Tag Archives: oz hardwick

Simon Tindale

Two Doors

I can’t drink like I did before
the doctor found me at death’s door.
Worst case that she ever saw.
Took me ages to withdraw.
When she left I knew the score,
either give up drinking or
lose the woman I adore.
I’ll give it up for her I swore.
A curse upon the monkey’s paw
for granting me one last encore,
Stag Do at The Troubadour,
drinking cava through a straw.
A stellar cask of cronies roar.
Soon my spirit levels soar
in search of music and amor
and two more brandies por favor.
“Excuse me mate you’re being a bore.”
Excuse me mate your wife’s a whore!
The bouncer picks me off the floor,
kicks me through the nightclub door.
“If you come back I’ll call the law.”
I go back ’cause I want war.
Swing my bat and break his jaw
then break into a liquor store.
If I behave, I’m out in four.
That’s why I can’t drink no more.

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Two Doors by Simon Tindale was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2019) judged by Oz Hardwick.

Jim Friedman

Stickmen

Hunting huge animals,
stickmen like burnt matches
run across a cave wall.

One hunter has fallen,
is left behind, limbs splayed,
drawn like a crossing out.

Nearby, figures surround
a fire as red as life
keeping darkness away.

What have they gathered for?
As survivors, perhaps,
to eat, later to howl

for that spread-eagled man,
X-ed like a treasure map
that tells them where death is?

Here’s his small requiem;
a torch held long enough
to picture him as dead,

his kin sharing a fire
while they felt what was left
of him burning in them.

Markings made out of soot,
manganese, some water,
a little of their blood.

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Stickmen by Jim Friedman won Second Prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2019) judged by Oz Hardwick.
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Jim Friedman lives in Beeston, Nottinghamshire and is a member of the Derby Stanza group. He taught English at Loughborough University with special interests in contemporary poetry and medieval studies. He had a second career as a relationship counsellor and supervisor with Relate. Since retiring he has started writing poetry again after a forty-year break.

Paul Nash

The Albatross at Langdon School

In the referral classroom, nowhere bound,
You make a fit mascot for this company
Of fleet sprites turned to snails who can’t fly free,
Your eyes fixed blindly on the bright playground.
How long since they were real, and you could see
Silver shoals flashing through tourmaline canyons,
Glide homeward to your seldom-seen companion’s
Greeting, or spot your human enemy?
Above the ocean’s rage, St Elmo’s fire
Streaming aloft from yardarm and masthead,
You, angel of the wind, would rest a spell
As the crew toiled, dwarfed by the looming swell,
Then return to the turbulent empire
You ruled once, when those tireless wings could spread.

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The Albatross at Langdon School by Paul Nash received a Special Mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2019) judged by Oz Hardwick.
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Paul Nash, born in London of Anglo-Irish parentage and living in Ireland since the age of 8, is a graduate and Ph.D of Trinity College, Dublin, former lecturer and teacher and has worked throughout the Internet era as a technical and multimedia writer, editor and designer. He has won some modest awards for verse and songs, including second in the Outposts magazine competition, third in the Leek Festival competition and most recently first in the Edgeworthstown festival competition and third in the Ledbury festival competition. He has also been shortlisted in the Bridport and Rush competitions and longlisted in the National Poetry Competition and eight times in the Fish Publishing competition. In 2017 he resumed publishing poems and appeared in Eyewear’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 anthology and in the Dublin magazine Flare. He is an active songwriter and composer under the name Alphasun, with three albums of music published online on Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp.