Congratulations, Martin, for keeping the spherean flag flying (or is Nick Syrett one of Bazza’s pseudonyms? I forget. Well, congrats to Nick as well, anyway!)
LITERARY REVIEW POETRY COMPETITION RESULTS
Report by Deputy Editor Tom Fleming
This is a competition for poems that rhyme and scan. I suspect that this is a lot harder than it sounds. If you cannot bear to write in anything other than free verse, you can try entering the rather tasty-sounding Manchester Poetry Competition, advertised opposite.
(I can’t reproduce the advert that’s in the magazine but here’s a link):
This month’s subject was ‘confidence’. Noel Petty wins the first prize of £300, generously sponsored by the Mail on Sunday
, J R Gillie wins the second prize of £150, and Nick Syrett and Martin Parker win £10 each.
(Next comp on new thread)
Nothing to Fear but Fear by Noel Petty
Tinkerbell was fading fast;
Tinkerbell was dying.
Little faces were aghast,
Little voices crying.
Who would save her at the eve?
, said Peter Pan,
All good children who believe
Clap the best you can!
Steeples trembled at the sound,
Out the goodwill poured.
Gradually she rallied round:
Tinkerbell was cured!
Now it’s money that’s unwell,
Credit turned to dust.
It’s as real as Tinkerbell,
But dying from distrust.
Once somebody’s shirt has gone,
Will he risk his vest?
Bankers once relied upon
Sink slowly in the West.
Only the oldest of old men
Have seen it all before.
Who played Peter Pan back then?
Keynes? Or Time? Or War?
Incident in the Bois de Boulogne by J R Gillie
‘In confidence, in strictest confidence.’
We found a bench. He cocked an eyebrow neat
as the choice Charvet silk which graced his throat,
the slick boots which adorned his narrow feet.
‘Such words are needless to a man of sense,
like you.’ His voice has sunk to a low note,
like the grove’s murmur. ‘Such luck, such a treat –
to find you here,’ he sighed, placing his hand
upon my arm. The sleek and perfumed head
moved close to mine. He spoke of ‘grave events’ –
presuming on our friendship, so he said –
stressing that I alone could understand
(he pressed my arm; his gaze grew more intense)
what A had done to C. Poor B was dead.
This was a man of fashion, yes – but who?
The cultured accents, I had heard before,
which now, staccato, urgent, neared the heart
of the dread secret. I was due at four
chez la comtesse. I angled for a clue,
racking my brains. He gave a little start:
‘I’ve kept you long enough. I’ll say no more.’
He wrung my hand; made off. The slick boots flew.
Within ten minutes I had gauged their cost,
finding my wristwatch and my francs were lost.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye by Nick Syrett
My sister, being maid to Mrs Knepp,
Soon won her confidence and would transport,
Through trafficking across the privy step,
Some lovers’ letters, two of which I brought
To mR Knepp, a sour man, and hence
Through this and other proofs against his spouse,
Did enter in his trust and confidence
And managed, by and by, his trading house
Where, in sack of cloves his fortunes waxed,
And whence I took a copy of his books
To the Exchequer that he might be taxed
More properly. And there my honest looks
And acts persuaded my Lord Rochester
To offer me charge of his Confession –
Chapels, chaplains, choir-masters, choristers –
So confidant was he in my discretion.
But soon, my conscience troubled, I sought out
The Duke of York to tell him that my Lord
Was still beset by theologick doubt
And never had the truer faith adored;
His Grace became King, so I ascended
Too. Yet lost his throne. In exile now I stay,
All my confidence in him expended,
Hopeless here at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Little Black Dress by Martin Parker
She felt two sizes smaller in her little wisp of black.
She sparkled over crepes suzettes and then she asked him back.
And firelight, lace and brandy made her confident he saw
the size she really wasn’t as her black dress hit the floor.