The poetry in the latest competition (by latest, I mean dating to the 8 December edition - delivery has been rather tardy of late) happens to be about ash dieback, a fungal disease affecting the growths of ash trees in England. The results have been... well, let me just show you:
The winner kicks things off with a dignified lament in iambic pentameter:
Too large for our imaginings, those bare
And hollowed landscapes where the ash once stood...
But things become a little strange with the second published entry, to me sounding like a sombre, slightly maudlin Anglican service -
Let us have faith that nature will sustainThe third is queerer still, a bizarre lament - 'vintage Stratocaster', whatever that is, rhymes with 'disaster', and 'pliant wood' with the clunkish 'fungal blight where hardy trees have stood'. And the conclusion! Oh for the love of....
Their spirit until ash trees live again.
The willow tree has not yet taken sick
So playing for the Ashes can go on.
Well that's all right then. And, after that, come the imitation Betjemans and try-hard Thomas Hardys, with 'swan song' rhyming with 'song sung', or should that be 'sing song' or maybe 'ning nong' or quite possibly 'ping pong'. I do like
We watched the helicopters whirlingBut really, all of it is summed up with the trite joke in the last poem
In those summer yesteryears,
And heard the leaves uncurling, furling,
Turning into tiny spears....
I grieve, and yet my spirits rise -And
My elegy may wine a prize.
I think I've never seen an ashCrikey. I hope the Speccy poetry comp. never tries a serious subject again...
As lovely as a wad of cash.