Festival Poetry Competition

Calne Music and Arts Festival Poetry Competition Winners.

Our 2012 competition attracted 63 entries on a variety of subjects. The Adult category was won by Bob Kenway, the vicar of Calne Parish Church. His poem “Blues-Bell” was unanimously chosen by all three judges, Linda Snell, last year’s winner, Richard Violet, who had helped to organize Warminster Festival for many years and Sue Boddington, the Poetry Competition organizer. Bob’s poem is a subtle identification of the rhythms of nature with those of jazz. The images seamlessly intertwine and make a music of their own. Second prize was awarded to John Hamp, who teaches at Springfield School with a poem called “Nothing at night seems familiar.” Third prize went to Eleanor Bujalska from Hilmarton for her poem “Hands at the Table.”

In the children’s category entries were received from young people with ages ranging from 9 to 16. Both first and second prizes were won by pupils from St. Mary’s school. 13 year old Maia Jarvis won 1st prize with an economical six line poem, “Coffee Dream” that vividly evokes the sensuous pleasure of the smell and taste of coffee. Izzi Scheyd, aged 14, came second with “Because I am a Dog.” Third prize went to 12 year old Rachel Sexton from Calne for her poem “Life of a Bubble in a Lemonade Can.” All three poems were original and full of imagination.

All 63 entries are now on display in Calne Heritage Centre until the end of October and the winning poems will appear on the festival website www.cmaf.org.uk.

"Blues-bell" by Bob Kenway

A shady beech
splinters noon’s light
on cold earth litter.
Notes curl,
emerge gentle, lilac
grow vivid, ecstatic
up through brown and green
up through past and future.
Oak limbs
promise leaf,
a robin alights
territorial, quizzical.
Gashing blue, you catch our breath
and hold it …

God grows a garden
fresh and jazzy,
wild like garlic
heady and improvised
against the bass
against the earth
against the rhythm of season
against death and birth.

Lightening strikes a cloud
cymbals crash
and rain falls like applause
on the woodland floor.
You nod and bow, still you grow
from ancient time and
a season’s wait.
But your melody mints new
and we love your coming.

"Nothing at night seems familiar" by John Hamp

Nothing at night seems familiar
The night jars fill my heart
In a darkness unimagined
The timpani softly starts.

Nothing at night is familiar
My plough is broken and lost
I search for sweet Cassiopeia
Drowned on the ocean we crossed

Once foxes barked
And barn owls called,
Now nothing,
at all

Nothing at night is familiar
The stars are all out of place
Clouds rest their brow on the distant hills
There is morning hope to embrace

"Hands at the table" by Eleanor Bujalska

Hands at the table,
Cupped and supplicant
Various as fingerprints.
Fingers worn hard and flat by farmers' work or gardeners'
Worn rough and joints swollen with washing and cleaning.
Thin long fingers of artist and musician.
Hands crossed with lines of age and life,
Hands trembling with age or perhaps expectation,
Expectation of the broken bread.
This is my body, broken for you......
Hands becoming the body; made beautiful in the act of waiting.

"Coffee Dream" by Maia Jarvis.

Smell of Coffee so
Enticing, chewing gently
Frosted icing
Transparent ghosts dance
Above the frothed milk, reaching
My lips, ribboned silk.

"Because I am a Dog" by Izzi Scheyd

Gestures are all that I have,
So at times they must be dramatic in nature.
I wish you to think no less of me for this.
Though as I am only a dog, I doubt you think very high.
Sometimes I hate what I am:
My paws without thumbs, like useless hands,
And my tongue incapable of speech.

If I could speak, imagine what I’d say!
I’d tell you of smells you couldn’t even dream of,
The joy of the chase,
The sun on my fur and my paws in the damp earth.
I’d tell you of the joys of racing in the rain.

Calm in the face of danger,
Danger you can’t even see or smell:
The stench of rotting from hospitals,
The sickly sweet smell of decay,
The fear that wafts off you, when you are driving in the rain,
I could tell you what you could otherwise never understand.

But alas I cannot,
Because I am a dog.

"Life of a Bubble in a Lemonade Can" by By Rachel Sexton

All was quiet, so silent and still
It was all the same, until…
The light broke the dark
The fizz made its mark,
I whizzed to the top
Then made a small “pop”,
That’s the life of a bubble in a lemonade can.

The tip of a can,
A slurp of a man
A trip up the straw
A small splash on the floor,
That’s the life of a bubble in a lemonade can.

All was quiet on the floor
The fizz was gone
And I was no more…
That’s the life of a bubble in a lemonade can.


Contact Sue Boddington. Telephone 01380-828851: email: sue.boddington@virgin.net