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Poem of the Month:
Jul 16

Competition 2016: OPEN

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Competition: 2015 Results

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*** Deadline 31st August: 2016 POETRY COMPETITION for Long & Short Poems by women ̵ Details & Entry ***

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Poem of the Month

Round 9, Month 11: Katherine Gallagher is our judge this month and her winning poem is What Lies in the Winter Wood, by Gill Horitz. Her selection of four commended poems are by Anne Ballard, Clare Crossman, Daphne Gloag and Anne Ryland

What Lies in the Winter Wood

End of day, end of year – and she’s thinking what’s next,
her head against the pane and the wind slamming the gate.
When she looks up, the trees are moving through the half light
towards her, through snow piled over the vanished road.
Not a single thought holds her back.
All the meanings held by the trees she remembers,
and how their barks can be unrolled and written upon.
No ordinary wood moves like this, and time is short.
Through the holly tunnels she sings a low song to the owl
and the night leans down, savouring her wintry breath.
What will I take from this? she thinks, looking back
as the moon hurries her along. To believe just once
that such a place exists, the imaginary heart
where everything worth moving towards lies.

Gill Horitz

Poem published in Smiths Knoll, Issue 50

Judge’s comment:
I chose this passionate and intriguingly mysterious poem for its tightly-woven exploration of what lies behind the ‘Winter Wood’, a question we have no doubt asked ourselves many times as each year sweeps by. The first two lines set the tone: ‘End of day, end of year – and she’s thinking what’s next, / her head against the pane and the wind slamming the gate.’ That gate-slam, symbolic and arresting, introduces a momentum for the rest of this beautifully-observed poem.

Katherine Gallagher

Paternal Relations, by Anne Ballard
The Winter Crown, by Clare Crossman
Dark Matter, by Daphne Gloag
For a Daughter, by Anne Ryland