Congratulations to all the entrants to our poetry competition! Phil Carradice and Ellie Rees enjoyed judging your work very much!


Excavating the Terracotta Army by Glen Wilson

The eyes could be his, even in oval blankness

and no iris or pupil dilating, I see him,

the son I wasn’t allowed, the brother

that would only play in shadows.

And each of these soldiers bears the face

of lives cut so incredibly short,

from Hainan Province to Heilongjiang

the policies halved us.

We loved your older brother

but our hearts could have stretched to you.

I continue to brush long past

the dust’s denial of grief,

row upon row

all waiting to march.

Judges' comments: This poem is excellently constructed and shaped, a tight piece of writing that creates a powerful metaphor which works on several successive layers. The Terracotta Army is simply the way in to the poem, the 'dust's denial of grief' providing the perceptive reader with a more fulfilling and meaningful central theme. The brevity of the poem is one of it's main values - the poet knows just how much to say, how much to leave to the reader's imagination. A fine piece of writing.

SECOND PLACE: Last Samaritan in Paris by Simone Mansell Broome

Rene Robert, a Swiss photographer famous for his images of Spanish flamenco stars, died in January 2022, in Paris, after a fall.

Nine hours.

Not stripped, robbed, beaten this time. Not left

at the side of the road that runs

from Jerusalem to Jericho.

Left for dead. Not this time.

This was

urban abandonment, half a world,

two millennia away. Nine hours

on a cold January night, between

the Place de la Republique and les Halles,

a route he knew well, his bedtime stroll,

his territory.

A dizzy spell,

a trip, a slip, a fall and a man is down,

alien, anonymous. These priests and Levites

tonight are again too busy, too wary to bend

to check. Look the other way, cross over,

pass by, lost in our own concerns.

It takes another invisible one

to call at last for aid, (maybe another

of those six hundred who’ll die

on France’s streets this year).

Help comes too late.

If we’d had time,

had known his fame, weighed up the passion

of his art, would he have seemed at last

like one of us?

No ass or inn this time.

Just absence, indifference.

Judges' comments: This is a poem with a strong narrative thread, a good idea that links the Biblical image of the Samaritan with modern day life and reality. The poet has managed to create a metaphor that is highly effective.

THIRD PLACE: Half-Renovated by Sarah Leavesley

From the coastal path, our ‘new house’

is green fields and blue sky framed

by scaffolding, rafters and breeze blocks.

Workmen have left jagged walls – a part

peeling back of older structure,

releasing rotten wood and ghosts.

It’s not the home we had planned,

more like a picked scab, a broken

dream that seems beyond mending.

The view though from the other side!

A butterflied cliff edge gives way

to endless miles of pulsing ocean.

Untamed waves thrill and surge,

rushing towards us with surf-frothed tales

of drama on far-off shores.

In time, the late supplies will arrive,

our contractors return. New tiles

will take their place. This brick shell,

shiny with brine and longing,

will fill again with the bustle of life,

and the clatter of our belonging.

But for now, we imagine that this too

is how it’s meant to be: home’s wild heart

open to the sea breeze, sky and light.

Judges' comments: This was a well observed piece of writing where the word pictures were strong and central to the main concept. It was/is a highly personal account or observation but the crafting of the poem makes it accessible to all readers.


The following three entries fell into the 'almost but not quite' category, poems which on another day could well have achieved a higher placing:

  • Love’s Slow Art by Sarah Leavesley

  • ARMS AND THE CITY by Tony Trafford

  • The Sounds of our land by Alison J Schultz

All three were well-crafted, each containing memorable lines and images.

Entry Requirements

Competition is now Closed

  1. Closing date for entries is midnight, 27th May 2022.

  2. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.

  3. The maximum length of submissions is 40 lines.

  4. Poems must reflect the theme of Belonging.

  5. Entries should be submitted online at

  6. Entry fee is £5 per entry and MUST accompany all entries.

  7. Any profits made from this competition will go into the These3Streams Festival fund.

  8. Entries will not be returned. Please keep a copy. No alterations or corrections can be made after receipt.

  9. Entries will be read and judged anonymously; the entrants name should appear only on the entry form and not anywhere else on the manuscript. The manuscript must be free of all personal information.

  10. Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been previously published, in print or online (including websites, blogs, social network sites), or broadcast or been commended, short-listed in another poetry competition. Any entry found to have been plagiarised will be disqualified.

  11. Prizes are 1st £100, 2nd £50 and 3rd £25. Winners will be published on the festival website.

  12. Winners will be announced at the festival and notified by 30th June 2022.

  13. The judges decision is final, and no individual correspondence will be entered into. The judges and readers will not be able to comment on any individual entry.

  14. By submitting you agree to the rules.