HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for The Green Issue – sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some writers and artists who’d sent in work the chance to be published here on the website. Keep an eye on our social media for more great work like this, in the run-up to the release of The Green Issue


John Grey
The Gardener


When other nurturing failed her,
the seeds and the trowel,
the pruner and fertilizer
proved more conducive to solitude.
Everything from roses to broccoli grew.
They didn’t talk back at her
nor find, in a neighbor’s greenery,
the mineral, fluids,
that she could not provide.

The garden may have seemed a small love
with its minty leaves, narrow stalks,
flimsy petals and thimble-sized fruits,
and almost nothing –
but almost nothing
is where something gets its spark.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.