Week 16 – entries and results

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Week 16 – Photograph by Chris Sims

The selection of poems submitted in response to the photograph above were quirky, emotional and empathic. There can only be one winner and I am delighted to tell you that this week this is Angie Butler. Congratulations Angie!!  I won’t name a second this week as several poems shared an equal number of votes so well dome to you all.

Poem 1

 Storm voices


The wave torn cottage

hunkered down

closing its eyes against the storm.

The pathways of its face


rivers caught in flood.

Over and over again the

waves beat against

its gnarled old face.


Taking each pounding fist

it didn’t think,

it just held fast,

time will pass

come do your worst,

I have stood in this place

for a hundred years,

I have seen worse

and survived.

I will and I can.


and calm did come

it fled, as cowards do

the storm had had its fill.

It was exhausted

It’s power gone.

Until next time-

so be prepared

this is a warning-

ignore and be gone.


I am nature, older than time

teaching you lessons

you refuse to learn

I can creep up slowly

in the night

or rage and rant

against your foolish ways

live with me and listen

suffer or survive.


Angie Butler


Poem 2



Rain falls, rain falls, rain falls

on fields and lanes and streets and walls.


Drains burst, immersed, rain’s cursed.

Save all of us, the children first.


High tide, waves wide, banks break,

boats untied, High Street’s a lake.


Flood alert                       cracks blocked

mud and dirt                    door locked


Flood aware                    sandbags high piled

filth everywhere               and floods flow wild


and rain falls, rain falls, rain falls

on fields and lanes and streets and walls


Janice Windle



Poem 3


The Water Mark

Look at you all squashed and folded

Like innards with airs and graces

Sunk water and good-for-nothing

The once magnificent doorsteps,

Your power, reminding us all

Too much of a good thing!

The pain, worry we feel and look

Soon to be a remedy to filter you back out.


Johanna Boal


Poem 4


I’m sorry. We’ve locked the door,
pulled down the plywood blinds
and gone away.
We didn’t know you were coming
and in any case there is no cake –
we don’t bake now.
We’ve locked the door,
pulled down the blinds,


Gill McEvoy


Poem 5

The Aftermath


The house remains;

my home has gone

receding waters

like beaten warriors

leave behind the stench

of destruction and decay.


Memories like limpets

cling hard while raw

emotions of life

rise then plummet

into despair as forty years

hard graft disappears

beneath the mud.


Sheila R. Bracewell


Poem 6



Welcome what comes through this door –

Friends, family, letters – everything before.

And food – in bags, or, like a take-away

Promising good at the end of a long day.


Not water, though, unless bottled and clean

Or pictured, filtered, in the pages of a magazine.

And not sand, except in kind irritations between toes

Or imagined, time running out – you know how it goes.


But water comes, now, unwelcome but insistent,

Still, rising, mocking the once-resistant

Door. And sand, too, bagged, testicular,

Impotent as a failed promise and unfamiliar.


Close the door, pile up the bags, wait, pray.

And when the spoiled things have been taken away

And it’s over, words like promise, welcome, good?

Only time will tell if they can still be used, like swollen wood.


Michael Docker


Poem 7

243 Marble Road


Do not ring the door bell

inside we have birds

trees – lavender bushes

and a blue stream


that has settled itself safely

flooded our kitchen

so that we have forgotten

ordinary life


you may like to know

the honeysuckle is blooming

and a goldfinch is breeding

in the bathroom


we have cookies stored

in wellies and pizza’s

delivered through

the back window


nobody quarrels anymore

squirrels nest in the roof

we’re told the council

tax is on hold.


Audrey Arden-Jones


Poem 8

After the Rain


The house underwater is an echo,

wallpaper peeling like burnt skin

and reflected in the muddied water

my face after you.


I twisted the rag of me dry,

released every drop of your moisture

but still I carry the stain of your river mouth,

the wet lick of you, dark by the front door

sandbagged fierce against the rain.


I have mastered the art of camel,

cactused myself against the need

for even a dripping tap.


Come summer the house will empty itself,

but the brick’s water scars

will shine in the winter sun.


Stephanie Arsoska


Poem 9



Words of hate, raised fists and shaming me,

Blaming me for the crooked picture now smashed upon the floor.

Barbed love as you pull me to you and whisper you’re sorry,

Not to worry, it won’t happen again.


But it does and the eggshells I tread on slice the soles of my feet.

You have stolen my pride and sold it off cheap.

Each bruise is a sandbag, placed gently at my door

‘Til you reach me no more.


Sarah Miles