The judges have conferred, and we have the winners for our National Poetry Day competition 2014. Thanks to you all for a bumper crop of fantastic entries. Poetry is clearly in rude health in Christchurch!
First place goes to Stephen Davies for Tongue tied. Congratulations to Stephe, his prize is book vouchers to the value of $100.
The runner up is Gem and Mineral Society Hall, Waltham Road by Catherine Fitchett. Catherine’s prize is a $50 book voucher.
Here are the two winning entries:
Tongue tied (by Stephen Davies)
There she was again!
Can’t stand it …
Heart palpitating – beating fast.
I’m breaking up Scottie,
Can’t hold it together,
Perspiration on my forehead,
Breathing shallow and irregular.
Re-run the memory video.
Snatches of conversation – heard words.
SHE SPOKE – hung onto every syllable.
The way blossoms cling to trees.
Caught the scent of her perfume,
Loved the way she walked and talked,
And how her hand (mine) stroked her hair.
Couldn’t meet her eyes,
Didn’t know she knew I was there.
She’s two metres away.
Here it comes.
A damn of words,
Stirred, shaken and squashed down,
Bottled up torture
Waiting to erupt.
Engage your mouth before your brain
Before it’s too late.
Let it explode
With the suddenness and force
Of the ripcord of a parachute,
Dry, cracked, parched lips and
Crying out …
Gem and Mineral Society Hall, Waltham Road (by Catherine Fitchett)
Each time I pass it grows less,
two patient workmen unbuilding
brick by brick. Pallets at hand
to accept the neat stacks, two by two
this way then that. Eyes closed,
I rewind each image, build it once again.
The walls rise row by row. The roof replaced,
order restored to rubble.
People walk backwards, out and in,
out and in. Dresses grow long
and sweep the ground, passing cars
give way to horse and cart.
The hall grows new,
the lodge regains possession
There’s greatgrandfather Samuel
in all his Masonic splendour.
I call to him,
but he doesn’t stop,
the rewinding gains pace,
all the costumed figures
up the gangplanks
the sails unlowered,
the ships reversing
through the harbour entrance
the swamp undrained
the great moas flashing past
and the hills shooting up
to three times their present height,
the lava roiling up the slopes into the crater
and finally a great stillness
as the land sinks beneath the sea.
Wind it forward again, then
leave them all in the past,
let the building rise and, shaken, fall
let the workmen have it
to finish their patient unbuilding.