Paul has been writing poetry for many years and has been particularly inspired by the Greeks - the ancient poets Homer, Sophocles and Aristophanes; and the modern poets Constantine Cavafy, George Seferis, Yannis Ritsos and Odysseas Elytis. Among poets writing in English, he particularly admires Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wilfred Owen, George Mackay Brown, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Derek Walcott.
His poem Water Sports was shortlisted for the Ravenglass Poetry Press Prize 2011 by the eminent Scottish poet John Burnside and and was published in an anthology of the winners.
His debut collection Water Sports was published by the Ravenglass Poetry Press in 2011.
I made an illicit still
and poured into it all I had.
I burned peat and wood beneath the cauldron
until a pale spirit trickled out.
The base materials and hate
I'd been carrying for decades
What was left
a single miniature's worth
I buried in my overgrown garden.
I destroyed the illicit still
and kept its liquor secret
until you arrived unheralded
a beam of long-matured light
from a fertile, far-off star.
We mixed my paltry measure
with your gallon-jar of goodness.
We drank the quintessential cocktail
and I was shaken into love.
Copyright Paul Johnston 2011
Paulís poem The Wasp Station was published in The Poetry of Sex, a Penguin/ Viking anthology edited by Sophie Hannah (2014).
For further information about Paul’s poetry, email the author direct via the FEEDBACK page on this site