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SLQ Daily, 30 September 2020

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2020)
EARLY BIRD PROMOTION ENDS 30-SEPTEMBER-2020

Roger Elkin, Judge

The SLQ Poetry Competition this quarter to be judged by Roger Elkin will close on 31st October. The Early Bird Promotion offering 15% Off Entry Fees must end at midnight 30th September.

We are expecting a strong contest having already logged 250 entries from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, China, France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands, Spain and Malta. Get your entry in today and let’s see about prizing it.

Prize Fund £535.00

Learn more about the competition and enter now >>>



Gap Year by John Foggin and Andy Blackford, SPM Publications, Poetry


Ukamaka Olisakwe, Monday Writer, 28 September 2020

The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Monday Writer this week is Nigerian essayist, poet and novelist Ukamaka Olisakwe. She is the author of Eyes of a Goddess and Ogadinma – a novel published in September 2020. Learn about the author, read the Monday Writer Interview, Ukamaka Olisakwe in conversation with Nnorom Azuonye. There is also a short excerpt from Ogadinma and ‘Girl to Woman’ her short story first published in Sentinel Nigeria in May 2011. This is Ukamaka Olisakwe, SLQ Monday Writer>>>



Read of the Day

A.C. CLARKE
Starvation 1945

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.


Blast from the Past

CHRIS MAJOR
Diagnosed

We stayed the night,
and left as chilly dawn
broke a pale yoke above
an empty car-park.
Groups of birds flapped in trees,
like strips of black sky
torn by barbed branches.
A week into Spring,
and now its starting to snow;
perhaps the years heard your news,
gone mad –
shuffled its seasons
to end in May.

‘Diagnosed’ by Chris Major was first published in Sentinel Poetry (Online) magazine in September 2003.


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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.


A. C. CLARKE
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.


NICHOLAS COCKAYNE
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
Heard.
Clasped in your cold hand it is safe.
Your lost poem.


SLQ Daily 


Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition


End of Mass

By A. C. CLARKE

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.