…is pleased to announce Hera Lindsay Bird as the winner of our Scrawl Poetry Competition.
We received many entries for the poetry competition this year, entries that offered a panoply of experience, skill and passion. But our judge this year, the kind and intelligent Dr. Ingrid Horrocks, was especially struck by two poems – between which she struggled to choose for first prize – both poems were filled with skill and beauty, also offering a sense of completeness and satisfaction that stood out above the rest. As it turned out they were both by our winner, Hera Lindsay Bird. The winner is here, while her second poem is part of the highly commended list. Hera’s poem will also be published in Salient in early August.
The Memory of Light - by Hera Lindsay Bird
I know you think this is about love and you’re probably right
but it’s also about all the horses in their new armour, and how
many of the stars we see are already gone so what we’re looking
at is the memory of their light, but we can still see them which
is basically the same thing so why split hairs? This is about my
mother’s miniature cactus collection, and to a lesser extent the
taste of cashews which I can eat again now you are gone. This
is about the miniature Christmas exhibition my grandmother
took me to. This is about camels the size of grasshoppers and how
they looked in her hand. This is about Christmas and what I
wouldn’t trade for you. Beagles. Brass bands. Paintings in fat gold
frames. How my brother came to visit the other day and told me
about the way our father spent half an hour trying to photocopy
something with the fax machine. The haikus my father sends me
about blue flowers and needing to feed the cat and speaking of
blue flowers, Frank O’Hara’s bank of violets, which admittedly
makes me think of you, but the truth is I’d rather be alone with the
line than in your arms without it. Rocking horses. Riding on trams.
The smell of sawdust. My father making pancakes in the shape
of continents and the ensuing fight over who got to eat Antarctica.