Thursday, 16 October 2008

Cupid's DIY - Roseanna Freiburghaus

Letting the compost clot of thoughts manifest,
this is what you earth-tied blinks are.
I’ll inflict upon you the two extremities,
to make you see God’s work. But it’s no
lie to say I’m not one of his winged triumphs.
Because I’ll give you purity and you’ll do as you will,
disappoint, drilling holes in bridges. Time is no one’s enemy
living as a hermit, try to understand, but it
will clasp you in its claws, purring you to the edge of
capability. I’m the apple tree nourishing you
yet buds only taste a few. Each shot I’ll kill
a little piece, but catalyse them too.
Without me there would be no pain, that itself
too horror filled to comprehend - the stillness of the moon.
Its not a question of should, I do exist, accept.
Biology would scream without arrows supporting its three legs.
It’s up to me, and only I, to make this land flood.
I am the salt, I am the water, I am the ultra violet,
I am the words sucked dry in voice, your years of hammering on.
And like the Beatles harmonized, I’m all there is to hear.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Newbury Schools' Poetry Competition 2008

I'm writing after our awards evening for the 2008 Newbury Schools Poetry Competition. If you were one of our guests up at Borders, I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly did - how often do you get the chance to listen to new writing, of that quality, for free...

Enormous thanks to Borders Newbury, first of all. I make no apologies for commercial plugging - on this occasion! John O'Connor's been really supportive with the competition and the awards evening, and hopefully this can be the start of a series of events. Thanks also to my colleagues at Park House and Trinity, Helen Viney and Nat Weight, who gathered together some really high-quality writing. And I really appreciate Keston Sutherland judging and commenting on the Sixth Form entries for us.

I'm also going to plug The Download website - if you're a young writer in West Berkshire, that's your space. Do something with it. A number of the entries for the competition will appear there over the next few weeks.

And there'll be new stuff here, too. As I have time, I'll post material. Subscribe to the page for updates. The top three Sixth Form poems, as selected by Keston, are now here. I started off with Chris Brown's winning Sixth Form entry, which is now joined by Melissa Chandler and Peter Estdale's pieces.

By the way. Check out the music links too.

Application For A Muse - Peter Estdale

Young, budding poet: seeks muse.
Duties include
Dealing with requests
For information by e-mails:
The very thing to break
The pylon-punctured landscape.

It’s not necessary
To be dynamic or flexible,
Nor hair like the dark summer
(Though they are a plus)
Any age is pref’rable,
As are enthusiasm
And initiative.

Oh and no thieves:
The last holder left
With a bit of me
Sewn in the lining
of her jacket pocket,
Never to be returned.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Untitled - Melissa Chandler

Among this early field of emerald eyes,
Where a silent sigh embraces all,
And double glazed trees do tickle the skies,
Awakens unweeded a well-known brawl.

Where all at once the leaves aren’t fresh,
And the darkness comes, yet shadows still lie,
The green is black and it poisons flesh,
Inside the remains of the passer-by.

The black blood seeps through the hollow snakes,
Entangling ghosts of grey around air,
The concrete trees capture prey as they wake,
And drains their mind, as they work in despair.

But soon after the quiet essence of morning
Is evaporated from the overgrown field,
She returns to her slumber in the mist of work’s warning,
Because now all is busy, rush hour has spilled.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Words to a Winding Key (Once) - Chris Brown

Wind, you, this oak grandfather clock;
That clicked and knocked in Nature’s wind;
That grew and leafed and once housed things
More and less than clockwork. I grew
Once in the sweet season scents,
Ignorant of axe-men and axe-wounds,
Who, sent on their rounds sent
Me to be wound. Slung to the
Round, conforming blade
That confined me to box. And yet
This age would be young were I but
Livelier wood. Hands
I may have, but my rings are now lost,
And my boughs and roots, once strong to climb,
And my new-leaf shoots, gone now for chimes
(Do they comfort your nights, my new-life screams?)
That are of a gold less precious than green.

My youth was the joy of each wind’s breath on my branches –
Before your deep breaths in the chore of your winding.
Now we have purpose, but once I had meaning –
In whispering and twisting and creaking and leaning.