Category Archives: Daily

SLQ Daily, 09 September 2020

In SLQ Daily, 09 September 2020, the Read of the Day is ‘End of Mass’, commended in the  Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones. It is one of the three poems by A.C. Clarke recognised in the competition. No stranger to Sentinel, Clarke won first prize in the SLQ competition in August 2018.

The  Blast from the Past is ‘A Lost Poem’ by Nicholas Cockayne first published in Sentinel Poetry (Online) magazine, September 2003.

Happy Reading.

End of Mass

The long thin priest raises his hand in
dismissive blessing. His vestments glitter

green and gold, that insect sheen
which dizzies me with thoughts of summer’s

unforgiveness. The memory of incense
weighs down the cloistered air.

Along the walls Christ burdened by his cross
enacts the suffering I’ve caused.

Confession boxes wait near candles
spiked through the gut. Bless me father

for I am damned. We file out like
a funeral cortege. Saints follow us

with sightless eyes. I step into the light
near-blinded, breathe the scent of rain.

‘End of Mass’ by A. C. Clarke was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.

A Lost Poem

Your kisses taste of suicide.
A sweet tang upon your lips, hides
The burning of the skies. Each
Drink takes you one step further.
Each mouthful a small wave,
Each sip a little goodbye.
I sit and watch you. This
Poem should be yours, but you no
Longer write.

Your kisses taste of suicide.
Each calming lungful of fire
Makes you glow.
Maul yourself on the inside, the
Secretive seas I know you hide.
I can watch your eyes and only see
Yourself reflected in mine.

Your kisses tasted of suicide.
In your hand I leave this page,
Torn but perfect. This is your poem,
The poem you would have written.
The song of your life you should have
Sung. A lost tale that wanted to be
Clasped in your cold hand it is safe.
Your lost poem.

SLQ Daily 

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition

SLQ Daily, 08 September 2020

In SLQ Daily 08 September 2020 our Read of the Day is ‘Considering the Elephant’, third prize winner in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones. The Blast from the Past is ‘Departures’ by Bruce Ackerley, first published in Sentinel Poetry (Online), September 2003.

Considering the Elephant

Do not be taken in by our lugubrious appearance,
an apparent lack of get-up-and-go,
our certain want of brio.
No — do not be misled
by the ponderous pendulum of each leg,
deceived by the humph and schlep
of the single loaded step,
the hulk, the mass to move from walk
to run (a biomechanical joke),
the effort to shift the feet to haste
with not so much as one complete aerial phase.

Something is happening though you don’t see it yet.
You want, too, for our slow, fateful gait,
the repeated lumbering metres of grey,
nondescript days and days like these.
It’s in the bone, the habit, this mind of our own
to know we know what you can’t know:
within the kinetic heart, ceaseless
change: how all is time, all is flow.

‘Considering the Elephant’ by Michael Brown won third prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 202) judged by Terry Jones.


Leaving by train for London
A tiny fear crept in.
What if, in our mutual waves
We were waving for the last time?
A death that took you in the night,
How sullen fate stole in
To shatter our glass thin bliss,
The gentle detail of our everyday.

So that come the first frost of morning,
How would I; how could I step back
Into a world dressed in your memory?
All objects speaking your name.
A wall over every road. And myself
Without the courage to climb
The strength to break through.

But to return at days end
And rail against this, my sole companion
The ringing tone of a distant phone
Forever left unanswered.

The morning sky fills with showers
I have lived through your loss
Dislodged from my throat
The burn of each new day
So that now I’ve become little more
Than the sum of bloody minded vows
The thin relief when I hear
So many glasses sing with the same grief.

There’s no pretence to martyrdom
Just the long, low wait
For the day to darken.
I’ve been sitting up for you
To know how in the oil lamp glow
You have flown across the rubicon.
No need to show me the formula
For soon I too will bury one world,
Ready another. It’s easy enough –
This unfolding of wings

First one. Now the other.

SLQ Daily, 07 September 2020

Welcome to SLQ Daily on Monday, 7th September 2020. Our Read of the day is ‘Morse’ by Roddy Scott, commended in the SLQ Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones. The blast from the Past is ‘Entropy, Goddess of the Hunt’ by JB Mulligan. As it is Monday, we do have a new Monday Writer; Jocelyn Simms. Read her bio, The Monday Writer Interview and  poems here.


Lit houses strain at their moorings
in the midst of the maelstrom
some flotsam of a boy

alone in the multiplying winds
life and soul at a party of his exclusive ken
gatecrasher at a ball for the elements

drunk on adhesive and air, cheeks bunching
out with bullfrog rhythm, hands clenched
to the lips sucking hard at the white poly bag

he silhouettes under a tinny orange
from the tall street lamp and glancing up to this window,
with his own code

spells out one word,
and a whole society of meanings.

‘Morse’ by Roddy Scott was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.

Entropy, Goddess of the Hunt

A hammered silver bracelet, sliding down
the river’s arm: the early evening sun
precisely tracks the bus. The day is gone

down tunnels of obscure, repeated tasks
and sparkless contact, toward impending dusk,
down grooves worn smooth of feature, bump or risk.

Excreted days accumulate like sand
in hourglasses, to no measured end.
The hollow goddess of this circumstance

demands no sacrifice in flame or blood.
The empty altar bears sufficient deed
of homage: no more than we could.

Her boneless body, in our image caught,
sprawls beside the water, stretches out,
a sacrificial gesture before night.

‘Entropy, Goddess of the Hunt’ by JB Mulligan was first published in Sentinel Poetry (Online) magazine, August 2003.