Touched for the very first time by Paul McDonald

Touched for the very first time is a short story by Paul McDonald was the third prize winner, Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2015. touched-for-the-very-first-time-pm

Anthony Watts to judge Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2017)

Anthony Watts

Anthony Watts

We are pleased to announce that Anthony Watts will judge the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2017). The competition which is open to all poets living in any part of the world will open on 6th March and close on the 31st of May.

Watts has been writing ‘seriously’ for over 40 years and has had poems published in magazines and anthologies in addition to four published collections: Strange Gold (KQBX Press, 1991), The Talking Horses of Dreams (Iron Press, 1999), Steart Point (John Garland, 2009) and The Shell Gatherer (Oversteps, 2011).   He has won prizes in poetry competitions and his poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Somerset Sound.  Rural Somerset has been his home for most of his life and he has no plans to leave it.  His main interests in life are poetry, music, thinking and messing about outdoors.

ENTER COMPETITION HERE

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (February 2017)

Closing date: 28-Feb-2017

Judge: Mandy Pannett author of All the Invisibles

Details: For original, previously unpublished poems in English language, on any subject, in any style, up to 50 lines long.  Poets of all nationalities living in any part of the world are eligible to enter.

Prizes:  £200 (first prize), £100 (second prize), £50 (third prize), £20 x (high commendation) and £10 x 3 (commendation).

First publication:  All winning and commended poems will be published in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine (online)

Results: will be announced on 15-April-2017

Entry Fees:  £4/1, £7/2, £9/3, £11/4, £12/5, £16/7, £22/10

Send cheques/postal orders (GB£ only) in favour of SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT to:

Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom

Contact: Enter online or download Entry Form for Postal Entry at http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry

Getting Started by Chris Heyward

Getting Started by Chris Heyward was highly commended in the Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2015 judged by Alex Keegan.

READ THE STORY HERE

*******

Bean Counter by Dianne Bown-Wilson

Bean Counter by Dianne Bown-Wilson was commended in the Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2015 judged by Alex Keegan.

A leopard never changes his spots, my mother used to say with a resigned pursing of her lips. But since ‘that night’ she doesn’t any more.
She used to say it about Dad who was, is, a typical accountant: steady, pragmatic, controlled. Whether that was his nature and he chose his profession to fit, or whether his work reigned in what was once a more effervescent disposition, I can’t decide.
“Oh, he’s always been like that,” Mum says. But then, thirty-five years on, perhaps today’s torpid reality has driven out all memory of any recklessness that might have punctuated his younger life. After all, she must have thought him exciting once upon a time.
Anyway, to understand what happened you need to know a little of how things were. A few years back my father’s advertising agency, established some twenty years earlier with his best friend Brian and until then, unswervingly successful, was about to go under. The reason for this change in fortunes was simple: Brian, the creative, the yang to Dad’s yin, had been diagnosed with cancer. Read the full story.

Grapefruit Moon by Colin Watts

Grapefruit Moon, a short story by Colin Watts was commended in the Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2015 judged by Alex Keegan.

Read Grapefruit Moon

XXXXX

Strix Aluco by Diane Cook

Strix Aluco*

No wonder they call you wise.

You have solved the swoop-grab ratio
of vole-shadow to deepening wingspan
as easy as Pi r2, and digested
the full philosophy of mouse
before the dark had a chance.
And now at 3am you screech your eureka moment to the world.

And the world is just you, and me.

From your urban revenant of forest
you tear a hole in my dream.
The one where I’m on the precipice of bird-flight
waking the dust off my feathers
in time for that wafer of air
to take me by surprise,
with your wings sprung like flick-knives,
your man-trap talons. This close,
I am no more than an idea of animal sinew
flexed behind the membrane of your eye.

Friday night by the wheelie bins.
I watch you stare wiper-eyed
above the acid glow of street life,
neck swivelling 270 degrees,
way a match for R2-D2.
Well, numbers are your game.
And tricks. Potion-maker, breaker of bones.
No wonder they called you Strix,
the Romans. They knew
a single lunule egg would check alcoholism,
long before the dawn-rakers
in circumferential sway around the ivy
mixed their random pukings
with your pellets’ perfect revisions.

But the irrational was God
when he put your ears on askew,
crowning you an unholy bird.
You’ve turned that round:
calculating where two angles cross
soft scamperings in leaf mould
down to the third claw, left paw.

Strix Aluco by Diane Cook won first prize in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh. *Strix Aluco – Latin for Tawny Owl

Garments by Philip Burton

Garments

I comb the Oxfam shop in Skipton
for trench coats lined with gabardine

a retro-fashionista with a croupier’s hand –
I screw my eyes, feel my blissful way:

liquorish leather, sandy camel hair
gap-year anorak, a maze of astrakhan

the mystic drip of gunmetal drop-waist,
the hot summer of trim Ottoman jersey

Egyptian gingham, spandex kimono,
the fresh cool finger-sift of chesca bead

Indonesian bolero, silver lace midi,
the backhand slap of gold sequin mesh

organdie, organza, spandex, tulle, velour,
the knuckle rap of beaded scallop

hint of chiffon, pale braided paisley lace,
the whoosh of louche vanilla blouse

ritzy, plain, plain ritzy and a glam encore –
a live rendition of democracy; love

how they pull together on the rail –
people should take a lead from clothes –

ah! the worsted pull of gabardine.
I pay. I should pay more. I go

philip

Philip Burton has a love for readings and performance, developed through life as an English and Drama teacher, Lancashire head teacher, folksinger, amateur actor, and as a poetry practitioner who, as Pip The Poet, has provided hundreds of poetry days for schools and for adult learners. His poems are widely published. Stir won the Teignmouth poetry festival poetry competition, 2015, judged by Penelope Shuttle. His collection titled His Usual Theft, Indigo Dreams (pub.), will be available in 2017.

Garments by Philip Burton won third prize in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh.

Austral by Catherine Faulds

Austral
Do not expect a rescue service

Cold invades the bones.
The ice in my gin is millennia old,
netted as it reached the sea’s surface.
It sits on the bar, clear as a mirror,
to be chipped into drinks
while the ship dances with ice floes in the channels.

Day and night, separated
only by gradations of light,
make sleep a conscious act
timetabled from the darker world;
I float among seals whose home is the sea
fly with birds who sleep in the sky
wake at the edge of the planet.

A mass of icebergs on the horizon:
as they calve, their offspring melt
into mythic forms – dragons, sphinxes, gryphons,
pleated like whaleskin.

While snoozing seals turn and sigh,
penguins marshall in waddling armies.
and at the edge of the black beach circling a crater
the sea is hot

Austral by Catherine Faulds was highly commended in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh

Toronto Girl by Oonah V Joslin

Toronto Girl

slender quick how you think no consonants no consequence no breaks events through the day like cup of coffee double shot no lid no lip you flit among high rise traffic fumes and sun-glint twenty four carat bank finger-sampling sushi mall-bites a fluttering cyber-walk mannequin ear-plugging louder to drown the surround sound long into the slim-line stream-line uniform casino Niagara night falls.

restful dawn
golden girl awakes
another gadget-day to go

Toronto Girl by Oonah V Joslin was highly commended in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh