Week 58 – entries and results

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Photograph by Susan Jane Sims

Week 58 - Sue Sims

Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner for this final challenge. It is Leela Gautam with Last Game. Congratulations Leela.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part. The aim is to produce a book containing all the photographs and poems. This could be a while in the making however I will be contacting all poets and photographers before Christmas to ask you all to proofread your poems and send high res copies of photographs if I don’t already have them. The book will measure 30cm x 30 cm (12 x 12 inches) and will have a heavy card cover.


Poem 1

A fitting end


Letter tiles from a famous game,

Arnead, wadrett, irzot, hondie jump out at me.

It’s been the problem all along,

Finding words for pictures. Now words are

Everywhere; letters without let, a free-range

Alphabet, community of letters.


But what does Arnead mean? I mean,

What’s a wadrett?  A small wallet?

Irzot? Sounds faintly jewish, does it not?


And as for hondie…beats me.

Arnead – Greek, probably, tinged with tragedy.


Old letters, new words, or, old words, new

Matters addressed in the competition.

But before you post, e-mail or text it

In – your scrabble of a poem –

To this final competition, ask yourself,

Would you rather bremain,

Connected to the letters,

Or brexit.


Michael Docker


Poem 2

Game changer     


Games teach rules of life,

language to explain ourselves,

or understand the actions of others.


Games in the holiday caravan

when it rained,

gave me a love of rubbish weather!.


Winning and losing

and warmth and togetherness.

Made me a good looser. I did it often.


Being on sides,

mum and son, dad and daughter,

child against adults. I am supportive.


Games span generations,

some come and go,

or stay  their time.


Win or loose or play the game

It’s good to know life’s rules


and the downfalls of cheating.


Angie Butler


Poem 3

Game Fantastical: In Which Cleopatra Challenges Octavius to Scrabble and Tells Her British Audience One Tale That Shakespeare Could Not


The game is nearly done.

He thinks he’s bested me—

This serpent upstart boy of Caesar’s house—

And all because Mark Antony

Has gone: has fallen on his sword and died

Within my hopeless lover’s arms.

So I am left to play at words and sell my body

(Not my old Egyptian soul) to Rome.


Now, hearken well, you gawping British gentlefolk:

You in your burnished thrones at Stratford;

You in your homespun wooden Os in London—

Those vain playhouses next the feeble Thames.

Aye, he thinks he’s bested me—me!—

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and the mighty River Nile.


Stay! What letters have I here in this my end-game?

‘RASP’ I can make, or ‘GRASP’.

Too small! Too little and too late, alas!

Hurry, Charmian; Iras, hasten! Pass

That pretty basket; open up the hasp.

Oh, he words me, girls, he words me.


He thinks he’s got me and my Egypt in his grasp,

But I shall trounce him at the last

And count a triple score

(And half a Roman centum more)

In the final flourishing riposte:

One venomous, sharp word laid down

Across the ‘Why?’ he’s just rasped out as futile question;

Across the ‘Y’ he’s just set down in smirking triumph.


Watch, good handmaids! Leave

Your hieroglyphics be.

And you flabbergasted British, see!

Opening wide the basket’s lid,

I play with all my seven tiles

The winning, hissing word: ‘ASPERITY’.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 4


In the Scrabble Box


The cardboard tray in this old Fifties’ box reveals

My parents’ troubled marriage somehow still intact,

Epitomised in endless late-night games of Scrabble.


I check my mathematician father’s neat black numbering,

His flawless, quick-fire computation in column after column

But notice too his almost daily straight defeat:

My mother beat him,

High score after high score.

And, now and then, it seems,

He must have flung the board aside;

The sums are broken off, the game abruptly halted

After only three plays each.


They parted company after a score

Of years, seven thousand games.

Their words unscrambled later in divorce courts.


But afterwards I had the memories of my mother’s merry laughter,

My father’s head-shaking frustration

At all the bitter calculations.

And, buried under wooden tiles, under the cardboard tray,

I find that I’ve inherited some ancient tallies tucked

Inside this Scrabble box and titled Jo vs Ji.


I loved them both:

The man of skilful numbers

And the woman of the winning words.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 5

Last game

Our last day together,
we played the game
late into the night,
We made words,
long words,short words,
some so absurd,
We laughed and cried
as the night died
and came another day.
Without a goodbye,
you walked away,
My heart broken,
life in disarray.
I looked through streaming tears
at words torn apart
and saw ,in code ,a love
that didn’t last.


Leela Gautam


Poem 6

Momentous Retirement  Day


There are many types of Reactions,

Goes on in ones emotional life;
There are many phases ,

Which one goes through in one’s life ;
Retirement day is proud momentous day of one’s life,
It brings feeling of long coffee break of one’s life,

With lots of courage and determinations,
It is  time to ponder over proud moments of one’s life;

Good and bad moments in one’s life,

Cruel and honest moments in one’s life,

It is a time in true sense,

Which shakes one and reminds one,

That it’s time to give back to society one,

Good gift by, practicing honesty,

Spirituality, in one’s life,

With best wishes of all and one,

Like a star,  one should face boldly ,

And enjoy momentous   day

A retirement  day of one’s life.


Sukarma Rani Thareja


Poem 7

A to Z

Oh these little monsters, seemed to me,

I picked a pencil at inception, terrifying.

Making the adamant alphabets sit on paper

Incessant attempts, my fear abandoned,

I could write flawless with a lily-white heart.

Little did I knew

And these letters to be my kindred.

Today, with myriad emotions lingering

Words once placed on paper

Purifies my tormenting musings.

Rhythmic whisperings of letters

Tickles the shy mind, dawning liveliness.

Unfurls benediction to move, just move

To a lea of fresh desires, happiness.


Denim Deka


Poem 8

Scrabble Plot

It was a dark and misty night

The eyes around were shining bright
The power had gone

The board was worn


Slowly he picked his tiles

Placed them carefully

On the board

To spell TONIGHT

11 points he whispered

The players took their turns

Picking tiles as they went along

She looked into his eyes

And placed her tiles quickly

To spell HUSBAND

He waited for his turn

The steamy tiles

Rattling on the board

KILL Double Word Score

That’s 24

He said

She gasped

Her long finger nails dropping tiles

Picking them up

Quivering as she placed them on the board

NO only 2 points

He followed her N vertically


50 bonus points he smiled

The large man next to him

Took his time

Placed each tile

Carefully above his E


She was trembling now

As her fingers carefully

Laid out PLEASE

But he grabbed his new tiles

And spelt LOVE

The large fingers next to him

Laid out ZAP

42 Triple Word Score

There was a loud thud

And the young lover’s head

Hit the board

Scattering tiles and letters

On the floor


Two figures left the door


Someone’s nose was out of joint

This scrabble has no point


Anita Pinto


Poem 9



Spread the upturned tiles and we’ll

Come and play quietly at the table,

Rummage among the letters to coax

Apposite letters into JUNK and TAXI,

Because scoring high is intoxicating,

Become zealous with who’s verboser,

Letting calls of ‘Cheat’ greet neologia.

Etymons and lies fly around the room.


Sue Spiers