Tag Archives: sentinel literary quarterly poetry competition

Trevor Breedon – Chatsworth Street

Chatsworth Street

Not one memory of the place contains rain,
yet here it is now, siling it down, windscreen
runnels melting the house front’s worn brick,
its unmatched windows and the door
with the high letter box, from which news,
good and bad, drifted down for 18 years.
Odd that rain is not remembered, while snow
builds miniature ranges in gutters
and sun bakes gravelled tar into dinner smells,
fag smoke and sawn-off woodyard scents.

Today the strongest stink is said to be of weed
from dealing dens, the talk is of fireworks
launched into neighbours’ homes. But only
at the top end of the street, a resident proclaims,
the end that was for night-time gatherings
under the iron lamp in games of growing up,
baked bean kisses and long drags on rescued nubs,
before seeking, hiding, then vanishing inside
to listen to adult voices wonder
how they might escape this place.


Trevor Breedon

Trevor Breedon lives near Canterbury in Kent. He started writing poetry in 2014 after a career spent working as a sub-editor on newspapers in Sheffield, Nottingham and London. He is a member of two poetry groups, SaveAs Writers in Canterbury and SoundLines in the Sandwich/Deal area.


Chatsworth Street by Trevor Breedon was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.

Ted Gooda – Seeds

Seeds

Genesis.
In late winter I sowed so many seeds,
spending time in a blindly hopeful gamble:
covered them in dirt knowing nothing
would appear at all for weeks, if ever.
Petulant frost did for some, one starred night
when the greenhouse door was left wide open;
heat did for more when scorching sun crippled
through radiating glass that should protect.

Exodus.
In April, I planted out, after what
I’d heard was the last of the cold. It wasn’t.
Demeter’s grief had miles further to run,
adding to my hurt. Nodding bedding plants,
begonia and petunia, lost their heads.
Little red mouths stopped smiling. Frozen
corpses lay in that cold bed, unblanketed.

Leviticus.
My daughter, high priestess of Pinterest
taste, helped with re-planting. She wore
my gloves, hands nearly my size,
I had to show her how to break hard ground.
I watched her choose new places, pattern earth.
So more of that blasted blind hope returns,
with Persephone, broadcast to the winds.

Ted Gooda

Ted Gooda is a West Sussex poet, ghostwriter and teacher. She is editor for the National Writing Project (UK), and the ghost of a series of foster carer books by Louise Allen (writing as Theresa McEvoy), the most recent of which, Eden’s Story reached the Sunday Times Top Ten general bestsellers list in February 2021. She lives, not far enough from the madding crowd, with her husband, three children and a flock of hens.

Seeds by Ted Gooda received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.

Becky Cherriman – Sundial in glorious pestilence of clover mites coming up through cracks

Sundial in glorious pestilence of clover mites coming up through cracks

xii
Itch of tomatoes. Frog-shock in watering can. Beans on poles.
Runner Bean, nickname called as I footed it nude down the garden,
gappy-toothed, hair straggling free,
to the little wooden slide. Each generation in turn –
headfirst into the paddling pool.
Blistered, splintering, looping joy of it.

iii
Inside the mottled garage, fear hangs
with spiders to grime the windows, their enterprise
(the) cold and dark.
Beyond, the neighbour’s garden
where a millennial boy, visiting
from his care home, screams at the wrongness.

vi
Laurel sway. Curls on my son’s head as he tilts the hose
over planters dreamy with my mother’s sweet peas.
Stone, like time, too hot to touch.
Gnomon casts its shadow –
every quarter different,
every day the same.

ix
Resting on the copper plate,
Granny’s Cinecamera turned on all of this.
House passed on then sold.
Even our children grown and gone
but these overexposed summers flicker up through the decades,
unspool in landfill, the whirring of memory.

 

Becky Cherriman

Becky Cherriman a writer, workshop leader and performer who works part time in Creative Writing at the University of Leeds’ Lifelong Learning Centre. Her poetry publications include pamphlet Echolocation and collection Empires of Clay, and works in Mslexia, Stand, Bloodaxe, Seren, and The North. Her writing has also been recognised for awards such as the Forward and the Women’s Poetry Prize and commissioned by organisations and charities including BEAM, Imove, The Cultural Institute, and Morley, Humbermouth and Ilkley Literature festivals. www.beckycherriman.com

“Sundial in glorious pestilence of clover mites coming up through cracks” by Becky Cherriman received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.