She receives £65 prize money for her poem 'Touching Wood' and a place in our next poetry anthology. The authors listed below were short-listed in the competition and will receive £15 for their poems, a chance to submit work for the next anthology, and a temporary membership of the Earlyworks Press Writers and Reviewers Club.
R J Hansford
Perry Mc Daid
Shortlisted writers are invited to join us on the club forum here... (Scroll down to click on Editorial Desk & Forum) When you have registered, please email your User Name to us as it is a private forum and you will not be able to see or reply to the message board unless your registration has been activated by our admin.
by Sylvia Oldroyd
Mysterious as menhirs
these trunks draw me
to a communion of skins;
force the placing of palm
and fingertip against bark.
This vibrant beech still holds
a long-dead oak pared smooth
to heartwood; dancing partners
joined at bole and branch by
cambium's slow-motion magma,
they turn through secret rings
of seasons past, swing me to
the deep-root beat of arboreal time,
rhythms of shedding and re-leafing.
Sap invades my circulation; flesh is lignified.
© Sylvia Oldroyd 2007
A Tactile County
by Matthew Stoppard
Dangling between pillow chewing
And darkness gargling,
Today and tomorrow held hands.
One long operatic yawn,
Then my eyelashes threaded:
Crumbs of glass factory rubble
Knocked down to build a football stand.
Puddles of football fans rippling
In the plughole public houses,
drain down suburban causeways.
Strangled in a bottleneck landscape
A botched monument bullied by nightclubs,
Brimming with bantam-weight boys
And curling country roads
Dotted with dead hedgehogs.
Stirring and kneading my mattress –
Passing visions now stow away thoughts
I, after vandalising my duvet
And nuzzling the headboard,
Opened my eyes and dreamed.
© Matthew Stoppard 2007
by R J Hansford
Hardley; the hard lea,
from Anglo-Saxon a stony
clearing; my birthplace.
So ears attune to mouthings
of marginal landscape,
the riddled vowels roll;
and with a flick of my wrist
I toss them across the soft page.
Facets sparkle on a south-facing wall.
© R J Hansford 2007
by Leah Armstead
decorate my naked feet,
and close by
the high-growing fuschia
is reaching for a golden rose.
Nobody can prove that flowers
don't hear the wind
or know when we're near.
A dragonfly sticks to its mate,
glimmering. Poppies explode,
fiery petals winging by.
This is a circus for bees.
The wind is thrumming in trees.
If I stand still enough,
I am dancing.
© Leah Armstead 2007
by Perry Mc Daid
Bursting with need-to-dos,
baking in a cake tin,
imprisoned by clones and carbon monoxide,
Regrets flit through the hues,
of flaming frustrations,
crippling despairing deliberations
A waste of vibrant tiles
from watercolour set;
mosaic octopus on asphalt canvas
Ripping callously clear
of our humanity,
jam frees, leaving loud and bare,
the snarling savage:
© Perry Mc Daid 2007
Mandy Jones is Singing
by Sarah James
5am buzzes. Tired fingers fumble size sixteen jeans,
pull ivory across her eyes' blue hollows,
brush and fluff the short fuzzy refrain of her hair.
It's shift time, grey light, grey metal, grey mops
– plastic and spongy, not the string-wigged
wooden mop of her childhood microphone.
She looks in the mirror, sees orange
street lamps blur the glass to a disco-lights dazzle.
The young woman who stares back
has hair in long, silk crescendos
and a size ten figure in a pop star dress.
If only Mandy knew how to step through...
© Sarah James 2007
Kia Ora Curtains
by Margaret Eddershaw
Kia Ora was my childhood paradise,
house of games, laughter, freedom
(I didn't know it meant 'welcome'),
my aunt a rapt audience of one
for my solo performances.
Musky velvet entombed me briefly
In dark space by French windows.
Outside privet shadows loomed
cawing elms swayed
garden ferns scratched damp glass.
I waited with fluttering heart
primed for the precise moment
my entrance solemnly anticipated
by piano keys rippling under her hands
Deep hems swished across parquet
as I stepped between russet folds
dragging some overlong garment
plucked from a precious trunkful
into the amber pool thrown aslant
by a lamp with dancing fringes.
© Margaret Eddershaw 2007
Painting the Oceans
by Nina Simon
I paint oceans
with violent hues -
heavy lines stir surging seas,
thick brush strokes
smash waves against breakers,
while white foamy spume
pounds shingle beaches.
Blues and greens
swirling into darkness,
leaden clouds in deepest grey.
I stipple in a small sailboat;
tossed and thrown
on turbulent tides,
its lone occupant
clings to the mast,
as water washes away outlines.
© Nina Simon 2007
by Sophie Shanahan
I remember walls, their damp black moss,
Grass duplicated ad nauseam,
Air flat against the building,
The rain-ridden sky heavy on the trees,
And at that corner the rose-bushes
Flowering doggedly throughout the year –
Red circles gleaming like traffic lights,
Tired as numerals, blank of scent.
© Sophie Shanahan 2007
by Jocelyn Simms
John Scott rubs square palms across apron stripes.
I finger a solid apple.
Together we regard the sky: sulphureous clouds, nacreous
sun, the moon a cinnamon curl. The Resurrection,
Apocalypse, Turner's Fighting Téméraire?
I bite tart flesh, silver juices spill, the taste of almond
at the core. Removal of any item of school uniform
will result in nuclear fission.
What have we to lose, John Scott? Here, at the end of the world...
And you with all these pheasants to sell.
© Jocelyn Simms 2007
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