Sponsored by Cranleigh & District Lions Club
Massacre of the landless, Extremadura Campaign, Spanish Civil War 1936.
A shaft of light breaks at the edge
of the field, its sun-slow creep leads
a path through the quince trees, ripe now.
Soft mist holds to the ground as dawn
hosts its own call, goes at it full tilt:
bird-song, goats’ bells, a far-off bark.
And did they know, as they held their ground,
feet hard with war, bared to the land,
that this is where they would spill,
that all these years gone, a red earth
would force through this crust, still blood raw,
graves still warm, the burn and scorch of lies?
No dew here to gift them their spent youth,
mark their time, stay in a mind’s eye.
Winning Poem – Karen Izod – Last day
Caressing the edge of the copse, where we ran,
long grasses beckoned our trailing hands
to abandon their perch above eyes
staring down Summer skies
In the gentle breeze, unborn seeds filled the air,
with landings planned for places to hide in nature’s womb,
while butterflies flickered in cloudless skies;
brief spirits floating sideways on freshly printed wings
And in the shade of the willow, fossil ghosts
shivered in beds of shale;
ancient treasures in streams
trimmed with minnows in secure shallows
Such was the reverie of August, 1939
when innocence blossomed, unscorched by the sun,
on vines we brothers climbed to castles in the air;
before our bodies went off to war.
Before our hearts had been anywhere.
Highly Commended – Belinda Borissow