GEOFF STEVENS AWARD

Brilliant to have been awarded a 2020 Award from the wonderful Indigo Dreams publishing team. I am honoured and thrilled to have my first collection of poetry due to be published this year. The collection is gathered from a long nursing career, and seems timely given the present covid-19 situation. We are all realising how vulnerable we are, and how valuable and sacred our NHS is.

Please give me your heart to hold: winning poems from the 2019 Winchester poetry prize

HERON

When you left he came.

On water and air, at a distance

still and silent, alone

telling me bit by bit how it would be –

the hurt like water rippling – different every day

but the same shapes and colour

in the blue flow of me to you.

He raises his head high, lifting to fly

wings wide open. I watch his reflection

him there, me here, and you always, skin close.

Some days I can almost touch you.

2018 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

My entry has been “Commended”

MY DAD WAS A DOCTOR

When he got poorly, I didn’t know he was dying.
My dad never ailed, he was nearly a giant.

I found him in a grey room. He was carved of wood,
sunken and hollow, lined in deep whorls.

He looked up and tried to smile,
but it was too hard.

An international Poetry competition with over 7000 entries from 61 countries.

MY DAD WAS A DOCTOR

When he got poorly, I didn’t know he was dying.
My dad never ailed, he was nearly a giant.

I found him in a grey room. He was carved of wood,
sunken and hollow, lined in deep whorls.

He looked up and tried to smile,
but it was too hard.

He’d sunk to the depths of the deepest ocean,
I could see it in his eyes: bottomless blue.

I sat next to him and our hands touched;
his cool and papery, the knuckles large.

Those hands that healed now shook,
hands that cured were fluttering wings.

We’d had silences before that said everything –
– this dying said nothing.

I looked for something true that goes on forever.
My eyes blurring the horizon where the beginning ends.

I never did get to tell you: I love you.

It sounded too much like goodbye.