Obsessed With Pipework number 90 has its amazing Graham Higgins cover art, and we are in the process of arranging its contents in the “best” order – so it should be on its way to the printers in the next day or two.

We are keeping the cover art under wraps, but here’s a list of the contributors & their poems:-

Julian Aiken: Orchard;

Roger Allen: Ghost morning, July;

Liz Birchall: My thumb;

Cindy Botha: Hearth;



Melanie Branton: Passages;

Long elastic;


Genevieve Carver: Snowball;


Philip Dunkerley: Stress test;

Jackie Fellague: The Voice of Purgatory;

Fish Out of Water;

Annie Fisher: Missing the man next door;

Ceinwen Haydon: Lopsided;

Autumn’s advent;

Margaret Livingston: Milk float;

The sea spider’s journey on land;

Moon hunt;

A small darkness;

Pat Marum: First-footing;

Pauline May: Log Boat;

Diana Sanders: Pilgrimage;

Llyn Brenig;


Fae Sapsford: On the behaviour of schooling fishes;

Mark Sorrell: In response to Harold Gilman;


The journey;

The field;

Sue Spiers: How to truly listen;


Nola Turner: Patience;

Children can be still at times;

Iain Twiddy: Tattoo;


Mark Valentine: White hound;

Phil Vernon: Getting out;

Not walking under ladders;

Watching the moon landing;

Sarah Walsh: Crocodile;

Maria in the sea;

Journey to;

Roddy Williams: Goodbye.

Any other poems recently accepted will be carried forward to the August issue.

Issue 89 is almost ready

Here is the cover artwork Graham Higgins has created for the forthcoming February issue number 89 of Obsessed With Pipework, now in the final editing stages. Look out for a list of the wonderful poets to be included in the next few days, and get in touch if you have not yet subscribed – still a mere £15 for a year’s four issues posted to a UK address.



see how few words you can use to share something revealing and also interesting about yourself, your mind, your life or how you work (unless it is all in your poems, of course).

Here is the latest cover:


On being an editor

There is something mystical about being a midwife at the birthing into the world of these stories

Maybe not doing God’s work, or the Lord Buddha’s exactly – maybe more doing the work of the universe in the spirit of belief in something beyond and above

Something we can’t quite grasp but sense, just as on first reading I sense a music in these elegiac poems and only later can see the subtle rhymes and then how the chimes and echoes between different poets’ pieces have somehow, magically and with no intention from me, put themselves together into a pattern.

Issue 88 is here!

OWP 88 picI see a hundred
lost policemen’s hats
bowling out
across the universe
along our rolling English roads
from Glastonbury
belly button of the known world
rolling out to Paris, to Prague,
to Rome, South Africa,
to poor benighted USA –
blown along on a wind of words
& inclusivity.
A hundred puzzled readers
searching for the story.

Obsessed With Pipework 88 is on its way . . .

. . . to the printers any day now.
These are the poets whose work will be represented:

Graham Allison
Martin Bennett
Penny Blackburn
Aaliyah Cassim
Paul Connolly
Hélène Demetriades
Robert Etty
Richard Foreman
Alice Harrison
Jean Harrison
Mary Hastilow
Jonathan Humble
Paul Jeffcutt
Ruth Kelsey
Peter LoBianco
Ayelet McKenzie
John McKeown
Tristan Moss
Miriam Patrick
Donna Pucciani
Chris Rice
Mat Riches
Marg Roberts
Diane Sanders
Penny Sharman
Sarah Tait
Merryn Williams

OWP Submission Guidelines

Publication dates are early in the months of February, May, August and November, more or less (but for no particular reason) coinciding with the festivals of Imbolc, Beltane, Lugnasadh and Samhain. The magazine does not operate a submissions window – we welcome at any time offers of up to six original & unpublished poems written in English from anyone. Accepted poems that ‘miss’ a given issue of the magazine are simply rolled on for the following issue. Space on the Contributors’ page is at a premium so, if you wish to appear there, let your included bio note be succinct but tell readers something interesting about yourself, not just list magazines you’re in.

Although hard copy submissions are acceptable, we prefer to get your poems as a Word attachment. Email them to – please use single spacing, minimal formatting and Times New Roman 12 point, avoiding frames, columns and text boxes. RTF is good. We frown on simultaneous submissions.

If sending work by post, please include a stamped self-addressed envelope big enough to take all the poems (C5 or larger), in the absence of which expect no reply unless your poems are absoLUTEly brilliant. Address snailmailed submissions to:

Charles Johnson & Katerina Neocleous

OWP 8 Abbot’s Way


Somerset BA4 4BN

Our poetic likes and dislikes: the editors tend to favour work that may be unsure of itself but is willing to explore untried creative directions. Criteria include authenticity, humanity & the attempt to take off. Predictability, dogma and wordiness will almost always be rejected. We prefer dreams to deathbeds, and please be didactic only if you are being ironic. In our view a poem is a sharing not of an opinion but of a perception. Since we only publish poems we like, poets would be wise to look at a recent copy of OWP before offering us their work.


Buy a copy of the current issue for £4.50

. . . or start a subscription and get a year’s four issues for £15: send a cheque payable to Flarestack Publishing with your address to

8 Abbot’s Way 
BA4 4 BN

or try the PayPal link:

If that doesn’t work, use account name Mr C H Johnson & the reference charles. (which is also the email address for any queries)


AUGUST ISSUE: going to bed

Obsessed With Pipework issue 87 is in the hands of St Andrews Press & should be hitting doormats in a week or so.

Here is the contents list:

Sheila Aldous: Ravel; Cogs; Electrified

David Burl: Café Noir

Susan Darlington: Tiger Lilies; Winter’s Child

Annie Fisher: Insurance plan

Jean Harrison: An arm round the shoulders; Holiday Flat in Madeira

Mary Hastilow: Spell of Weather; Cotton Mill Piecer as Pipistrelle

Ceinwen Haydon: Dismissed; Beyond Brecon

Jonathan Humble: Slow Move to Fall; Still Life

Lucy Ingrams: Apple

Sue Kindon: Coumbière; Learning to Fly; Mismatch; Silver Birch; The Flame Juggler at the End of the Holidays

Ayelet McKenzie: More daffodils; The girl; Today

David Medd: Gansey; His Poems

Katerina Neocleous: The Conscript’s Report

Robert Nisbet: First Smoke, First Light; Weekend

Carolyn Oulton: I may be inappropriate in social situations; Stars to Rain by

Jean Riley: Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Philip Rush: Sparrowhawk; The Colour of Shadows

Penny Sharman: Carew; There was no possibility of taking a walk that day; When it falls

Mark Sorrell: The sheep clipping

Michael W. Thomas: There

Howard Wright: Other Furniture

Stella Wulf: Eating Risotto with Dylan Thomas; Listening to Trees; Refugee Moon

Lee Clark Zumpe: scapegoats; she has cancer

(It will feature knockout new cover artwork from our resident visual genius Graham Higgins, but we are keeping that under wraps until after subscribers & contributors have seen it. If you get in quick with a subscription, you can be among the lucky recipients! See subs details elsewhere on this site)

Issue 86, May 2019

OWP cover art issue 86

Cover art by Graham Higgins, inspired by images from the poems in issue 86.

Here is a list of the poets and their poems:

Josie Alford: An Awfully Big Adventure;
Widemouth Bay
David Ball: The Diaries;
The Professional Writer
Ciaran Buckley: The footsteps;
The last god to leave
Louisa Campbell: Does it Jiggle?;
Kitty Coles: Collared Dove;
Claire Crowther: Sibyl at the School Gate;
Street Masters of Edinburgh
Elaine Dunn: Connoisseur of puddles;
Jackie Fellague: Carpe Diem;
Going over the mountain
Robert Hamberger: Blue wallpaper
Robin Houghton: Seeing the Small Picture;
The Metallurgy of Eddie Van Halen
Eve Jackson: From the Back Seat;
Peter Kenny: Thunderstruck
L Kiew: Bam;
The magic pudding;
Michael Laskey: I gave her a pound;
What to Expect When You
Become a Window
Alan Lock: The Obvious room;
Katerina Neocleous: After Beatrice
John Newson: Snow;
Towan Beach
Stuart Pickford: The Problem with Blue
Roddy Williams: The Coping Head