A silent-screen ocean,
sand gritty as grave-yard gravel.
A bitter monochrome day to wait,
to watch aimless black-backed gulls
sweeping the upper air.
Moon dust dunes wax and wane,
shape-shifting the scoured landscape
where marram grass, colour-leached
and sharp as glass,
flows like beds of eels across the blown-out beach
reaching out to where the salt steel sea
closes in on treacherous sands.
I sight a riderless horse, still and pale,
below a sky
wide and white as an empty sail.
This poem has undergone many edits, several title changes and indeed this is an edited version of the entry, after advice from the esteemed Bert Flitcroft.
Commendations were 'Dandelion' by Andy Wooton and 'Amy' by Heath Ackley.
City Voices Creative Writers will be announcing the winners of the second annual Poetry Competition, at the meeting 6th July. All welcome to come along and listen and meet our judge… who this year is Bert Flitcroft, Staffordshire Poet Laureate 2015-17. For a number of years, Bert ran week-long residential poetry-writing courses for sixth-formers in Staffordshire, working alongside guest poets in residence such as Carol Ann Duffy, Adrian Henry, Linda France and others. Over the years, Bert has been Poet in Residence at The Southwell Poetry Festival, The Wedgwood Museum, and The Brampton Museum. He has performed at a number of national Festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe (twice!) Bert is essentially at home in any place where people are interested in poetry. He has two published collections of poems ‘Thought Apples’ and ‘Singing Puccini at the Kitchen Sink’ available from Offas Press offaspress.co.uk/shop/ or the contacts page on Bert’s website. www.bert-flitcroft-poetry.com/contact.htm
What they say about Bert –
‘Bert is a joy to listen to. His sonnet to a bacon sandwich is a wry, insightful comment on the dynamics of a relationship. Like all Bert’s work, it’s delivered with a twinkle in his eye. A master of his craft’ Steve Pottinger : Writeoutloud
‘Bert Flitcroft is an honest, genuine writer - his poems are accessible without being simplistic, honed and well crafted without being clever, eschewing obscurity in favour of direct and clear human speech which has the ring of true poetry, much in the manner of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost.’ David Calcutt - poet and novelist
In 2017, working with Staffs County Council, Bert curated The Staffordshire Poetry Collection which is now available on-line at Poetry Collectionstaffordshirepoetlaureate.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/the-staffordshire-poetry-collection/
Needless to say City Voices are thrilled to have Bert as our competition judge and he will announce the winner and the two commended places. I cannot thank him enough for stepping in so graciously at the 11th hour and I felt very cheeky for asking him! After the read-around of poems Bert will lead an inter-active critique for those who wish to join in -
The meetings will be at the usual venue at City Central Library Hanley, in room 1 (J R R Tolkien suite) 11.40 - 13.40
Image courtesy of Dawn Jutton
City Voices Creative Writers welcome new member Roy Jones. We are delighted to have fiction writer Roy with us, and having heard an extract of Roy's book 'A New Me' it sounds like it's well worth a read, and has a very contemporary theme. Available in paperback www.amazon.co.uk/New-Me-Edwin-Roy-Jones/dp/1912457172
We hope that Roy is enjoying our friendly group!