Patrick Lodge, UK for his poem Postcard from Symi
Maeve McKenna, Sligo for her poem Tree Felling at Lissadell
Matt Hohner, USA for his poem Bearing the Weight of Light
Congratulations to the winner, the runners-up , the shortlisted and all who supported the competition.
Thanks also to judges, Orla Fay and Michael Farry.
Below Patrick Lodge reads his prizewinning poem
Postcard from Symi
On an arid island where every building
appeared to ﬂoat on a cellar of water
and the sound of summer was the lazy
rhythm of cisterna pumps kicking in,
anything is possible. Such as the two
ranks of people, jittery as the waves
that brought them ﬁnally to this sunbaked
quay or will whisk them away for a day.
Skittish, as if about to start a sousta simiaki
to the music leaking out of a taberna, all wait
for a leader to sort the next sinuous steps.
A bright-eyed policewoman strides forward.
The ﬁgure of a snake priestess in a hi-viz,
she opens her arms, seems to grasp the two lines,
keeps them apart, until, one, complaining, shufﬂes
under the Schengen portal: daybags packed,
passports waving a valedictory curse to the god
of delight deferred. Ahead, the Turquoise Coast,
Marmaris, shopping heaven: silver rings,
leather goods, fake labels, fake everything.
The world’s an unreal cornucopia — those
in the other line may feel that too. Held between
then and now in the grasp of the port police they accept
water, toothpaste, nappies with shy smiles.
“I had a house”, a lady says, answering
a question no-one has asked. She says it again,
unrolls a blanket on the quayside. A punctured
inﬂatable expires on the rocks below,
rocking in the wash of departing tour boats.
The tide is still coming in.