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Old 09-01-2010, 06:49 PM
Jayne Osborn's Avatar
Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Default LitRev Results + Sept Comp.

My thrill at winning the biggie last month has diminished only slightly. Here are the latest results. 'Cowboy' is a gift for all of you across the pond, surely? Let's hope one of you (or John) romps home with the big prize for this.
Send them to: editorial@literaryreview.co.uk
Jayne


THIS MONTH’S POEMS were on the subject of ‘private joy’. Noel Petty won and will receive £300; Iain Colley came second and will receive £150; and the two others printed will receive £10. Next month’s subject is ‘cowboy’; do with it what you will, but poems must rhyme, scan and make sense, in 24 lines or fewer. The deadline is 28 September.

First Prize: For Your Eyes Only by Noel Petty
In tourist mode – to call a spade a spade –
when seeing all the stipulated sights,
the one you take away, that most delights,
carries no stars, no guidebook accolade.
Never the Sistine, always the obscure, small
deserted chapel in the quiet square,
that up to now you never knew was there,
that nobody had told you of at all.
The rarely-heard fantasia that draws
your unrehearsed response; the gallery find
by unknown hand; the poem unenshrined:
some sudden sense of kinship makes them yours.
You know you should espouse them, should declare
their worthiness to be more widely known,
and yet you don’t. They are for you to own.
Some joys are public, others not to share.
These are for cherishing, and not for selling,
to conjure up in bleaker seasons, while
your friends are puzzled by your absent smile.
What joys are mine? Ah, now, that would be telling.

Second Prize: Consolation by Iain Colley
A rainy, wintry day in Kensal Green:
Among the rotting monuments and tombs
I share a literally lifeless scene.
A Pollyanna here would get the glooms.
A kindly band of relatives surrounds
The widow, a voluptuous brunette.
A sad, supportive sympathy abounds.
I stand alone and light a cigarette.
I knew the corpse, a man who had more fun
Than me, more wealth, more friends, more sex appeal.
He played it smart but honest, always won;
I got the losing end of every deal.
His luck ran out at forty. When he died
‘Good riddance’ was my private epitaph.
I set my face to mourning, but inside
I laugh a wicked schadenfreudlich laugh.

Private Pleasures by Nick Syrett
There’s a hint of Gauloises
Upon the upland air,
The mortar base-plate spacer’s mate
Is reading Baudelaire
From the emerald Fleurs du Mal
He carries everywhere
His hooded eyes are watchful
As we tab along the passes,
He likes to glean rare evergreens
And variegated grasses,
And store them in his scrim-net
For his water-colour classes
Once, between the barrages,
I saw him in despair:
A surprise in from Devizes
Had his bishop in a snare:
He played at chess by postcard
With a widow living there
The bugles softly summon me
Across the evening dew,
The comical harmonicas,
The keening cello too
Of 4818 Private Pleasures,
‘Bravest man I ever knew’

Wrong End, Right Ending by Bill Webster
My team was away in the distant North-West,
Away to a team written up as the best.
My lift let me down and the coaches had gone
So I went up by train, and I travelled alone.
I joined with the crowd as they surged to the ground,
Their ritual chants had a menacing sound.
In those days you stood in a great jostling mass
With a view, truth be told, more of heads than of grass.
The faces around me were drink-flushed and hard,
The man at my shoulder was jaggedly scarred.
They mostly had scarves tightly tied to their wrists,
Designed to stream down as they brandished their fists.
They roared their support when their lot took the field –
I had other thoughts but I kept my lips sealed.
The game proved no more than a chance for the crowd
To show life can be nasty, brutish and loud.
Two minutes to go, and still with no score,
They booed out their bile to have yielded a draw.
Then Wagstaffe, the master, crossed deep from the left
And Curran dispatched it, improbably deft.
A silence came down like the fall of a shroud;
My heart gave a leap, but it’s true I was cowed:
I dared not rejoice but I didn’t much mind:
I found the deep pleasure of joy that’s confined.

Last edited by Jayne Osborn; 09-02-2010 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:50 PM
Lance Levens Lance Levens is offline
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Jayne,

Another 300 quid prize? And what's the contact e-mail? I've been whistling "Home on the Range."

Lance
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:20 PM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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It has to be admtted that the same few names seem to win here - you were a welcome exception, Jayne. Who IS this Nick Syrett? Anyone know? Never turns up anywhere ELSE. Ditto Ian Colley. Any info? Here's a cowboy. I have to admit I saw these results yesterday so I've a head start.

The Cowboy Poet

A tinkling tune from the saloon
Irradiates the afternoon.
My footsteps echo up and down
The boardwalks of this dusty town
Where people never meet my eye
But cringe and creep and shuffle by.
I tip my poet’s feathered bonnet,
I shoot the breeze, I shoot a sonnet.
Gothic, Baskerville, Sans Serif,
My poems petrify the sheriff
Locked up in his own jail, a dolt
Too faint of heart to use his Colt.
I’m talking big, I’m walking tall.
There’s nothing here to fear at all.
For no one dares to say me nay,
Or strides across to bar the way,
Or mentions anything to pay.
Good day, I say. Good day. Good day.
Scotch Burns was once a bardic ploughboy;
I am a versifying cowboy.
The cattle ranges are my roads;
I scribble ballads, epics, odes,
A bold and well respected poet.
The very dogs and horses know it.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:39 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Absolutely GREAT, John!!!! I shoot the breeze, I shoot a sonnet - wow!!! The whole poem is a great comfort to me (and cheers me up) - thanks!!
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:40 AM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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And thank you, Mary.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:00 AM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Lance,
Sorry for omitting the email address; it's now at the top of the page.

John,
Thanks for kicking this one off in your usual brilliant manner. You should be up there with Bazza far more often!

Oh, John, didn't you cotton on that Nick Syrett, Ian Colley, GM Davis, Alan Millard et al - they're all my pseudonyms! Hehe - I wish.

Last edited by Jayne Osborn; 09-02-2010 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:36 AM
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basil ransome-davies basil ransome-davies is offline
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Default ta muchly, john

First laugh of the morning, putting me in a good frame of mind for holiday packing. I don't know if you've ever driven French motorways, but I'm crazee about that sign they put up: 'Slow down, the sea won't evaporate'.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:05 AM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Bazza, you're winning so often that I think you've got your posts mixed up; shouldn't this be on one of the Speccie threads?

Have a great holiday - leave any writing implements at home, forget all about poetry comps (to give the rest of us a sporting chance; are you away for several weeks? hehe)
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:35 AM
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basil ransome-davies basil ransome-davies is offline
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Default nemesis awaits

Yup, I'm on a roll but it won't last. I do always like to check out John's starter, light as a soufflé. I also like to keep up with the comps while I'm away, & since I don't have a laptop it sometimes means being in one of those places where immigrants phone home, kids surf for whatever kids surf for & use the soft drinks & snacks machine & you pay a couple of euros to catch up on email & compose comps. I quite like that.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:58 AM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Oh, pants! - there we all were, hoping you'd be holidaying for at least a month on a deserted tropical island, Bazza, with no connection to the rest of the world - when in fact you'll be going to a cyber café to email your gems. Ho hum.

You've got the Midas touch, and your success is much-deserved (she says with gritted teeth ) Bon voyage, mon ami.
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