John Short lives near Liverpool again after a previous life in southern Europe. He reads at venues in Liverpool, Chester and beyond. He has appeared in over 80 magazines and anthologies and was a Pushcart nominee in 2018. His fourth poetry collection In Search of a Subject (Cerasus 2023) will be reviewed later this year in The High Window.


Poems for morphrog29

The Smokers



A routine medical satisfactory,
strong lungs, they noted.
Lucky to survive undamaged
from times when no one thought:
a child sent down the road
for hours out of the family hair
to a house thick with clouds
of greyish blue, song birds’ twitter
and dogs that circled the yard.


Ancient visitors who dropped in
would come at you prodding
with the weird extremities
of their thin, abandoned auras;
held me terrified with tales
until it was time for tea and time
to say goodbye, then emerge
from unfamiliar aromas,
cobwebbed history into light.

© John Short