Monthly Archives: May 2022

Doppelgänger, by Clive Eastwood

3rd prize in this year’s Members’ Competition was won by Clive Eastwood, once of Kent and now of Suffolk, for his poem Doppelgänger.

Doppelgänger

The ghost wears blue trousers.

Pale blue. And a red pullover;
not scarlet or burgundy
but a considered mid-red.
Her hair is white and she leans
a little to the right
as she scans the shelves
in our small supermarket.

As if there were a pebble in her shoe.

Or as she sailor-walks to the checkout,
handbag slung diagonally
from her sloping shoulder.
Yet she’s only a ghost from behind,
head-on she’s someone else.

And only when
she takes you by surprise
as you’re hurrying to find
something almost forgotten.

I once rushed outside to meet her
as planned in the market
but of course she wasn’t there.
Nor is she ever in the garden
dead-heading roses
as we drive towards the house.

Or clattering pots in the kitchen.
Or sitting by the light and at last
handing over the crossword
with only two solutions left to be found.

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Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven, by Jess Mookherjee

Second prize in our Members’ Competition this year was awarded to Kent-based poet Jess Mookherjee for Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven.

Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven

On the bullet train to Kurukawa
Onsen, we take a bag, a map of the lines

on your hand, an axe, a shrunken head.
I follow you, frost- bitten, try to hold you,

Don’t touch, it hurts all over, you say
and the chill’s unwritten on my fingers,

I keep them moving and our plans on ice.
I try to read your face, it’s a tangled hell

in stone cold kanji. I lose you round
the corner of my eye. You chant it’s summer

and we’re just sitting, spending time
with each-other
. You mumble It’s OK,

we’ll change together, when we catch
our connection at Minami.
My skin’s off-peak,

out of season and you stop shivering.
I take an ice pick, break you open,

say don’t fall asleep, we’re going to make it.
My teeth glass-chatter as I kneel, watch you

burst, the cracks are lotus shaped.
Scents will take us as we melt in Kurukawa.

It’s too cold to talk any more and our journey
widens in a shatter of heated springs.

You turn blue as we stop at Minami,
and whisper This Heaven is such a simple thing.

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Wake, by Amal Garnham

First prize in our Members’ Competition this year went to Canterbury poet Amal Garnham for her Villanelle, ‘Wake’.

Wake

Your love lived buried under what you drank
I learnt that change always lay out your reach
My desire to get close to you soon shrank

We spoke and my mind always drew a blank
The bottle seemed deadly like a leech
Your love lived buried under what you drank

The liquor meant your breath normally stank
After being with you I’d run home, screech
My desire to get close to you soon shrank

Beneath the heartbreak I hopelessly sank
You struggled playing schools, letting me teach
Your love lived buried under what you drank

Bad memories consume an entire tank
The tension made me feel I was besieged
My desire to get close to you soon shrank

All burdens aside I need to quietly thank
You dad for caring, erase hurtful speech
I know you loved me even when you drank
You died, and my laments dissolved and shrank

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2022 Folio Winners

In addition to our annual Open Poetry Competition, we also run an annual competition for our members. This year it was judged by well-known writer, poet and editor David Caddy, who this week announced the following winners:

Winners

1st place Wake by Amal Garnham

2nd place Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven by Jess Mookherjee

3rd place Doppelgänger by Clive Eastwood

Highly commended

Gap Year – Caroline Franklyn

Love in the Time of Corona – Marion Hobday

When She Smiled – Mara Bergman

Miss Evans Takes on the World – Jill Munro

Driving Past Things I Might have Missed – Sarah Salway

Congratulations to all. Their poems, alongside another 16 commended poems from Society members, will in due course be published in our printed Folio, along with the winning poems from this year’s open Competition.

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David Caddy and Folio Results

On May 17th., David Caddy is our welcome guest on Zoom.

David is a poet, essayist, critic and literary sociologist from the Blackmore Vale in north Dorset. He was educated as a literary sociologist at the University of Essex. He founded and organised the East Street Poets, the UK’s largest rural poetry group from 1985 to 2001. He directed the legendary Wessex Poetry Festival from 1995 to 2001, and later the Tears in the Fence festival from 2003 to 2005. He has edited the independent and eclectic literary magazine, Tears in the Fence, since 1984. He co-wrote a literary companion to London in 2006, has written and edited drama scripts and podcasts, and regularly contributes essays, articles and reviews to books and journals. David also offers critical appraisals of writers’ work.

Recent books include  The Bunny Poems (2011) & So Here We Are (poetic letters 2012), from Shearsman. Interiors and Other Poems is due next year.

David will announce the results of our members’ competition and read from his own work.

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