Tag Archives: Highly Commended

Sentinel Champions August 2015. SLQ Poetry Competition. Jason Lytollis – Highly Commended

The Sea’s Return Home


Our sea comes in
in tongues riffling fast as feathers,
blurred with flap and clatter, this is Babel on wheels, the agglomerated
hurl and rive, the piling on of languages, cacophanous.
A noisy rainbow’s grafted itself white.

Whisht, now, it’s here;
the flags of many nations flare and are let go,
utterances marked by travel are swilled back to the mother tongue.
It broadens where it shimmies in, slicks the sea steps at talk’s ebb,
whispers: wheere and theere.

It knows where’s home,
our own bonny polyglot, always quick to catch on,
we all of us said it’d go far (and how!).
It fairly shot up – and out – but never despised its roots.
Scuffing on the doormat,

joggling the sneck,
it’s got its proper accent pat, slotted back,
backlogged with craic and ripe for dishing it; it’s been the Red Sea,
the Yellow and Black. The last lees of clatter filter out,
through the scrawp of stones, the wheezing frequencies.

Jason Lytollis. Highly Commended

Sentinel Champions August 2015. SLQ Poetry Competition. E K Wall – Highly Commended

The Unloved

Quietly, like the moon breathing,
she folds everything that she is
into the grey handkerchief of herself.

Into her grubby square, she drops
her dead parents’ iced eyes, glazed
over with misgivings, resentments,
disappointment’s cataracts.
(They never could see
the wood for the trees.)

Next, she rests, gently,
her redundant love that
nobody ever wanted. Her
odds and ends, her remnants,
her remains, withdrawn now from
her platter offered to a cruel world.

Juggling, in the cotton rag,
scraps thrown to her over
a lifetime of loneliness and warmth’s
occasional crumbs that she existed on,
she starts to stride out from
her familiar neighbourhood.

Passing stark landmarks, silences,
moments frozen in a dark time,
blurry now, corners where
she was mercilessly taunted,
she walks, her hair salt candyfloss,
towards the cliffs that hold the mad sky up.

And she keeps going.

E K Wall Highly Commended

Sentinel Champions August 2015. SLQ Poetry Competition. Highly Commended Paul Connolly

Coal Shed

It was there long after the outside toilet
Was demolished, lingered when the
Entire back yard – small cherry tree,
Sand pit – was concreted, even when itself

Was turned into a tool shed, it hung round,
Drawing my eye-flicking to where
It wasn’t and hadn’t ever
Been. The bottom board, side- and cross-slats unbound

The coal hole, blacked with slack and shadow. Bonfire
Night’s dark was scrubbed up, spit-and-polished
By it, and on grey days I thought it
Pooled the parasitic floaters in my eyes

In blurs more infinite than things. Its pull
Thralled me. In comparison El
Greco’s ophidian maw of hell
Is childish. Thirty-six feet cubed, half-full

Of coal then nothing, is awe. My son fears
The curtained off under-stairs. It’s
Half-full of odds and sods too, bits
Of shadow and the countenance that nears

As I bend over the garden’s slope, into
What’s held by the bent trees tonight:
Dark, flaring lacquered anthracite,
Displays its star-annihilating truth.

Paul Connolly. Highly Commended. August 2015