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.  ​​​​


    Rock End

    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.
                               But now,
    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.​​​​​​​​​​​​

    Whitby Scenes

    It's the first time he has captured me w​​alking 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
    Unfolded rose.
    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.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​