Week 56 – entries and results

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Photograph by Chris Sims

Week 56

The poems below were all written in response to the photograph above. I loveed them all. The readers favourite however was Poem 1 Doorway of Dreams by Lizzie Ballagher. Congratulations Lizzie! Thanks to everyone who submitted and voted.

Doorway of Dreams


In one over-heated room,

Everything’s been thought of:

Even perfectly matched socks in rows

(For once no holes in toes)

That his brothers and his friends will wear.

All, all are redolent of roses.


The trembling fingers of the groom

Reach for the blushing roses’ sweetness:

The wrapped, enfolded buttonhole.

Deeply breathing, he steadies himself.


While in another room, and up another stair

Where a fan shifts warm air

And voile curtains lift and stir,

A mother weaves bright buttercups—

Ranunculus asiasticus

Through her daughter’s glossy hair.


The bride is trembling, blushing, too.

She knows she’s found her perfect match.

So, reaching for a rose,

Deeply breathing, she readies herself.


Around both upper rooms music breaks

In waves, foams, creams

In the whorled shells

Of their hushed and listening ears.

The love-song they have chosen swells,

Calls them to the doorway of their dreams.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 2

They Left Their Mark


That day Lord Kitchener’s strolling-players breezed-in praising

Balaclava’s brave six-hundred, an unwaged-clutch of local,

Sunday-suited lads, who never really meant to leave their

homes for ever, were so swayed by the pied-piper’s

patriotic penny-whistling, the limping major’s rhetoric

and the complimentary ale that, come eventide, they were

marching-out having autographed their lives away.


These beardless Parish-Pals had never-ever meant

to only leave their names behind, etched upon some

sandstone-cenotaph yet, their heroic shadows still

stand proud, guard the village green, salute the knelling

towered-bell, join the annual-rollcall alongside kith and kin

who bow their heads with their remembering at the annual

laying-down of Flanders’ everlasting, blood-red petals.


Mike Lee


Poem 3

Wedding Guests


One perfect summer’s morn,

united in our wedding livery,

we witness two loving hearts profess.

Three wishes swirl with the confetti-

Love, Health, and Happiness.


By day the sun beams down,

her beatific shimmer,

warm-wraps every guest,

bestowing nuptial gifts;

our conviviality is her largesse.


Meanwhile, Venus and Jupiter

sleep the hours away in conjunction.

By night they lead our step,

dancing on a celestial stage

deep-draped with indigo velvet.


Later Luna will mark midnight,

discreetly intimating her gift;

a sacred consecration, soon,

as lovers’ hours

become a honeymoon.

Stephanie Haxton


Poem 4



Fathers of the bride and groom

Groom and best man by his side

Three team mates as ushers in

Hankies, ties and socks costume

Nervously await the bride

Sporting roses fixed by pins

Lapels blush and slowly bloom.


Sold on, “it’s like rugby kits”

Every man wears clothes that match

Feeling they’re dressed up as fools

Thinking chums will call them twits

That’s until their eye-lines catch

Bridesmaids tell them, “You look cool.”

Secretly they’re thrilled to bits.


Photos of the day’s events

Show the guests in lines of scrum

Supping pints and downing gins

All day wedding men have spent

Fetching cake for aunts and mums

Smiling large and cheesy grins

Smartly dressed like proper gents.


Sue Spiers


Poem 5

Wear red

He said he’d wear red
On their wedding day,
His ushers,his best man and he,
Red for danger,power,control,
Surely he must see.
He said he’d wear red
beneath morning grey,
To show passion and love
for his bride,
As they stand at the alter
and make their vows,
to journey side by side.
The red he said
would send out a glow,
From his heart to his feet and head,
She’ll look in his eyes
and realise,
The soulmate she just wed.

Leela Gautam


Poem 6


     Counting ties


This time he seems to be trying

He’s changing, he listens,

she may be the


They live together, talk together,

See friends together and laugh together

They are a


The months pass by

She makes her plans

She includes me, that’s


But yet again, today, the future is uncertain,

But a mother can make plans too

Steadily losing weight, now at month


Confiding she’d like a child

Time’s not on her side

She’ll soon be thirty


I’m just plain selfish

Hearing about the grandchildren

of others. One friend’s got


A photo brings it home. The count

is on. How many years left?

The count brings us to



Or will there just be a flower left to remember

No one to wear the tie

No, time is not on our side either and we are left counting

and waiting.


Angie Butler