1st Prize Sarah Leavesley That Night
Last Orders at the Light Bar – Gaia Holmes – 2nd Prize
Inspired by a typo on a menu that offers ‘deep fried lamp’ instead of ‘deep fried lamb’
The cheapest you can buy is the thick, bruised light
that follows heavy rain,
the brash blue glare of fly repellent lights,
the mean frowzy light from high rise stair-wells
or the soft, speckled gold of a microwave
cooking its load in the darkness.
Middle of the range is the subtle kind:
light glossing a bowl of green apples,
the muted glimmer of Koi carp in a pond,
sea light squeezed and filtered through a porthole,
the amber Rembrandt bloom of a country pub at night
or the quick flash of first light
bouncing off cans of Strongbow in the corner shop.
The pricey one that’s craved but rarely drunk
is the afterglow.
They say it’s like drinking silk or blended glow-worms.
Those who’ve drunk it wear its warmth for weeks.
At night their fingertips crackle like bonfire sparklers.
Their tongues are embers in their mouths.
The insides of their throats are the colour of foxfire.
Some get hooked, drink too much
and acquire an insincere dazzle.
Light thickens on their teeth,
their smiles become punches.
Everything pales beneath their touch
and their bodies bleach the bed sheets.
Dust to Dust – Anthony Watts – 3rd Prize
There are two themes for me: one is the earth,
the other is the sky.
Here’s how I dissolve my brains in the sky –
It must be a day without cloud, no ushering shapes
to tempt me into a spectator’s seat
I lie a-grass, in wait for the silent summons…
They come out through the eye sockets in big stodgy loops –
mental intestines, swollen and sore
from trying to digest too much universe –
from trying to digest themselves
The sky sucks them up
in a slow tornado; the sky spins –
a chariot wheel bristling with swords.
Chop chop, the work is done
quick as a chef with a fistful of spaghetti .
A passing flicknife gull snatches a bit
And carries it of with a high hoarse whooping cry.
Now the final pulverising light
And the particles of mind settle
(their fine white dust lost
in the blue dust
of the sky.)
Victoria Gatehouse Phosphorescence
Janet Lees Moonshine
Grainne Tobin Heavy Rain, Low Light
Camille Ralphs Upset by its ubiquity, light turns itself in
Rachel Plummer Night Lights (Blackpool Commendation)