As with so many events and activities, the coronavirus situation has disrupted this competition. WDCofS is grateful to the Access fund administrators who have donated the prize money. But this year, as there were fewer entries, we have not awarded any prizes.
However, the judges thoroughly enjoyed reading all the entries. The theme of ‘One World’ was interpreted in diverse and interesting ways which led to fruitful writing and showed the range of creative talent among the writers. We are grateful to all those who entered. We are regretful not to announce an overall winner. Many congratulations to the writers of the two poems below, which are Commended.
‘Migration’ by Alison Milner
She doesn’t know the word for goose
me in a hood, her in a hijab
beside a canal clad in winter
she says smiling
accepting the loaf I offer
Her hands cold
like fish in shimmering water
across the towpath
we laugh at the frenetic feeding.
a crescendo of noise, of survival.
Goose, I say
my finger points.
Geese, my arm arches a bridge.
Yes in Syria geese
Before the war I saw.
Just luck, she says frowning
where the bread falls
where the bombs fall
where the shrapnel shatters.
She didn’t know the word for goose
but she knew how to pluck pleasure
and meaning from the moment.
‘Hold on Tight’ by Hannah Stone
Once, there was One World
and its scholars were confident
it was the centre of the universe.
Wiser men scoffed, juggled up other planets,
hung a big sun in the middle,
taught that many worlds circled around the Sun.
Creatures on the One World divided it
into a first world, and a third world, and a truculent middle one.
They became obsessed
with spinning over the surface of the One World
to see what they could find
in the name of new experiences
making memories, understanding other cultures.
They punctured the fragile skin of the One World,
sucked out its nutrients and minerals.
And when the One World started to show
how battered and bruised it was,
they decided to explore the other worlds
that hung in the darkness like jewels.
From high above the One World
they looked down and saw
how beautiful it was, how light and shade played
on its oceans and plains.
How its people clung together
in flooded waters and in fiery wastes.
How they held on.