A surprised and delighted Neil Holland was the winner of City Voices Creative Writers Group first ever annual Poetry Competition. Neil eceived a cash prize of £50 and a laminated certificate of his poem “A Flower named Disability”. The competition was judged by friend of City Voices, Jayne Birch who said “What a poignant piece of writing…..excellent analogy. Thought provoking; feeling emotional after reading this…read over and over again and each time I feel its full impact. Absolutely amazing.”
There was no "theme" to the competition; entrants could choose their own subject within a limit of 40 lines. Neil was inspired by young people he has worked with in the past who simply needed some nurturing to bring out the very best of themselves. The camellia flower was chosen for the certificate for its many meanings. In China it symbolizes young sons and daughters, in Japan the coming of spring and new life. It also has a "coming of age and understanding" reference in that most famous of contemporary literary American novels "To Kill a Mockingbird". In other words, a blooming.
Neil's prize-winning poem
A Flower Named Disability
Sometimes fine blooms lie waiting there
sometimes fine blooms lie latent there
but there they are and there they bloom.
Some flowers take longer in our care
but love and nurture grow them where
they reach for life that they may bloom.
How rare these flowers that take a while
who ask so little, just love and care,
who bear such pain behind their smile,
young lives who simply want to share
a chance to grow and bloom.
With rainbow smiles of every hue
who just love life like me and you,
embrace them now in all you do
that they may bloom.
Respect is all they ask of you
support and some civility,
that they may flower and show to all,
their bloom in disability.