Stephen Bone has been published in magazines in the U.K. and U.S.


His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and his first collection In The Cinema was warmly received on its publication in 2014.











138 x 216mm


26 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-71-8


PUB: 8th January 2018










A castrato to a methane fuelled lamp, along with an aspidistra and Ariadne make up this cabinet of curiosities and emotions.


Each with their own song to sing.



‘Whether writing about a castrato, Victorian fern fever, picnics or a loved one's sick-bed, Stephen Bone’s poems are always assured and always genuinely surprising. He has an enviable facility with language and handles a variety of forms with apparently effortless ease. I loved these poems. Outstanding.’

Carole Bromley  


‘Stephen Bone’s Plainsong is a cast iron performance of delirious and  devastating love songs. A thrilling series of ‘exquisite framed diagrams’  by  turns botanic, historic, mythic and melodic they are metaphors for the  passion and pain of human relationships.

A remarkable collection.’

Sarah Barnsley





Stephen Bone





Boyhood of Senesino


Tremulous as a pot bound hare –

never before so close to wealth and title –


I poured into pomade scented air,

the gift God had graced me.


Pierced the spangled matrons' granite hearts,

drew from grown men a drip


of tears with songs of ache and loss,

then with a seamless switch slipped


into laughing coloratura, skylark notes    

that threatened the Murano bowls,


panels of quicksilvered glass. Even my father,

face a map of hardship, swagged a smile,


weight of a heavy purse already in his hand,

eyes glinting like polished knives.



Senesino (1686 – 1758) was a celebrated castrato.





Dropped off on Sunday afternoons

we'd brave doorsteps of  fish paste,

wince at Rose's lime, dream of Coke

and pizza, something then.


Afterwards cards in her front room,

ivy chintz clambering over chairs and walls,

windows veiled with net, the television

never on, except when time to lap up the worst.


Her decibels rising with her Embassy's

blue smoke, as looking far beyond

her held hand, she would shriek –


Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!





Like something

you might find encased

in a paperweight's glass


or snorkel over,

shimmering angelfish

in tow.


Ruby Slippers, Red Ink,

Pale Rainbow, each name

an exact fit


for these wetland lovers,


for a luckless gnat

or damselfly;


each primed leaf

sprouting quills

tipped with a glittery deceit,

a viscous hell


disguised as a dewy heaven.







Ariadne In Married Life


The spiral, serpentine,

the classic unicursal. Since Crete

he's grown a passion for such things.


Each evening finds him silent

at his board, an endless perfecting

of blind alleys, falsely hopeful paths,

his dog Daedalus – in the name of Zeus –

curled by his feet.


While in my corner – all lovesickness

cured – I embroider with my flashing needle,

the dear bull beast as I remember him. Snap

silk thread between my teeth.





A closing sun

spills across the lawn


jasmine and honeysuckle

dressing the air


the sky slowly netting

its glittery catch


and somewhere

a nightingale



for a mate    




 Sharp Lemon


Still on the bathroom shelf,

the cologne you left behind.



swirled with rosemary, I used to think.

A glow of clove.


But now,

something more astringent

reaches me,


a note

of sharp lemon,

has soured its heart.