Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology
Category Archives: General
How my lover became less elemental is hard to say.
The day the fire melted from his bones and the sweat
on his brow turned to sugar, fell beyond calendars.
I noticed it when we stopped talking of dragons
and the sex on TV made him cry.
I would hold on to him, hold him by the shoulders, narrower now,
hold him by the hand in case he thought
he would whirl away like a bewildered leaf.
And in nightmares spent fumbling off the sheets
to the crêpey curl of his moaning,
I loved him more,
folding him twice at first, then later three times to me
in remembrance of how it used to be.
On evenings of fierce moonlight
he was calm, when the garden reflected
his similar insubstantial shadow.
All was the same then.
Even the trees looked familiar.
“The Softening” by Diane Cook was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick
Diane Cook is a poet, playwright, short story writer and a founding member of Congleton Writers’ Forum, a Cheshire-based group which has just celebrated 25 years of productive writing. She has gained awards for plays, short stories and poetry, including First Prize in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015. As well as co-writing and editing a poetic narrative Slaughter by the Water based on the true story of the Congleton Cannibal, she has also directed her own psychological drama Splinter; and her tragi-comedy We Would Have Noticed The Moon has been filmed as a black box TV play was screened in 2016.
Physically, emotionally, financially broke
Self-pride walked a path of wrong turns and false hope
Time to exhale, let go and concede
Take your hand, I surrender and follow your lead
“Surrender” by Kelly Nunnerley received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick
Kelly writes from Cardiff, Wales.
is a word you should not confuse
with labial, which describes parts
of the vagina commonly called lips
and in effect means lippy, taking
you back to your teenage strops
and to the first lipstick you bought,
its plastic tube labelled ‘rose wine’,
a pink that suited your skin so well
you still look in vain to find its match,
though at your age its formula might
be liable to seep from your mouth
in runnels, slippery as eyeshadow
melted by the tears you can’t control.
“Labile” received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick.
Also by Sharon Phillips – What does the heart mean in popular culture?
Anyone? Seat of the emotions, yes.
Romantic love, yes. What else? What
does the heart mean to you? Yes, you.
Heartache, heartbreak. Good. Or not,
as the case may be. My achey breaky
heart, its causes and effects. No cure.
Any more? Heartbeat, indeed: it skips
when my baby kisses me. Kissed me.
Some of you may think that absurd.
Failure to cite popular music will lose
marks. Total eclipse of, anyone who had,
etcetera. Your examples will be more
up to date. Past my sell-by date, she said.
More ideas? Heartbroken. Broken-hearted.
Good. More detail, anyone? Who had love
that’s now departed. How apt. Well done.
Another noun, perhaps? Heart-breaker.
Bang on. Check spelling for accuracy.
She said I kept lyin’ when I oughta been
truthin’. I didn’t understand. Still don’t.
Quotation, not quote. I try not to feel bitter.
Bitch. Any more? Yes? Heartsick. Archaic
but nonetheless useful. Explain, anyone?
Dejected. Correct. Despondent. Yes.
Bacharach, Burt and David, Hal. ‘Anyone who had a heart’. Warner Chappell Music
Collins English Dictionary. Definition of ‘heartsick’.
Hazlewood, Lee, ‘These boots are made for walkin’’. Universal Music.
Montgomery, Bob and Petty, Norman. ‘Heartbeat’. Universal Music.
Steinman, Jim. ‘Total eclipse of the heart’. Warner Chappell Music.
Von Tress, Don. ’Achey Breaky Heart’. Universal Music.
Weatherspoon, William, Riser, Paul and Dean, James. ‘What becomes of the broken hearted?’. Sony Music Publishing.
“What does the heart mean in popular culture?” by Sharon Phillips was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick.
Sharon retired from a career in education in 2015 and started to write poems again after a break of 40 years. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ink Sweat and Tears, Picaroon, Algebra of Owls and Snakeskin, among others. In 2017 she won the Borderlines Poetry Competition with her poem ‘Tales of Doggerland’ and was also shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Sharon lives on the Isle of Portland, in Dorset.
After I thought I’d risen above the naffness:
all that nonchalant throwing of the hat onto the stand,
the eyebrows like handlebars, the licence to pun.
Sean still floats my leaky boat.
Perhaps it’s that scene in From Russia With Love
where he’s alone, undressing for the shower,
slipping off polished shoes and flinging
his shirt behind him like he hates it;
all big-cat arrogance and slumberous grace.
Then there’s that hairline crack
of tenderness when he asks the woman be spared;
the complicated gun-sling under the evening suit.
I know at 55 I’m meant to hate
the way Sean grabs at broads as they sashay
close enough to be caught; the swift
up-down-up first look that skims
with practised ease over stockinged legs, dewy lips.
Instead I turn into hot fudge
at the growl and purr of that voice
that can say take off your dress in six languages;
the love of Turkish tobacco blends,
the knowledge of fifty shades of dryness
in a vermouth; the room service order
for thick chilled yoghourt and green figs for breakfast.
At 55 I want all these things back again
as if I’d ever had them.
Aston Martins trembling in the shadows,
iced caviar on silver trays, and Sean –
padding across his hotel room in his socks,
checking for bugs the paintings, the light fittings.
‘At 55 I Still Fancy Sean Connery’ was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2017)
David Canning wins the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2017) judged by Anthony Watts.
Closing Date: 31-August-2017
Details: Organised every three months …since July 2009, this competition is for original, previously unpublished poems in English language, on any subject, in any style, up to 50 lines long. All winning and commended poems will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine (online and in print) – published by SPM Publications.
Prizes: £200 (First), £100 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (Highly Commended), £10 x 3 (Commended)
Entry Fees: £4/1, £7/2, £9/3, £11/4, £12/5, £16/7, £22/10
Judge: Oz Hardwick
Contact: Enter Online or download Entry Form at http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry/index.htm
Send Cheques/Postal Orders payable to SPM PUBLICATIONS LTD to:
SPM Publications Ltd, Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113 – 115 George Lane, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom
Gap Year – Andy Blackford & John Foggin
Splendid in its Silence – Jude Neale
Landing Stage – Joan Michelson
Sentinel Literary Quarterly (April – June 2017)
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