Saturday, 25 February 2012

Local Poet Laureate Competition

One of my poems was short-listed for a local Poet Laureate competition. The prize was the title of Fenland Poet Laureate, plus the chance to get involved in poetry in the community AND get your poems published locally. Good exposure and kudos. In the end I came second, and picked up quick a snazzy certificate into the bargain. I am assuming that, if the winner is embroiled in a sex scandal (a la Miss World) then I will be able to step into her shoes. Like a sort of poetry deputy. (I'm not sure this is actually how it works...) Anyway, here is the poem I wrote:

Fens

There are no secrets here. Only
fields ploughed like furrowed
brows. A scowling earth, once

ocean. There are shells mixed
in with the dark earth. Silt still
shifts, like sand on a shore and

the fields are rippled by phantom
waves. No one can understand
the beauty of this place. An un-

interrupted horizon, straight as a
blade, or your sharp tongue. The
bones of my past lives lie hidden

beneath that tactile land, buried
with King John's gold and the
shells. I have chased you across

these marshes all my life. Even
now there are strands of samphire
in your hair, my dear, and your eyes

are the colour a gathering storm. We
climb over ditches, as we did then.
Ditches dug with bare hands. There

are no secrets here, where all existence
is visible and the land is crushed by the
                              vastness of the sky.

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