Week 37 – entries and results

Week 37 – photograph by Eleanor Bennett

The photograph above inspired some quirky, original writing and it was a hard task to shortlist and I imagine a harder task for readers to choose between the ten very different poems below. There can only be one winner and this week it is Herman’s Test by Tomas Bird. This poem will accompany the poem in the published book of poems and photographs. Poems coming close were Perspectives by Martin John and Glimmers of Light by Angie Butler.Congratulations to Tomas Bird and well done to everyone who had a go at the challenge.

Poem 1

Herman’s Test


The card is turned.


“What do you see?” I am asked

for the tenth time.


My love / hate knuckled-hands

rotate the photograph.

Twitching eyes stare

at the non bilinear image,

a debut to the pack;

I see that much at least.


Finally, a cognitive response looms

so I quip:


“Silver monkey’s auditioning for a spot

on the Sgt. Peppers sleeve.”


“Globules of mercury on stalks of barley

before the wind shakes them red.”


“The T-1000’s tears after being outsmarted

by Arnie Schwarzenegger in Judgement Day.”


Dr Rorschach looks pleased

as he sharpens algorithms

to dissect my thoughts.


Buzzed attendants lead

me away to my snow-bleached-bubble room

to rest.


Tomas Bird


Poem 2

The dream of a Virgin


She will try again

Bringing  movie stars



To help the seduction.

Mars waits

And smiles.

For just now

God gathers the sparkles

In his hand

And eyes them

With sorrow

And tenderness

The universe is endless

Anita Pinto


Poem 3

Blood swept lands and seas of red


We should remember them, all who lived or died in war;

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, wardens

And guards, the doctors, nurses; ones whose gardens

Grew the food; wives and mothers; many more.


We should remember them; although so long ago,

What we have came from them. They made us, truly,

Who lived and died, or suffered after. Like holy

presence in a church, they surround us and we know.


We should remember them, though with each year

And each new untouched generation it gets harder,

Like when travelling in a country, the border

May appear for miles and hours, then one time not appear.


We should remember them. For, not close, and not here,

But now in another country somewhere a mother

Cries for a lost son; there are things to die for: other

Wars, other reasons. The same smell, same, matchless fear.


We will remember them. Though young, or old,

Not understanding war, or only too well knowing,

Not wanting to, or never able to forget, or always trying.

We will remember. To this quiet duty we are called.


We will remember them; in hope and simple trust

That peace and joy may one day and for all happen

Here, and in the world true peace will sharpen

Where it’s found and where not, peace come at last.


So plant a poppy by a wall or wear one for your dead

But remember today’s war in this blood swept land,

Children cower in damp rooms from leering men, and understand

This: the blood of former oceans can’t hide these seas of red.


Michael Docker


Poem 4


We gathered round the teacher,

some next to the gas taps,

Bunsen burners, others round the sink

with its stains and smell

as Miss took a heavy jar

from the store room.


‘This is expensive,’ she said.

She tipped

the shining liquid

onto the counter top.

At that a juggernaut thundered

past the chemistry lab

making the windows shake.

The mercury

quivered and split

into a thousand rolling marbles.


Jessica kept a couple

which was against the rules,

but we loved playing

with it, shivering and quaking

in her wooden pencil box.


Vicki Morley


Poem 5

When God Plugged in the Universe


When God plugged in the universe

It was like this:

Dizzy, effervescent stars fizzing in the dark places

Of His boundless mind;

Daisies rising in the first grass

& nodding sagely in the early interstellar winds;

All untraveled, all untrodden—

Just waiting to be discovered.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 6

Glimmers of light


If  I can see glimmers

of light

in the days of darkness

and don’t give up,

but keep on searching,


maybe I’ll find

the light


a murmur of starlings

rain drops on a cobweb

the smell of toast.

a card from a friend

a bunch of wild flowers,

and it will help.


If  I can find that glimmer

in my life

I’ll try to give

light to another

 and the light reflects back

 then I don’t have to search

 so hard for glimmers of light


in the days of darkness.


Angie Butler


Poem 7

The Thousand


A thousand eyes watching their future,

as cells woven on  a meiotic spindle


and turn from a fertilised cell

to complex life.

Perfect spheres reminding us

of fragility,

out of a thousand eggs only one

will see maturity,

the rest will fuel the feast

living just a moment before obscurity.


Clint Wastling


Poem 8

~The painting of life~


filled with colors

of Black and White,

like the moments of peace and sorrows,

like the cycle of light after darkness and darkness after light our life goes on….

making it more beautiful.


Dulen Gogoi


Poem 9


‘Bubbles here, bubbles there,
‘Wretched bubbles everywhere,
‘They sting your eyes, they stain your clothes,
‘They get in your face, they get up your nose’

The thoughts of a businessman on his way home,
His mind on his work and his eyes on the phone.
Said the little girl making them, having such fun,
Enjoying the park and the warmth of the sun:

‘My bubbles look just like tiny new worlds,
‘The sun makes them glisten like diamond and pearls.
‘They’re beautiful, most of these people agree,
‘So sad that the man can’t be happy like me.’

(Inspired by William Blake’s The Clod and the Pebble.


Martin John


Poem 10

Silver World


Silver faces

to admire

the multitude

a swaying choir


Shining brightly

in the dark

they gently sing

for us to hark


Sounds radiate

at points of light

to soar, majestically

taking flight


Soft songs

of praise

to heaven

upward raise


Melodic waves

released, unfurled

to celebrate

their Silver world


Phil Criddle