Week 42 – entries and results

Sunday, 15 March 2015

 Photograph by Susan Jane Sims

Week 42

We received a wonderfully varied selection of poems for the above photograph. The winner of the readers’ vote is Poem 7, Jacob the Lover from Lizzie Ballagher. Congratulations to Lizzie and thank you to everyone who submitted poems and voted.

Poem 1

Africa arrived    


Africa arrived at our house.

Over the week


it screamed from the newspapers,

popped out from hidden corners,

sucked its thumb at the cradle of the carpet,

rolled down walls

and stared out from holiday snaps in Spain.


It drummed off walls,

peeped from hidden papers.

It captured poems in snares of soul mates,

grabbed clothes and suitcases

and bade follow naked footsteps


with cries of ‘shoes’

and bandages and bras.

Patterns and pashminas came calling,

earrings and beads shouted ‘look’,

‘look,  here we are ..we’re Africa hear us!’


And then , came a picture,

a simple picture of a simple well,

but what that picture said,

what it really meant,


was life!


Angie Butler



 Poem 2



Fathers like wells

Are old waters stirred

Dark and bright

By the world’s winds.


In young summers

We dipped, though

Not much. That water

Could not slake


Us. But now age

Dusts we

Fathom much

In the whorls,


For it’s the drawing –

Dreams drummed

Tight as a stomach –

Matters. We’re taught


Like rope, from life’s

Mandril to luck’s

Hooked bucket.

Meanwhile at the crank


That common father

Winches our years

Notch by notch

Round the strained

Blood-grained spindle.


Michael Docker



Poem 3

Well to live by

Toss a penny in the well


Wishing, hoping for dreams

To come true,

Shallow it seems;

We drink, we wash,

We spray, we play

with water.

We waste and in haste

we let it drain away

This water, precious water!

Somewhere in the heat,

it’s a treat.

They pray for water

A well to quell the thirst

of life itself;

A well, not to wish by,

but to live by.


Leela Gautam


Poem 4

Coins for water


Drop a coin

with a wish and prayer,

All those coins

for those we care,

A well in every far flung place,

To quench the thirst

Of the human race,

Water deep down in the earth,

Just needs a well

To give it birth,

Precious water, not a treat,

Its life for every man and beast,

For every tiny seed that we sow,

For every living thing to grow,

It’s not a dream, it can be done,

with you and I and everyone.


Leela Gautam


Poem 5



Like the friendly sun and reticent sky,

like whirling leaves and stagnant grass, like a well’s silent water and the playful pail, lives a meek grandpa and a jovial grandma, in the haven of unfurled fresh air,where abandoned worries turn to leafy canopies soaked in sunshine.


Denim Deka


Poem 6


 Summer Showers

Her arms wind, he waits
her skin bark brown,
long days in Suffolk’s summer sun,
curls cover her eyes
she again brushes aside.

Cool clean water,
old oak bucket
sparkles as it reaches the sunlight,
she passes the pale.

He stripped to the waist
pours cold liquid
over his head
shaking aside.

Drops cascade
he wipes his eyes,
she throws the towel to him
and he laughs as he dries.

Andrew Scotson


Poem 7

 Jacob the Lover


Women of Canaan vanished into mirages

Of desert sand when Rachel brought her sheep to water.

Picking their way between sharp stones to the well

At Paddan Aram, she and her ewes

Drank deep when I had moved the shaft’s great stone…


While I—well, I—drank deeply of her face,

And all was lost in the limpid pools

Of her dark eyes,

All in the warm curve of arm and hip.

I saw she was my love, I hers.


Kissing her, I wept.


Lizzie Ballagher


 Poem 8

Early Verses

The imagery was clear

On the wallpaper in my room

Mary & her little lamb

The cow jumping over the moon


Characters I knew well

Little Miss Muffet and Bo Peep

Surrounding and watching me

Each night as I went to sleep


Brightly coloured pictures

Many nursery rhymes to tell

I adored them all except

The poor pussy in the well


Carol Mills


Poem 9

The Old Well

Beyond the smoke and smell of roasting pig
The thing that I remember most of all
Is children laughing on the whirligig
The day we celebrated our new well.

For eighty years we washed and drank our fill,
Our daily ration seven buckets each,
Through health and sickness, peace and war until
The water dropped till it was out of reach.

And so old faithful well you’ve served your shift
And now you’re spent we say our last goodbye.
No more your ancient pail will drop or lift
But here you’ll rest redundant, old and dry.

A witness both to harmony and strife,
A monument to history and life.


Martin John