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Published February 19, 2017
"The Wake" by Anthony Watts (Second Place)
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The Wake

by Anthony Watts

In Adelaide, the ashes of a man
Pass for what he was.  In Somerset,
A few friends gather round a fire
In a fold of the Brendon Hills.  After the storm
The unburdened sky quiesced and certain trees
And elevated backdrop fields are touched with gold.

Someone reads a poem.  It breaks the surface
Of the silence like a flower.  A joint is rolled
And passed around.  More poems - shyly reverent
Offerings.  Then, one by one,
The anecdotes come out like stars
To shed their brief light on the absent one.

Time ripens to the moment when a man
Unwraps a flute-like instrument and stands
Facing eternity.  From the world's prow
He offers up an Amerindian prayer
To the Spirit in the Sky - flute poised
To release the sacred body of its song

Which rises now - a pentatonic psalm
Amplified by silence and the hills.
As dusk flows in from the Vale of Taunton Deane,
They pile fresh logs on the fire, which comes alive
With a dancing and flickering brightness.  A flight away,
In Adelaide, the risen sun stands high.

Anthony Watts has been writing ‘seriously’ for about 40 years.  He has won
prizes in poetry competitions and has had poems published in magazines
and anthologies.  His latest collection is
The Shell-Gatherer, published by
Oversteps Books.  Rural Somerset has been his home for most of his life
and he has no plans to leave it.  His main interests are poetry, music,
walking and binge thinking - activities which he often finds can be happily
Wax Poetry and Art
Poetry Contest #11 Results
1. Tanis
2. The Wake
3. Atrocious War
4. Old World Sand Boa
5. Dyspraxia
6. Sanctuary
7. The Eight
8. Glacier d’Argentière
9. Reviving Lives
10. Ketu
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Poetry Contest #11: Second Place

The Wake

by Anthony Watts
(Taunton, Somerset, England)