Poetry Competition Winners

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We are delighted to be able to announce the three winners of our Poetry Competition. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered.

FIRST PRIZE

Arboretum Shapes by Sue Dymoke

Between… among… through
in… under… over the green space
people are making their own shapes.

The cyclist anchors his bike to the lawn
sits cradled in its slight shadow
one knee bent forward
head fixed on middle distance.

The reader stretches her body flat
beneath the soft-leaved Foxglove tree
turns slow white pages above grass
escapes into words.

The nurse ignores her fob watch
for a few final minutes, drains a coke
forms a triangle with elbow, hand and mobile
for a breathy chat in Spanish.

The family organise pushchair, rug, picnic.
Young Dad and partner draw in the quiet calm
lose themselves in baby’s loveliness
gurgling at their centre.

Four young men celebrate Eid
ambling round the park perimeter
photograph ancient specimens
exchange shy jokes in cool shade.

An office worker, tie loosened,
pauses over his takeaway
takes a moment to stare into
an unknown somewhere.

Mum, friend and toddler emerge
from a dark tunnel crescent into light.
Toddler chomps on melon slices
wriggles in his harness

desperate to run along the winding path
towards clown-faced birds and a gardener
who clips the rims of circular
borders with her long-handled shears.

SECOND PRIZE

The Man On Elm Avenue by Richard Bissett

There’s a man who sleeps rough
On Elm Avenue.
He once nodded, amused,
As I scuttled through.

He sits there gazing, some
Melancholic sage
Banished by life, and me
Just some slave to a wage.

His army days are memories.
Sister, moved to Spain.
The prehensile wife- gone.
The drink.. back again.

Quiet desperation
Amidst brooding trees,
Taking the city’s pulse,
Trembling at the knees.

Away from the contempt
(it leaves his brain numb).
Away from wordy bins
(who scorn him as scum).

Little lives, little loves
Clatter past his dwelling.
Tremors of solitude,
His looted heart swelling.

We met again last week.
I (back from the Maze),
Hurried on, discomforted,
Avoiding his quiet gaze.

THIRD PRIZE

Pencil Childhood by Joni Wildman

The pencil
Could never quite capture the curves and turns and ruts and bumps
Of the trees in their summer pride
Or their autumn shame,
Their naked winter’s attire
The trees
Would line up for their portrait
I was the artist,
I was the camera
And i couldn’t quite capture the way the roots would dip and climb
The way that I would climb the branches myself.
The eyes,
The tree’s eyes would stare me down,
Waiting for my masterpiece
My unestablished picture.
The picture
That i could never quite capture
That i could never quite stop making look like just any old tree
When the tree
Was my chair, my shelter, my shade, my library,
The picture was a charcoal scratching on paper
That I strained over
Weekly trying to progress;
Fresh from the tram and the gallery
I would sit under the canopy of my own gallery
And although the picture was unfinished
I was so close to finding the piece of my mind
That would complete my struggles
Beyond drawing trees.

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