Category Archives: Sentinel Champions

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Poem by Lesley Burt

Parish without postcode A sink-hole opens, just where the Priory sat in scrutiny of tweedy textures on Hengistbury Head and, beyond, on asterisks of sunlight that dazzle jet-skiers who ruffle the Solent. Bones of a thousand years drop in underneath … Continue reading






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Poem by Pamela Scobie

Anorexic The elephant in the room is growing smaller even as we sit here. Her skin today is somewhere between grey and khaki, and I am fairly certain that underneath the gorgeous shawl soft hairs are growing along her spine. … Continue reading






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Poem by Laura Potts

The Wise Child I remember he fled from the fogdrop moors with the dawn and the bells of December beyond, calling morning to the streets while winter wept beneath the trees. A sleeping me before the door glowed on behind … Continue reading






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Poem by Andy Dean

Into the Wood 3.15 Relaxation. A new class. It makes us anxious. She places a white orchid on the padded table. There is a torn label on the plastic pot saying REDUCED. Something for you to contemplate. Nature is so … Continue reading






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Poem by Margaret Wilmot

Game in a Dutch Castle It is the pity of it, all those lives stuffed on their pedestals, dead. And a kind of shame pervades my pity too – as if voyeur at some nasty game. I shouldn’t be here … Continue reading






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Poem by John Freeman

Opus 131 That opening slow rising-and-falling tune on the first violin, emerging out of silence, descending to the understanding welcome offered by second violin, viola, and cello so discreet I scarcely hear it, does for me what I think the … Continue reading






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Poem by Karen Morash

Things I Have Advertently and Inadvertently Taught My Daughters This Past Year No one is wholly good or wholly bad. (with one or two exceptions) A movie scene with a woman being a warrior can make up for badly-written dialogue … Continue reading






Answering Julia Copus – poem by Sandra Galton

Answering Julia Copus

Yes, Julia, love can be like spilt tea,
inching up through us, warm and sweet,
sepia-coloured, you describe it –

but when it steals in unbidden,
that first timid stain (should you resist)
will embed itself, bleeding like raw meat

dense and violet, its fist of iron
ever-present, binding yet purblind,
drumming senselessly. Unanswerable,

not mere autocrat, but anarchist,
it breaks every rule – its rivers,
like arteries starved of oxygen, double

back to that place before you knew
love – and how it was to be
you being you.

Answering Julia Copus by Sandra Galton received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.

Machine – poem by Martin Wildman

Machine

I slept and dreamt of the Amazon,
unhooked a river
and it became an endless souk.
I crafted an apple –
that crisp dead fruit became a tiny wall of glass.
I breathed three stars into a clock
and they shook to tell me my brother was there.
I spoke to an echo
and a woman’s voice cried an electric crackle.
I heard a bluebird tweet
and it carved a troll of ancient granite.
I searched in the dust of God’s library
and found a tome shaped like my face.
I hunted for Jesus amongst the chatter
and a million prophets appeared in the smoke.

At night, when I breathe,
it is with a machine
without which I would die.
I would suffocate in the very air
that feeds the bats and the hyenas
and the crying babies in their mother’s arms.

One day, I asked a changeling
whether I needed to use technology
and he scattered ten thousand flowers on the floor
which spelt out the words
‘Without me, you are nothing.’

Machine by Martin Wildman received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.

The Call – poem by Audrey Ardern-Jones

The Call

Lately she’d promised not to paddle in the sea
or ride her bike, instead she stayed inside,
pill packets left in rows on the dressing table.

A stickler for no waste – pulverised left-overs,
stewed teabags squeezed to feed cuttings,
calendar pictures made into thank you cards.

She made collages from dried fish bones, tops
of poppy heads, toothpaste tops shaped
as rocks – green splintered glass as forest trees.

In summer months she’d drive down south;
whole mornings in her Morris Minor, driving
on A roads, B roads, sandwiches and flasks of tea.

She’d sit with grandchildren on her knee
playing games with words in a Collins Graphic
English Dictionary – spelling out the impossible.

I suppose we shouldn’t have been surprised,
a shrill voice enquiring ‘are you next of kin?’
We couldn’t find our map, like us, it was missing.

The Call by Audrey Ardern-Jones was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.