The Printerinks Poetry Competition has officially ended. We have had hundreds of entries and the competition was particularly tough this year as there were so many incredible poems. But, after much deliberation, our amazing Judge, Pamela Koehne-Drube has picked a winner and so we’re now ready to announce the winner of Printerinks Poetry Competition 2017. And the winner is (*drumroll*):
Changes by Lucy Waters
The moon is smudged,
Like a jewel on blotting paper,
And the rushing sky
Riven with cloud so it mirrors the sea,
Is the blood of a fractured pen,
There’s music which soundtracks your departure
But the rippling rhythm is not enough to settle the riff in your stomach.
Phantom headlights ignore you as they pass
And you can’t help but look over your shoulder
at the chasing memories
But they’re fading fast on the unheeding horizon,
The road ahead is unfathomable,
Your parents won’t take your eyes from it,
you begrudge their insolence,
Their torrential downpour,
The view from the windscreen is beautiful,
How spiteful of it to be so vivid,
Compared to the back,
You never see the hopeful looks
Or inspiring countenance of the stage,
The sky is too blue
Though it’s the same as the one you’ve always been under,
The road is too long
Though you had to take it to get to the start,
The front is too big,
And it changes.
Pamela Koehne-Drube selected Lucy as our winner because: The imagery in Lucy’s poem is deep and immersive. It is a bitter-sweet poem that covers everything from loss to hope. It tells of leaving something behind but moving toward something new.
Runner up, Honourable Mention 1:
I watched you put your things away,
Some you folded neatly into perfect squares of fabric,
You couldn’t be more like you in this moment if you tried.
Some you stuffed into corners, like those old slippers I begged
You to throw away every time I saw their faded blue shuffle.
CDs, relics from the past, were laid neatly in boxes. Guns n Roses
Seemed to be a common theme amongst your belongings.
You picked your way around the room,
Identifying what was meant for two and discarded it all.
Even the smell seemed to be packing its bags and leaving,
The faint aroma of musk and bergamot hung in the air,
Clinging, desperately to the curtains as though it didn’t want to go.
Up and down the stairs your brown boots thudded,
Each step a drop of sand in the timer that was running out.
The ignition started and I was left in my cell, alone.
All that was left, was one t-shirt.
By Harriet Allan
Runner up, Honourable Mention 2:
I think that I have mellowed,
In my final bursts of youth,
I see the world through tinted eyes
That show a sombre truth.
And yet, ‘tis not what wise owls tell,
‘tis calm; ‘tis smooth.
I think that there is reason
To believe in the superior.
To be upstanding, nay rejoicing,
For ideal hysteria.
For still it keeps one hopeful
Through hard days – inferior.
I think that there is fault,
On which my sex has stumbled,
To be just like their fathers;
To rush past those still humbled.
I know that it has taken
Sixteen years to enter boyhood
To scamper ‘long long riversides,
To marvel at still dull night-skies,
To bounce across the water,
Like a flat-stone skimmed upon its face,
And see a rainbow in that water,
Falling on a sacred place,
As evidence of presence,
Whose presence remains troubled.
I think that now my life will see
More frequent acts of grace,
The wild cat’s eyes will leave me lonely,
That I cannot face.
I know I run too fast through fields,
And yet a track of gracious love,
Will now set a-pace.
By Alexander M Bickley
Runner up, Honourable Mention 3:
The caravan has gone from the arms of the spooky tree
Taking with it, a little piece of me
Of my life, my soul and all I put into here
To only find myself as much of a memory as the
Lady who died in the stream.
And woe of a wholly different kind.
No longer here, but in the mind.
By Tess Delaney
Runner up, Honourable Mention 4:
My son was born without the power of speech, the secret police beat me while he was still in the womb. Hassan’s belly button disappeared as he grew older and he painted a cave of winds (a reference to his family I believe) on a butterfly’s wings, when Hassan slept a flower grew where his belly button used to be and the butterfly would rest on the flower as he slept. The photographs taken of the bombed village we left slept then blinked woken by desert storms hammering the shack. I saw a gun balanced on the flower as Hassan slept and it began to talk of a butterfly choking on the vapors of war and surviving. My thoughts became formless like the wind. I wrote our names on two sheets of paper throwing them into the night like two abandoned wings.
By Barry Carter
Runner up, Honourable Mention 5:
1st night feeling.
Starting over again, running away
Looking for a safe place to stay
Hoping and praying it’ll be alright
And sleep can be undisturbed at night.
Arriving in refuge, room number two
No idea on what to do.
We’ve no money for food or toys
But I have reassurance & love for my boys.
Don’t know what fills me with more dread
Being alone & living or with him near dead.
Although I’ve left my abuse behind
Everything he said I still hear in my mind.
As my children sleep I give a gentle kiss
Hope I can find strength to get through this.
From my hell I’ve found some release
Now I’ll search for inner peace.
By Chevi Morgan
Thank you once again for all those that entered!