East Coker Poetry Competition 2020

Our theme this year is 'Portraits'   

As always, you can interpret this in any way you wish and in any style or length.    The deadline for entries is 1st October 2020 but quite how the competition will be run depends on any restrictions in force due to the corona virus.   We may have to run an entirely on-line competition this year, so do check this website for updated details during the summer.

Good luck and keep safe during these difficult times.


East Coker Poetry Competition 2019

Our theme this year was ‘The Poetic Highway Code’ which could be interpreted in any way the entrant wished.   For example, the inspiration could be anything from a particular journey, to the lights, signs or yellow lines that ‘decorate’ our roads.

This year, it was hoped that each entry would consist of two poems – a very short poem such as a Haiku or Limerick and a second poem in any length or style - the 'Main' poem.  It was also hoped that at least one of the two poems could link in some way with a particular road sign.   However neither of these aspirations were obligatory .


Result of the East Coker Poetry Competition 2019

Juliet Lacey and Nell Stephens are joint winners of the main poetry category

David Cloke wins the short poem category

Here are the winning poems:-


Driving in Winter     by Juliet Lacey

Love, here is our dual carriageway.
The signs are good: these rectangles guiding us
are as green and blue as leaves and cloudless skies.
That mystery yellow symbol is surely positive
being the colour of sunshine.

We'll go carefully, love, we'll observe the red triangles;
prepare for humps, double bends, hidden dips, soft verges.
The risk of skidding's high: on ice, perhaps,
or a slow-mo crossing of suicidal toads.
Watch out for that galloping stag!

Love, our road's narrowing, we must be vigilant;
dodge these tumbling rocks, this merging traffic.
Who knew a downhill slope could be so steep?
Roundabout ahead...give way, give way...
which of us decides the exit?

We're under orders. No more overtaking.
Red-rimmed-circle eyes are everywhere.
The speed limit cannot be ignored.
Was it on the map, this barred no-entry,
this cold place where the road's stopped?



Who needs the Highway Code?    by Nell Stephens
As I beetle along breakneck speed
    I think...
How many Road Rules do we need?
I know quite well how to drive
I just want to get there..
         And stay alive!



High Coo        by David Cloke

Doves perched above us
call from overhead cables.
Danger! Don’t look up!