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Introducing the National Poetry Day winners

Introducing the National Poetry Day winners

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We’re thrilled to announce the winners of TouchNote’s National Poetry Day competition. With over 155 entries, picking our favourite few proved harder than first expected. But with the help of Ryan Knowles and Susannah Herbert, we managed to whittle it down to five poems we think you’re going to love.

As you’d probably expect, they’re a sign of the times. The wonderful thing about poetry is the space it gives us to lay bare how we’re feeling in the moment, as well as meditate on what’s gone before and what lies ahead. Within the limits of language, each poem forms a story greater than the sum of its parts. So we thought it was only right that you hear them for yourself…

Colleen Ollila

“I wrote this poem 30 years ago. It’s a thought that popped into my mind one day. I intended it to be the beginning of a longer piece. I tried and tried to write more verses but eventually decided it was complete on its own. It’s short and simple, so I’ve remembered it all these years.”

Love is an emotion

Measured by degree

From tolerance to devotion

It’s a second and eternity

Doreen Hampshire

“I love writing poems and I write about things I like. Magic moments are the things I enjoy doing touching and feeling and seeing, so to me, these are all magic moments. Hope they are for you too.”

I have so many treasures

No one can ever replace

All those lovely things I’ve known

Which no one can erase.

The colours of the roses

The sun and the sea

The kindness of a friend

Brings so much joy to me.

Ellie Martin

“As a young college graduate, I had an opportunity for a job 12 hours away and my Mom encouraged me to take it. I was on a tight budget and planned out buying plane tickets home to see her. I wrote this when I had the chance to get an extra ticket. It turned out to be bittersweet because she was diagnosed with end stage cancer a couple months later and passed away at only 48.”

When I set out for wide open spaces,

She remained supportive and calm.

Now I’d like to bridge the distance,

Between a daughter and her Mom.

Arialle-lily Crick

“The back story to my poem is that right now everyone is so confused and unsure. None of us really know what’s going on. But we can all make a change, no matter who we are or where we are. No matter what’s going on for us or to us.

We can be the smile that someone sees in passing. We can be that one kind word or that helping hand.

In so many ways, we affect others around us. We can be a light to someone’s darkness and show them that we still love them. That faith isn’t dead but alive.

Anyone can walk into someone’s life and make a difference in that moment. But it takes somebody special to leave a mark. During this time we are called to be the people who leave a mark on lives. To bring the light Into the darkness.”

Be a light, even when the darkness is overwhelming.

Be a spark even when the fire has died.

Star’s still shine even in the blackness of the night.

So don’t forget that someone still cares.

And that it is in our darkest hour that we are the strongest.

When together we stand.

Forever as one.

Vee Harness

“It seems that for many people who go through tough times, helping is not always easy. Sometimes you just need someone to sit quietly with you, not offering advice or solutions no matter how simple it may seem to you. Over the years I have learned that simply just being there, quietly sending out love is the best thing you can do! My greatest teacher had been my cat!! Without saying anything, simply just sitting at my side purring and quietly letting me know that I am loved has helped me through dark days!”

When the sky grew dark and cold

You stood quietly at my side

As my world turned upside down

And my instinct was to hide

You just kept standing by me

Waiting for the sun to shine

And I Thank you for your comfort,

You awesome friend of mine

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TouchNote / October 2020
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