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

Miracle required

Nigel Kent

($1 billion raised overnight to rebuild Notre Dame)


You answer the call
of the burning halo in the sky:
a summons to Our Lady’s side
where your lips let loose
a wave of urgent prayers
as if the swell of holy words
could douse the raging flames
and cool the steeple walls
sagging with the heat.
You plead for a miracle,
each word awash with tears
and before the night is out,
those tears have turned to cash
more than enough to raise Our Lady,
like Lazarus, from her bed of ash,
for nothing’s more important
than restoring the relics of the past:
more important than the river,
retreating from the heat;
more important than the crop
that droops in desert-fields.
Thanks ringing in your heart,
you take a taxi home,
through streets so clogged,
you’re forced to stop
by the Jardin des Plantes
where Nature, with arms outstretched,
pleads with her children passing by,
who scuff through brittle leaves
peeled too early from her trees
likes flakes of blistered skin
whilst your driver curses the queue of cars
and you ignore the meter
that ticks away the cost.



 Nigel Kent’s poetry has been shortlisted for several national competitions and his poetry has appeared in a range of publications. His collection Saudade was published in 2019 with Hedgehog Press, following the success of his poetry conversations with Sarah Thomson, ‘A Hostile Environment’ and ‘Thinking You Home’ in June 2019. You can find out more about Nigel’s work on his website.