Poem of the Week: ‘Dach’ by Suzannah Evans

3rd Place
‘How Many Times Will You Pound on the Door?’ by Harrison Score

How many times will you pound on the door?
Don’t shake the blossom from the alley tree;
My dear, I hate to turn you down once more.

In times of passage, it is quite a chore
To etch in rock a sanguine guarantee.
How many times will you pound on the door?

Keeping the seminal in your top drawer
Is no version of, or a little me,
But still I have to turn you down once more.

Truthfully, the memory’s still quite sore
Of leaning down and dirtying my knee.
‘Man up,’ you chant, while pounding on the door.

My dearest love, put away the chainsaw,
For in your wicked pique, you cannot see
That if I’m dead, I’ll turn you down once more.

There is simply no one whom I adore
More than my murderous Felicity.
How many times did you pound on the door?
Oh dear… I hate to turn you down once more.

BIO: “I am Harrison Score. I am studying for an MFA in Creative Writing at Kingston University, London not Jamaica. My dream is to become a professional tennis player, though I’m not sure how the MFA in Writing will help.”

2nd Place
‘IX’ by Neil Slevin

I am the wind that blows within the mines:

I breathe into you and yours as you dig towards the Earth’s core –
that other world;

and carry the love and words of those you’ve left behind
on days spent digging for life.

You leave behind your own to battle with the face of coal and wage war
with stone – foes smothered by explosions of rock,

bullets that streak like the cries of stars slain in murderous skies –
prostrate (and fallen) under the weight of water;

your day’s light forbidden by sumps and gob.

Your weapons are not the sword or gun, but clips and caps, the hutch
your cart for those now lost, greeted only by the foreman’s truce,

their funeral procession your trek into that other darkness:
the wounded day’s retreat…

And camouflaged by falling night, you escape into your other life,

before pausing and giving thanks to Him, embracing the sanctity and warmth
of His flickering yet reassuringly-red light;

then letting it fade into the distance,
and waiting for the new day’s dawn.

BIO: “Neil Slevin is a 25 year-old writer from Co. Leitrim in the west of Ireland. A former English teacher in the U.K., having graduated with a B.Sc. in Physical Education with English from the University of Limerick in 2011, he has now returned to University to complete an M.A. in Writing at N.U.I. Galway and to pursue a writing-based career.”

1st Place
‘Dach’ by Suzannah Evans

Church roof in Görlitz, Germany

Up here the air is chilled to touch:
it grasps the fingers and the ears,
sneaks down the slender spine to clutch
the thighs, the space behind the knees.

Light flicks with deftness of a cloth
around the wooden twists and turns;
it settles, softly as a moth,
below the wooden window panes

forming a kind of amber pool.
And time stands still. The only sign
of its advance is the unspool
of spider webs, their ghostly twine,

as they sink from the timber beams.
The motes of dust hang in the air
so still, suspended, so it seems
that they have not been moved from here

since light first struck the howling sea.
But here, carved deep into the stone,
initials left as someone’s plea
that time, though it devours each one,

should leave, in place, some memory.

BIO: “Suzannah Evans is a current postgraduate student at the University of York. She enjoys languages and travel, and after living in Germany and France has experimented with writing in both of these languages. Previous poems have appeared in Ariadne’s Thread, Drey, Reflections, and various university publications.”

Cultured Vultures Poem of the Week

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