As a creative writer, it’s always pleasing to receive recognition, especially from one’s peers.
Money would be better, but for those of us who write poetry, there’s little hope of that.
Recognition arrives in many forms and some came my way recently with no less than three placings in the annual International Poetry Competition run by the organisers of the forthcoming Guernsey Literary Festival.
I rarely enter competitions but was persuaded to do so to support our local literary event, which is growing in stature each year.
This year’s judge was former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion, who selected my poem Sunday Mornings in fifth place out of more than a thousand entries in the Open Section of the competition.
My second entry, Sailing By, came sixth in the Open, while my third poem, Passengers, was second in the prestigious Channel Islands section.
As a result, all three poems will now be displayed publicly at various locations around the island and also feature in the island’s Poems on the Buses promotion.
Sunday Mornings was inspired by my wife, Jane, a memory of whose childhood the poem depicts.
Those Sunday mornings in her parents’ bed,
tucked between them, tight,
she’d wriggle down, inhale their sweaty heat:
that smell, familiar, safe,
suffused with warmth and yet a salty, puzzling redolence.
They were her shelter: a cleft she grew in like an alpine flower.
Her father, red-cheeked, mountain-big,
made the bed tumble like a boat
when he yawned or stretched or turned;
while mother, plump and comfy, perched
at starboard edge, hand on the tiller, in control,
and she, snug and soft-nested between them,
was warmly content, secure in the moment, her future unspent.