We are delighted to announce the winning poems in Kingston Libraries Poetry Competition 2016.
First prize goes to Sandy Philpotts for "Your Journey"
“Good Morning! This is your Guard –
-ian Angel Speaking
We apologise for any delays on your
Journey of Life.
There are leavings on the line,
And unexpected breakdowns.
You must mind the gap between your expectations
Be prepared for unexpected and frustrating holdups.
You will need to be ready to change many times.
Please keep your wits about you at all times
And be aware of any suspicious circumstances
Alert your Guard -ian Angel if in any doubt
We are here to help.
Remember you cannot take any luggage with you
when you reach your final destination.
On behalf of Destiny SouthWest may we wish you
a safe and happy journey.”
Second Prize to Heather Walker for "All I Have to Do is Say the Words"
All I have to do is say the words
I watch you pull out the holdall
throw pants, socks, shirts I washed and folded
into the bag
and my heart cries I don’t want you to go.
But only your hurry and our breath stirs
the air, nothing is said as I slump on the bed,
over the words I don’t want you to go.
If I could I’d rewind, unsay what I said,
take back the plates thrown in the heat
of it all
but I still cannot say I don’t want you to go.
I’m too stubborn to apologise, too proud
to admit I’m wrong; would I rather
see you gone
than say I don’t want you to go?
You catch the handles of the bag, turn,
I glance away, I only have to ask you to stay,
you wait a breath
and the words jam in my throat.
Third Prize to Jean Beverton for "Messages"
Messages in the dust from creatures now long gone
Autumnal paper leaves lie mulching on the ground
Next year’s jade spring sheen cloaks the misty trees.
A letter in your writing falls out of the bureau -
The yellow envelopes you favoured twenty years ago
My scribblings in the Filofax just mean nothing now.
Footprints telling tales in muddy woodland walks
Dogs jump up to scare a child among the yellow leaves
Brackish spongy earth exudes a gentle bosky scent.
Texts and tweets and emails and calls and blogs as well
Social networks, Snapchat - deluging info hell.
Golden flickering candles calm my screen-reflecting face.
Wood pigeon pairs love-cooing flap and flutter on the branch
A faint double rainbow lights the sad part of the sky
Jets scream through iridescent clouds, dissipating trails.
Many Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered. Please keep writing and taking pleasure in exploring your creativity.
Alison Hill was Kingston Libraries' first poet in residence (2011-12) and ran a series of events for adults and children across the seven libraries in the borough. She has since helped judge the annual poetry competition and organise events for World Book Night and National Poetry Day.
Alison's latest collection, Sisters in Spitfires (Indigo Dreams 2015), celebrates the women who flew with the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War and was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Previous collections include Peppercorn Rent (Flarestack 2008) and Slate Rising (Indigo Dreams 2015). Alison runs Rhythm & Muse events and collaborates with the Stanley Picker Gallery to encourage writing in response to their exhibitions. More details at www.alisonhillpoetry.com