The Winner of the 2009 Web Poetry Competition is... 

 R J Hansford

 He receives £50 prize money for his poem 'Stoat'. The second prize of £25 goes to Sylvia Oldroyd for 'Skull'. The authors listed below were short-listed in the competition and will receive £5. 

All will be invited to submit work for our next anthology. 


Note added October 2009. The anthology is now available and, postal situation permitting, contributing authors will receive sample copies shortly. The book will be available on the website here but if you have work in the book, please do not use the Paypal buttons on site as they will charge you the full price. Once you receive your free author copies, you can if you wish order further discounted copies from us by email.


David Dennis
Jonathan Pinnock
Andria J Cooke
Keith Shaw
Richard Labram
Bridget Joseph
Nigel Humphreys
Anthony Watts

The Winning Poems


 by R J Hansford


I am the whitening stoat

winter and summer war in my veins.


Suffused with lemon-yellow

the snowfield pours into this pelt,


subverts a frontier between north and south

which ran along these quivering flanks.


Fire gives ground to ice, sun cannot hold

those rufous uplands on an arched back.


Black-tipped tail does not change;

I lure my victim with a dance.


© R J Hansford 2009




Pavilion in Mind

 by Richard Labram 


The old pavilion reclines,
fragrant with golden summer:

veranda baskets, dripping
on frayed fabric deckchairs;

polite applause
and cries of, howzat?

naked sandwiches, fresh
with salmon and cucumber;

a waning sun, setting
in supermarket chardonnay;

the baize of slow motion 
curving through my trance,

by-passing my life
like the distant grass-cutter.

© Richard Labram 2009



In the Department Store

 by Andria J Cooke 


Looking down on city roofs,

the many years roll back,


like a reel of snapshots

spooled in sunshine and in rain,


pictures crumple over,

time kissing time.


Songs inside the changing room

bring memories surging back,


like a tape recording

folding wave on wave again,


the world concertinas,

pleasure kissing pain.


© Andria J Cooke 2009





 by Jonathan Pinnock 


As darkness falls,
the deep forest echoes
to the sound of blade
on whetstone.

Around a blazing fire,
three men, clad only
in animal skins, squat:

They speak in grunts,
gestures, cries.
They have forgotten
how to talk.

In front of
one of them
is a clipboard
and a blue Lego brick.

He turns it over
in his hand: a talisman
of long-forgotten

He smiles.
Today is Friday.
Another group
arrives tonight.

Next to the open fire
is a pyramid of skulls.

© Jonathan Pinnock 2009




No More Seroxat For Me

 by David Dennis 


I’m feisty by the river’s bank

forlorn in the post office

dead in the trucker’s cab

and foraging for samphire.


My heart has two chambers

like some Pharaoh’s sepulchre

suck push bang blow

the lies my mother told me.


So here we are upon the earth

screwed and wormed

before we’re milked

just tossers in a sandstorm.


There’s Auntie Mary and her canary

a granary loaf and a sugarplum fairy

and all the virgins down from Inverness

couldn’t put them together again.


Then I was drunk and now I’m sober

I wrote this in piss on the way to Dover.


© David Dennis 2009



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by Sylvia Oldroyd



this ivory dominion


sense how the fall of light

sings over curves


carve with shadow

every scroll and fluting


place your fingers

in these roundels


enter the echoes

of evolving memory


let the one stalactite canine

pierce to the spirit's bone


© Sylvia Oldroyd 2009




 by Keith Shaw 


Sweet bird, white dove, smooth feathers, none finer.

Hearts fluttered. Affection grew. I recall

when she would sit in the cup of my hand,

gaze up at my puckered lips, and not stir

for all the tea in China. Water, seeds,

a comb, a perch, all her needs satisfied,

a folio of love songs at her feet.

I was her full-blown handsome cockatoo.


As the seasons flew, neither a sharp quill

nor a cross bill came between us; not, that is,

until, like the down of an old pillow,

her fine feathers began to lose their shine.

Then she flapped about and refused to lay,

keeping the two dovecot doors firmly shut,

and, if the weather turned fair and I plucked

the odd feather, she merely closed her eyes.


During those final days in the bunker,

when my currency had hit rock bottom,

and suicide seemed the only way out, 

she became more loving. She brushed the dust

from my shell-suit, let me win at cards,

and, before handing me the gun, even

oiled its moving parts and cocked the trigger.

Where do you bury a sly bird like that?


© Keith Shaw 2009




 by Anthony Watts


So this converted fleapit is 
The chrysalis, the shabby shell
Of metamorphosis, 
The womb of dreams.

Here the electric butterfly floats
On the void and in the coloured dust of its wings

She dances.

She dances – an embodiment of pure
Delight, her secret smile
Older than the walls of Knossos,
Younger than love itself, her face 
The sweet flower of an illusion.

But out of her dancing, the world's 
Made whole again, is
And lost again
Amongst the handbags and discarded shoes.

Her indifferent feet dance on.

Outside again. Alone. The beat
Still throbbing in my brain.
But the coloured dust has gone;
the wings - hard, leatherish -
Flap at my throat and a blind goblin head

On the living pulse.


© Anthony Watts 2009




by Nigel Humphreys

Storm flies:
through the casements a desert breeze 
strops anger against the whiteness of the room; 
its walls are white, its furnishings are white
the locked door is white, white, white

in the city mould concrete must rust

homespun in a short thobe, his laptop 
pumps a vein which ticks, the infusion begins,
brain receives copy - a silk road 
it kinks and fits against tolerance

quaking grass in a sill vase wants for nothing

déshabillé in battledress trousers leans on a piano 
her one finger poised to rocket a note 
into the herd silence: one sharp swat 
will make an echolalia of the printed text

red tulips shed themselves over a crowded table

on a gilt inlaid presumption 
strain towards the grandmaster’s gambit,
a handful of pawns have already been 
sacrificed to wait at the edge of another game

© Nigel Humphreys 2008




 by Bridget Joseph 


death's music plays upon

  arctic ground


the slow tumble of flakes 

  covers him


an old moose softly counterpaned

  in white


a rack of antlers scarfed in snow:

  his headstone


© Bridget Joseph 2009