Culpepper’s Remedy Poetry Competition
We are pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s competition is
Adele Cordner from Magor, Monmouthshire, for the poem Home
Orange-tipped clouds scud across the warring sky
in a scurry of angst-ridden haste.
They cast an eerie, molten shadow
on the half-dead, mouldering earth beneath.
This is Wales.
And this is what it is to live here,
strapped to the back of the restless landscape
as she rides roughshod over our sullen souls.
In the Valleys, I remember soaked coal
suspended on a slow-moving sling to cross the road.
Then, the endless freight trucks, high-piled with the stuff as they shunt
slowly past our Newport home, driven by rain, through the sleeping tunnel.
The big, blackened men would knock loudly on our door
before broad shouldering the rich sacks
round to the coal shed
and tipping them out with their work-worn hands.
And the mountains.
Until I left them far behind,
I did not know the imprint they had made
on my short life till then.
But, ah, when I return, pass again among their shadows,
feel the stinging rain lash down my hair,
seep through my city shoes on the gum-starred pavements,
when I feel the heavy dark of the snogging alley,
smell the grass-soaked air, mingled with tobacco smoke,
when I laugh and catch my breath at the cold
as we stumble out the pub, without a proper coat,
when I land in the Christmas chapel, with its carolling candles
lighting the rector’s white robes, threaded with gold,
and the long, elfish hood hanging down his back,
then I know I am home. Then I know
it will always be here.
Jim Bennett from Wirral, UK for the poem a geography lesson
Noel King, from Tralee, Co Kerry, Ireland for the poem Hedge Setter
Andy Brown from Bristol, UK for Report from the Front Line
Joan Michelson from London for Home
Jessica Axe from Sydney, Australia for My Messy Room
David Hawkins from Bristol for Friends of Bird Rock
ELSBETH BEARD from Barnstaple, UK for When Not Expecting
Elizabeth McHale from London for Oscail an Doras
Congratulations to all our winning and commended poets we had over 200 entries from around the world.