Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson

Charles is the editor of our local, national and international (well, he gets & publishes submissions from the USA & various parts of Europe & Asia) poetry magazine, Obsessed with Pipework,

OBSESSED WITH PIPEWORK (“poetry with strangeness & charm”) is a quarterly magazine of new highwire poetry. It has been published since Autumn 1997.

Back issues can be seen in the Poetry Library’s searchable on-line archive.

Subscriptions cost £12 for four issues by post. Publication dates are normally at the beginning of January, April, July and October. Cheques should be made payable to Flarestack Publishing and sent to the editor, Charles Johnson, at 8 Abbots Way, Pilton, Somerset BA4 4BN. Email

Submission guidelines are here

Contributors get a free copy of the issue containing their work, so you can save £12 by submitting a steady stream of strange & charming poems.

A competitive affair, surely

After ten years, was it
– no
– longer
– surely

you wanted, we both did,
something different
but what the hell
was this? – after the run
down the rough steep
open field.
I knew your children, well
two of them. You had rung
to make an appointment
about losing your sense of balance
– on the run from dangerous memories
and as I like a doctor
scribbled notes on my pad
I fell in love
with the sound of my own voice
talking to you. Now look at us
– No, it was mint
contemplating the wreckage
on the path by the kitchen
garden – that flooded
with tealeaves (for nettles to thrive)
every few months – after the storm.
Please take your shoes off.
Is it old rope for money
or is it money
– no, it was lemon balm
for old rope? Really, at our age
we should know better.
and perhaps we do
so shall we agree
to not?


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