Week 21 – entries and results

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Week 21 – photograph by Chris Sims


Some very varied poems this week. The winner is Michael Docker with Revelation. Congratulations. Two other poems were close contenders: My Summer Love by Sarah Miles and The Crop, by Johanna Boal. Thanks to everyone who submitted and voted.



Poem 1

To a ship


Stark silhouette,

where have you been?

What have you seen?


Well may you ask.


I was once the beamy,

tight-seamy, broad-ribbed woman

who made a man’s heart

beat with pride.

I was once that man’s command

in whose hands I would

the world’s waves ride;

their oyster my hull.

Canvas-cracking, nothing-lacking

we shared the will to thrive

and survive.


Tight hauled, we toiled:

proud, hard-calloused hands

manned my masts,


in holds.


But winds and tides change.

He laid my bones in this safe haven

as he found a safer berth ashore.

So I, anchored,




Stephanie Haxton


Poem 2

Across The Way


The colour drained from her face.

It drained from her life.

It left the world and

I felt myself slipping

Into that murky place with her.


My mind miserable and her

Lips sounding a cracking tut.

She wants me to be strong

For her…

For all of them…

Without my heart I cannot stand.


I could not watch as she left.

I stared confounded across the way.

This perfect, pretty place

Now dull, brown and grey

And as still as her chest for so long.


She forgot to leave the paintbrush,

The answer to this gloomy scene.

I had to find it myself;

Across the way,

A selcouth matter created an adult.


A E Nicholas


Poem 3

The Crop

We farmed the mussels of the ocean in this inlet

And the fishermen told wonderful tales

Mermaids and Moby Dick came to look

Octopuses lived beneath us effectively,

That dark blue similar to porcelain dazzled

On the blue sea, we glittered like diamonds.

The harbour, the houses watched us like

Hawks in the sky coming down for the rabbits.

Even in violence, waves as big as houses, skyscrapers

Crashed, smashed on our wooden frames

Atlantic storms couldn’t take those clinging.

Local kids used to throw stones, who could hit us?

But now today, online all over, eating the overseas stuff

Who’d pick us, the boom over, a few cling on?

Even the tide doesn’t come in properly

And the seaweed flourishes, strangling us!


Johanna Boal


Poem 4

The Bare Bones


The bare bones sink.


sliding, slowly,



The watchers are helpless

as the earth takes back

its own.

First the colour, the beginning,

the joy, the effort.


The life led

with passion and power-

to the tipping point

of loss-



Left, treasured

by those who remember.

But slowly, slowly,

the earth takes back

the black bones of time.


Angie Butler


Poem 5



Slaves to the far places; men to the sea;

Fruit to the farms, guns to the soldiers,

And all hope, all fear, all songs,

ran out into the silting sand, the centuries.


In the town worn by storms, chapels

screeched songs to God; hopes rose under the pantiles,

Fears sifted in the wind and rain.


Industries to the making, fishermen to the boats,

Centuries to the sand.


Men returned from the sea; slaves sang to be free,

Industries, boats, religions, guns,

All sank into the sand.


And a secular god spoke in a storm,

All that is hidden will be revealed’


Michael Docker


Poem 6

Astral Tales – Chapter 5


Abandoned home world

The comet smashes to Earth

The final photo

Captured through the lens held by

The person who chose to stay


Kevin Eagles


Poem 7

The Break of the Bay

They do not see her until time

has leaked away –

silty dregs where yesterday’s games

they’d played and tired bones had groaned


from skimming stones for her to find.

Clouds break upon the morning’s tide;

dim lights falls in.

An open coffin, the bay brings


offerings of her naked frame –

entwined in timber stakes, she hides.


Hannah Teasdale


Poem 8

Tranquillity In Sepia 


A raging tsunami

In the sky

To the east

Catching my eye

Contrasting the peace

Tranquillity in sepia

Those still sandy waves

‎Distraction is centred

In a dark timber grave

The scene is complete

‎With an image so sweet‎

‎Leaving nothing to crave

I have to ‘right-click’ and save


Robert Mandefield



Poem 9

My Summer Love


Your fingers skim my palm and clasp me to you,

Lapping waves, your eyes daring me;

A flicker, then we jump,

Eyes closed, water engulfing us like mothers’ love.


Salty kisses and shivering home,

You wiped mascara from my eyes and they closed to your touch.

Long summer days,

Awash with love and life,

Each other.


I stare at the bay and it is drained,

The remnants of something stronger stands proud,

I see the desolation and the bleakness of grey,

But look closely and see our footprints in the sand.


Sarah Miles