Liz Adams’ recent poetry has appeared in Popshot Quarterly, Obsessed with Pipework, and was longlisted for the Keats-Shelley Prize, 2022.  Earlier poems were published in morphrog, The Frogmore Papers, Stand, Shearsman, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Molly Bloom, amongst others. She is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Liz lives on Dartmoor with her husband and young daughter.



the mood is hooded mushroom
is stagnant
is the way leaves rot
under trees, is the under of things
underbelly, underneath,
it is the leaf before the leaf appears
the unlived years
married to oblivion,
it is this slow walking away
to a self you do not recognise, know;
it is snow gone to mush
trodden on and grey
the wolf in the woods
the self obliterated
to a trillion stars that do not shine;
it is the glass of wine
you pour as some
inner voice shatters,
tiny inside you: leave him

© Liz Adams

late summer

when the light moves over into tangerine
shades what I’d call morning or dusk but
even then time has its own fluidity, it runs
and leaps as a deer might, over the low
hedgerows into eternity or everyday
at least there is a moment when I sit
and look skywards, the voluminous clouds
foaming over towards something gorgeous –
when you died everything changed, I started
to notice small things, intricacies of leaf
and bud, intricacies of memory and future
hopes that seemed to flit ever skyward
butterfly-light and surplus to the unfolding
now – I try to harness this anger,
let it become equine and sanguine, let
its mane race out like the trails of a star –
how many bodies do you have to lay
in the ground before your own body
that seems to be out on loan will one
day succumb back to the earth with
the story of your life deep in the mud
in the flame so hot it burns coldly white?
to become whatever it was you must
and fall into the gentle shape of a life well-lived;
I try that each day with my iced coffee
misting the glass in late summer –

© Liz Adams


Children of the Universe

Dreams are like roses: the beauty and the thorns.
The other night I dreamt of nuclear light,
how we were all discarded across the ground,
crying for the children, crying that the beauty
was destroyed and all that was left were the thorns
that crumbled to dust in our hands.
I thought of the line from ‘The Waste Land’ about dust,
about fear, the dream enclosed by it, as the rose folds
its rich petals around its golden heart, and how
nature would surely prevail, the green ivy
spiralling amongst the debris until the stream
washes it all away. And the dream is
a dream for the children of the universe,
how the future must be beautiful for them.

© Liz Adams


I like the idea of a universal love, the kind that is all-encompassing
in this endless world, where nature takes hold of us, and we watch
in awe as it unfolds. The beautiful sky – this evening a golden green –
spreads out wide above the hills that rise, descend. The light
sphere of the dandelion clock breaks, as does our perception of
time that orbits and bobs as dragonflies do, their emerald bodies
dancing. Time shifts here, it floats along the stream where the daisies
reveal their bright faces up to the unfeeling sun which looks down
upon us all without love, just the steadfast will of existence.
When the ponies appear like good omens, I feel all our past suffering
evaporate into that golden green, there’s this feeling of wholeness,
and how the void has been plugged with the clear air, the light of trees.
The graves here are well-loved too, with their flowers and messages.
No one is forgotten. Yet we are all dissolved into this bright universe
where we fade as stars fade, becoming ash as the candle burns,
hot wax spilling over the edges into the loveliness of nothing.

© Liz Adams

an opening world

and the stream shone in the mid-morning light
mottled with gold, and how the flowers

hung mid-air, suspended there as if in flight
like pink hummingbirds

and us beneath the canopies of green,
trees lined the path, arching,

dreamlike this wandering, this being
towards an opening world –

© Liz Adams