I should be howling by Janet Philo



Janet worked in education for many years. Now retired, she’s working to develop her writing practice. Her first pamphlet, Under-hedge Dapple, was published by Three Drops Press in 2016.
Most recently, her work is included in Midnight Feasts (an anthology of food poems, collected by
A.F. Harrold’ (Bloomsbury Education 2019)
She’s a proud member of the TWP (Tees Women Poets) collective, as well as Saltburn Writers. She loves spoken word performance, especially mixed up with music. She was commended in the 2019 Prole Laureate competition and has a poem in the 2020 Eyewear anthology of Best New British and Irish Poets. Her latest pamphlet with The Black Light Engine Room press is out now.








I should be howling

(After Clive James – The Crying Need for Snow)








I listen

in the almost morning

light, as the sun throws

crimson at the

winter wind.


I should be howling


for the softness of ducks,


for the gold inside,

the blackbird’s eye,


for the darkness

of the hedgehog’s

vacant space,


for the silence

of the cuckoo’s call,


for the insane acts

that leave wet footprints

where grass slumps, and

clay cracks, slips

and sticks to claws,


the rising tide

with carcasses

of comfy junk

grown old and fat

on sea life.


I should be howling.

That would make sense.

Janet  Philo