Week 33 – entries and results

Week 33 – Photograph by Chris O’Connell

This week poets had the iconic image of Battersea Power station as the starting point for poems and eight  poems came in some writing directly, others more obliquely about the subject.  The winner is Shirley Wright’s wryly humorous poem, Defunct. Congratulations Shirley! Thanks to everyone who submitted and voted.


Poem 1




You are solid.

You are sorted.

You are safety.

Sometimes gloomy

and still a work in progress

even at the age you are.


But the brightness,

that gleams,

the hopes and dreams

the future radiance

that I saw in you

at fifteen


reflect the years

of darkness and light

we have come through

and they will keep us




Angie Butler



Poem 2




The sky flushes a carmine sunset

framing the concrete blocks of the power station that once filled homes with coal-fired love, four chimneys grasp the sky their mottled by the nougat of decay, windows broken open to pigeons seeking roosts in vastness where turbines turned


I see you dwarfed by vastness

the pecking defunct cranes, new blocks

lit by the spotlight streetlamps

casting silver beams over the tide

a red light carries a message

whispering to me like liquid rose.


Carolyn O’Connell


Poem 3




What, me? I’m a national

treasure, me old mate,

a film star, just ask The Beatles.


Word is, I’ve something

of the Titanic in my profile.

Whaddaya think?


Difference is, I’m unsinkable,

and rumours of my demise

are greatly exaggerated.


I’ve done a Take That video

and been aPop-upPark, with me

tall towers towering over


The Power Of Summer – street

nosh, outdoor movies, the whole

shebang. Awesome. Like


this face-lift. Get a butcher’s at

my bright new future, snazzy

one-bed appartments, eh,


looking a million dollars

(give or take). I’m iconic.



Shirley Wright


Poem 4

Chocolate Silk


“Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.” Edmund Spenser, Prothalamion, 1596



“It’s all about power—” we’re told.


Macho towers & scissoring cranes rear up

Defying, blotting out delicate star-flowers

Over the chocolate silk

Of Edmund Spenser’s calm, fast-flowingThames.


“—And keeping on the electric lights!” they chorus.


Oh, needle-lights swinging in the rolling river—

Swinging, as we do: demented compasses

With no true bearings, pillaging fossil fuels

From the chocolate silk of shale & coal—


From the landscape’s green but shrinking soul.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 5

Not Here?


In the yellow light

In this town for the world, once

Brick walls smelled.


The burning inside reassured humans

Who went home to put the kettle on

While in the turbine hall coal was interpreted.

Like a god, this place made power.


Now bricks don’t smell,

Cranes don’t lift coal –

Light isn’t yellow.


At Bankside,

Behind similar bricks

In the same town for the world

Matisse’s cut-outs course

With kilowatts of colour,

Installations spark with meaning and


Art crackles with the power

Of a god towards the human fingers far below

Its secular Sistine ceiling.


Still we must go home, put the kettle on

And interpret the burning inside.


Michael Docker


Poem 6



I, the palace of power watch quietly,


now resigned to my waiting doom.

I once lit your roads, powered your so essential kitchen tools,

enabled your trains to run, your machines to hum,

I was the heart of your city, you lived by my industrial beat.


Yes, I confess. I was a polluter, a smoker, a burner of fuels,

dressed in my best brick clothes,

my tall chimneys creating soot filled clouds.

But I powered your city, gave life to darkened streets,

enabled you to live your modern lives.


Who cares for me now.

A survivor of of war, gaining an iconic status,

I make those who would tear at my fabric, wary.

My walls  resonate with a reverential praise.

What will you do now, with this old powerless creature.


Although my turbine organs have been stripped away,

arteries of sparkling electric severed.

I still have a generating force,

one that lights human spirit and runs an ingenuity,.

that may yet allow the Power palace to remain


Martin Fuller


Poem 7

A Romantic Walk along the River Thames

Imagine the great river, even if you haven’t seen it

picture a few miles of approaching the city

wooded pathways, barbwire fences, a footbridge

desolated built up areas, taking you to see.

Along the banks, see the river belongings

and London city buildings outlining the sky.

Further along, starry-eyed a power station is competing.

Power stations, the demanding of places, real.

Know-how at its best, spilling out like the river.

Docklands watch this space, a busy place is the Thames.


Johanna Boal


Poem 8

Across my river


source of warmth and light

Patrick’s island powerhouse –

childhood horizon


Diane Jackman