Winning student entries


1st Prize – £150
Patricia Osborne:  Grandad’s garden

Runners Up – £20
Sophie Baldock : Your room
Natalie Edelman:  Still

Justin Grize : See the blossoming
Dawn Hart : You held my soul
Veneta Neale:  Choices

Grandad’s Garden by Patricia Osborne

I turn the cone upside down,
it changes to a flower,
like the dahlias
in Grandad’s garden
where creepy earwigs
hide inside.

I paint my pinecone fiery orange,
use a green-striped straw for the stem,

wrap it in mistletoe paper,
place it under the tree
as a special present
for Mummy
on Christmas Day,

to make her smile,
cos she cries in bed, every night,
since Grandad died.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Your room by Sophie Baldock

This room is full of secrets
Now more than ever
Full of memories of touch
Of sweet words
Memories of moments passed
Words said and agreed upon
To be merely broken months down the line
Times of when we’ve spoken till 2AM
Full of moments when we’ve laid in silence and stared at the ceiling
Or staring at each other, not knowing what to do with the feelings in our heads
With the instinctive longing to reach out and touch
Of times when we did, lying forehead to forehead, nose to nose
Lips to lips
Legs intertwined
Clothes scattered
Duvet thrown
Skin on fire
Gasps being the only sound in the still night
All have happened
And more
All here
In this room

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Still by Natalie Edelman

There’s a heart still beating
Lost in dust
And others’ curves and hollows
It’s been a long time waiting for something

My fear of blindness is the light which may wait to greet meet me
I would form a warm cocoon
And bring comfort to my sorrow

So still I wait and wait
No poise beyond arms of raw desire
But if I lean so I might stretch
And grow steadily to peace

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See the blossoming by Justin Grize

See the blossoming cactus
blossoming cactus blossoms
three at a time, untended.
Top-heavy, insolent
upstart Spring rolls in
unbidden, unexpected.
New dawns each seep deeper into the dreaming city,
as sunrise and sunset both creep back from the sea
to stretch their light over hillsides and streets six months neglected.
And up in some window, see
how up in this window
even the blossoming cactus is
blossoming cactus blossoms
three at a time, untended.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You held my soul by Dawn Hart

As the sea breathed out
We felt cold foamy ripples on our naked feet
And the seaweed’s dance tickled our toes

As the sea breathed in
We felt the earth’s pull invite us in
And pebbles danced to their own castanets

And as the sea breathed out
For one eternal moment
You held my soul
And I relaxed
At peace

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Choices by Veneta Neale

I didn’t choose to have a button nose,
I didn’t choose to have hair that started black, turned brown and now is rapidly turning grey,
I didn’t choose for my Asian Dad to get together with my Black British Mum,
I didn’t choose to be born,
I didn’t choose to have a Black face and Asian hair that the black boys on the bus asked if they could touch because
they couldn’t believe it was real.

I did choose to embrace my heritage, with all that entails,
I did choose to listen to my Mum when she said, “But you know yourself”,
I did choose to turn the other cheek when I was called ‘Coolie’ by my peers,
Blackie by the racists,
Too white by the ignorant,
And too dark by my Fathers family.

I did choose to listen to my Dad when he said “Who cares? I don’t”,
I did choose to love myself, because I deserve too,
I did choose to be proud of being Black,
Proud of being British,
Proud of being a Woman,
Proud that I am able to acknowledge that the labels that have been given to me,
Do not and will never define who I am.

 Main Shot Credit :  Sam Sesemann /