Winning Poems from 2010

I do not recognise myself in the mirror-
I see loneliness which has followed me
from hospital and found me in my room.

When I came home you had painted
these walls, choosing the colour pink
from flowers woven into my Persian rug.

bringing in something from the outside. Windows
on the ward were not allowed to be fully opened.
I have become used to not being seen.

© Beverley Ferguson – 1st Prize
On winning 1st prize:
Wow! Absolutely delighted. A much needed boost for my self-confidence. Recognition for determination and perseverance and my passion for words, language, and a belief in communicating simply and clearly. Recognition for the support I have had. 
I am spending my winnings on buying a lap top.
Autumnal Anniversary (A celebration of leaves)
At autumn-time,
the roses remembered your visit and re-blossomed.
Their scents swirled around the garden door;
their colours clung on like the kisses
I cast out above the valley floor
towards the sunset, hoping you’d
catch them as you awakened
half a globe away.

The petals:
fell, fashioning themselves as scarlet pools, rivering on,
swelling the restless, rust edges of leaf lakes.
At your homecoming, we ran exposed,
splash-scattering the blushing puddles
across a flood plain of full-flushed autumn;
laughing, pledging confettied promises
that we have, since, kept.

© Mike Lee – 2nd Prize

On winning 2nd Prize:
“I am delighted to receive this acknowledgement of my latent  talent. Thank you.”


Blood at a birth.
Blood at a death:
It was both.
But all for  the best, all for the best.

‘Don’t lift, don’t stretch,
Don’t run, don’t jump,
Don’t move:
Keep still and rest, keep still and rest.’

Five months you lived,
hanging on
by a thread.
But only a guest, a short term guest.

‘It’s a girl’, they said
‘and beautiful.
Nothing wrong.’
But dead on my breast, dead on my breast.

© Jackie Hinden – 3rd Prize

Background information on our winners:
Beverley Ferguson  is a founder member of the Centre for Whole Health in Bristol, and a founder member of the charity Community Arts Therapies, based in Bath.
She trained in Dance, Drama, and English at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, qualifying as a teacher. During the 1980s she had a career in the Caring Professions. Beverley’s passion for movement led her to learn Tai Chi Chuan, which she taught in Bath for eight years. An evolving interest in the relationship between Body, Mind and Spirit/Heart, was developed by training and practising as a psychotherapist for ten years.
Beverley says “I have had a decade of illness. My love of writing, especially poetry, continues to support my recovery”.

Mike Lee  is a  former academic who; in retirement, has returned to his creative writing
rather than creating educational texts.
Mike says: I remember writing stories and poetry from an early age. I was encouraged in this interest by parents and at school. But my real interest in literature and writing poetry came about while training to be teacher. I taught English in West Africa and went on to write and co-write several English Language courses for primary and secondary schools. I completed my doctorate in Sociolinguistics in 1985.  
Jackie Hinden’s  published works include a number of short stories , many lyrics set to music, and the libretto of a children’s operetta.     She also won the Radio Sussex award for a radio play, subsequently broadcast. She lives in Brighton, and  for many years taught Creative Writing for the Brighton Adult Education department.
At the present time she is concentrating on her poetry, and has had several poems published by United Press and Forward Press.  She has also won several competitions, including second prize in the prestigious Keats/Shelley competition and is very happy to add this Poetry Space prize to the list.
Full list of winning poems 2010

First prize
Illness – Beverley Ferguson

Second prize
Autumnal Anniversary – Mike Lee

Third prize
Death Before Life – Jackie Hinden

Highly commended
Mother’s last laugh- Audrey Arden Jones
The Ancient Lark- Joe Jordan
Watching the butcher cut meat in Karachi – Rona Laycock
Rage – Beverley Ferguson
Public Transport – Deborah Harvey
The Mary Block – Deborah Harvey
Bryce Canyon – Peter Goulding
Walkies- Susan Latimer
Medicine for the Heart – Sue Ashby
Bright Town – Tamarisk Bowles