Posted by: John Looker | 1 May, 2022

Conversation with a Sea Lion

This poem was Highly Commended in a New Zealand international competition:

This was the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Competition of 2020. I’ve tried to find a journal in Aotearoa/New Zealand that would be willing to publish it but have had no luck – so it’s time to post it here.

It was read beautifully by the Kiwi actor, writer and TV presenter Peter Hayden at the results night in Dunedin (I have a video of this) and the Caselberg Trust were most gracious in welcoming my two NZ daughters to the event.

(It’s odd: I posted this a couple of hours ago and even had one comment on it, but that first post has disappeared from WordPress and so I’ve reported to a repost)

Posted by: John Looker | 24 April, 2022

A haiku for Spring (2)

The bluebells are back.

Their caravan pauses here;

they know this place.

© John Looker 2020

Yesterday’s walk was magical. I can now repost this annual Spring verse.

Posted by: John Looker | 10 April, 2022


Here’s a novel post: Erika Bizzarri in Italy has responded to one of the poems in my recent book (Shimmering Horizons, Bennison Books 2021) with a poem of her own – and in this post on her own blog she sets our two poems down together and also reads them (beautifully).

So here you have two poems for Spring, one from England, the other from Italy.

CONVERSATION OF POEMS John Looker Herald of Spring  No, not the cuckoo although, yes, we fancied we heard one just now, over the field. Snowdrops …


Posted by: John Looker | 9 April, 2022

Conversation with a Sea Lion

Read More…

Posted by: John Looker | 20 March, 2022

Helen of Troy

Sometimes a poem by one writer inspires a new poem from another. To my astonishment, this has happened to a poem of mine.

Here, therefore, is a ‘conversation of poems’.

Erika Bizzarri (who has become a friend through WordPress) has taken my poem about Helen of Troy (in my book Shimmering Horizons) and used it as a launch pad for a fresh poem of her own. Erika’s fills in the imagined scene with rich details that take it in new directions.

Please take a look at this post from Erika Bizzarri (click on the title ‘Helen of Troy’ below to follow the link) :–

Helen of Troy

Posted by: John Looker | 13 March, 2022

The astonishing courage of a woman

International Women’s Day prompted me to look back at my recent book. There’s this poem in it. A migrant’s story – the astonishing courage of Ruth, a foreigner who became a Jewish heroine.

Ruth on the Road to Judah

This comes from Shimmering Horizons (Bennison Books 2021). For other extracts, see:

Shimmering Horizons (extracts)

Posted by: John Looker | 6 February, 2022

Snowdrops are breaking cover again

Snowdrops are breaking cover.

They are reconnoitring,

filing their reports.

©John Looker 2021

It’s that time of year, and I’m reposting.

Posted by: John Looker | 10 December, 2021

At the sixth milestone

Arriving at the sixth weekend in this series, we reach the conclusion of my ‘milestone’ poems:

These half-sonnets mark the start of each new group of poems in my recent collection Shimmering Horizons.

At the first milestone we had read ‘That’s the bell! And thirty fledglings rise / as though one flock and surge for the classroom door … ‘

Published recently by Bennison Books through Amazon, Shimmering Horizons has the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

If you are curious to read more, there is a selection of the poems on my website at

Posted by: John Looker | 2 December, 2021

At the fifth milestone

Week five, and here’s the penultimate ‘milestone’ poem taken from my book Shimmering Horizons :

The mood has changed in the course of these milestones, which began with children ‘trilling their joy in the moment’. But there is one more to come – next weekend will see how the mood resolves.

Shimmering Horizons (Bennison Books 2015) contains seventy poems on the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey. I’ve posted one poem from each of the seven sections at

Posted by: John Looker | 26 November, 2021

At the fourth milestone

It’s the fourth weekend, and here’s the fourth ‘milestone’ poem from my recent book. Do we detect a shift in mood?

Published by the marvellous small press Bennison Books, Shimmering Horizons is selling slowly but has now been bought in seven countries, four continents and two hemispheres – which seems pleasingly appropriate for a book with the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

These ‘milestones’ mark off key stages through the book. You can catch a flavour of the other poems from a selection I’ve posted at

Two more milestones to come.

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