The Winner of the 2007 Web Poetry Competition is... 

 Sylvia Oldroyd

 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.  


Sarah James

Matthew Stoppard

R J Hansford

Margaret Eddershaw

Nina Simon

Leah Armstead

Jocelyn Simms

Sophie Shanahan

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.

The Shortlisted Poems

Touching Wood

 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




Tribal Dance

by Leah Armstead


Impatient primroses

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




Road Rage

by Perry Mc Daid


Bursting with need-to-dos,


baking in a cake tin,

imprisoned by clones and carbon monoxide,

he sweats.


Regrets flit through the hues,


of flaming frustrations,

crippling despairing deliberations

of haste.


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




Crewe Flats

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




Market Day

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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