27th August to 9th September

Plumstead Poet Laureate 2018

The Finals of the annual Poetry competition took place at the Old Mill public house on Tuesday 28th August and this year's winner was first time entrant

Caroline Burnett

Plumstead Poet Laureate, Caroline Barnett, crowned by the Badge Queen of Plumstead.
Plumstead Poet Laureate, Caroline Barnett, crowned by the Badge Queen of Plumstead.
The winning poet receiving her medal.
The winning poet receiving her medal.

The runner up poem and the third place one were both written by another newcomer, James Miller.
Not until all of the votes were in and the successful poems revealed was it announced that the winning poet was Plumstead born and bred, defeating James, from Canning Town, by a single vote.

We must also thank the Badge Queen of Plumstead for giving up some of  her very precious time to coming along to present the prizes.

Runner-up and third placed poet, James.
Runner-up and third placed poet, James.
The finalists gathered.
The finalists gathered.

Many thanks to Sam White for taking the photographs, which remain her copyright and can not be reproduced without her permission.



Second Place Poem:

Human Mind

Lord grant me the power, to accept the things I cannot change,
faces unknown and voices strange.
As she stopped and gently held his hand,
and followed footprints in the sand.
But footprints fade as waves break the shore,
Her mind just not with us anymore.
Just a dark house full of broken gems,
as childhood dreams get lost again,
and again, and again, screams hit deaf ears.
the muted screams that only she can hear.
Stood so fragile, both hands shake,
hearts of sons and loved ones slowly break.
Eyes glazed, memory hazed, a hollow shell,
vein hope to try to break this spell.
But break she does, can't fight nor stand,
as she sinks under dementias upper hand.
Oblivious now to risks and dangers,
those close to her, now just familiar strangers.
For some it's close, for some hard to find,
the fragility of the human mind.

The Winning Poem:

The Metaphysical Zoo

Going to the zoo today with two of my old mates, must hurry up it shuts at four they may just shut the gates.

The afternoon’s receding now and it’s getting slightly dark, didn't notice the time at all as we walked around the park.
Suddenly it seems very quiet, where did the people go, looks like we've been locked in and walking far too slow.
It seems that we are on our own the animals all in bed, until we round the corner and come upon a shed.
It looks like there’s a light on, we slowly walk that way when we see a monkey carrying a tray.

I can't believe my eyes nor can the other two, the monkey carrying the tray says “come in and take a pew.
Right at the back slumped in their chairs the lions are playing cards; the cheetahs aren't allowed to play so the tigers act as guards.
The tigers are all sergeants, they borrowed the zebras stripes, sitting in the corner are monkeys smoking pipes.
Three giraffes swing hoopla hoops around their necks so slender as the elephants approach the apes who are on a massive bender.
The elephants spray water on several of the apes who by now are very drunk and are swinging from the drapes.
It all seems so noisy now but whatever is that sound, it must be my alarm clock and I slowly come around.
I must get up wash and dress as I’m going to the zoo. It's going to be a lovely day my mates are coming too.



Third Place Poem:

Fools and Horses Work

For anyone who’s had that job in their life that they just can’t

Alarm goes off, your eyes prize open, you drag yourself from bed,
you sigh and trudge and start to dread the working day ahead.
The early starts now wearing thin, the grueling daily slog,
as every day when you clock in to your tireless, thankless job.
Just a number, a voice, a name on a screen,
a well-oiled cog of a giant machine.
Daily delays, long waits for the train, in your battle to make ends meet,
as you stand in that famous great British rain, train arrives but you can't find a seat.
So, you stand and you sway, as the train chugs away,
the same grey, dreary faces seen day after day.
Same place, same train, same time, same suit,
same cheap aftershave, same tie, same commute.
The force fed, 'good mornings' or 'enjoy your weekend'.
The same Monday meetings you're forced to attend.
The increased sales targets, the dreaded cold calls,
the manky old carpets and plain office walls.
Cheap office tea, the same meal deal at one,
fear of bankruptcy if their costs overrun.
Part of the system, a slave to the trade,
that pay rise so distant, overworked and underpaid.
The brownnosers winning, the chumps left on the heap,
the CEO grinning at the staff he’s hired cheap.
Fatigue now always with you, you once felt so alive,
as now deep down you beg them for Mr. P45.
8 hours a day, 5 days a week, they all drive you berserk,
Is it true that only fools and horses work?