This poem is commended in the Golden Shovel challenge on Young Poets Network (YPN), judged by Peter Kahn. A Golden Shovel poem uses a phrase from a pre-existing text to make up the end-words for each of its lines. Find out more about the Golden Shovel form here.

Hilly City Ode

by William Snelling

A Golden Shovel after ‘Fern Hill’ by Dylan Thomas

Funny how the spring rain unscrews the time
sending the clouds scattered ahead that had been held
fixed like memory for months, nowhere for me
to look; now branches drip overhead, fat and green
droplets like crystal earrings glittering and
singing on tarmac like there’s no word for dying

and weekends I walk up hills in the rain, though
with no destination in mind; maybe it’s because I
began to think the wind and the rain almost sang
from that slant, and maybe there’s comfort in
spending time like coins rolling into the gutter and my
heart is distracted by splashing wheels, bicycle chains
and wondering how I might gather weeds and drift like
a shopping trolley roaming the murky green of the
river, until past the car-park we get to the sea

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

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One quiet woman is much like another. Two quiet women can take on the world and his brother. Carole Satyamurti

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