Week 49 – entries and results

Week 49 – photograph by Chris Sims

week 49


The winning poem this time is Michael Docker with Bridge. Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who submitted and voted.


Poem 1



They enter the maze giggling like children,

Scurrying down the dry, well-trodden paths,

Hearing playful voices through the hedges

And happy with the sun beating,

Heating their backs and faces.


Oh, the joy of this adventure!


Then edges coil close like a giant brain

With a mind of its own and full of malignant

Green (not grey) matter. Soon they are lost

In its mythic wisdoms, lost in all its mysteries:

Lost in the whorls and twirls of snaking walls.


The laughter stops…


And afterwards they feared

The maze’s twisting graveyard corridors:

Trapped like flies in the labyrinthine web

Without an Ariadne with silken thread

To bring them out of the shadows.


To the nearest illusory stairs they fled.


And now, woken from a nightmarish childhood dream

Of travelling, travelling, never arriving,

They shout and scream,

Shout to be taken out, led

Away from the yew-tree maze—




Angie Butler


Poem 2



“Always it is by bridges that we live”

Philip Larkin


It goes on and on,

Spiralling, darkening,

Like folds on the surface of a brain.


Beneath creatures crawl,  ignore,

Never having to believe. Birds fly on by,

Like words lost on the wind.


Somewhere a plane crashes, spiralling out of the sky,

Nearby guns fire, darkening our common mind;

Wounds in a believer’s war.


Over there children run,

Spiralling, darkening.

Inside words fold round us; we believe again


Through a long afternoon.

Spiralling, darkening,

We get lost. Like creatures never had


To, we climb the bridge to see;

No longer believing but going on,

And not defeated, and, for that, glad.


Michael Docker


Poem 3


Sense of Direction

The hedges are flattened above head height,

within the green maze there’s no line of sight.

You brush hands along privet, down narrow

paths; claustrophobic, a fish-tank minnow

seeking the route only to find dead-ends.

Walking up the curves, pacing round the bends,

finding the cul-de-sacs going nowhere,

missing escape from this labyrinth lair.

The bridges to check out how far you’ve come

lead you on trails to where you started from.

Once more into whorls like inked fingerprints,

walled-up, wishing you had pebbles or string.

The secretive gardener plays lost and found

knows every leaf, every twig on this ground

and every track from the heart to the edge

but at midday he’s stuck too in this hedge.


Sue Spiers


Poem 4



The maze of life

Many twists and turns

The paths we take

Snake around


Leading to our fate


The easy route

Espied from above

Would render life dull

Bereft of


Devoid of thrill


We stumble

Lost and confused

Grope our way

Through life


In the maze


Carol Mills


Poem 5



It was all going so well,

until the door slammed shut.

I’d been naive to imagine

I could cope on my own,


so there I was in the cool dark shadows,

not knowing which way to turn,

right or left, this way or that?

Forwards or backwards.

Only the blind feeling of panic, of being alone,

lost amongst the tall, thick, moaning, whispering

walls that had become my day,

pressing in, looming over

and cutting out the light, forcing me

into the gloomy darkness..


And then it came… the shout.

Where are you?

I’m here, help me, I’m lost,

and no, I can’t do it on my own,


thank heavens you are here.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 6


The Maze in springtime
Mysteries to be explored
A new adventure

The Maze in winter
Smaller but no easier
To find the centre

Martin John