… Marion Fewkes of Wolston WI
Congratulations Marion, the judges were both agreed on the first reading that you were the worthy winner

SWALLOWS SOAR

(A Villanelle)

Swallows soar in a sky cyan blue.
Watching in wonder from my hospital bed
in my soul I soar with swallows too.

I dream of the days I spent with you
when words of love were all we said
and swallows soared in a sky clear blue.

Our world comprised just us two
with dreams of our future still ahead
In my soul I soar with swallows too.

No worries or care clouded our view
no nights of fear, full of dread
swallows soared in a sky azure blue.

Gazing through my window now all I can do
but I’m alive and might have been dead
in my soul I soar with swallows too.

The depth of our love just grew and grew
and succours me still in my hospital bed
I see swallows soar in a sky cyan blue
in my soul I soar with swallows too.

Comments from the Judges, Gwyneth Roe, Bulkington WI and Jane Waters, Kineton WI

“We were very honoured to be asked to judge this competition and enjoyed reading all the 49 super entries. Who knew we had such talented members in Warwickshire? It was extremely difficult to choose between them, it was obvious that they had all been written with love and all deserved to be considered. In the end we agreed on the winner and the three Highly Commended entries and each of us chose a poem for Special Mention.

Well done, all you entrants. Once we get back to normal and can resume our meetings, we hope you will come and join us at one of our Poetry Mornings. We enjoy reading and listening to poetry on a given theme, together with coffee, biscuits and the companionship of like-minded poetry lovers.
THANK YOU WI POETS!”

HIGHLY COMMENDED 

Barbara Alcock – Snitterfield WI – The Softness of Petals

Softness of baby petals
Curled around a crown
Of golden honeyed stamens
Cradling the sun-kissed pollen,
Life-giving food for the bees
And stained-glass butterflies,
Filling our Summer days
With gentle wind-borne perfume
Of memories, to be savoured
When starveling Winter steals
The myriad colours
The tender fragranced blooms
Of this most perfect rose.

Maggie Pink – Kenilworth WI  – The Warwickshire spring (2020)

The hum of the bumble bee collecting its first nectar.
The nod of the daffodils as they follow the sun.
The red and white chestnuts with flowers erect.
The geese and their signets grazing the grass.

The green haze of the hedge rows as the leaf buds unfold.
The blue bells carpeting the floor of the ancient woods.
The woodpecker drumming on the old oak trees.
The unmistakeable double cry of the cuckoos call.

The smell of the cowslip as the breeze waves their stems.
The smell of the first rain on the sun dried earth.
The sound of the disc roller in fields far away.
The sound of bleeting as the lambs call their mums.

The shrill whistle of a robin as it welcomes the morning.
The cackle of a blackbird as it’s worm hunt is disturbed.
The drone of the mowers as they hone the grass.
The new mums and their calves grazing the field.

The warmth of the sun on your face and your arms.
The feeling that spring has finally sprung.
The clonk back to reality as the hour ends.
The thoughts we have for those affected.
The realisation of how fortunate we are.

Kate A Harris – Deerings Regent Daytime WI – Once upon a time in Lockdown

Once upon a time in Lockdown.
Enjoy the glories, wandering to giddy heights.
Daily exercise is the order of the day
An hour plus, every morning for three months.
When will it end? Will it end?

I love it. The daily walking.
Time to think. Memories of childhood walks.
Amongst wildflowers, red campion, foxgloves.
Off I traipse. What’s the weather?
Wet. A rainproof jacket is necessary.
Rough, blustery winds destroy umbrellas.

I love it. The daily walking.
Shoes sturdy prepared for puddles, wet grass.
I’m desperate to escape. They come too close.
Will the dog walkers, families, runners, couples, move?
Respect should be observed at all times. Is it?

I love it. The daily walking.
Be kind and distance, two metres, no less.
They must all distance. Why don’t they care?
I’m frightened. I don’t want the virus.
When will it end? The longed-for grandchildren’s cuddles.
Grandchildren’s weekly tea-time visits to return. I miss them.

I love it. The daily walking.
People – girls, boys, ladies, men, maybe with dogs,
Dogs, sometimes three, large and hairy,
Two small and yappy, snarly at my feet.
One pretty, exquisitely well-behaved specimen.
I really love dogs, at a distance, in Lockdown.

I love it. The daily walking.
Another morning sunny, hot, fierce sun,
Open-toed, sequined sandals, inappropriate for walking.
A floppy wide-brimmed sun hat is worn and sun lotion for protection.
The burning hot sun pierces my freckles.

I love it. The daily walking.
Do I really want to brave the hordes?
To move away when nobody notices me.
Don’t they realise I might have the virus?
I’m strolling away, up the lush green, grassy hill,
Why don’t you people move away from me?

I love it. The daily walking.
That young man thoughtfully crosses the road.
I want to praise him for his consideration. He is kind.
Faith returns to my heart. A lovely smiling fella.
Success, at last, I stand on top of the hill,
Views for miles across lush green meadows.

I love it. The daily walking
It’s quiet. Listen. Sunday.
No rumble of vehicles on the motorway.
Only birds twittering, blackbirds, sparrows.
Hear a bright red-breasted robin tut-tutting.
Owning a perch on the highest, tallest tv. aerial.

I love it. The daily walking.
Nobody around. I am accustomed to a lonesome walk.
Do I mind? Not anymore. I love my own company.
Tall trees overhang pathways, cows moo in distant fields.
A daily habit, quiet walks, getting to knowing myself.
What about the future?

I love it. The daily walking.
I won’t rush around, browsing, shopping.
A revelation. I enjoy my own company.
In the future, there will be more time to think.
It’s great to ruminate issues, family, friends, global.
Knowledge – there are two sides to each problem.
Be kind, listen to problems, and help people.
I love it. My daily walking.

SPECIAL MENTION

Jill Price – Kineton WI – LOCKDOWN

So, write a Lockdown poem? I haven’t got the time
I’ve got a Zoom at 3 o’clock, a Quiz at half past nine.
Banana bread mark thirty-four is baking as we speak
Not made a single one before, but now it’s twice a week

I’ve dusted off that jigsaw (with one thousand~fifty bits)
I’ve YouTubed how to knit a scarf, a jumper and some mitts
The garden’s looking gorgeous, for once no weed in sight
We’re not sure what we’ve pulled up, so I hope we’ve done it right

I sat down at the piano once, to brush up on my Handel
But two bars in I realised I’d be missing all the scandal….
…..By which I mean, most obviously, the daily morning telly
How ever did I last this long without dear Lorraine Kelly?

I’ve rearranged the cupboards, chucked out all food past it’s date
Including one small pot of cloves from 1988.
My roots are grey, my nails are plain, my fringe down to my chin
I found some weird mascara ~ that went straight into the bin

I’ve categorised our photos, sorting each in different piles
I’ve thrown away the duplicates, the landscapes and false smiles
My Spanish conversation isn’t what it used to be
But I find it soon improves after my second G and T

We sometimes meet up down our street albeit still alfresco
We keep apart, but chat and share deliveries from Tesco
And then at almost 8 o’clock to really do what’s best
We grab a pot, a wooden spoon and clap hard with the rest

But though we’re all in Lockdown still and cannot hug or kiss
I’ll look back at this time and think of all the things I’d miss

Shirley Lowe – Rowington WI – The Romance of Travel

There will be high fever and frenzy in the foyers, Hotel staff in anticipation and keen readiness will stand Eager & hopeful, of stirling or euros, after their lockdown, Both acceptable when pressed into a long awaited hand THE BRITS ARE DUE

Transfer coaches will eject cases and dishevelled travellers, Fraught and flight-weary, hardly feeling at their best, But who next day, will be enthusiastic, energetic revellers ‘Boogying on down’ and ‘karaokeing’ with the rest.
There will be pouty, sticky children in high dudgeon, And parents with patience wearing thin, Wheelchairs, pushchairs and gaudy inflatables, Golf clubs, and bags full of airport purchased gin.
THE BRITS WILL HAVE LANDED

Myriad coloured towels will be spread at rose day break On sun beds, militarily fanned out a round the pool, Now the Brits are out of the European Union, That past compulsory towel laying tradition May need readdressing, as per the old rule!
Straight out into the sun disrobing will occur, Revealing torsos of varying architecture and sizes, Unashamedly unleashing all manner of ripples and bulges That normally our climatic attire disguises.
THE BRITS WILL BE EXPOSED

Like a shoal of small fishes, head to tail on a griddle, Splayed out, liberally massaged or sprayed with sun oil, Regularly rotated they‘ll sizzle, brown and crispen, Others, sore reddened, when touched, will recoil.
Tummies flat or bulbous, like sleeping Dugons they’ll bask Chests exposed, breasts white or pink, or black as night, Some shelved high, some aiming low or just plain akimbo, And querying ‘Was last years beach wear really this tight?
THE BRITS WILL BE REVEALING

Young things will flutter by, pelmet skirted, heels high, Likely nubile studs and waiters instantly alert.
But the young won’t have it all their own way Middle-aged ladies are not averse to flirt.
The nightclubbing, late dancing and sparring is fun, Holiday romances though passionate may be short, And to many, like volleyball, tennis and golf They may mean no more than a game and good sport THE BRITS WILL BE PLAYFUL

Hotel kitchens disperse daily aromas of inventive cuisine.
Chefs days are exacting, hot and long,
The hours they spend preparing is reduced to minutes In guest appreciation. Then all’s gone!
With prior intention to waistline watching forgotten, Food will be plate piled, like the Millennium Dome Fancy delights, sweet meats, gateaux and gelato digested Heralding cries of ‘ No matter! We’ll diet when we reach home!
THE BRITS WILL BE RESIGNED

With packing for departure day fast approaching Suitcase zips will be in danger of great strain, With tacky mementos stuffed into each available crevice Immigration will benefit from the excess financial gain!
Brown bodies in sandals, shorts and T’ shirts Could arrive to a rainy, dismal UK, Oblivious of the cold and their goose pimples, Determined to show evidence of having been away.
Conveyor belts will circulate their bulging luggage, Heaved off, and with luck all present and fully intact.
Happy travellers are home. Normal existence resumed.
AND Holiday brochures will be waiting on the mat!
THE BRITS ARE BACK AND …….PLANNING!