The Winner of the 2011 Web Poetry Competition is... 

 Jane Osis

She receives £75 prize money for her poem 'To Cure a Sad Salmon in Winter'. 

The second prize of £15 goes to Angela Bradley for her poem 'Giants of the Sea'.

The authors listed below were also short-listed, and submitted work alongside the winners for the anthology 'Writing on Water' (details below).  


Leah Armstead, Sandra Burdett,  Christine Collette, Andria Cooke

Daniel Gustaffson, Phil Powley, Keith Shaw, Ginna Wilkerson

Some of the Shortlisted Poems...

To Cure a Sad Salmon in Winter

by Jane Osis


Light a damp basement in Oslo with candles,
until the newspaper wrapped
around autumn’s cooking apples,
stored in a crate in the corner,
begins to uncurl like buds
opening on a spring morning,
bringing the sharp
fruit out of hibernation.

Run healing hands over the fish
to remove the ticklish bones.
Lightly cheer with forest-green dill
and spot with blood-red juniper baer.
Soothe with subtle sour cream
and pulped apple sauce.
Place the china dish
on a lace-edged mat
in the centre of a long pine table.

Sit several of your glummest
midwinter friends,
buttoned up
in complicated knitwear,
along the benches
as if they are about to pray
on weathered pews.
Watch their iced lips crack 
and hear their tongues melt.

Pour large measures of aquavit
and administer
until quite hyggelig.

hyggelig – a feeling of well-being achieved 

                         despite the dreariness of winter
aquavit  – a potent Norwegian spirit
baer        – berries
sa sot     – so sweet


© Jane Osis 2011



The Remains of the Day

by Keith Shaw


They could be yours or mine, this company 

          of jocund ganders strolling row by row

along the lane, those at the rear their heads held high,

          as if preparing for some festive show,

those in front scooping their beaks, as if

          to catch a final sparkle from the crystal pool. 


While autumn sunshine gilds the noble elms,

          whose unmarked leaves have yet to fall;

the carefree ganders trip into the limpid swim,

          not knowing that the ripples which they make

will travel downstream like a punt that's slipped

         its bollard, carrying their swansong in its wake.



They do not see that further on, the trees

            are bare and splintered, crosses in thick mire;

nor do they hear the strangled cries, the snap

            of sudden death, the fearful hiss of raging fire.

They do not see the bits of khaki tortured

           by a bitter wind, the pools of crimson blood,


the severed heads, the blown-off limbs, left,

            like a toddler's playthings, on a raft of mud.

They do not understand that only steps away,

           the crystal pool becomes a stagnant pond;

even the autumn sun had turned its blind eye, 

           to the slaughter and the grief which lie beyond.



© Keith Shaw  2011

After 'The Watersplash' by H La Thangue, 1859-1929, painted c 1900




by Sandra Burdett


Amaryllis you silly nymph
falling for the shepherd’s
Herculean strength
and Apollonian beauty.
Dressing in white 
then waiting alone 
for thirty nights
outside his house wanting
to give him the thing
he most desired.
Piercing your heart
with a little golden arrow
because you knew
it wasn’t you.

And when at last Alteo
opened his door, there
you were, Belladonna Lily 
thrusting out of the blood
soaked ground.


©  Sandra Burdett 2011

Giants of the Sea

by Angela Bradley


Land emerges, mist swathed,

rising from the languor of a sapphire sea,

outlined with a yellow brush,

coloured by the green of fringing palms,

structured with a shoreline of pastel hues.


Into this paradise giants glide

on the morning tide,

sunshine robed, majestic,

appearing as visiting royalty,

to be welcomed with elation

by the waiting inhabitants

of this tiny Carribbean island.


As if released from Noah's Ark,

tourists emerge, swarming as ants

from a teeming hill,

to lie on golden beaches,

explore the mysteries of hidden reefs,

seek the secrets of island culture,

climb to ancient forts to view a panorama

in which their floating hotel

looms, large as Gulliver

over the land of Lilliput.


At sunset a steel band echoes farewell.

One by one they sail, graceful as swans,

leaving an island, flushed with bounty,

disappearing into the darkening horizon,

on their migratory journey 

to distant harbours across the sea. 


© Angela Bradley 2011




At the Crematorium

by Andria Cooke


Sadness of the day gives way

to shock. The people here

alive make deeper grief.


Time has twisted,

grossly thickened every line.

Heads fade to hoar.

The patriarch appears behind a mask.


Families move outward,

mutate and find new hearts.

The ties that bind will stretch,

slacken, tighten once more.

This is what we, the bridge of generations,

go from dust to ashes for.


©  Andria Cooke  2011




No butterfly

by Ginna Wilkerson 

Smaller circles in one circle.
Concrete snail-shell home -
space for storing mud-christened
clothes, their taste of original hue
grown meager
like the bit of each day’s ration;
just enough to remember meal.

At night, sleep made fitful 
by the pulse of Calcutta’s 
sweltering struggle.

She had a man once, weary
of working fueled by
too little food.

There was a child, too,
all stomach and eyes;
a searching mouth when
no milk would come.

Aloneness is a blessing now –
consecrated death her only prayer.

When the sun glares again on
the top of her drainpipe, she stirs
from her rag bundle and emerges,
a caterpillar stretching new wings.
The shimmering heat surrounds her
as she stands looking out.

There are no gossamer colors.
No butterfly appears.


© Ginna Wilkerson 2011






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The Anthology*


£6.99 + £1.50 p&p to UK addresses

more info...

* If you are one of the shortlisted authors, please do not click on the Paypal button to obtain copies. Your free copy will be on the way. If you require further copies, contact me to receive them at authors' discount. - Kay G.