrastic poem based on the work of Howard Hodgkin.


Her work has been published in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The New

Statesman, Ekphrastic Review and Fish Anthology.



author amend 9781912876556 9781912876556