Here are the winning entries from the 2016 open poetry competition.
You can also view the full competition results.
First Prize Winner
On a Wood Pigeon Proposition by Roger Elkin
When you catch a glance of it tantivying across the garden, its wings battling forward/back like the oars of the Oxbridge boat race as if all that really mattered is the winning, and you notice how the new-dawn-pink blush of neck and chest, the smoky greys of its back, the whitish slash at back of its neck, have been watered down against the sun to a charcoaled silhouette … and when it sails like a child's paper plane racing over the lawn, then lifts to a clattering ladder of mad flapping and stalls, its wings akimbo like those cliff-hurlers launching midair into vacancies of space in a sort of death-daring that has your heart in your mouth, and not landing – but gliding, tight breasted, wide – rising, falling, then arcing in to wing-drift to the leylandii, or flop-dropping to settle on the trellis … and when it stoops wing-crash-flapping on the garden steps its head tick-tocking as if on clockwork, its seed eyes mad-panicking, its bill's rolled gold, those coral pink toes, and communing in its jewellery-plumage puts on its Coo-oo-cou song like a stuck recording, Coo-oo-cou, Love-you-u, Love-you-u … then you know this is me, is you, is us – that lift, that dive, that fall, the battling mad clatter of our love that has my heart in my mouth just seeing you … Coo-oo-cou … Love-you-u … Love-you-u …
↑ Second Prize Winner
The Gardener by Joyce Worsfold
Delphiniums edge path, echo seas and skies, your gentle, laughing, water-colour eyes. I glimpse you bending by the poppy bed A cotton hat protects silvery head Dead-heading in the heat of July day Here, where you like to meditate and pray. I call your name, raise a glass of lemonade arms outstretched we meet and hug, afraid, I feel your bird-like bones, you're growing old I kiss your waxy skin and shiver cold. Gentleness, not a feeble, flaccid thing But steely strength that makes the earthbound sing. We sit on the warm stone bench, relax, talk Of books and baffling things and laugh and walk eaves-drop upon sparrows, savour the air ramble with roses, a gardening pair, Your work, crumbled earth, cut grass, pristine edge The level stretches of clipped, green box hedge. A mound, couch grass already withering wheel-barrow of nettles, white roots quivering Rambling Rector spills sermons on the lawn every moment some new thing is born You crave the peace here, taming wilderness And I honour your strength in gentleness
↑ Third Prize Winner
Saying Goodbye by Jacqueline Pemberton
Your suitcase is at the bottom of my stairs. I'm prepared. Well versed in making mountains Out of memories, Adept at holding fast to fleeting moments. Photos line the paths Of our days together, Precious parcels to unwrap And feed on, slowly I have learnt to live with hunger To fill my calendar with writing, Big and bold. I can fold the corners of despair, Sticky tape them down And leave no gaps For wounds to weep. Skype: a rope that ties Our separated lives But cannot hold my hug Or the breath of your smile. Time passes. The date of your next visit home Will come And the chambers of my heart Echo once more with joy.
|Author:||Kevin Machin||Date:||November 26, 2016 11:35 am|
|Categories:||Open Competitions, Competition Results||Tags:||poetry, winners|
|Comments:||0 – permitted||Article:||5140 – published|