Poetry Competition Commended | ‘After The Rain’ by Barbara Murray

For Poetry Day Ireland 2018, HeadStuff.org launched a brand new poetry competition to celebrate this fantastic day of poetic activity around the country. This year the theme of the day was ‘Surprises’. For our competition we chose the theme ‘Surprise Encounters’

Our esteemed panel of judges for this year’s poetry competition were Colm Keegan and Erin Fornoff. Erin noted that they were ‘looking for surprising poems, and poems that arrest and compel and leave an emotional legacy. National Poetry Day is a great way to show that poetry is a fibre in everyone’s life, and speaks to truth that everyone shares.’

We at HeadStuff were humbled by the response to the competition with the sheer numbers of those who submitted their work. The judges were deeply impressed by the high quality of submissions. it was an incredibly difficult decision to pick three winners and thirteen commended poems. 

Over the next few days we will publish the three placed poems and thirteen commended ones. We would like to congratulate all the poets on their achievement. 

We would also like to thank everyone who took the time to submit to the competition. We received a high number of submissions of really high quality so please do keep watching the HeadStuff poetry section for more details on future submission information. Finally we would like to thank University College Cork, Poetry Ireland and Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat for their support. 

Read All Winning and Commended Poems Here 

After The Rain

by Barbara Murray

when the dark and laden clouds are spent,
there’s a momentary silence. 

Nature – holding her breath. 

Glints of light break through.
Impudent wisps melt
in a bedazzling sky. 

Sunshine is the space between the trees. 

Drawn homeward, water
wicks up tree trunks,
flies invisibly away
through open attic windows
of canopies and crowns. 

Raindrops and run-off
seep into craquelure. 

Shrivelled roots awaken,
cells swelling, delirious.
Silken hairs of new-born roots unfurl. 

Learning the art of taking hold. 

All too soon, when
the ground dries and hardens,
its hardscrabble clay
atomising in the stirring breeze,
these tender initiates
will have only each other
to cling to. 

A shrill wind topples the wayward tree. 

The first HeadStuff poetry competition was kindly judged anonymously by Colm Keegan and Erin Fornoff.

HeadStuff are extremely grateful to University College Cork, Poetry Ireland, and Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat for their generous support of the competition.

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash