The Poetry Kit







1st Place

Intercessor by Glen Wilson  (Portadown)



MONA LISA – Jane Edmonds (Beaconsfield)



Response to Misery  by Joe Troughton  (Gawthorpe)

Lady Jane by Scott Elder  (France)

The Last Man… by Robin Gilbert (Cheltenham)

Sunflowers  by Rita Carter (Ireland)

Nightfall, Luxor by Stephen Percival  (Liverpool)

'Corporation Street Birmingham March 1914' by steve Harrison  (Shropshire)

When I Say You I Mean Me by Suzanna Fitzpatrick (Orpington)

Fetus  by Georgina Titmus (Truro)


A judges report will be published here as soon as we have it.  But for now below is the winning poem by Glen Wilson.


Intercessor By Glen Wilson

After ‘A special pleader’ by Charles Burton Barber


They must have posted this out in the eighties

to all the homes in our area, it was that familiar.


In neighbours and friends house hung various sun-bleached copies,

the girl against the wall, the collie, one protective leg lifted,


ears bent to appease some authority figure out of frame,

the exact offence unexplained. We filled in many blanks.


Our copy was mounted in the landing, outside the bathroom,

while in the frame the scene led to a lounge with a piano,


I had never associated it with music or silence until now,

If this picture, or any picture has sound, it was the dog’s pleading.


The wallpaper in the painting was fancier than the wallpaper

it rested upon, though we did have curtains the same Olive green.


I only notice now the doll in the teal dress and yellow sash

passed out on the hardwood, no one ever came to lift her.


I always recollected that the girl was crying

but now face half-turned I see no tears


only a blush of an unknown shame.

We had a dog just like that collie,


I never got to say goodbye to her.





1st place

Underlay by Rachel Goodman (Hindringham, UK)



A Last Walk Along the Strand by Chris Raetschus (Hexham, UK)


Highly Commended

Nells House by Nancy Tinnell (Louisville, USA)

The universe by Mitali Parewa (London, UK)

Mistakes by Anna Kenyon  (UK)

Ink by Anna Whitehouse (Birmingham, UK)

Communication by A C Clarke (Glasgow, UK)

Give me a Second by Gemma Barnett (UK)

Excarnation by Dan Mountain (Cheltenham, UK)



The poems for this year’s open Spring competition were varied. Dealing with diverse subjects from a train journey over the Rockies to a visit to the supermarket.  A longlist was selected from the entries and from this came the shortlist and the eventual winners.  The winning poem Underlay by Rachel Goodman was chosen because it is a unique poem, in some ways a meta poem, and one that moves through elements of a relationship and through time, through loss and generations, containing the stories of those relationships and dealing with loss. its use of the device of printing out the draft of a poem onto a previously used piece of paper works very well and allows us a glimpse of "Nancy" who we can assume is the person being referred to in other parts of the poem.  This use of revelation and the episodic way we see her and the viewpoint character works well and the result is an poem that at no time does this poem become mawkish but deals with its painful subjects in a matter of fact way, engaging the reader and drawing us along with these carefully presented snapshots. This poem with its imagery and metaphor left an impression that tipped the balance for me in selecting it as the winning poem.

Lucy Turnbull



Underlay by Rachel Goodman


March 2022. In the garage I find offcuts of carpet from before the ones she has now –

the carpets that would see her out.  In Paradisum.  Snowdrops.


The printer ink is running low, but I’m only at first draft stage.     I print drafts on

                                                                                                                      Nancy’s Daily Care Plan

the backside of used paper; other people’s poems, earlier drafts, her last will and testament. 


My font is sans serif.                              Nancy’s


She used to call it the Curse.  Each month, hormones with their hammers pounded her brain.  Sometimes at weekends too.  We learnt not to resent her absence. Afternoon rest:  Yes/No


Are we heading for a Third World War?   It’s too late to prune the wisteria. The solicitor says I needn’t apply for probate.  The charity shop only wants summer clothes.

                                                    Nancy does her own Beconase nasal spray every AM & PM


 ____________________   The days are threadbare.  I’m only at first draft stage.

I’ve had too many coffees and the printer ink is running low.


Care Plan                     The faint lines of the tick boxes showing through are mildly irritating.

I prefer Calibri (Body) – no nonsense.   We had to play quietly on migraine days.


My sister wears her elder child crown of thorns and is too wounded to discuss the practicalities. 

Should I, could I, house some refugees?  I have the room, but not the space.  The lady in the butcher’s says perhaps they could help pick cabbages.  I think of engineers and poets bent double in the fields.                

I try to recycle. Sometimes the printer takes up two or ten pages at once and then gets stuck.  It doesn’t do it with new paper.  Her dying has made me surly and old.    



She wasn’t there when I started bleeding.         Care     I waited for the migraine.  My sister got that gene – and the wedding ring – she cried.                       Plan


I got the arthritis.  Sapphires and diamonds.          Nancy’s         avec serif


She said the carpets would see her out, but there were bald patches where her feet had been.  She put rugs down.  I said they were a trip hazard.  My sister agreed.




The days are threadbare.  You can almost see the underlay.  I would have picked daffodils for her about now.  Seven black sacks of birthday cards.


                  Catheter night bag:  Clarity? Capacity? Concerns?             Too many sandals.


It was something we would have to accept, as girls.  She married once.  I married twice. 

My sister married someone in 1985 so she could get her green card.   Did Nancy ever know?


There’s a Bra Bank outside Tesco.  Her underwear drawer is full of empty Jo Malone bottles and lavender bags that smell of nothing.  



The policeman was embarrassed, told us to take off her jewellery, just in case. Her earrings were clogged with face powder.  I cleaned them, but I can’t wear them.  


I showed my daughter how to put a tampon in.               Supervise & Assist        sans serif


The ink is running low.  I’ll print out this version on a clean sheet. The next version on its backside, so you will see the underlay.  English Pear & Freesia. Five nail clippers.  Hairpins. 

Oil of Olay.  A heart cushion – I love Grandma. Tena Lady. Tiger balm. Oramorph.








Results of earlier competitions