The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
1982 Crabbe Memorial Competition – First Prize
Adjudicators: Norman Hidden, Anne Beresford
A blank day with dull skies,
Constant meandering rain
Weaving its weary way earthward.
Soil grinds with grass and gables drip;
Sea and sky combine and a mutual mist envelopes the trees,
Gutters drink and ditches wallow
And still the sky hangs sodden and heavy.
Past the glass, walkers bend their bodies,
Encased in plastic, protected by taut umbrellas,
Skin drawn across bones.
Back and forward they strut
While lonely birds screech in dribbling trees
All along the borders of the streets.
My neighbour strides past, and then back,
Damp and grim like the rest.
I hear his door resound
And the radio trill to the solitary bird.
Like larvae in cells we lie
Unknown, in cubicles,
Partitioned in all aspects of existence.
Footsteps lead him to sleep,
And sleep leads him to mutter
Between fading silences.
Request, compliment — who knows?
Droplets of sound drift through the walls
And vanish as morning rises
Grey and resolute to the sound of clicking heels
And patterned strides outside.
Copyright © Lynn E Porter 1982
Lawshall, Nr. Bury St. Edmunds