From

Long listed for the WALKING HOME writing competition run in January & February 2022

It’s the direction you return from
that dictates the atmosphere of home:
from work from woods from retail parks
from for-the-sake-of-walking -
or some easterly objective
at dawn at noon at dusk
from being-in-the-walk
in hail in gale or heat.
The difference between up from town
over from the swimming pool along from the bus stop 
still takes you by surprise.

(Or the shortest version: 
back up the garden
bike secured in shed.)

At what point after how long how far
did you leave behind
the thoughts you took outside? 
Sometimes on the doorstep,
it takes last-minute grace
to stop you bringing frets
or judgements back inside again

and carry across the threshold
a little bit of west-south-west,
of street or desire path.
You bring in hill-homes,
cliff-path or tow-path homes
that you’ve walked into relationship 
with your habitable-home.

Read more from the Long List of poems and stories submitted to the WALKING HOME writing competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 25 September 2022 (booking details to follow).

Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.

Purchase a copy of WALKING 2022 – an illustrated anthology of poems and stories on the theme of “Walking Home” for €4.99+p&p (see image to the left) or go for a bundle of WALKING 2022 AND WALKING 2021 – a similar illustrated anthology of poems and stories on the theme of “Walking and Listening”- a bumper package of 27 poems and stories and save €1.50 (see image to the right). Purchase from our Shop.

Bundle of two illustrated anthologies


Helen Boden

Helen Boden

United Kingdom

Born on the edge of the Pennines & based on the edge of the Pentland Hills, I'm a poet, educator and editor. My first full collection, A Landscape To Figure In (Red Squirrel Press, 2021), examines place & identity through writing about maps, signs,...

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