Five Aspects of ME

Manage the emotions and everything else takes care of itself!

2018 Poetry Competition 


 


JUDGES' REPORT
Firstly, we would like to thank everyone for their entries. It is no exaggeration to say that we enjoyed reading each and every one of them. We have all experienced childhood, so there was something in each poem that touched us, that reminded us of our own journeys to adulthood. We often felt drawn into familiar worlds reading about experiences that mirrored our own. At other times, we felt as though we were peeping into our neighbour's kitchen windows, with wide-eyed realisation that reality can be a long way from the socially-acceptable facade. It seems everyone's childhood has so many stories to tell.....
 
Please accept our apologies for taking so long to announce the winners - we got off to a very late start at the beginning of the year because illness delayed the admin and judging by several weeks. We are volunteers here at Five Aspects for all the behind the scenes work, so any little delay can have quite a large knock-on impact. Pulling the prize winners from the short-list was very difficult. We did not intend to publish our short-list but we HAVE decided to name five poems that we feel deserve a Special Mention - the Special Mention poems are listed below the winners at the bottom of the page here - they're in alphabetical order, not order of selection.
 
Five Aspects ran this poetry competition as a fundraising event for the work we do with children and young people. Although we received over 150 entries, as a fundraiser it was not the success that we had hoped it would be. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - the vast majority of poems came in as multiple entries, i.e. being entered at reduced rates in comparison to the £4.00 per single poem - on reflection, this was our big mistake. We are, however, able to honour our prizes. Some people have asked if this will be an annual competition - we will not be running the competition again, even though we thoroughly enjoyed reading the entries. We had hoped to fund some summer workshops for children from this event - although the event itself didn't raise enough money to do that, we are in discussion with a local arts group to explore partnering on events in the summer - they'll do the art and we'll do the behavior management...fingers crossed on that one!
 
 
Thank you again for all your entries and BIG congratulations to our winners:
 
FIRST PRIZE - Aspirant by Rob Sanders
 
                                               Aspirant                                    

 

                      I climb the church, with grit-needled hands -

                        a devil dared. A steeple jackass.

                        A pubescent goyle of gargles, spouting filth.

                        Stoned. Drunk on possibility. You couldn’t tear me away.

                                                                                              But now on this ledge     I’m stuck.

                        Below

                        are my graveyard ghouls, to whom I am an anti-social climber.

                        Little bastards, we fend for ourselves in a land of never -

                        where councils erect honey pot tower blocks,

                        attracting teenage delinquents and their friends.

                        Such am I –

                        in the thrall of 666,

                        above the call of 999.

                        Grow up,

                        they say. God knows, it’s high time. I can see that from here.

                        I am both hijacked and hostage-taker.

                        A conscientious objector; a prisoner of conscience.

                        To hell with this. I’m getting off.

                        I dismount the Trojan bandwagon of my peers.

                        Broken, yet back-boned, I will reach the ground and walk away

                        (sticks and stones not thrown.)

                        Giving in to fear?

                        More no carrier of the thrill-seeker gene –

                                                            going dopamine cold turkey,

                                                                                    a chicken wannabe.

 

                                    Now how do I get down from here?

                                            

ROB HAS GIVEN US PERMISSION TO SHARE THE FACT THAT HE HAS VERY GENEROUSLY DONATED HIS PRIZE BACK TO FIVE ASPECTS SO WE CAN PUT THE FUNDS TOWARDS OUR SUMMER ACTIVITY PROJECT - WE'RE DELIGHTED ABOUT THIS, ROB - HUGE THANK YOU FROM ALL OF HERE AT FIVE ASPECTS!


 

 SECOND PRIZE - In From the Dark by Elizabeth Diamond

 
IN FROM THE DARK

There is little that you miss now it is over;

the life perhaps that tumbled in and out of each other’s houses;

children’s games that spill into neighbourhoods

beyond your own.

 

Somewhere on a village green

boys are playing cricket. The ball strikes wood

and is netted by a shield of hands.

 

You draw the curtains, bank up the fire.

 

There is little that you miss now it is over

but in your dreams you hear again the ball striking

wood,  spinning this time far beyond

the clutch of hands

 

and mothers who stand in open doorways

calling their children in from the dark.

 

 
THIRD PRIZE - How I Learned About Democracy by Bill Lythgoe

 
How I Learned About Democracy

 

  When I was ten our village took a vote:

should the Majestic Cinema

(where the bugs wore clogs)

be allowed to open on Sundays?

 

Our teacher decided that our class

(the big boys and girls)

would hold its own election.

 

She told us about secret ballots

and democratic decisions

and what made Britain great.

 

And being a religious woman

she told us as well

about God’s fourth commandment

(you know, the Holy Sabbath).

 

In our corner of the playground

(next to the bike shed),

Pudding, Jexy, Jem and me discussed the matter.

 

Why shouldn’t the Jezzer open on Sunday?

(the most boring day of the week).

We’ll vote in favour, we said

and we did.

 

I know we all did

because after the count

the result was announced:

Against Sunday opening 36,

for Sunday opening 4.

 

(We knew she meant God 36, Satan 4.)

 

Then

Will those four people stand up please?

 
 
 
 
 
SPECIAL MENTION:
A Box of Betrayals - John Ward
Bedtime Rogue - Tarah Baulch
Circus Clown - Eve Jackson
Catch - Sarah James
The Violence of Imposed Silence - Catherine Mullen 
 
 
 
 

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