Heat 4 Entries

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Heat 4 Entries

Heat 4 Entries

Appended below are the Entries for Heat 4 of the 2012 Poetry Pentathlon, numbered 1 to 25.

Please read them all carefully and decide your top 3 poems.

Place them in order of merit, awarding them Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Submit your votes directly to the Editor via his contact page:


Emails are to be headed: Heat 4 Votes.

The body of the email should consist solely of the identifying numbers and titles of the poems in the order Gold, Silver, Bronze.

Entrants are reminded that they may not vote, or solicit votes, for their own poem.

Deadline for receiving votes is Midnight GMT Saturday 3rd November 2012.

Failure to vote may result in disqualification from this Heat.

1: ‘Police Officer Killed By Train’ Feeling the wind in his hair; just him and his bike, freewheeling downhill; those were the days...before speeding fines, and all that red-tape. A little boy again, without a care; watching the trains rush by yet silently, silently in his mind’s eye. ‘The death is not being treated as suspicious’, so says the BTP – awaiting trial, as he was, for ‘perverting the course of justice’. A tragedy for his wife; did none see him fall? Only the driver of the train; again... again...and again... *   2: Baby Elephant Rescued From A Water Well In Kenya, 18 October 2012 First its trunk; then its wide head emerges up in to light as it fights to escape; as it struggles like an infant striving to be born; trying and failing and trying and always sliding back down deep in the hole but then through the force of caring people, a rope and land rover, finally its pulled out and it and its mother run, drawn by love, to each other. *   3: Help It’s A Case of do Or die for us Marching on the barricades now Shouting out loud to be heard and crying Help us please Don’t do this to us, it’s mean yes And thoughtless you know We need help For All *   4: Interplanetary Communication “Mars. Mars calling, Mars calling: Glenelg, come in please. Glenelg please acknowledge - We don't want you, but the Australian one – not personal.” “Glenelg calling Mars, Glenelg calling Mars: wrong number, sorry, we wanted the chippy.” *   5: A Heroine Named Malala A girl was shot. But for what? What was the reason? Had she committed high treason? Not at all, it had to do with discrimination: She desperately wanted but was viciously denied the right to education. *   6: Football? It’s Another Planet, Innit? Mars Earth Glenelgs Pallindromes A civic level Without spirit or playing field Where will the wee green men join “The Duffers” for fitba? *   7: Cuts That Won’t Heal Cold Steel Cuts skin Slicing through Ambitions, hopes, dreams. The cut and thrust of politics Has its blade against our throats, the old, the poor, the sick. A scythe wielded by nobs. Get them off benefits, into work. Reality? No jobs. When you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, it’s just like cutting butter. Stock up on earplugs, they’ll keep out the cries of those in the gutter. *   8: Dracula's Irish Blood Fields Green Blood Red This is said! Roots steeped in Irish soil Crusted coffin buried deep to ensure Satanic sleep Draped in turf in Donegal Do you believe At all At All! *   9: 5:14 PM At the station two lines form and join in battle - they draw 'nanks' - we would call them knives, a samurai sword Is flourished. A boy gets slumped. *   10: 'I'd Be Lying' I’d like to say I was there that my vote counted for more than broken promises that I could tell my lovely wife how my job was safe in the hands of those who eye me with contempt as my pension entitlement looms large that the structure of our society was not being hammered and chiselled at its very foundation to topple onto our children but I’d be lying. I’d love to think it made sense going to rallies standing tall against tyranny that our Union leaders weren’t paid more than MPs that they cared less about gastronomy than their governmental co-conspirators and that I wouldn’t wander home feeling less of a man than ever because the words I’d heard and spoken were stolen from yesterday’s newspapers but I’d be lying. I wish to fuck for the truth but it’s just a lie upon a lie upon a lie a high-rise burger of burning opiated flesh that I retch pale on wine endorsing charities to compensate my own skewed sense of guilt to purge my soul and sweep away the nightmares from my doorstep hopelessly imagining that in some small way I’m making a difference but I’d be lying. I want to say I believe in modernity that we still have a fighting chance of snatching success from the gaping jaws of defeat that the world which evolved from this tiny little island is still there for the guiding that our captains of industry weren’t the democratic terrorists of ethnic-economic cleansing whose armies destroy the innocent but I’d be lying. I hope you’re not still counting for minor mistakes in the precise allocation of syllables on every line of this exercise because my fingers are sore and I’ve had it with fibbing instead I’ll burn my britches to drive matters to wild extremity by sticking my cockled tongue out to amuse the fury of my heart and it’s true no one will see their own sad reflection as they gawp at me while I think of the man who stood up to the tank in Tiannamen Square and quietly shudder at the pretence of my own cheerless disobedience with the silly idea that I might be willing to dispose of life’s little luxuries like take-away pizza and long lazy weekends in the country that I’ll ignore the painstaking processes of elimination that help me understand this rusty old culture this broken toy of tradition this rally of beggars and be damned but I’d be lying. *   11: A Girl (Malala Yousufzai) I am changed now; forever. A young girl did this. Just a small girl with a brave heart, a reckless spirit, and a bullet hole in her brain. Malala has shown me — the world is not a better place for my having lived … not yet! *   12: Malala the holy name praised crows scatter to the leafless boughs blood stains cloth and upholstery it seeps into blue sky; a bruise over mingora. white veiled women grasp at the dusty ground and tears hold mirrors to their impotence you spoke when they did not; they are plagued by hopeless guilt this high valley is a wound belied by lush green draped across aquamarine scars a place so close to heaven that men bound it with chains of hard dirty oppression and no promises the fear of retribution hangs Malala you traced the words of reason right to left rotor blades deafen heaven’s precession as life stirs don’t follow the light little one war torn pakistan your gender the world needs you *   13: Vigil Kneel down beside broken books behold wounded words return soft kissed in prayer. *   14: If Not for You Faith and reason, compassion and hope, gathering with prayer and symbolic flame; striving to heal a girl marked to die for religion, while scripture, interpreted and misinterpreted, suppresses the female voices that call for learning, compassion, reason and faith. *   15: Fibel Hard Fought Fidel, Against the Right-wing Infidel And their Christian sons and heirs, For a choice on the direction of the world’s affairs. Long-stood has this fierce bastard, shaking farmer’s fists at the greatest tyrannies of time. So now to be expected that those arms stay raised, His bright face that more unfazed; The proud Cuban heart Mocking death With each New Breath. *   16: Poignant Ice Tribute To Titanic Victims (Belfast, 21/10/12) Ice men, women and children sitting on the steps: fifteen hundred and seventeen: many watch the weeping, melting Titanic tribute disappear: all gone, no more. Two weeks, prepare; in twenty minutes all become small pools of water like the tomb (brief reminder, poignant, passing): the ocean graveyard of women, children, men, boat. Ice to water, dust to dust; sparkle for a span, like human vigour, kindness, life: voyagers they, travellers we, opportunities floating past, fleeting, drift by. *   17: Uisge Beatha then we fell in love under rust-red skies, drinking our fill of the waters of life: sweeter than kisses, sweeter than whisky and blood *   18: Plebs on parade You Cut Too fast, Take our jobs And our benefits. Sit in your ivory towers And have us believe we are all in it together. A message from the Big Society: we may just be plebs but we can smell bullshit. *   19: Which Survives? Earth, Mars. Two worlds - One Heaven. Earth fresh green, Mars red: They say one is alive, one dead – But who can know which one of the two will perish first? Mankind’s lust for war soon could be its own destruction; all hope; all life on Earth to lose. Hot Mars so peaceful under the stars, still glowing red – Its Glenelgs lit by the moon while Scotland’s town lies dead. Which survives? You choose. Earth? Mars? *   20: The American Nightmare Cap Beard He stood Tall, proud, good Gave a wave, a smile Then sat down, had to rest a while Once so powerful, to end his life they all did swear Not quite so now, but still legend, Fidel Castro, a real life American Nightmare. *   21: Callous Parallels How callous is a man to ask a schoolgirl if she believes in fate as a kind of contraception? he can board a bus sheepskin old guitar casual farewell. The question worms up with this: "My three-month affair with John Peel when I was 15" we sip coffee talk-rant-rave opinions fly “But she knew what she was doing” My feminist friend, she rails at my nonchalant words when I say grey she says black and white and words like vulnerable; target; abuse “though it happens all the time...look at me” I blurted. But wait, there is another view, my friend is right. Cast my mind back; a girl playing adult games; thought she was winning. Now she sees she lost. *   22: Rise Again I lie close to where they saved his daughter. Inside my skull an uncertain future. I do not believe in the sharp justice of clerics or in the hearts of men; watch my feet move, watch my smile change the world, watch me rise again. *   23: Universals (i) The red planet, Roman in name. Its basalt sparkles; its hematite dust clouds rest on the deep edge of space. A silver host paws ochre rock, sends a bright picture postcard home. (ii) A girl, wise beyond her years, looks to heaven. Dirt road tyres screetch like angry birds of war. Is this her ? The ugly work he has been sent to do is sanctioned. (iii) In Small Town they dance in honour of the Roman planet. The girls spin into the arms of loved ones clap in double quick time, echo the far trigger of a gun. (iv) "To be the universal man is the true art of living." I sit in the beehive- shaped library reading a Danish philosopher's words. Outside autumn casts ghostly spells. "The beautiful is that which has its tautology in itself." (v) In the far distance Bunair, a place of mountains, fields - her favourite place. From behind a door his daughter (veiled) watches as he prays to his god - devotions that rise, scatter like starlings, a gun by his side. (vi) The President she says has aged. Swirling dust clouds sweep across the foothills and deep canals, spiral in luminous shadows, come to rest. The host is repositioned, extended, reprogrammed to scratch, paw. (vii) One girl lies in a hospital bed. Another (veiled) hides behind an open door. Beneath fragrant mists the universals dance into autumn's freezing night. Silently, somewhere, a philosopher takes up his gun. *   24: The Last Days Of The Bee Hummingbird Fears grow for the exotic Cuban hummingbird, no bigger than a common bee, living in lush rainforests protected by Castro. Numerous treaties have kept its tiny heart thumping. And the smallest bird in the world, feeds on the blossoms flourishing on the free trees. But death might be visiting Cuba’s battered shores, dressed in shorts and smeared with sun cream, unrestrained tourism arriving on foreign planes, if rumours of Fidel’s failing health prove to be true. Ballardian high rise hotels will grow there instead, destroying wildlife with coins. Glass, glue, metal. New landscapes. Rare species destroyed. Anodyne colours, hard textures. The bee hummingbird sips nectar continuously, pollinates fire blazing heliconia flowers, lagoon jasmines, cerise orchids. Balanced relations upset by rigid brick walls. Bays of concrete will flood the island with more cars, a cacophony of engines, drowning flora and fauna in a deep sea of fumes. An endless dystopian nightmare stuck on rewind. Fidel Castro, the notable conservationist, has values profit will spurn. *   25: Burmese Peasants Protest Against Copper Mine Industrial waste, it bring cholera, influenza, tumour. Alaska, Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe. The corporation it take land, offers pittance in compensation and the promise of jobs. The peasants say no to slave wage. They want land for agriculture. They want to keep their health. This friendly alliance of government and arms manufacturer, they send in the troops and call on the law. Irresponsible Capitalism, It live only for the present. Its only strength lies in force. This illness requires a cure. Definition, treatment, or starvation.
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