2013 runner up
Dust – Holly Brendling

Dust – Holly Brendling

Dust     A china elephant Small, delicate Sat still on the mantle. A gift from Father. But why had she kept it? Mary Lennox was not a child. No. She had no time for childish things Or childish games. She was to be “quiet And polite And well behaved.” But mostly quiet.   It...
La Langue Française – Madeleine Ballard

La Langue Française – Madeleine Ballard

La Langue Française     I first came across you looking out of the window smoking pensively in long streamers, full of care. you were like a photograph of someone, gazing from an apartment, head wreathed with tiny flowers, at the mediaeval clock tower striking noon over the rain-dressed streets, the 1930s cars rolling serenely...
Just another sketch – Bryony Campbell

Just another sketch – Bryony Campbell

Just another sketch     I’ve written another letter this time its form traced on an old newsletter found discarded in the recycling bin. In charcoal feathered pencil, I hastily sketched an outline then folded the words into each other, so that they held each other in with no room for escape. I   squirreled...
Wintersweet – Didi Hughes

Wintersweet – Didi Hughes

Wintersweet     I pause before the peeling, sagging gate, the drunkenly leaning picket-fence palings, some fallen, abandoned to their slow-rotting fate. Here stands an overgrown thicket. The plants assailing the fence romp beyond it. Spring will come too late for the dying, twining vines scrambling up, scaling the decaying boundary, blurring all that would...
Incandescent Essence – Timothy Fraser

Incandescent Essence – Timothy Fraser

Incandescent Essence     My thoughts are silver herrings, darting. Sometimes I grab a hold of one, But they melt Like quicksilver. I’ll see a splash, But I can’t touch The taste of success not quite on my tongue. Only smell it, Tentatively close. I like to share my thoughts with Robyn Thompson At 131...
A China Robin – Philippa McMenamin

A China Robin – Philippa McMenamin

A China Robin     You’re dust spluttered into the night sky shaken free of stars One of those nights where the sky feels sort of closer than usual As if you could swallow it, or bathe in it, or just swim within its depths You’re the girl I see in the mirror The one...
No one ever tells us – Isabelle McNeur

No one ever tells us – Isabelle McNeur

No one ever tells us until i hit twelve, the muddle of new, yet-to-be-explored tension when the seating plan got announced the flitting not-glances as everyone held their towel up too tight in the changing rooms the dry-mouthed wrestling in gym class, christmas cards with rows of kisses girls being walked home and guys doing...
Oceanic Romeo and Juliet – Abigail Mossman

Oceanic Romeo and Juliet – Abigail Mossman

Oceanic Romeo and Juliet     Waterfaerie, beautifish, why did it have to be like this? Future, present, forgotten past, moonlight flickers in no shape cast   At eventide he’d close his eyes, the dreams that came were endless Beneath the seas and oceanskies, scales gleamed, she swam so careless Who’d have thought, that just...
Hurt – Ruby Solly

Hurt – Ruby Solly

Hurt     when I sounded the notes of hurt and watched the hammer play its nails through the skin I imagined falling falling past every stained glass window of every church as the thinning souls inside let my falling body reflect in their eyes without sounding a single harmonic upon their heartstrings   we...