- Anyone who wishes to enter the competition should submit their poem(s) via the St Mary’s email address email@example.com or in hardcopy to Mr David Rose our webmaster.
- The subject of your poems is entirely up to you and need not be necessarily church related.
- The poem should be all your own work.
- As a guide your poem maybe two verses and between 4 to 6 lines per verse. Deviation from the suggested format is permissible.
- There is no limit to the number of poems that can be submitted by each entrant, but the Vestry of St Mary’s has the right to decide which poems are published.
- Poems will be published on the St Mary’s website with a number and title. Each entrant will be deemed to grant St Mary’s Vestry a royalty free non-exclusive licence to publish the material.
- The entry fee for each poem submitted is £2 and you can enter as many poems as you like. Payments can be made direct to St Mary’s bank account, or by cheque made payable to St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Carden Place, Aberdeen or via the PayPal donation facility on our website.
- The closing date is set as 30th June 2023.
1. St Mary’s
The silence of the place falls softly round you When worshippers have gone or work is done, The light through windows slants across the chancel, The colours fading with the setting sun. It seems as if they gather round about you All those who have belonged and worshipped there A century and a half of love and friendship A century and a half of song and prayer Of fervent pleas and grateful glad thanksgiving, Our faith set in the One that we adore: When humans fail and all the world is shaken, We know that in the end, God will restore.
2. The Prodigal Cat
The Prodigal Cat, beside the bay, It shines so bright, as bright as the day. The cat called Penny, She lacked a penny. She asked old paps, For the good old tips. Attracting with money, But lost your honey. Working hard, Purring disregard. The cat walked home, After world of Penny’s adventure; She felt like a dome, and I hear halleluja!
3. Cats and Dogs
The mysteries of the world are fine. I’m not bothered with their odd design. But there’s one thing that drives me bats - Why do some like dogs, and some like cats? They both make warm and furry pets, And run up big bills at the vet’s, And bite and lick and go for frogs, Yet some like cats and some like dogs. It seems they never will agree, And all give their opinions free, So now I fear I’m a bit loath To confess here that I like both.
4. Have we learned yet?
It’ll be the war to end all wars…they said Let’s call it the Great War…they said Let's make our land a Country fit for heroes…they said Did anyone learn?…we said This next war will address the evil of Nazi Germany…they said We have learned how to fight….they said We are better, bigger and more determined…they said Has anyone learned yet?…we said We won’t stand idly by in Iraq….they said We will rid the world of dictatorship…they said They will run and hide…they said Why can’t we learn?…we said We will hunt for Bin Laden wherever he hides…they said We have the best weaponry in the world…they said People will love the new regime…they said Do we really want to learn?…we said We will support Ukraine 100%…they said We won’t get involved…they said We deplore what’s taking place…they said Are we learning yet?…we said
When I woke up this morning I still felt tired When I had some coffee I still felt tired When I talked on the phone I still felt tired When I went to bed I was tired no more So I tried to reverse feeling tired I tried to get up later I didn’t drink coffee I didn’t speak on the phone When I went to bed, I still wasn’t tired So I stayed up all night to see if I’d get tired I drank coffee and tea (not caffeine free) I wrote and read (not going to bed) I was exhausted, but had to get on…still tired So I live my life feeling tired I go to bed feeling awake Maybe I should work nightshifts How much more can I take?
6. Wild Flowers
Walking along a narrow winding country lane The banks are alive with spring flowers again In the green of the grass the Violets hide Whilst Primroses shimmer different yellows with pride In the shallow Spring wind Bluebells gently blow With the Lady’s Smock pretty white flower to show In the fields far away the Cowslips shine A blanket of orange and yellow so divine In the Spring wind Snow drops gently sway Dog Roses add colour to the special array Red Campions stand proudly along the lane Shadowed by Cow Parsley providing frame As I walk to the end of the winding country lane The wonder of wild flowers will always remain Special spring pictures of the flowers I have seen Will remain with me for ever as a beautiful scene.
7. A Tale of Freddie the Fox
As the shafts of daylights scuttle across the sky From his den Freddie the fox steps warily by For his vixen and cubs he looks for a treat In the knowledge that his family enjoys juicy meat Freddie walks silently whilst looking around Afraid that a human might might enter his ground In his mind he knows the best place to find food To satisfy the hunger of his precious cub brood He enters enters a farmyard at the end of a lane, Knowing that a visit to the chicken house will not be in vain Through an open chicken house door he enters with glee In the knowledge that his vixen and cubs will enjoy a late tea.
8. Poem 1
Access and egress have I none The way you park is really no fun Back up the drive looking glum I'll go round the back and sit in the sun [Poem I wrote and put on wiper of car parked over our drive.]
9. Poem 2
Princess Margaret's wedding day Was in the merry month of May After being headline news She'll go off on a Caribbean cruise On sunny islands she will stay And bask in the tropical sun all day Then homeward bound she'll sail away After celebrations gay.
[Poem I wrote in Primary 6 or 7 after the class was asked to write a poem about Princess Margaret’s wedding.]
10. To our Grandma Irene
Someone who was in my life For so very long Now I'm trying to find a way To learn how to be strong I think of things you used to say And all that you would do At some point every single day My thoughts will turn to you You never know how important someone is Until they're no longer here I know that's the reason why Each day I shed a tear To lose you was a bitter wrench The pain cut to my core I cried until my tears ran out And then I cried some more Saying that I miss you Is an understatement for sure Because now for my loneliness I don't have a cure This wouldn't be your wish for me That I'd be ever sad So I will remind myself Of happy times we've had I miss everything about you I do wish there was a way That I could close my eyes And have you back with me today I know I can't be with you now And you can't be with me But safe inside my heart you'll stay That's where you'll always be
11. The Broken Soul
They thought that I was down and out They thought that I was done The more they kept me on the ground The more I looked towards that sun And as those rays of light shone down To warm my aging face I found my shoulders rise once more As I stood in humble grace No tears, no regrets, no shattered life Will destroy my battered soul Instead I’ll fight and pursue each dream As I move towards my goal The ridicule, the words of harm The insults and the pain Endured by a man whose defiant spirit Fights back to erase his shame When a man is lost and feels all alone He must look within himself And rid his thoughts of any doubt That his life is blessed with wealth No gold, no silver to weigh him down Only pennies small and few But in his heart he carries the belief That his life can be renewed Blows and strikes may knock you over In a life that’s tough and hard But a winner will find inside his mind The strength to rebuild his guard So look towards that sun my lad When your battles near their end And remember this as you rise again That a broken soul can mend
12. The Unnamed Grave
As I walk gently upon the grass And move between the stones A minor tremor disturbs my feet From a person who’s unknown And as I look down on the earth I wonder to myself Is this the grave of someone dear Whose life had limited wealth No cross, no border, no headstone To show who lies beneath This piece of un-kept sacred ground Now lost to those who weep What life did they once live I ask The family that they knew The age of their untimely death Their appearance as they grew But as my thoughts begin to fly To imagine who they must be A sadness fills my aching heart For the stranger I long to see Forgotten and lost to everyone No sentiment of prayer No loved ones visiting with kindness To show how much they care Instead they sleep amongst us As we talk and walk on by Until another unnamed grave Reveals the place where someone died Let us not lament their peace and quiet For within these graves they rest Their lives now over, their voices still All memories now have left For they are always remembered By the others who have died As their journeys were made together To a world on the other side
13. There is no goodbye
There are moments on this planet Periods of special time That connects us with our loved ones By revealing certain signs For when the vibrations of the earth Disturb the balance in the air A message will reveal itself For you to act upon with care Then the forces will surround you To help you if you ask And smooth a path for you to walk Unhindered in your task For your loved ones will be watching Each day when you awake To assist you in your struggles And the errors you might make Pay attention to their presence And listen with both ears For the whisper that will call to you And the advice that you will hear Have courage in your footsteps And use their wisdom without fear To settle all your worries From life’s troubles that are near For you travel not alone in time On the journey that you take As their spirits stand-by to guide you On the choices you now make So, do not say the word ‘goodbye’ To loved ones when you part As they will tap you on the shoulder To cause a tremor in your heart And when that movement stirs your soul Get up and march ahead As they are looking down on you To see where you might tread For through your senses a light will shine To show you where to turn As the departed gently teach you On the lessons you must learn
14. The Clock
As another day begins to dawn A piercing sound I hear It is the clock beside my bed That screams at me so near And as I place my hand upon it To block its constant cry The noise is stopped at once – hooray! So I lay down and sigh But as I snuggle deep within The comfort of my bed The motion of the clock I hear ‘Get up, you’re not yet dead’ Tick tock, tick tock The rhythm of the clock As the time of day is racing by I shout out loud ‘please stop’ But the clock it does not listen It covers up its ears So once again I raise my voice ‘Be quiet, I’m sleeping here’ Then the clock becomes defiant As time is on its side And as its hands turn round and round I slide down the bed to hide But even in the darkness Trapped and all alone The calling of the clock surrounds me In the bedroom of my home And so we start to argue As it tries to get its way ‘Get out of bed you lazy thing Get dressed and start your day’ This clock it does annoy me But what is it I can do? Then suddenly a thought pops up I’ll drop it down the loo! Then its petty voice can’t wake me In the early morning light And work will be a distant dream As I roll over and say ‘goodnight’!
15. Merlin’s Eyes
Millennium mountain, wet wind blowing, Grey sky bringing afternoon tears. The sea is dancing, singing and echoing, Flaring up her long white dress. I shall rest my dark blue wings For a moment, on a winding branch. The ancient oak stands still on the ground, Waiting for us to reach the perch. My eyes are slowly closing, Wandering into the abyss of this world.
16. Finding Your Dream
Sometimes, I compare the livelihood of the young and old. Trying hard to build my future to be strong and bold. God gave me this gift. I make a way for me to use it like a drift. When life hits you hard like there is a blockage, try to build yourself for your courage. Friends will come and go; lend yourself to overcome and grow. Having a breakdown, sit down - humble yourself so that you cannot stumble and crumble. No one knows tomorrow, yesterday and today seem to be narrow: "Make hay while the sun shines" - ...The day you realise yourself for your aim, is the day you begin to actualise yourself of your fame. To know your gift is a mental state; your choice not to use it is a total waste. You're not too young neither are you too old... Give yourself the time to see the truth you have never been told. Rise up to your feet and look away from your filths. This is your time to go... Get your dream.
17. Some o’ the sichts o’ the North East
Far you gaen tae go to see Aberdeine and Aberdeineshire's mony, mony sichts? Will ye go tae the Torry Battery, tae Fittie or maybe to Aberdeine beach hoping to see the Northern lichts? Will ye go tae visit Pennan, to see the famous red telephone box, to the setting for the film Local Hero? Or maybe you fancy a coffee and a fine piece at Caffe Nero? Maybe you'd like tae go to Hazleheid Park to visit the sma zoo? You could go tae the Duthie Park to hae a shottie on the shutes, visit the David Welch Winter Gairdins to see the talking cactus and McPuddock too. You might even see your favourite band fa micht be playing in the park tae. Seaton Park's a great hidden gem in Aberdeine. A wak to the bonnie walled gairdine, a walk alang the Brig O' Balgownie or a picnic beside the Wallace Tower is a mist tae be seen! A visit to Grandholm village to see the auld mill's water wheel, or go to Buckie Farm for a lovely carvery meal. There's mony, mony things tae see at yon varsity in Old Aberdeine, Kings College Chapel, the Mercat Cross or Elphinstone Hall. Whatever you do you're sure tae hae a muckle ball!