2016 Local Poetry Competition 2016 Local Poetry Competition

We are delighted to announce the winning poems in Kingston Libraries Poetry Competition 2016.


First prize goes to Sandy Philpotts for "Your Journey"


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,

Signal failures,

And unexpected breakdowns.


You must mind the gap between your expectations

And reality.


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,

throat closing

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.

Poet in Residence Poet in Residence


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

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