by Roger Philip Dennis Winner of this year’s Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition
All afternoon she counts the sounds
until the fly-specked room crackles with silence.
Even the song thrush noteless. A thick drizzle
trickles rivulets down the window pane,
smears distance on fields, curtains-off hills
and greens the sagged thatch,
aches in the creaking gate and screws
watering eye to misting glass:
a hearse skids slowly up the muddy lane,
blurs in droplets on a spider-web,
spins sideways into darkness ...
...rattling cough of cattle, rusty tractor,
hinge of paint-peeled door, gears
of cars forced to back in one-track lanes,
buzz of pylons spanning the hum
of outboards in the yachtsmen’s creek,
yelp of kids in the converted Mill,
the soft click-click of a camera-shutter
up Corkscrew Hill ...