Alex Josephy lives in East Sussex, and sometimes in Italy. Her collection Naked Since Faversham was published by Pindrop Press in 2020.  Other work includes Other Blackbirds, Cinnamon Press, 2016, and White Roads, Paekakariki Press, 2018. Her poems have won the McLellan and Battered Moons prizes, and have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Italy and India.

Her Cinnamon Press Award winning pamphlet ‘Again Behold the Stars’ is due out in spring 2023.

You can find out more on her website:



Spilt sugar. A dropped spoon.
Arrival of an ant column
scaling the table leg.
These are tricks of the heat.

Her comforts come in waves.
A little dog’s self-soothing breath,
a girl’s blue bead necklace. A breeze,
or the step-sister of a breeze.

Houseleek flesh is a solace,
fattened to the edge of green.
Her gaze paddles in the shadows
between the leaves

but when she looks beyond,
smoke parasols the macchia,
set on fire in the distant hills
that lap and lap the sea.

Evening thunder growls, no rain
to douse it. Too few tourists,
war reports on the radio; all, all,
she blames it on the heat.

© Alex Josephy


drizzle after drought
           doesn’t fill the reservoir
or green     the tawny marsh

but it wets a few beaks
           kinks hair into spirals    steams
above a dry ditch

each drip carries a song
           of reedheads     bowed
becoming small sluices

fresh hawthorn air   damp breath
          released by leaves    wavering
between grass and hay

every thirsty thing asks    again
          lays open    all surface
becomes a sponge     or a spoon     or a bowl

© Alex Josephy



The Mile End Road, empty
at five in the morning
as if somebody pulled the plug.

With my daughter
on our way into hospital,
Day One lockdown. Walked it,

scared of the Tube, the taxicab.
Exchanged a thumbs-up
with the Council dustbin crew,

masked Hi-Vis athletes
humping colour-coded sacks
out of A and E.

Everything sprang awake
to find itself strange, except
this gangsta blackbird, giving it

from the bus shelter roof, insisting,
as they always do: I’m here!
The Mile End Road?  It’s mine.

Whitechapel, Royal London Hospital,
all mine, all mine! Let’s raise
some chicks, let’s find a tune.

© Alex Josephy


he’d take up daytime residence
in the greenhouse,

drag the battered paraffin stove in there,
boil a kettle

on its radiant lid, rediscover ferrets
and the accordion.

And she? Her eyes would swim
in blackbird vision –

in gold-rimmed glances
the leylandii hedge

she hated when they came
would be a bird tower.

Any morning she might notice
shaken branches semaphor

a greenfinch explosion, topmost fronds
unfold into robins.

© Alex Josephy


I throw my January coat
across the railings, divert myself
by trying on trees,

searching the park for hints–
how to style winter drab,
accessorise a bare season
in the fashion of groves.

An old lime doesn’t seem to mind.
I pull its warty folds round my shivers,
feel befriended, opened
into an airy crown.

A London plane confuses me in bark,
buff-on-brown camouflage,
changing map of a world that sheds
and solves itself.

Silver birch is a party dress, white silk,
I slip inside. Twigs flinch, spill
the last yellow leaf, dropped scarf,
invitation to a flutter.

Instead I choose holly, self-dragonise
in oily scales. I prickle-pin my hat,
brooch my breast with berries,
entertain the park parakeets

who’ve come to see the show.
They burn electric green from twig
to branch, unseasonal and so-what
in all the colours of spring.

© Alex Josephy