We absolutely loved listening to all the winning poems at this year's Fenland Poet Laureate Awards, but we were really keen to give you all the opportunity to read them online too! With that in mind, here are some of the winning poems in the adult category. You can see the other winners here and here. Happy reading!
First Place - Kate Caoimhe Arthur
Running is never enough
I am listening for the sound
of the ground saying Here
or perhaps a bird flight
arching above it or light pool
from a shaft of sun
Home. Where can I plant us.
Follow the lockspit
To the elbow of the fen
Looking for a clearing
Or a piece of scrub
Where I can dig a hole,
a burrow, damp with dew
An oak tree, wrecked by wind
I found it, and a red fox
Why must I be an animal
To hide in this place
In our bed, these nights
I dig into you with
Fingers, tongue, nails.
Second Place - Liz Davies
A wet summer on the Fens
The alien patches of bright yellow fade once more
Into English green, and the hedges, the wide trees
Heave up lush to a dark Wedgwood sky, heavy
With unfallen rain, swinging low, and white birds wade
Through the thickly wet air. Old lace elderflowers,
Hawthorn arching Hockney-deep in clotted cream,
And wild light parsley floats in misty drifts
Across the ridged green of the fields. Dark woods
Set sail over the brow of the hill, with bow waves
Of daisies before, willow leaves along the water
Ripple, turning to silver in the breeze, and look -
A whole ballet corps of chestnut flowers leaps up
In arabesques, tutus flecked with pink and yellow,
The River Great Ouse rises, imperceptibly slow,
Adorned with blooming swans a-cruise on silver,
Cataracts of pink roses pause in their plummet,
Thick vegetation leans into the country roads,
Almost obscuring our way, reminding us still
That England ever belongs to the green, the roots,
To the springs, the branch, the leaf and the flower.
Third Place - Jacqueline Ogden
Transported to school, angsty as a creel of elvers,
I stared out of bus windows longing for hills.
The teachers told us of marsh-thwarted Romans; the raising of a cathedral; Vermuyden,
but not of the commonplace coming and going of vessels;
the industrial clamour of adventurers, waterways and wharves.
Each cut, drain and navigation here was once loud with the clattering of sails,
buffetting of canvas; rattling of ropes and rigging;
Humber keels, bound for the ports and hythes of Cambridgeshire;
inland vessels, ploughing between fields.
There are lines of lucent water across the land:
water that shows the pale white sky of winter to itself.
Now I walk out into the space cut by the peaceful lode to the horizon,
and there is a stillness over the fen as
my soul is raised up into the cathedral of the sky.