Poetry Competition - May 2012

Here are the results for my May Competition 2013:

A very well deserved first goes to Roger Elkin with his wonderful, Fishy Triptych

Runner up – John Gallas: Lone

Next 3 –

Third: Catherine Foster: The Building Site
Fourth: Tim Hall: Lesson Outside
Fifth: Beatrice Stephenson: The Man That Stands by the Gate

Shortlisted ( next 16 – not in any particular order)

Alex Hamilton Brown: Seagull Dancers
Amanda Geary: Under Blackfriars Bridge
Andy Fawthrop: Killer in the Village
Darren Brown: Black and White
Roger Elkin: Japanese Anemones
Roger Elkin: This Fragile Affinity
James P Mannion: Effigy
Gina Wilkerson: A Dizzying Whirl
Jennifer Johnson: Final Snow
June Drake: Blind Date
K S Dearsley: Let’s Play
Jessica Vose: For You and I
Simon Jaine: Time Machine
Linda Mills: Ballad of the May Bride
Simon Jackson: Still Life
Michael Andrews: A Parent’s Grief


Fishy Triptych – Roger Elkin


Silent, the fish, gliding darkly
to surface by the steps – a pool
within a pool – nudging,
and shoving – circling, and turning –
minds set on outsnapping others
at chance offerings.

Have mouths gawping
like some Charles Laughton movie
with the sound-track turned off –
so blather soundlessly as they trawl the water,
their eyes fixed on arrivals,
looking, and looking –
never letting you off the hook.

With hints of lemon, edged in black
the golden orf’s scalation –
cross between Anglo-Saxon chainmail
and Klimt’s gilded filigree –
is a soft-yellow 22-carat gold offering,
reminiscent of the replica
of the world’s biggest nugget
James Bateman once displayed.

And the black, fat carp
big as a pig-iron bar –
not really black, but that bilberried
grey-purple-blue of unwashed coal –
the stuff crusted in coal-dust –
with dropped, barbled lips
and baubled eyes that stare straight
through you, as if they know
just how long
things have been
going on.


Lone- John Gallas


without society, a man may think what he will‘ – Serbian proverb

I paid a lot. It’s worth it. From my lawn
the fjord’s long, haunted hall of drizzle fades
amongst the hills, whose chest-deep army wades,
like giants, into space. My thoughts are drawn
with easy beat behind some sail that seeks
the earth’s bright edge. And, far above, the geese,
like ghosts of better men, compound my peace
in passing. No one comes here. Scarlet streaks
of sunset drape the rocks. The sea is white.
It rolls like rippled lead. This Age is dead :
I wait for heroes. When the world turns red
and bloods my house, I go inside and write.
The mist drifts in. The stars are cold and near.
The keyboard rattles. Nothing stops me here.

I am an English teacher, living in West Sussex.