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‘Janus Among The Poets’ a newly commissioned poem from Christine Webb on the theme of ‘Deadlines’

If you still need an extra push to enter the 2014/15 Magma Poetry Competition, then poet Christine Webb has written a specially commissioned poem on the scary theme of deadlines to help you beat 19th January!

Christine Webb’s first collection, After Babel, was published in 2004 by Peterloo Poets, and her second, Catching Your Breath, in 2011 by Cinnamon Press. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies: you can read Form in Magma 57.


Door-god, sceptic, your wry neck twists both ways –
to squint at the gone year, its broken vows,
to blink unimpressed at the raw light
of now. Will your devotees lose more weight,
be kinder, more punctual, write better poems
than before? Can they break free from forms
bone-rigid, hiccupping, amorphous as jelly,
from images crammed in layers, bizarre or stalely
fashionable? For – ‘Look, the door’s open!’ cries
the god (suddenly hopeful): ‘why not choose
to write for Magma, enter our competition,
win glory, cash, enhance your reputation
with fresh and honest lines that bring delight?’
(Make sure you read the rules before you start.)
The topic’s yours. It doesn’t have to rhyme –
and not like this, please. Just get it on time.

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