Bromley arts Council Poetry Competition 2017

Where were you ?
Nola Turner
Awarded First Prize

It came unbidden into homes worldwide
of anyone who happened to be switched on:
the motorcade as it wound its way
Down Elm Street by the Book Depository.
In Jesmond it stopped short a Friday afternoon
at the deflating end of day when
little air was left in the balloon –
enough to cook some supper, fish to fry,
wine to uncork and then sprawl on a sofa
to watch grainy footage of World War 1.
But long before we got to that there was
a scream, a girl, an Aussie cry –
raw as a dingo caught in an iron trap
icing blood in our veins, riveting feet-
howled without words or tears
the purest wail we’d ever heard
and, yes, the President was dead.

Liam Nwanze
Awarded second prize

Knew you’d make it, my old friend, before we parted ways.
Six figures, proud upon the dash, to mark the end of days.

First owner wasn’t “careful”, broke your spirit with bad manners.
Nothing that we couldn’t right with spark-plugs, love and spanners.

Took time to warm up to the kids, “please keep your feet off me…”.
Till off came the commuter’s leash, “… to parks, old nan’s, the sea!”.

Loved growling at pedestrians, I always held you back.
Rode out the angst of teenage years; she dyed your coat goth black.

Lately? Slow and creaking; retching fetid oil.
Diagnosed that you’re a burden, no longer fit for toil.

Your loyalty’s not in question, but our safety must comes first.
I… don’t think I can do this (shift from neutral, rev, reverse).

Personification of the car
Sam Carter
Awarded Highly Commended

I sit there, awaiting the start
The lights before me, red
The beat, the pulse within my heart
I’m awoken from my bed
The light goes green, my heart does beat
The ground goes, flies, beneath my feet

As the road that I go down, rushes past my face
I feel my body glow and grow
I start to raise my pace
It’s a feeling very few will know
My flanks of red, reflect the sky
To say I were in control would be a complete lie

My tyres screech, leaving scars on the road
My exhaust slowly burns
The smile on his face, the beat in his chest, the happiness, it all showed
My wheels spin, my motor churns
The leap is coming around this turn
I slow, my breaks begin to burn

I reach the leap, I take to the air
My tyres continue spinning
My sides glint against the sun, the colour red as a flare
I land the jump! We must be winning!
The dust appears, the finish is gone
My breaks lock up, it’s simple! It’s done!

Every race car wants this feeling
Very few will know
Your smile, it grows, it rises through the ceiling
So when you finish only you will show
The joy, the happiness of making your mark
While you’re sat there waiting for next time, in your bed, the garage, the dark.