by A.C. CLARKE
A woman scoops tea from the week’s ration
into the prewarmed pot as her mother taught her,
settles herself with the morning paper.
Grey bodies strew the page in random heaps:
somewhere in Germany she’s never heard of,
bare ground, black trees. And bodies.
The picture brings to mind that morning after
a Blitz night, when she walked down Regent’s Street,
shopfronts blasted out and mannequins
scattered across the street awkwardly splayed,
and much too thin for life. She turns the page,
sipping her tea. Best not to look too close.
Her daughter leans across the table:
we’re running low on butter coupons.
‘Starvation 1945’ by A.C. Clarke was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.
It was the silence
that caught you out –
like the soft middle of a meringue.
Like waking on an opalescent cloud,
or thinking yourself lolling
on a branch of a white cherry tree,
scents mizzling your head.
Flicker through sea foam,
finger-ripples that brought Aphrodite
to Limassol’s shore, anchored
to her pearly shell.
Walk along a melting ice tunnel
in Chamonix. Each droplet
has a story to tell.
Pressure builds, omits a sigh
when breath exhaled
disturbs this paradise.
Behind thin suburban walls,
as you snatch at guilty pleasures,
a faint susurration, no more.
‘It was the silence’ by Jocelyn Simms received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) judged by Mandy Pannett.
Judge’s Report, Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) By Mandy Pannett The twelve poems selected quickly made their presence felt. Unfortunately, so did quite a few others which caused me quite a lot of uncertainty and mind-changing. There were … Continue reading