'Sand' was commended in the 2020 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "We loved this poem's understanding of the world of childhood imagination, the way that's pinned down in charming moments like 'I take her out for a spin to Lundy Island/to see the puffins and the granite stacks.' The poem has us from the first two lines, establishing a memorable idea which it uses to communicate the lovely relationship with the grandfather, as well as the pain of parental separation. The moment of wanting to destroy the car, to 'ruin her so no one else can ruin her,' moves us in the sort of direction of childhood conceptions of big ideas found in Berryman's 'The Ball Poem' - and all this is achieved through the completely wonderful symbol of an MG convertible made of sand!”

Sand

by Vanessa Lampert

On Woolacombe beach my Grandpa builds
an MG convertible sports car from sand,
in front of the swingboats where I was sick once.

My car faces the wind-ruffled sea, roof down
under a sky made from torn strips of paper.
Grandpa slowly carves the bonnet and makes me

a member of the AA. He shapes the wheels
and stands back, proud as a car salesman.
Other kids are staring. They want to be me.

In a few weeks my parents will separate,
but now our orange windbreak holds them
close together in flowery beach chairs

safe from the wind. I sit behind the steering wheel
of my new MG. The engine starts first try.
I take her out for a spin to Lundy Island

to see the puffins and the granite stacks
and back, beeping my horn to warn the surfers,
who wave. I park her where she was before,

facing out to sea. Mum looks up from her book
and says it must be time for a 99.
I want to jump on my car before we leave,

and ruin her so no one else can ruin her,
but Grandpa won’t let me. He takes my hand
in his, saying don’t look back. Let’s go.

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 5,000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

More about the Poetry Society…

Tweets @PoetrySociety

"The largest pumpkin in the world weighs 2,323 pounds. It was grown in Switzerland by Beni Meier" 'Notes on Various Squashes', Padraig Regan in Poetry Review Autumn 2017 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 11’s prompt is: A poem that uses a piece of trivia

test Twitter Media - "The largest pumpkin in the world weighs 2,323 pounds. It was grown in Switzerland by Beni Meier"
'Notes on Various Squashes', Padraig Regan in Poetry Review Autumn 2017
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 11’s prompt is: A poem that uses a piece of trivia https://t.co/pFQZV7ckq3

"Flies in the marrow of wooden hearts that will turn to heat.” from 'Wood Shed Spider With Cloth of Others’, Sean Borodale in Poetry Review Autumn 2018 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 10’s prompt is: Insects

test Twitter Media - "Flies in the marrow of wooden hearts
that will turn to heat.”
from 'Wood Shed Spider With Cloth of Others’, Sean Borodale in Poetry Review Autumn 2018
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 10’s prompt is: Insects https://t.co/wppu83jFg2

As you set out for Ithaka hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Ithaka, CP Cavafy Trans Keeley

"No-one returned my gaze. Not one person knew me." from 'Cold Brightness’, Carol Rumens in Poetry Review Autumn 2009 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 9’s prompt is: The City

test Twitter Media - "No-one returned my gaze.
Not one person knew me."
from 'Cold Brightness’, Carol Rumens in Poetry Review Autumn 2009
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 9’s prompt is: The City https://t.co/CxjBrPjOPT

We're hearing your stories! Jack Cooper and Jayant Kashyap started their journey with #YoungPoetsNetwork with the @bletchleypark challenge back in 2018. Three years on, and many, many poems later, what have they learnt? bit.ly/YPN10-1 Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"I saw atoms in the air separating before me, an invisible shattering,” from 'First Signs’, Caroline Bird in Poetry Review Spring 2016 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 8’s prompt is: Omen

test Twitter Media - "I saw atoms
in the air separating before me,
an invisible shattering,”
from 'First Signs’, Caroline Bird in Poetry Review Spring 2016
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 8’s prompt is: Omen https://t.co/bEQGpMPpBl

“Paul Farley took the pulse at the turn of our millennium when he quipped that contemporary poets haven’t had criticism, they’ve had marketing...” My review of Glyn Maxwell & Alan Gillis features as one of the online highlights from the new Poetry Review: poetrysociety.org.uk/book-review-th… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Easter Poetry Review offer ends 16 April - get 20% off a digital 1-year subscription twitter.com/PoetrySociety/…

"Repetition creates a linguistic labyrinth where we get lost because every turn looks familiar" Read the lecture 'FACE – FACE – FACE: A Poet Under the Spell of Loss' @ValzhynaMort bit.ly/valzhynamortle… #poetryreview

test Twitter Media - "Repetition creates a linguistic labyrinth where we get lost because every turn looks familiar" Read the lecture 'FACE – FACE – FACE: A Poet Under the Spell of Loss' @ValzhynaMort https://t.co/6nJIbpzJSi #poetryreview https://t.co/1as1YpT58E