Competition No. 15: Thank you very much

Short Poems for Journeys: Competition WinnerImage of small girl riding a small bike. She is wearing very large heart-shaped sunglasses and the frames are pink, like the handles and backed on her bike. The basket seems to be full of daffodil heads.

The winner of the last competition is S A Leavesley with 'Melting' (see below).

The competition was judged anonymously by Charlotte Gann. Here are her comments: 

Judge’s comments

In the end, I decided, on reading through all the entries, that my personal favourite short poems for a journey had to be the more compact ones I could carry with me like touchstones. These I could read easily and quickly, then sit back eyes closed for a while – or turned to my train/ tram/ coach/ car/ ferry window – and let them do their thing.

‘Meeting Po Chu-i’ (Ian Aitken) was a top favourite, whose close made me laugh (have we travelled nine thousand miles and one thousand, two hundred plus years for a chance encounter and unscheduled chess game? I think so… ).

‘Scrabble’ (Roxy Dunn), too, I found memorable, with its companionability – ‘placing letters on the board / and taking sips of pale ale’ – while processing a complicated loss.

‘The White Bus’ (Antoinette Rock), for me, won prize for most evocative title.

Breaking my own rules, ‘Fast life’ (Fianna Dodwell) – which sprawled across the page like fridge magnet poetry – gets a mention because I thought it could work interestingly on a bus bounding round corners. ‘The Following Moon’ (Harry Gallagher) was a poem that just stuck. I liked that about it – how it somehow managed to mirror its subject. 

The one I chose, ‘The melting’, by S A Leavesley, spoke to me with a clarity which I appreciated, and worked rather like a still life: my glance kept reverting to where it hung, quietly, while strangely thickly-painted. This poem notices all the damage inflicted on our environment. At the same time, I really sense the resilience and vulnerability of a living, breathing individual. So to me, the poem also speaks about escape and imagination: travelling without leaving? It passed my music-box test anyway, resonating on after I’d finished reading. I like a poem that can transport me on the strength of its final image.


The Melting

by S A Leavesley 

Another dawn of sunlight filters
through carbonned sky and dirty glass,

my window onto the road speckled
by exhaust fumes and factory smoke.

On the sill, vased roses fade from
orange to peach to bleached pastel,

flaking paler than my daily vitamins
fizzing, star-like, in a cup of water.

I sip this liquid sun; it trickles down
my throat, cold as melted ice-caps.


New Competition – number 15: Thank you very much

The new competition invites a poem of 4-16 lines expressing thanks to someone for something. It should rhyme in at least two places. It need not be sincere, but no prose poems.

  • Prize: any HappenStance book or pamphlet in print.
  • Form: rhyming in at least two places, otherwise up to you. Rhyme can be full, slant, or however you define it.
  • Rules: length between 4 and 16 lines (be careful: last time several poems were disqualified for being too long or too short)
  • Previous publication: unpublished poems please.
  • Closing date: 16 July, 2017.
  • Entries: not more than two per poet (please send separate entries, not two in one box).
  • Judge: to be announced.

Type your entry into the box below.

p.s. if, when typing your poem into said box, you need to use italics, put *asterisks* before and after the word or phrase you want to italicise.) 

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