Festival of Poetry: A Collection of Poetry

Festival of Poetry is a collection of poems by poets from around the UK. It was published by United Press in 2013. The poems were those winning and commended poems entered into a national competition. The competition attracted over 2,000 entries, with some submissions from new British poets.

The winning poet was Sue Kauth from Somerset, England. Her poem, A Peaceful Valley, along with other poems, including my own commended poem about Mary Queen of Scots, Murder In The Morning, are re-produced below. 

One of the judges, Jennifer Hodges, found Sue’s poem to be  a delight to read. She felt that the imagery and rhythm of A Peaceful Valley lent a real cyclical quality to the work and that this helped to reinforce and strengthen Sue’s poetic directive regarding the longevity of nature. Sue’s skill as a poet was commended as she has created a piece that is both structurally well-formed and captured the imagination. Sue herself stated that the inspiration for her winning poem came from the Somerset countryside and a sense of history running through everything. Sue has written off and on over the years and often finds her creative impetus from the variety of nature and the natural environment.

A PEACEFUL VALLEY

A flecking of horses, lazily grazing,somerset
scattered like stones, flung from the hand,
dots darkly the green of the new season’s growing.
Just there by the trees is the flick of a rabbit,
scudding and nervous, and off at a glance;
while down through the valley the church bells are ringing
and nothing has changed here for hundreds of years.
The centuries’ bulk casts blurry blue shadows,
as echoing down through forgotten small paths,
comes the call of the future to beckon and tease us.
But nothing will change here for years still to come.

Sue Kauth

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Murder In The Morning

The morning sky was grey and dark,

The queen would die today,

The maids set out her dress – then hark,

The pipes began to play.

The tunes laments and songs grew loud,

The footprints in the snow.

 

The queen in red stood tall and proud,

This morn, her life would go.

The queen in silent prayer had knelt

Before a cross of wood,

Her followers watched the cur Paulet

Prepare to pour her blood.

Two rosaries around her waist

Swayed as the charge he read,

he laid her neck upon the rest,

Three strokes cut off her head.

Queen Mary, forty four that day,

Her life brought to an end.

Her murder there at Fotheringay,

By Elizabeth, cousin and friend.

Valerie Penny

GIVE US THIS DAY

Gazing out the window,janice-leigh
All that I could see
Were a couple of trees, staring back at me.
Houses and cars,
People passing by,
I wonder how many are beginning to cry.
Why is the world so evil and cruel?
We should all face the truth.
I will tell people,
The people that fight and kill, and mame.
To tell you the truth, it’s always been the same.
There aren’t many places left
Or maybe there are none.
Where there is peace and kindness for everyone?

Janice Leigh

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