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!
Highly Commended - Tony Bowland
messages of the birds
we walk away from the city
into the empty fen landscape
seems we’re the only things moving
then we’re surrounded by swallows
performing in figures of eight
to harvest insects from the air
a last feast before flying south
we watch silent under their spell
then a solitary crow calls
and I think of the ghost dancers
who believed birds brought messages
promising a new world to come
when the earth’s skin will be rolled up
the white man and his cities gone
and the buffalo will return
to roam free across the great plains
the crow calls and I remember
the ghost shirts in the museum
with birds and stars as talismans
and the heart breaking bullet holes
at wounded knee and standing rock
fear and the sacred polarise
here overhead fighter jets roar
a hare runs along the field’s edge
Highly Commended - Beth Hartley
I drive a fine Fen line
Where the grey and the blue meet,
As the border of land,
As if you might fall softly
From the edge, into the sea.
A meteorological blown abyss
The furrowed line of stratiformis
Mirrors the ploughed land below.
Winter empty, waiting
Taking in frost and favour.
I drive a Fen fog line
Where only the rise of the isle shows
History is obliterated by weather,
The lady is cloaked in mystery and murk.
Hidden from my view, an eerie image.
Without her, the prospect is more forbidding
I see I have relied upon her stone resilience
The floating lantern a symbol of home.
I drive this fine Fen line inside
Between the big blue and the big grey.
Every gearshift, every footstep,
My weather in meets the weather out.
Boundaries are blotchy, obscured;
Another border to navigate,
Another season to survive.
Until the spring – not sleeping as we suppose,
In swell and furled bud;
Breaks the dark line,
Probes the mist,
And shouts her green words onto the black earth.
Rising, I clear my throat to join the song.