inspired to write competition blog

Welcome to the entry page for the Jupiter Artland Inspired to Write Competition. Here you can find all our fantastic submissions of poetry and prose inspired by the Jupiter Artland artwork as part of our summer writing competition. Please use this link for more information on our Inspired to Write competition and to find out how to enter. 

You might also be interested in our Poet in Residence, Marjorie Lotfi Gill's blog.

Four Boys 22nd September 2015 / Jean Taylor Horst Bluhm Will Euler Fritz Forster Heinz Kristal   1943   Four boys missed their target crashed into Hare Hill   2013   When they stumble upon the bomb among hogweed and milk thistle they trace the bubbled seams of its four perfectly-angled fins,   surprise the rubber warmth of factory-stamped metal.   They long to fly - to scale the space between hilltop and cloud top.   But the thought of killing flattens their dream.   They bury the bomb where they find it in a foxhole tomb, scatter themselves -   an explosion of shrapnel over Hare Hill, Black Hill, Bell’s Hill, Harbour, Capelaw, Allermuir. Inspired by Hare Hill by Henry Castle
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In Memory 22nd September 2015 / Jean Taylor If you leave the name off the gravestone you can, for a shiver of time, pretend the memorial stands for some other person.   Without a name, bodies are mere suggestions, toes pointed, heads unmarked -   birthdates, death dates the husband of, father of labels dearly beloved - rendered universal by redaction.   Still we consider how things fade, names, dates and memories reduced to haunt the shadow shapes they used to occupy.   Year after year, the purple loosestrife  dies back and re-appears. Inspired by In Memory by Nathan Coley
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Reminders 22nd September 2015 / Jean Taylor I was never good at birthdays, carried the date of your birth in red ink on the palm of my hand, pinned it with a lobster-shaped magnet to the metal love of my fridge, circled it in calendars, hard- wired it in to passwords, pin numbers, burglar alarms.   I have no need of tombstones carry the date of your death, pricked round my wrist in a bracelet of blood. Inspired by In Memory by Nathan Coley
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THE BAGLADY`S SHADOW 22nd September 2015 / Fred McIlmoyle                     Two brown carrier bags - that’s all she had !                                                                                                                                                                       One bore the remnants of yesterday’s dreams,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The other a store of today’s necessities.                                                                                                                                                                              I thought it sad, and watched awhile.                                                                                                                                                                                   She turned and caught my eye.                                                                                                                                                                                             Trapped ! I tried to smile - to comprehend                                                                                                                                                                          What tortuous path had led her here ?                                                                                                                                                                                  Where were those who should be near                                                                                                                                                                                 To ease her anguished years ?                                                                                                                                                                                               She shuffled towards me,                     Tattered trainers, bandage bound,                                                                                                                                                                                         Grasped my hand in both of hers.                                                                                                                                                                                        Instinctively I stiffened,                     Then unwound and listened,                     Captured by her words:                                                                                                                                                                                          ...
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Three Sisters 22nd September 2015 / Moira Tasker Three sisters, childless and two of blood but the other a friend so close we were in touching distance of being official family. Are we all not, no matter how distantly, related to each other anyway? A late September day out, however, this time not a usual day for us. Not an activity which seemed to fit with a societal view of us as precariat’s without children. Not walking the dogs nor shopping nor popping into each other’s houses for cups of tea. Invigorating and chattering and laughing. One sister had visited many times. Two sisters had never been.  They had pondered the Love Bomb for afar. That bright, uplifting sculpture that stands so high and proud that it appears to touch the clouds. It’s visibility from the road on the way to or from other destinations had ignited many personal dreams. What delights would lie beyond the gates ...
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Invitation 22nd September 2015 / Robbi Nester Which is the floor? The ceiling? It’s all uncertain. This room is all angles, nowhere to set a foot. Color floods the room, but not the tones of our ordinary world, its hard light, unremitting rain. Soft shades of apricot and mauve belie its violence. No figures--only fragments. The walls fly apart, falling away into loose brick and stone as if on impact, model of a universe we  can glimpse only through a powerful lens. The lopsided sun, slightly singed, burns in one corner of the cornice, while beneath, illuminated by an entirely different grade of light, a window, perhaps taped to the far wall like a portrait, confronts us with its dark stand of pines, segmented into panes. Across the room, its opposite or reflection, impossibly tilted, shutters flung wide as though in haste or panic, echoes this scene, inviting us to leap, or else to enter, to ...
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My Thoughts 21st September 2015 / Maria Arana thoughts change as they reach my mouth             no defense no articulation   you hear opinion not well versed and shot down              mouth sews shut   what words should I say when they aren’t loud enough to matter              loud enough to fight alongside yours   and yours                   and yours that gravitate a level I’m not used to like caviar to my hot dog   that’s when my teeth chatter lips bleed truth and heart gets stepped on Inspired by Stroke by Anya Gallaccio
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Balancing Act 21st September 2015 / Mary McCarthy This makes a poem in stone and wood like music formulating time each coppiced tree a hand fingers spread wide to cup a heavy stone weight made weightless lifted in the grip of living wood each will take years to dream into the other tree and stone together a long sentence none of us will live to see complete each day tuned to its own harmonic infinitely changeable as each hour patterns new shadows moving over shapes like the shadows cast by clouds running their light caress over a landscape we imagine still dependable as stone Inspired by Stone Coppice by Andy Goldsworthy
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Time 21st September 2015 / Janis Clark Had I not overslept I might have seen the thousand threads burst from a dandelion’s head, halo the blackbird’s yellow bill.   Had I not overslept I might have seen the brazen hawk watch the first chaffinch struggle to free its final nut from the feeder   Had I not overslept I might have seen the blinds still closed, watch the colour fade from his face grasp the final warmth from hands, now cold. https://www.jupiterartland.org/artwork/still-lifeInspired by Still Life by Samara Scott
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A Crofting Childhood 21st September 2015 / Janis Clark Hands cracked as old leather, stains scrubbed clean from last night’s terror, yellowing sheets   hang limp in still air like sails stuck in doldrums.  Last day, a new born lamb lay on mangled legs,   crow-picked eyes stared up, watched her father strike the final blow, its gaze followed while she slept   slipping quiet into dreams till it fled from her screams as the door flew open, only her mother's silent cry   in the black midnight light, feel the touch of the warm hand making the dry bed gently, just as she always does. Inspired by Weeping Girls by Laura Ford
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Postulants 21st September 2015 / Irene Buckler I raise one shapely eyebrow and stand back from the mirror to make a final inspection.  My skin is baby-smooth and subtly blushed to accentuate my classic high cheek bones.  My eyelashes are seductively lush and my eyes, shadowed in smoky tones, are expertly outlined.  Pink and plump, my lips look totally kissable and my dark hair is gathered in the sleek high ponytail much favoured by our goddess.   Face and hair perfect, it’s time to dress.    I shiver with pleasure as I slip a shift of finest white silk over my bare shoulders. The elegant simplicity of its design epitomises quality and as pair it with it with comfortable leather sandals, I am well pleased with the way that I am emulating the look.  I am ready and as soon as my sisters arrive, identically groomed and spirits soaring, we begin our pilgrimage.    Our vow is ...
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On 21st September 2015 / Iain Matheson honey-coloured basset hounds polishing euphoniums for the lonely concubines honest executioners contemplate their saxophones complex but compassionate wonderfully slim bassoons nondescript in battered brogues honoured for their sanctity disconnected afternoons bayonets and gondolas cushions and accordions Inspired by Only Connect by Ian Hamilton Finlay
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Tale 21st September 2015 / Hilary Colver Tale of a tadpole with a tail   I was there, I was small I was jelly Too many blobs and tails   Too short a time - escaping from the fetters                                                                                                                                 with a tail to     swim                                                      caress the waters                                                       of the world   Before I lose my innocence          my tail                                                      and  leap, not swim My haven here, the world in my   confines                                                      but free   As waters unite and form              on my side one united country   I swim by and to them and feel I learn to begin this way accessing the world from a cell   My vision not diminished by unseen wonders I have them Imagine all brought to me molecules, life giving flowing waters   One cannot experience all                                                      within this pond                                                      let me, allow myself to view                                                      reflect                                                      Reflections  are my life ...
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A Fractured Affair 21st September 2015 / Denise Gosden From the DarkNet ("Killing is in most cases wrong, yes. However, as this is an inevitable direction in the technological evolution, I would rather see it in the hands of me than somebody else," writes Sanjuro. "By providing it cheaply and accurately I hope that more immoral alternatives won't be profitable or trusted enough. This should primarily be a tool for retribution. When someone uses the law against you and/or infringe [sic] upon your negative rights to life, liberty, property, trade or the pursuit of happiness, you may now, in a safe manner from the comfort of your living room, lower their life-expectancy in return.")   With the dossier resting on my knees, my left hand circled a plastic cup of strong coffee. My right hand I thumb the page and locate his stats. His name is Tristan Murphy and he lives in the pale wood house on stilts ...
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The Waiting Room 21st September 2015 / Fred McIlmoyle THE WAITING ROOM    Through the glass - beyond the blind,         in the winter twilight of her mind  the street is thronged with busy shoppers  cafes, market stalls, a copper chasing kids  for banging on the dustbin lids  She chats to friends in local stores,  complains about `that cat` next door,  but not for her the marriage vows,  it never seemed just right somehow.  That chance has now long passed her by  she realises with a sigh.  To those outside, a different scene -  crumbling bricks and stagnant streams,  derelict shops and windy spaces  where the last surviving traces  of that teeming,vibrant street  now lives in the minds of folk who meet  in run-down, bare community halls  to share their lives as evening falls.  Confined to this memory-laden room,    too late to change her life but yet     too soon to leave these saf familiar scenes   ...
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The Void 21st September 2015 / Nichola Combe I want to dive into the void,  The void of my new life, the void of me without you.  There is no jailer, the bars are all in my mind,  A manifestation of my reluctance to move on, to let you go.  Yet I take the first step and leap into the darkness,  I need to be free of you,  I need to rediscover who I am on my own,  I do not look back as I fall.  Inspired by Suck by Anish Kapoor
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Somnambulist 21st September 2015 / Rennie Gaither He arrives at one destination, eyes closed, steamed broccoli in shirt pocket, aphorisms scotch taped to a thousand wrong turns. Then decides to retrace his steps, return to where shoes squeak, neighbors cachinnate at junk mail, and sunsets crowdsource loneliness.     A place he figures he’ll make history by slipping a handful of cockleburs into the gym teacher’s shoes before the bell rings. But a mousy, acned kid in love with Moll Flanders puts the kibosh on the deal—and squeals. So he hightails it to another dream where dotted lines nod, trees yawn, and no one knows Atticus Finch.
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Porcelain Hearts 21st September 2015 / Maria Arana fingers rasp inside box            wood air leaving nails trimmed to flesh blood-wet            impacted   throbbing darkness            suffocates bones crackle making a hole gasping open   dirt covers mouth spit            twist            rock            and kick hands move fast scratch box reaching gray clouds   rain muddies face shoulders pop blue dress tint washes off body surfaces   tunnel hands pull            up water washes down throat            choking tumble out   vomit            spit            crawl            exhale face burns peel the source off ahh   beauty skin deep then roaring            shaking ground groans others pop out   dresses stained                        in blood            or guts and in the silence of the night we march   toward town seeking the one responsible   Inspired by Broken by Jessica Harrison  
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Time 21st September 2015 / Claire Druett A petal dropped today, blossomed, swelled then popped swirled and spiralled to the soil, to make a tangled paradise on the floor. A sleeping whirling dervish preparing for crawl, A pre-eminent sprint towards the pop and dropping, into the orchard. Into the badgers den. And out into the hanging clouds, an apprentice on the stem, Following the valley of the flowers, one enormous sweep of in-balance. Yet it is done, for now. I am an apprentice on the stem, I lodge here, my rents paid in lichen and moss, In sturdy toil and fragile slots of heightened time, My mentors slow and patient, cambium layers pursed, I shall see my mentors face through mine one day, yet is is done, for now. Inspired by Stone Coppice by Andy Goldsworthy    
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