Week 23 – entries and results

Week 23 – Photograph by Chris Sims


Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner this week. I have been unwell. However I am delighted to announce that the winner is Sarah Miles with Forbidden Fruit. Congratulations to Sarah and many thanks to everyone who submitted and voted.


Poem 1

 The Unsaid


‘There’ll be no dancing tonight!’

She said with a knowing look

as he flounced out  the room,

not able to slam the door

because she was there.


She was French,

our lodger,

to make ends meet,

while the children were small,

a favour for a friend.



She had a way

with words,

at looking at things,

of saying truths-

us Brits would leave unsaid.


Thirty years on,

we look at other couples

She would have said

‘There’ll be no dancing tonight!’


But  we say..

‘Are we having lunch?’


…and fruit!


Angie Butler


Poem 2

Rum Punch


Did you ever, plan a party?

Invites dispatched, meal choices, taut anticipation.


Did you ever, select the playlist?

Pounding start, mellower choices, later on.


Did you ever, prepare the delicacies?

Fine food, ripe fruits, divine chocolate.


Did you ever, host a party?

Catching up, funny stories, wines flowing


Did you ever, taste the punch?

Sliced fruits, warming nip, delicious flavour.


Did you ever, stop and see?

People smiling, Erin’s beauty, life’s moments.


Did you ever, stop and hear?

People laughing, punch-bowl clinking, Julie singing.


Did you ever, stop and feel?

Effort rewarded, selfless pleasure, the party’s charm.


Did you ever stop and wonder?

Never end, passed quickly, punch-bowl empty.


Did you ever?

Maybe a bit?


Kevin Eagles


Poem 3


Wipe the flour from your hands, sit down
here, I will pull up your stool,
let me put the kettle on.

Small gold band, tight unmovable
hearing aid tucked in blouse pocket
she begins to deftly prepare the fruit
white haired, thin limbed
peering through horn rimmed specs.

Soon from nothing
creations appear
trifles, pies and crumbles
stewing fruit smells
through the kitchen of the big white house.

All that I have left is the wedding ring, tiny,
a metal pan with a burn on the base
and a cracked terracotta handle.

So I put away the stool
and bid farewell once more
to the little lady from Lancashire
who came to Leicester and loved us.


Andy Scotson


Poem 4

Apple Pie


You see me peeling apples,

I am not.

I am a world away;


wrapped in a past

You’re long forgotten there…

I’m scraping layer after layer

the last time we met –

Coming away in pieces,

he kissed my throat,

choking on our words

we placed a thousand dreams

in each other’s hearts.


You take my picture with a smile

Later, we will slice it –

this pie;

our wedding knife through the centre.

All I will remember is him

taking a bite from my apple

before he left.


Hannah Teasdale


Poem 5



“How can I get you ‘a-loan’?”

Sings the satsuma on the TV,

While the apple being sliced

Aint a’peeling to me!

Fruitful, married hands

Creating a dish;

Oblique and opaque,

A trifle much fruit for a cake?

…Although, I assume, will be nourishly delish.

It’s late, has been fun.

Bit of rhyming here,

And there the odd pun.

On this culinary front’ere‎,

Once all have been fed‎,

I surmise that little red

Longs to ripen in the sun.


Robert Mandefield


Poem 6

Forbidden Fruit


She is apple:

Smooth, taut, sweet taste

Look closely and she will lure you

Until you pluck her from the tree.


She is orange:

Thick-skinned, soft beneath

Neroli flesh leaks acid tears

If you squeeze her hard.


She can be cut, stripped, bruised and split

Left too long and she will rot

Spread her decay to all who touch her.

Consume her now, fresh and vibrant

Crystallise her heart and preserve her soul.


Sarah Miles


Poem 7

Specks of Blue

On Sundays, the kitchen always smelled of fruit orchards.

You’d been to the markets late, to see what was left

A bargain you said, a wooden crate rotten with fruit.

After roast beef, it was apple pie or fruit cocktail

The glass bowls would come out, from Woolworths

Patterned dappled with blue, plates brimming

With burnt crusts, carnation cream, lumpy custard

Dripping on to the white linen tablecloth,

My fingers never had it so well! Later, still stuffed

You’d get old newspaper and kneeling down

All the apples and oranges spread out on the papers

Blue mould, maggots squirming and bruised apples

I realised, my stomach sick, blue dots in the fruit cocktail.


Johanna Boal