Week 3 – poems for voting

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Photograph by Alex Rotas

Choose the poem you want to go with the photo and e-mail your votes to susan@poetryspace.co.uk Poems are posted here without names.  If yours is here please don’t vote for your own. Everyone can vote.

Full details of the photo and poem challenge in the main article on the website.



Poem 1

Running Jump

Making a painting is like jumping off a cliff.

my painting tutor used to say

Anything could happen.

Nothing’s broken yet.

Perhaps I haven’t been brave enough.


Pole vaulting’s another leap.

Up and over.

I might not make it.

On the other hand

I may fly.


Daphne Milne


Poem 2

Veteran pole vaulter


They tell me

I should

know better

at my age

they didn’t

see me in ’68

at my peak

the height

of my powers

in the thin air

of Ciudad

de Mexico.


I flew

over the bar


like this

like this


like students

in the Plaza

de las Tres




Diane Jackman


 Poem 3

The Pole Vault

Sinews taut before the run

distance judged

one step too near

one step  too far

renders my training futile


The crowd are hushed

I smell the sweat on my shirt

slippery hands slide up the pole

mouth dry, I quake,

it’s fight or flight.


The tannoy sounds my name

adrenalin  sparks my rythmn

I’m focused, alive, running

like an antelope  I leap

clearing the bar, land exulted

on cushioned ground


Sheila R. Bracewell


Poem 4

To Win
To stand                       strong

And run                   quicker

To sprint             speed

And slam             jolting

To rise                    climbing

To fly                         holding

And clear                 falling

To win                         relief


William Jones


Poem 5

Vaulting ambition


Run, plant, bend, fly,


Feet-wards to the sky.

Twist, turn, skim, fall,


That air

Which holds the bar.

Bump, bounce, smile, wave,



David C. Johnson


Poem 6


I kneel now feeling the red asphalt beneath my knee,
With slightly nervous dry fingers I pull my white laces tight.
And then rise slowly brushing red grit from my pale leg
Seeing small indents where small stones have pressed

I stand and stretch, my back and my legs
My chalky palms heft the pole from one hand to the other
Then I fix my grip , hands set tight
I look at the ugly square electronic clock ticking away the seconds

And stepping first , then striding I begin my charge
And run and run ……….

Andy Scotson


 Poem 7

Making the Leap

He tops the bar head down, steadied by the pole
grasped in his right hand creating lift and jump
to meet the tree tops gravity free, score gold.

That blasted body rockets on blades, spurning
a past he can’t access with every higher leap,
a future grows to foil a fate proscribed by hate.

Now an athlete lauded for his prowess
bearing his country’s colours as he flies
the battlefield is now a sandy track
the enemy bar, body, pole and time.

Carolyn O’Connell


Poem 8

Never too aged

Icarus sailing the bar
wisdom fails the hurdle


Keith Wallis


Poem 9



Vanda’s always telling Vinnie

to keep his feet


on the ground.

But Vinnie has a bubbly nature.


Vanda calls him airy-fairy

but she can’t take the rise


out of Vinnie.

Her man is taking off again


by practising a leap

which will pierce


the gravity of earth.

His heart, his feet will pound


(the ground will feel

his feet alright)


as he runs to plant the pole

that knows this vaulter’s grip


and how he  can lighten, lift

the atmosphere of anywhere.


Vinnie wants the moon, space

his beloved’s heart to jump


as he comes drifting down to earth

reflective  as the nightstars pouring past.


Mary Maher


Poem 10

The 1356 competitor

I’m still in!

I still stand with a chance!

The hip is doing well,

I won’t be distracted

Flock of birds in the sky?

My glasses stayed on!

I’m now looking down at the bar,

The knees have had a talking to

And the arms, still going strong,

I’m straight as a line.

The landing pad insight



The local papers- headlines

‘Veteran Wins Gold!’

I remember jumping in



And Norfolk?


Johanna Boal