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Enter Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2020)

Only 23 days left to enter the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2020)

Roger Elkin

Judge: Roger Elkin, author of Marking Time and Sheer Poetry

Closing date: 31-October-2020

Prize fund: £535.00

Entry fees from £5.00

Learn more and enter now – online or by post – at https://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry/index.htm

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition
Prizing poetry…since July 2009

Dalí Eating Sea Urchins

by A.C. CLARKE

Windfalls (you’d think) from a marine sweet chestnut,
their spines still slowly quiver.
He finds scissors. Digs in

cutting a circle through each unresisting
anus, flips off the round of shell
like the lid of a jar. Snaps the rest

in two as he might a peeled orange.
Five glistening lobes in each half, nestling
in a puddle of dark brine. He drains

and rinses them, scoops out
ten mouthfuls of sex – salt cream
dissolving on his tongue –

licks his fingers slow and thorough,
tasting the creature’s final throb, seasoned
with guilt: the sweeter for that.


‘Dalí Eating Sea Urchins’ by A.C. Clarke won second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.


Starvation 1945

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.