Gordon Scapens has been widely published over many years in numerous magazines, journals, anthologies and competitions, most recently winning first prize in the Brian Nesbit poetry award.


The map says
I’m a stranger,

and the streets say
I’m somewhere else.

The house has an attitude
that leaving brings,

and the people have an accent
that doesn’t include me.

The answer to today
is asking questions,

and I feel I’m on the edge
of being haunted.

The day is a jigsaw
of broken poetry.


© Gordon Scapens


When you call for me
with your beautiful lies
I’ll be ready if not certain.

You’ll read me like a window
that’s well within your reach
but not showing any light
when it’s as relevant
as yesterday’s wasted promises.

There’s no handbook exists
with rules for this occasion,
so I don’t know the protocol
for a unique situation,
but don’t boast your ability
until the appointed time.

Then just knock without fuss
to disturb nobody but me.
We will go quietly, unburdened,
hopefully in the small hours.

At this special time
I will walk with you,
the end reflected in my eyes,
and the expression on your face
will say all that’s needed.

There will be no turning back then
and there’ll be nothing to hear
but the air growing cold,
taking away all sorrows,
taking away loneliness.

© Gordon Scapens


Do you remember  Liverpool;

that used to belong to us
in a time long before
we gathered prejudices;

how thronging streets
would seduce our ears
with a famous accent;

when buses ferried the wind
and the tang of seaweed
from the river for free;

how buildings explained
the theatre of city evolvement
to Liver Bird spectators;

the haunts that still gather
our ghosts of yesteryear,
pointing out our absences;

where roots still thrive
in a compost of echoes
that look like us,

collecting time
like a skin
that looks like our dues,

and gifting a reminder
Liverpool is not ours anymore,
we only borrow it.

© Gordon Scapens


Nobody’s girlfriend,
everyone’s lover,
she was a red carpet
to a night that taught
the art of being the lead
in your own life.

Always available, inflating
hellos with hinted excitement
and goodbyes with promises,
her warmth made the difference
between hope and fulfilment,
performed miracles of boys to men.

She never awarded criticism,
never praised actions,
any secrets were hers to keep.

But nobody ever knew
the effort for her smiles,
ever knew the speech
in the silence she saved,
ever undertook the step
of knowing who she was really  was.

They understand now.
She left a note.

© Gordon Scapens