Shortlisted poems

Here are the twelve shortlisted poems in our year long poetry competition. They are reproduced below without the poets’ names so you can just vote on the poems…

Voting is now open. Pick your favourite three and let us know. You can fill out the form here or email us at, or you can drop a note into the Poetry Post Box at 1 Brookside Cottages or at the Village Market on 5 May, or you can do some clicking and liking on the Crowhurst Community Arts Facebook page. Final votes can be cast at the Quiz and Poetry Night on 11 May 2018, where we’re also hoping to raise a little extra money for St Michael’s Hospice.



Winter’s passed, away the grey!
The world’s very yellow and blue today.
Speedwells, violets, forget-me-nots
Shelter snugly in sunny spots
Primroses and some daffodils, still
Make bright splashes in the shadowy chill.
Daisies and dandelions spot the grass
Into dapple as the clouds make their pass.
Early buttercups and celandine
Make little suns on earth to shine.
Blue tits feed, then off they fly
Away into the sapphire sky.
Winter’s passed, away the grey!
The world’s very yellow and blue today.


What’s there? (A poem about Scotland)

Hues of purple and green,
Far views, big sky.
In the highlands and glens,
Deer run, eagles fly.

Moody castles and brochs,
Standing circles of stone,
Remnants of those
Who once called this home.

Ancient mountains and rocks
Where the mist drifts and curls,
Falling waters, still lochs,
A part of me
And my girls.


Getting old

Now where are my glasses?
I’ve got several pairs.
They can’t have gone far,
Maybe they’re upstairs.

I never took pills
I stayed well away,
Now I take quite a few,
A large number each day.

I’ve been up the stairs
To collect something up there,
I’ve returned empty-handed,
Oh dear! I despair.

I’ve just typed an email,
And it’s happened again,
A word that I knew
Has gone from my brain.

I used to walk miles,
10 miles was a doddle,
Now 6 miles is my limit,
The last bit a hobble.

It’s called getting old
And it’s a bit of a pain,
But it comes to us all,
It’s as certain as rain.

So the moral of this
If truth be told,
Although I don’t like it,
I’m just getting old!


The ox eye daisies

I love the ox eye daisies.
I picked them as a child.
We’d run across the banks and fields
Where they were growing wild.

My Mother’s favourite flower,
Blooming in the month of her birth,
I’d gather them for a present,
More precious than gems were they worth.

My Mother has long since gone,
The flowers became bittersweet.
Through tears I could not look at them,
From their beauty I would retreat.

Then memories became more joyful,
My grandchildren pick them for me,
From carpets of white and gold,
A vision for all to see.

I gaze upon them thinking
Of my childhood long since past,
And the daisies so loved by my Mother
Give memories that last and last.


A Mandalay child

Long, long years ago, I lived in Mandalay,
Where parents danced the lancers
At monthly balls, such grand affairs,
Each function giving pleasure.

Our house was large with rambling rooms,
With nursery floor and gardens too,
All trim and neat, cool and shady,
Beneath the bower of blooms.

Where servants padded softly by,
Serving with loyal pleasure,
For me and mine, in old Mandalay,
During those long gone days of leisure.

Though wars may come and years roll by
Those memories I will keep by me,
Happy days of childhood years
In grand and ancient Mandalay.


Oh why!

Oh why is it that 3am
Is the time to dwell on
All the things you wished you
Hadn’t said the night before?

Oh why is it that 3am
Is when you spend time worrying
About all those indiscretions
And think about how to make amends?

Oh why is that after 3am
You spend time watching the clock
And the hours pass in slow minutes
As sleep eludes you.

Oh no it’s 3am again,
Toss, turn, cover on and off.
Is it raining or is that a tap dripping?
Did I hear something downstairs?
No! just the clock ticking.

Oh it’s 7am,
All those early thoughts, fears,
Resolutions and remedies forgotten,
A little time before rising to drift
Into quietness and blissful sleep!


Our turn now

The gods of yore are true no more,
They are no longer needed;
After centuries of chaos
They may now be superseded.

Sadly, each has many fans,
Reluctant to perceive
That we are now all wiser
Than the ancients so naive.

They knew so very little
Of the knowledge we enjoy,
But imagined gods and angels
And insisted on the ploy.

For many generations
The people were misled
Until scientists and logic
Showed some clarity instead.

But eons of bad habits
are not easy to delete
When the world is full of charlatans
And bullies and deceit.

Perhaps the time has now arrived
For change to come about
For the climate is a-changing
And we need a bail out.

The gods and angels had their chance
And much good they have done
So it’s down to human effort
For the job to be begun.

Avoiding our extinction
Will need all to do their bit
For gods, with all their differences
Will hardly manage it.


The Dorset cycle: Poem 1. 29th December 2017

Why dream of mountains amongst the trees?
Sometimes, memories are thieves.
Words can’t do this; there is too much beauty,
When winter’s sun makes giants of us all.
This gentle lake mirrors the trees,
On her serene and upturned face,
While the busy world of rush and traffic hurries by,
Somewhere near,
But oh-so far and barely noticed,
Heard but not seen,
Like naughty children.
A lightening sky, a darkening land.
Sparks of yellow gorse, alder buds,
The changing half-moon,
Scolding birds and pockets of frost,
Speak of things now and to come.
Despite all this,
It is not beauty but words that stop me seeing.



I’m in Italy, in Tuscany, so beautiful in spring.
Verdant hills, tall Cypress trees, birds singing on the wing.
The ochre of the fertile earth reflects across the view,
Baking sun that warms your heart through skies of azure blue.

Poppies, poppies everywhere, sunflowers raise their heads,
Lunch time smells of basil, thyme and hot delicious bread.
Amazing flavours drench the food and ice cream so divine,
All eaten under Tuscan skies and savoured like good wine.

The Galleries of Florence call, with opulence and grandeur,
Gold and turquoise softly light the priceless works of splendour.
Along the Pont de Vecchio, gems and artists thrive,
And rowers on the Arno pace their oars to dip and dive.

And now Sienna shines ahead, the sun is dipping low.
The Cathedral and the Fountain, all bathed in amber glow.
The fan shaped Piazza, now so calm, a generous open space,
Will come alive with frenzied crowds, at the August Palio race.

At sunset in Viareggio, I end my perfect stay,
I sit and sip and watch the light descend across the bay.
Orange, gold, pink and mauve, I watch the colours play,
The earth now cools and takes its breath from the searing heat of day.

Home and family call me now, I’ll be there in a flash,
No need to pack, I’m travelling light, no need to rush or dash.
After such a packed agenda, I’ve taken to my bed,
Not well enough to travel now,
But I’ve been there ……….. in my head.


Ode to a dustbin

My husband has a dustbin,
It is his pride and joy.
He carefully attends to it,
like any precious toy.

His bin is far more cleaner,
than any on the street.
His rubbish all in plastic bags,
placed  tidily and neat.

You will not see any rubbish,
Spilling out of his spruce bin.
The lid is always firmly down,
so no rodents can get in.

And when his bin is emptied.
A treat is now in store.
The inside is washed and showered.
But once it went back to next door!

He knew he had not his own bin.
It was a worrying time.
So late at night he changed it.
And thereby ends this rhyme.


Skomer Puffins

Bright foxgloves spear and
Frame the lace-white sea.
Below, pink thrift and cream bladder campion clumps
Ruffle in the breath and blow.
Then, far out,
The sea-bound patched tugboats take flight.
On salt-stiff sooty flipper wings they come,
Arc and tilt above
Black-gaitered coral rudder-feet.
Twin sails, they swing and yield,
Controlling the glide in
And down.
A shake of the tiller-tail and, turning,
show the silhouette of shade and shimmer,
White on soft black
Blue and yellow bar-beak
All sharp curves.
Then, duck and down
below the grass.
Gone in a whisper on the wind.


The gipsy caravan

I wonder what he’s doing out there in his shed,
Building a gipsy caravan I’ve heard it being said.
As soon as it’s all finished he’s taking to the road,
With Margaret strapped in at the back to even out the load!
I don’t suppose they’ll go far – it’s difficult to say,
It depends upon the weather, or if the horse runs out of hay.
So while Mystic Meg sells pegs to any passersby,
Bruce is collecting firewood and making sure it’s dry.
Now when you walk up Station Road and glance up to the sky,
You may see Bruce’s bonfire and hear his gipsy cry
As he leaps over the ashes, as tradition doth decree,
We’ll make a gipsy of him yet -just you wait and see!

Vote for your favourite three, you can just jot down the relevant letter if you like.

They are published on this page without names so you can just vote on the poems.

All the votes will be counted and finalised at the Quiz and Poetry Night on 11 May… see you there!


Poems home April 2018 poems