Poetry winners announced!

Judges Belinda Wilkins and Sara Hutton Potts discussing poemsJudges Belinda Wilkins and Sara Hutton Potts discussing poems
Judges Belinda Wilkins and Sara Hutton Potts discussing poems
The 2017 Cruse Lines Poetry Competition drew a strong response.

Organiser Belinda Wilkins was delighted that more than 50 competitors sent in more than 100 poems from as far away as Jersey and Windermere. Planned as a fund-raising event for Cruse Bereavement Care, it raised £500 for the West Sussex branch.

Judge Sara Hutton Potts and Belinda spent hours reading and re-reading the varied collection covering a multitude of subjects. They then had the hard task of choosing the winners.

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Belinda said: “The age range was immense from nine to 93. Sadly only two juniors entered and so the spare section prize money enabled a new section to be formed with the theme of Grief. All the prize winners can be read on Cruse Lines Poetry Competition webpage and Facebook Page.

“A number of other poems that caught the eye of the judges will be posted on the sites during the next few months.”

Sara said: “The standard was extremely high, and it was so hard to come to the final decisions. Poetry is such a personal and subjective genre in all its varied forms and structures, but it was great to see many very confident and original ideas conveyed in a variety of forms and structures, free verse, rhyming couplets and stanzas – for those of you thinking of entering next year – be bold and brave with all the aspects of writing.

“Don’t be tricked into faithfully following a rhyme scheme. Sometimes this can be very restrictive. Repetition can also be restricting, but on the other hand it sometimes has impact. Finally, find a couple of guinea-pigs to read your work aloud to, and before submitting, leave it aside for several days before returning to it and proof-reading several times.”

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The organisers are planning a poetry day when all poems will be on display and a number being read out loud. Competitors will be forwarded the details at a later date.

Belinda added: “For those who enjoyed entering this year’s Cruse Lines Poetry Competition or those who missed out and would like to take part next year the theme for the sections will be Nature, Grief, Humour and Any Subject. There is plenty of time for the closing date is not until February 1. All results and details of next year will be on the web page www.cruselinespoetrycompetition.com


SECTION 1: Any Subject

1st Threads: Mrs Beryl Flemming (Worthing)

2nd Below the CCTV Mr Keith Livingstone (Royston)

3rd Roche Court Sculpture Park Mrs Miranda Bentinck (Fordingbridge)


1st The Shoe Box: Mrs Maureen Judson (Windermere)

2nd Home Ms Tamsim Cottis (E11 London)

3rd A Kind of Homeless Mrs Pauline Harrowell (Addingham)


1st After: Mrs Isobel Thrilling (Skipton)

2nd Quiet Light Mr Jan Zienkiewicz (Worthing)

3rd Parting Shots Mrs Linda Manley (Pulborough)


1st Perfect piece of paper: Millie Marie Timns Aged 10 (Waterlooville)

2nd Shipwreck: Cecily Taylor Aged 9 (SW1 London)


There’s a box of photos

Upstairs in a drawer

A shoe box , tied up with string

A box tired of moving store

But in this box is home.

They never made the album

Gilt edged and leather bound

Now faded, creased, in disarray

Still capturing a life in a day

For in this box is home

Once on the shelf

In gilded frame

now surpassed by colour and gloss

a school blazer, a team a race just won

And in this box is home

A day on the beach

a youthful gaze

a summer of sunshine and dreams

a future that has long passed

and in this box is home

Now sorted, listed tidied up,

Interleaved with acid-free

But none removed and none replaced

For this box is home to me

…..Mrs Maureen Judson


Grief is not the enemy of sleep,

it wearies bone,

wrings out the nerves

and fibres,

whitens the heart.

It’s morning-sky that falls

with a crack of glass,

rips open eyes

and all the bandages

of the dark are stripped away,

fresh light spills blood,

and yet

after ghosts of time,

light will settle quiet flakes.

………Isobel Thrilling


A gossamer thread, womb-spun -

spiralling, drifting, gently guiding

the path I tread:

binding, yet loving and free -

I am part of her - and she of me

Within the mysterious womb-warm dark

the thread,

twisting and turning,

played its invisible part;

and when she cried aloud to give me birth

the thread fell free

and wound itself about my heart.

I was part of her - and she of me.

Unbroken, the thread spins on -

I spin for my child and,

when my course is run,

she must the spinner be.

Thus each is joined and bound -

down, down,

down endless corridors of unrecorded time:

I am part of her and she of me.

When we are spirits,

formless, floating, free -

with each new birth the thread will spin

and every she

who holds a babe against her heart

lets fall the thread she cannot see.

And I for all eternity will be

a womb-spun part of her - and she of me.

…Beryl Flemming


O majestic, marvellous piece of paper

How your smooth skin is as smooth as butter

How gently you cascade across my desk

How you let my pencil run upon you

How your skin is as white as a blanket of snow.

O majestic, marvellous piece of paper

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How your knife-like edges slit open my skin, leaving a track of rosy red blood

It’s as painful as cutting yourself with a piercing knife

You leave me in despair as I rush to get a plaster

It’s critical, it may well be torture

At least its’ not as bad as being demolished by towering giant.

O majestic, marvellous piece of paper

You’re a dance floor for my pencil as he traces my thoughts

It’s as graceful as a ballerina who’s been dancing all her life

It’s as fascinating as pouring flour to make a cake.

O majestic, marvellous piece of paper

How you let me cut shapes out of your slender body

How you give me the gift of freedom to do what I would like to do with you.

……….. Millie Marie Timns

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