Taking its title from the German word which loosely translates as 'the feeling of being alone in the woods' these are poems rooted in nature and place. At times mindful and present, at others, longing and mournful, Porter draws us through a range of experience and narrative – from forests, rivers and mountaintops to the boarded-up streets and schoolyards of North Liverpool.

Whether resting in "the gap between heartbeats / when man’s presence is no more" or in an 'other world of sunlight / where air is thin yet easier to breathe" Porter often brings clarity to the value of what is in front. Poetry as a lesson in presence.

But then there are darker poems, more regretful and longing, where a chick hatches from its stolen egg to 'drag its limp self across the floor" or where there is "cicatrix upon the skin of beech and oak". 

But always there is a sense of hope at the centre of each poem and even the most haunting "opens up into foxglove, honeysuckle, bluebell."

Liam Porter

Liam is a writer, poet, and digital marketer from Merseyside, now residing in Chester. His poems have been published in 192, Independent Variable, Bloom and a range of other spaces. He was the co-editor and lead host of the 16th year of In The Red - LJMU's poetry open mic night and annual anthology. He hopes his writing will provide an essence of calm and reflection in what is a very hectic world.


- translation: the feeling of being alone in the woods


There is no map to this forest yet you stand at its edge, whisper your way past nettle-bush, hemlock, silver birch,

into a silence thick & loud, a pressure that builds like leaf-bed.


There are dens here: skeletal & rotten, all ash & cut-root, cicatrix upon the skin of beech & oak


& yet this does not warn you off, rather, welcomes you in,

for there must have been heat here, the dancing of wildfire.


Read these clues & continue. Hear whispers slip

through the canopy, single strings of sunrise hinting

that this shadowed woodland could soon turn to glade


where for once the dark won’t draw in & the clarity of light won’t be too much or too soon


where at your feet, the beaten path opens up into foxglove, honeysuckle, bluebell.



First from hibernation are the solar-powered lights.
Man-made & mortal, their single crystal circuits
are close to finished, ready for the scrap heap.


But with January sun coursing their systems,

they fight against the dark, mere glimmer

as they wake themselves from slumber.


Across their brittle mechanics,

sunlight streams, turns silver-white,

lights the skeleton tree, the city backyard


& for the first time in months

despite the last great bite of winter,

they are beacons in frosted soil.


The next morning, I light a cigarette

on this winter-bare terrace. I wait

for the warmth of sun upon my cheek.