February 2021 Winner

S.A.D Anne Savage   The 21st or thereabouts it starts; when everyone’s alight or wrapped and giving. My life Gurgling like a strangled straw when the drink runs out Shrinks down and out as light Spins into empty. A few grey hours every day, Darkness laughing from the edges chews and bites a little more […]

January 2021 Winner

Mrs Robinson Ellie Piddington   In his den she smokes two of his Havana cigars onto the run, cracks open a bottle of Bourbon, leaves the Pearsons’ Alsatian thrusting at the cushions.   ‘Please,’ she’d said to Benjamin. ‘Please,’ she’d said again.   Arms folded firmly across her chest standing in the tall grasses, like […]

CWI October 2020 Winner

Two Minutes  Ruth Taaffe   Notes fired crack against our ears, fill the air like smoke after gunshot blooming over a field.   He leads our collective stumbling with his solo, shuffles us into respect at the ricochet of his tune.   The young bugler lowers his instrument, approaching the climax of his task. We […]

September 2020 Competition Winner

Sunshower Riley Sutton   If there is peace to be had in this world, it is next to a clear windowpane as a thunderstorm beats its drums in the distance. With water slicing through the sky in a diagonal marching line, unbeknownst to the rules of physics and even gravity, you can watch the sky […]

August 2020 Competition Winner

The Woman Vegetable Vendor Fabiyas MV   She pulls her handcart through her dream-debris. Now her PhD is just an agonizing adornment.   She’s been denied white-collar jobs for religious reasons. Even a name is flammable in the fanatic drought. Here religion doesn’t purify, but petrify.   Yet she surfaces, scuba-diving through her secret sorrows. […]

July 2020 Winner

The House Plant Fabiyas MV   Her possessor won’t let her grow beyond his conservative outlook. Her taproot is chained in the pot.   Even her pale patches are decorations. Living among the plastic plants is choking.   She’s denied sunny kisses. Rain’s romantic whisperings, she’s never exposed to such ecstasies.   Her wound attracts […]

CWI June 2020 Winner

Northern Lights Sue Hoffman   Green-born: a blessing; a child to unite tribes.   Red-born: a gift; a child to bring joy.   Yellow-born: a mystery; who knows the child’s fate?   But I was born when the night was black, when the sky-dancers slept, their coloured capes folded to cushion weary heads,   and […]

CWI May 2020 Winner

Hidden Rachael Barnes-Powell   My father collects model trains   Engines, stations, trees – all miniaturised populate his shed   His own personal paradise over which he is god   Plastic bodies lie cold Waiting for him to bring them to life   I was allowed to watch as he worked in mausoleum-like silence   […]

CWI April 2020 Competition Winner

Machair Tomos Dargie   We came to a meadow by where the sea crept in, where her breath was light with marram and the meadowsweet danced. There was an Island, left on a shell-strewn strand once the tide had ebbed away. There were terns, their shrill cry she carried down the long summer days. She […]

CWI March 2020 Winner

Pineapples Ruth Taaffe   Panic in the aisles. Unmasked together in a queue we breathe discretely in opposite directions no eye contact, ashamed of this synchronised thinking.   Ridiculous whims in the baskets, beans for protein chocolate for morale. The thought of weeks without fruit pinpoints an island of claustrophobia   inside, a notion of scurvy voyages east or west on some wooden clipper. If only they’d had the Piña des Indes back then. ​The tin sits   plucked from the shelf, adopted pet in the […]

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