Review of Wish by J Humble

Thanks to Jonathan Humble and The Blue Nib, for this thoughtful and perceptive review of my debut poetry collection Wish. If you haven’t had a chance to grab a copy yet, I do still have a couple left. You can order Wish from Waterstones, Amazon, WHSmith, Maytree Press, or direct from myself, for £7.00 plus postage.



I pick a path by grey-light
to grave 8 at Vedbaek
on the moon’s far plateaus,
among its arid lakes
and crumbling catacombs.

Here is the Mesolithic
mother laid to rest
six thousand years ago,
cradling a child with
two knives by its side

borne with a final blessing
on a swan’s great wing –
to reach eternal Spring.

mother maiden crone anthology pic
An earlier version Published in ‘Maiden Mother Crone’ an Anthology edited by Katie Metcalfe, Slice Of The Moon Press (2020)

Mother Maiden Crone – Edited by K Metcalfe Anthology

Thanks to Katie Metcalfe and Slice Of The Moon Press, for publishing four of my poems in this inspiring anthology, “for the witches that were, the witches that are, and the witches to come”

mother maiden crone anthology pic

Far From Here (published in Poetry Salzburg Review, Issue 35 Summer 2020)

Don’t you ever feel like
walking to the day’s end,
then curling up inside
a ditch or doorway;
till dawn kicks you
in the ribs and
moves you on again?

The sky looks up
with a beatific gaze,
but there’s no miracle.
An evanescent road
pools in the heat –
too far to call
even for swifts,
that populate dusk
with their screeches.

I will return to those
strange arches where
perpetual rain falls;
choose a happier door.
Dear friend, if you
have ever loved me
tell me now –

be here, somehow.

Roker Beach (first pub. by Obsessed With Pipework)

Powered by the moon
the sea loops seamlessly
waves dull the edge

– that piece of glass
everyone has at heart –
of being separate.

The way you or I remember
it really doesn’t matter;
past the bandstand

primordial waves erode and lift
the stones we walked on
tears and mist.






Originally Published by Obsessed With Pipework, with thanks to Editor Charles Johnson; a version is also in ‘Wish’.

Ecstasy (pub. by The High Window)

They embrace like ivy
hastening the ruin’s end –
under the broken exit

share narcotic kisses
that erase self and
the body’s borders:

step outside both
crowded nightclub and
St Mary’s graveyard.

Maybe come-downs
are the weight
of coming back

like the small
dove shaped bruise
located above

the scapula,
on her carotid vein
– trembling.

With many thanks and gratitude to David Cooke for publishing this poem

Excerpt from the poem St Annes On The Sands (pub. by Fly on the Wall)

I am really pleased to share a small excerpt from this poem, which is in the Summer Edition (Issue Three) of Fly On The Wall,  aptly titled ‘The Weird and Wonderful.’ With thanks to editor, Isabelle Kenyon. Please consider buying a copy of this beautiful journal, produced by a Press with a conscience, and very reasonably priced – with contributors generously receiving royalties. Please click on for more information.


“It’s that time again, says the nurse.
I shouldn’t be here, really.
They have strange uniforms,
and the details are all wrong.
There is no mirror but
I apply a mottled coral lipstick
and head down to the beach


After Beatrice (verses i-iii, vi & X. First pub. by Obsessed With Pipework #86)


The rose beds
I recalled had gone –
instead you could discern
their remnant outlines;
verdant and sad
as unmarked graves.

Not knowing what to do
I rested here, among
the bees and daisies
woven in the grass;
until the afternoon
was long in tooth.

Venus had veered south
when I was roused,
to find a figure
standing by my side.
She asked if I was ready
– Yes, I lied.

Red buds amassed
and gently bled,
like bleeding hearts
on arching stems:
These, I was told
were manifold regrets.

My love is sweet
as rowan berries
after the first frost;
but there is no way
in or out, until
you believe in one.

The full poem is also available to read in my pamphlet, Wish (Maytree Press)