Back to Publications

Routemasters & Mushrooms

 Routemasters and Mushrooms cover: illustration by Kath Keep









Earlyworks Press is off to a good start with their first anthology – an intriguing title, and some excellent and varied poems from such well-known names as Roger Elkin.

Phil Fox for instance, serves up a sensuous dish About Tarts whilst Duncan Fraser’s speciality is the wry humour of High Rising Terminal.  More poignant notes are struck by Sally Richards in Institutional, Angela Rigby, describing Last Rites and Jane Moreton’s evocative Coach Journey: Half-Light. 

– Carole Baldock, Editor of Orbis. 

An interesting mix of very good poetry.  The Routemaster might be decommissioned, but it’s proven an unexpected source of inspiration for just one poem in a compilation that ranges from the reassuringly familiar to the cosmic in scope.  Not a single bland, run-of-the-mill poem in the mix.

 – DJ Tyrer, Atlantean Publishing  


Including 33 poems by 21 poets, the anthology is headed by 

Madonna Della Febbre by Nigel Humphreys


Madonna Della Febbre

St Peter's Basilica


Her face was serene beyond time,

the utmost limits of genetic sculpture,

a miracle that shapeless drapes

could assume such earthy beauty,

yet there she stood, sharing grief

as a condition of redemption,

a nun

standing back from the crowds

her eyes transpierced by the Pieta

as if herself sculpted in marble.


She looked on the dead Christ asleep,

watched the blood dry

in the veins of his limp arm,

listened for soft breaths

her eyes salved in beatitude,

and absolute beauty its consequence.


Death would have struck unnoticed

in that symbiosis of flesh and stone.

The sublimeness of her awe 

in a glaze of perpetual spirit

beyond my experience

drew me unwilling,

made me one part

of an exalted triptych of fixation.


But for them there was no fear;

their certitude hewn from the quarries of Carrara,

postured in the magnanimity

of an extended hand.


© Nigel Humphreys

Routemasters & Mushrooms ISBN 978-0-9553429-05 Pub. Earlyworks Press

£5.50 + 50p towards p&p




Back to Top
Back to Publications

Or you can pay by cheque or PO: Please post cheques payable to Kay Green to:  Earlyworks Press, Creative Media Centre, 45 Robertson St, Hastings, Sussex, TN34 1HL