Crewe & District Writers' Circle
The Waltraud Field
Open Poetry Competition 2017
We are delighted to announce winners of this year's Open Poetry Competition, judged this year by multi award-winning poet, Gladys Mary Coles.
Gladys Mary's ten collections of poetry include "Song of the Butcher Bird", and "The Echoing Green" (both from Flambard),and "The Glass Island" (Duckworth).
Gladys Mary teaches Poetry and Creative Writing at Liverpool University.
Our warmest congratulations to the winners as follows:
First prize of £100 is awarded to Roger Elkin: "Rock End"
Second prize of £50 to F. McDonnell: "Whitby Scenes"
Third prize of £25 to Anthony Watts: "Lady of the Wild Things"
There were 8 runners up and these are listed in no particular order:
Angela Croft: "One-armed Bandit"; Maureen Judson: "Aprons and Apple Pies"; Angela Croft: "Singer"; F. McDonnell: "Heading Home"; Isobel Thrilling: "Amber"; Christopher Korta: "Bored At Work"; C Gillett: "(dis)illusion"; Roger Elkin: "Seeing the Light".
We have pleasure in presenting the work of the three winners and look forward to featuring poems by the runners up later in the year.
Something of finality about its name
as if you're about to fall headlong
into fathoms beneath. But no
Just recognition that this is how
the Pennines tail away Southwards
into the Midlands,where haze and
townscapes ambush the view.
just for the here of things, it's outcrops
of rock that matter, though how much
it matters depends on your approach.
So, climbing from the valley, it's more
of a beginning. The sudden jutting
of stone where they quarried for houses
and walls, those huge slabs and fragments
almost a scar. There where the rockface
shales and splinters pinky-reddish
into fingered shards, shockingly fresh
like an ulcer under microscope, as if raw
and somehow wet. Certainly, grave cold.
But fromt he North-East, dropping slightly
from the watery moorline horizon, down
to Robin Hill, and rounding the bend,
there's a concession of sorts: outcrop boulders
and rocks squatting in fields, and rotundly
smooth were wind, rain, ice have buffeted
the gritstone almost to shining, with here
and there its veins graining away like
patination on gravestones.
Suppose, either way you could say
Yes, there's a sense of completion.
And I'm reminded this place is OK
as long as you make a friend
of the landscape.
It's the first time he has captured me walking on water
and I'm in the centre of this black-and-white photograph.
In this picture I'm nearest to you, whoever you are,
or want to be and whatever will become of you,
but you are looking beyond me at other people
on the beach, the dead relatives in their graves.
You and I can hear children on the beach, laughing,
the distant sound of the waves, the yellow tug
chugging to take others on their whale-watching trip.
You cannot see my offspring, they've separated
from me, they are their own gull now, as they land
on the head of the statue, or swoop through
the whalebone arch, staring you out for fish.
We'll still be here when the visitors leave,
our insistent way of being, our shrieks on the wing
reminding you of the sea when you're safely back home.
Lady of the Wild Things
My love wears a green, green apron and a mantle of blue
And dreaming of a bright and windy day
She gypsies forth on a foam-white horse
And rides all over the world. She dreams
As she fashions good bread, her hands in the fluttering flour
Like two gulls in the spray
My love is all around me like the sea.
The sandworms spell her praise,
Tormenting the stretched tissue ofthe beach with toothpaste
And I have read their hopeless hieroglyphs
(Wandering where the poised sea held its breath)
For my thoughts are worms in the warm silt of her skin.
My love is a midnight raga: at the tongue-tied hour
When all the jukeboxes are choked with money,
When the tree-held moon is fingered by the wind,
My fingers find again in the stillness her intervals
For she is the genesis of song in the silent hour.
My love is a fragrant garden for the blind:
Down avenues of rain-awakening flowers
Comes love's blind beggar with his tapping stick,
Who in a green and tendrilled dream is doomed
to run the velvet gauntlet of her love,
Stumbling towards the centre, towards the dark
Frail speedwells snow down on me from her opening eyes.
My love is a rosary of worlds: love's astronaut,
I pick my milky way,
Threading the orbits of her thralling stars,
Lightyears away from home, my radio dead,
I sail the unlit emptiness
Between myself and her.
My love is an apple-thicket where the white hart breaks, panting:
The unicorn sheaths his rage in the quiet of her lap.
She leads me where the hind laps leaves from the small trees tenderly as the wind feeds
Her smile is an open window on the kingfisher's realm:
In a glance I catch him netting the eternal sun,
For he has made his nest in the warmth of her heart.
My love is at the end of a thought: there is heart-rest
In the solitude of her falling hair.