Following our competition meeting on 29th October we now have:-
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
see the Competitions page for details and winning poems
Change of Venue - to The Village Cafe, The Old Coach Yard, East Coker, BA22 9HY
For many years the poetry group has been based at the Helyar Arms in East Coker. Unfortunately there was rather limited car parking available there which led to some difficulties. Also, changes to the Apple Loft have meant that the seating became more restricted and less flexible. This made it less suitable for meetings and also difficult to accommodate the number of people who come. We thank Patrick and Claire at the Helyar Arms for their support over the years. We all agreed that a new venue was needed.
The Village Café in East Coker is our new venue. This is an excellent venue with ample seating, a lovely ambience and good location near the school in the (rather sprawling) village of East Coker. The café is licenced and so a glass of wine can still accompany the poetry!
There is plenty of parking space available in the car park behind the café as this is not used by the other business users in the evening. Extra parking is always available in the road outside the café.
Rosie Jackson's poem From Langport to Muchelney- Midsummer written at the Langport Moot in 2018, has won the Hilly Cansdale award for a local poem at Wells poetry festival. Here is her poem:-
From Langport to Muchelney: Midsummer
Here you go, over the singles only footbridge,
past sighs of nettles and a river so greedy
it sucks up blue to last through the emptiest winter.
A heron, indignant at being disturbed, white clover
like cotton balls, cows under a tree, hogweed, sweet camomile,
marguerites, water-lilies the colour of saffron.
And you remember the time you walked here
when you were married: the same sky of blue and white
scumbled streaks, flights of swifts, birdsong.
So many years since then, and still you can’t quite
get used to walking alone. Wind rustles the rushes,
damsel flies draw you to the water’s edge, fish stay hidden.
The gate creaks by the inlet sluice, and when you reach the bridge
at Muchelney, you see that what you thought was scaffolding
over the church is a yew tree stretching sideways.
Bincombe Farm, a stuffed straw horse, foxgloves,
roses, gravel. Tourists fanning themselves on the Abbey ruins,
another monument to Henry VIII’s vandals.
Monks lived here once, fasted, prayed. Sometimes
you too dream of a simple cell, with a table, a view,
poems that flood the room till they reach the ceiling.
Here’s the roof inside the church, angels with cheeks
puffed out, as if they would blow the world faster.
Some have wings but no bodies, and hang there like bats,
painted by some sweating Tudor artist on a day as hot as this,
when he would rather be walking the levels with his sweetheart,
picking elderflower, making babies. You crick your neck -
‘All ye nations of the world, com up hether. Flye to mercy.
From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same’.
And in the Bible on the lectern, by faded yellow carnations,
‘Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire.’ When you walk out, there’s a dazzle
of sun on parked cars and your head swims. Iridescent beetles shine
on the path like tiny turquoise beads. You’re thinking
of your husband still, his flesh long since retired, wanting to believe
you will see him again, floating down the River Parrett in a bath tub,
his knees white and defiant in the no-ghosts-here sunshine.