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.
Andria J Cooke
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,
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,
© 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
Here the electric butterfly floats
© Anthony Watts 2009
by Bridget Joseph
death's music plays upon
the slow tumble of flakes
an old moose softly counterpaned
a rack of antlers scarfed in snow:
© Bridget Joseph 2009