One of our prizewinners

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InaOne of our prizewinners, Ina Schroders-Zeeders, is pictured here with her Aval-Ballan print. Ina is also holding a copy of judge Marie Marshall’s I am not a fish.

More of Ina’s poetry can be found here.

If any other prizewinners have pictures of themselves with their prizes, or giving readings of their prizewinning poems, please feel free to send them in.

‘Teazle Song’ by Jane Wheble

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Lisa Stewart commented:
I enjoyed the musical tone to this poem. It lends itself to being read aloud! 

Marie Marshall said:
It’s good to have something with the feel of folk-poetry.

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

Go fetch the teazles
go fetch the teazles,
there’s carding to be done
quilts to be laid up
and winter is across the hill.

Go fetch the teazles
go fetch the teazles,
the ones in full sun
that rattle with dryness
that catch on your sleeve.

Go fetch the teazles
go fetch the teazles,
we need to card the wool
a middle for the quilts
to keep Jack Frost away.

Go fetch the teazles
go fetch the teazles,
the ones with big scratchy heads
they get the job done quickly
cold is creeping under your bed.

Go fetch the teazles
go fetch the teazles,
use them to start the fire
sit around in your fine quilt
as winter comes across the hill.

‘the hand wants to know’, by Sam Smith

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Lesley Haycock and Victoria Devaney commented:
‘the hand wants to know’  beautifully captures the ambiguity of the image described  and the curiosity the painting attempts to provoke.

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

the hand wants to know

as eye and mind shift
.          over a flat rockscape
.          of ungraspable translucence

.  frosted green shards
.  fractured icefall

reaching fingers outspread
whorled nerve ends
a synapse away from touch

.  borealis made solid?
.  polar glassface?

Tentatively
the hand wants to know

‘Rhaeadr’ by Anna Kisby

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Marie Marshall commented:
‘Araf’ means ‘slow’, and this word contrasts with the ‘rushing… tumult… melodrama’ of the waterfall. A very simple idea – the naming of a child after a phenomenon of nature – which just appeals greatly to me.

Lisa Stewart commented:
Unusual and clever concept! 

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

There had already been my delight
at walking into the pub and not understanding
a single word. He taught me a few, but all I recall
is  araf   araf  marked all the way down the valley road
and those three welsh syllables for waterfall
so beautiful I said Let’s name her that.

So when she asks why I had her, I’ll answer: to still life
Rhaeadr. In all its rushing, its tumult, its melodrama
of sound. My boots fixed to the rocks, no more falling
and no way to even hear myself think.

‘The Land of Teal’ by Ina Schroders-Zeeders

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Marie Marshall commented:
Great concept!

Lesley Haycock and Victoria Devaney said:
‘The Land Of Teal’ describes perfectly the feeling of ‘not quite’ fitting in, or even wanting to and the need to express oneself  or escape the mundane. This is the goad for every artist. whether it be the written word, the visual arts or music. For us it is what compels us to paint.

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

I left myself when I was in the local supermarket,
I stepped outside, without me or my bag,
at five pm I went for it. I felt much lighter without me,
no worries what to make for dinner,  or about my hair.

I without me took a bus going to another town.
The other passengers were still all with themselves.
They looked so serious, so troubled. We didn’t speak.
I left the bus, stepped on a ferry going to a land of mist and teal.

And there I stayed. I met a man without me there,
and he was without him. I, without me, am still not going home.
It isn’t easy to be without yourself at times, perhaps.
But going back, for what? Nobody knows I left.

‘Umbellifrae’ by Simon Miller

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Here’s a comment by Lisa Stewart about Simon’s poem:
I really enjoyed the strong use of emotion and words in this poem. Again a rawness which I found captivating! 

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

These dry-rattling stalks remind me of you;
Wind-shaken and trembling,
As the rolling air brews a storm
And fat liquid drops explode the dry earth
Scattering picnics and defeating lovers
You would have knelt beside them
Like an old friend. Your botanist’s thumb
And fingers would have clasped a stem
In a medical grip, firm but reassuring
As your magnificating, silver lens
Illuminated the bone-yard secrets
Of those upturned umbrellas
Their hollow skeletal fingers.
You always knew the truth
That rattle is not a death rattle
But the song of something yet unborn.

__________

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‘Seedling’ by Joanna Jones

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Lisa Stewart commented:
For me this piece effortlessly grabbed my attention in the subtle manner with which the poem speaks. I found the beauty and rawness of the words gave the poem a truly captivating textured feel! A uniquely imaginative poem!

Marie Marshall commented:
Phrases like ‘musical scrape’ and ‘flying a clump of my hair like a flag’ appealed to me.

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

In the canyon I used them as hurdles.
Bleached, smooth and sun-warmed
Seasoned with my trail of dust and spices.
They had a singularly musical scrape
And, below, a warning rattle to help keep time.

That cinnamon powder was whipped from my hair
As I sat on a seaweed-free patch of rock.
With my heart hollow but my lungs finally full,
I traced the bloated contours
Made greasy by salt.

An oak tree cradled me better than my mum ever did.
Rough, gnarled and knotted
Flying a clump of my hair like a flag.
I looked through the branches
And thought about veins.

It’s begun now: I creak in the wind.
There are twenty-one rings on my elbow
And hairs on my pillow come winter.
Soon I will bake in salt and spices
And shelter a snake from the sun.

‘Day by day they unfold their secrets’ by Geoffrey Heptonstall

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Lesley Haycock and Victoria Devaney commented:
‘Day by day they unfold their secrets’  describes an almost perfect day (reminiscent of the childhood days which were the inspiration for the painting),yet dark clouds are forming which threaten to block out the sun entirely. The feelings of sadness and nostalgia evoked by this poem are very powerful.

Lisa Stewart commented:
I found this poem delicately infused with beauty! I loved the intricacy and imaginative ideas and use of words! A very pictorial poem, and a real joy to read! 

© Aval-Ballan

© Aval-Ballan

Day by day they unfold their secrets
In becoming delicacy,
Women with their parasols
Swaying in the wind
Which speaks through the open door.

You have arranged them
In the sunlit crystal vase
On the white-tiled table
Where talkatively we eat
Among the flowers I found
And the music you chose.

They bloom in the harmony
Of instruments and voices.
Their colour is rich and
As pleasing as a generous smile
Without fear of storms.

A tremor of war sounds as
The world out there is shaken.
Everything alive is whispering.
The women alone say no
More than their need allows.