Green Fields: Ian Humphreys

We hope you’ve enjoyed our special week celebrating Green Fields. Both Nick and David would like to offer a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to submit poems. No one could have imagined that the book would be launched into the type of world that we see today and for everyone who has ordered a copy we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our aim has always been to offer free opportunities to writers to submit their work but we can only do this if people buy our books – please share widely and if you have bought a copy and enjoyed it then please shout it from the roof tops (or post something nice of social media).

Tomorrow should have been our very special launch event with Huddersfield Literature Festival. We were delighted to see that the event had almost sold out and, like many, are saddened at the loss of our society as we once knew it. We know, however, that it’s important to keep safe, protect ourselves and look after those more vulnerable.

Love from the Poetry Village.


Return of the discotheque dancers

           Come back, come back—you glistening boys,
you clerks and scholars, farmhands, plumbers,
you make-up artists, money men, you lives

hacked short. You oh-so-very-dazzling, you boho
fops, you preachers, poachers, lovers, sons. My sons.
Years ago we buried you in shame. You bore the guilt

as night closed in. So Many Men, So Little Time,
the chorus rang. When the dry ice lifted
and the spotlight glowered, so many friends were gone.

Rise up! Break free of soil, of stone, of ivy’s snare.
Come chase the hare, the handsome fox. Rattle cages,
shake your bones, come back for one last wicked

whirligig. Imbibe the city—its bars and clubs,
its tribes and scars. Refrains that moved us then will tug
the moon. Shed your shirts, your wounded skin,

shatter the glass dance-floor. Our song’s half-sung
so flex your voices, roar like guns. Tallulah’s waiting!
Devilish nuns are roller-skating!

Come back, come back—you glistening boys.
Let’s march again at Bang, Scandals, Napoleons,
Spats, Subway, Copa’s and Heaven, Heaven, Heaven!





Green Fields: Jonathan Humble

One of the truly amazing things that we have witnessed over the last few years is the growth of the Poetry Village and the associated groups and communities of people that surround the project. It goes without saying that Maytree Press is perhaps one of our proudest achievements, not only because of the wonderful books that now exist but because of the very special group of people involved, whether a writer, reviewer or supporter, they are all our special band of Maytree Folk.

It could be said that Jonathan is one of the original Maytree Folk; an early supporter of the project, an avid reviewer and now, we’re pleased to say, a future author as we look forward to the publication of his very own Maytree collection in the summer.

We had so many submissions from our Maytree Folk so thank you – we’re only sorry that we couldn’t include lots more. Keep writing and keep submitting – our new project, Earth Shadow is waiting for your poems.



Back To The Garden
after Joni Mitchell

The child of God had left the road
and formed a band within the farm,
encouraged souls to tie their sails
to stars in search of truth.

But when the message lost its way
and purpose morphed into a brand,
the truth was swapped for corporate dust
and gold became the god.

And bombers flew the routes they knew
and butterflies grew ever scarce
and as for carbon, over years,
the debt was never paid.

No search for gardens free of smog.
The cogs had seized and rusted up.
I lost the part that life had taught
through dance and lines of songs.

The pages turned and buried deep
those aspects from a greener time,
until the sound of Kendal’s call
brought Eden’s ghost awake.

The spirit of Max Yasgur’s farm
now haunts the fields at Lowther Park,
when Devil’s bargain, caught and bought,
defers for just four days.

So now we dance and sing as one
and laugh and love in sun or rain.
It’s all been heard but that’s alright;
the garden grows again.





Green Fields: Sarah L Dixon

The secrets of editing, part 1.

An early success of Maytree Press was the collaborative work, between two rivers by Nick Allen and Myles Linley which, together with Green Fields, you can find in the Maytree shop here

In view if this, we were delighted that Nick agreed to co-edit Green Fields with David – not only did we have a great poet on board but finding a vinyl copy of Fontaines D.C. during an early visit the Allen residence, we also new we had someone who knew their music (and bought vinyl).

From the beginning Nick’s input became invaluable, helping to establish the themes through our early campaign and working through early submissions to help achieve the wonderful thematic collection that we find in existence today. Both editors remained pretty much on the same page, and even when David came with some early 60s inspired psychedelic designs for the cover it was a case of great (or drunk) minds thinking alike.

To say the whole editing process was painless and straightforward would be correct, that is, if it wasn’t for the Morris Dancing (MD) poem. An important aspect of the book that both editors wanted to achieve was the whole festival vibe – not just music but the love, peace, dancing and, in some cases, otherworldly worship that surrounds music. What David didn’t know is that Nick has a not so secret dislike of MD – we’re fairly sure that had Armitage or Duffy come along waving their MD poems at us or if we’d discovered a hidden MD masterpiece in the library of lost poems then it still wouldn’t have made the initial cut such is Nick’s aversion. The secrets of the editors. We’re pleased to say that after several high profile discussions (read, pub/café) David came out on top and the MD poem stayed. It’s Sarah’s second poem in the collection and adds a wonderful interlude before we race towards Heaven – of which you can discover more on Friday. You’ll find it just after Mike Farren’s folk inspired, Underneath the Stars.


Morris-dancing inside
for Ruth

A torn dress.
alive with colours and motion.

The shivery beauty
of twenty-year old rags,
the engine-fuel shimmer
of newer fabrics
settling, then alight,
unable to maintain stillness.

A lilt.
A lift.
A heightened spirit.
Eyes wider open.

A Wayzgoose Morris Dancer’s smile,
the taste of Kirkstall Pale,
The Abbey Inn, lit by the inclusive warmth of folk music,
and a friendship
forged deeper
in this night.





Green Fields: Joe Williams

In the second of our Green Fields special we celebrate the legendary festival, Glastonbury, from Joe Williams. Green Fields: sorted for poems is now available to purchase direct from the Maytree store here

Glastonbury, Parts 1 & 2

The first time was magical,
baked in psychedelic sun,
a third summer of love.
Sat outside the dance tent,
passing smuggled spliffs,
our skins scraped the parched earth
to sounds curated by Massive Attack.
On stage, someone broke the news
John Major has resigned,
raised the biggest cheer of the day.

The second time was biblical,
rain-slapped, mud-soaked.
We didn’t see the papers that
compared it to the Somme.
Pre-mobile, we had no means
of contact over ravaged fields.
I never found out why
I ended up in the rescue van.
Must have been something in the whizz.

I waited for you for hours.






Green Fields: Martin Malone

This week in the Village we celebrate the very fabulous Green Fields: sorted for poems anthology from Maytree Press.

Compiled from open submissions and invites throughout the final quarter of 2019, the collection is a celebration of music and music festivals.

From an initially flash of inspiration that Glastonbury would be celebrating its fiftieth birthday alongside one of our editors (we’ll let you guess who), who could have imagined that the book would become so much more than a simple celebration of our social activities.

We’ll be sharing a poem from the book each day this week and saying a little more about how it came to be a very lovely physical item. For now, if you’d like a copy then please head over to Maytree’s on-line store where you’ll find first editions for only £10.00 with free UK postage.

For now, enjoy Martin Malone’s Bigmouth Strikes Again


Bigmouth Strikes Again

I’m afraid I’m an open book, I say stuff,
confess too readily in my cups and

mess-up in moments like these: you
with your Roman nose held high in disgust

at my latest faux pas. And, sweetness,
I know you are only half-joking when

you say I should be bludgeoned in my bed
for selling my Smiths ticket so I could

go see The Armoury Show instead
but, at the time, you were only just four

and, having seen them twice before —
like a Beckett play — I felt I’d got the point.

Besides, liking Jobson longer, there was
a seniority of quiff thing to be respected.

Connected was my love for McGeogh’s guitar
which I felt would fade out before Marr’s.

So, don’t give me back those mix tapes, don’t melt
down my old Walkman; consider them my

legacy to this retro age of legacy,
alongside these inconvenient truths,

my scratched vinyl, your Spotify.com.
Because here in old Camden Town,

out drinking with the hung-on-too-long
I sense that I’ve moved on. Lover, please

stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before
and don’t make me know how Joan of Arc felt.