The FAW Jean Stone Award 2014 for POETRY was won by
Caroline Glen for ‘West for Wonder’ (published below)…
West for Wonder
Here, the plains, hammered flat grass,
hand over hand
to the horizon’s curved thread;
Its shrubs, sewn in isolation,
scrubbed in hunger, thirst, dry digestion.
Winds catch and carry grandfather fibres.
They wing as they swing:
‘We are old, but happy, free’.
We leave the car, stand still,
and from the hush of our bodies,
ask questions of our lives.
Our words drawl raw across the plains’
listening ears; the remote land
of long wisdom that can mend us,
patchmake our attitudes, ideas;
then the slow reply; maybe doleful,
maybe soulful, maybe with the gambling
glue of enterprise.
We accept. Don’t speak;
continue to drive the plains’ straight roads
near camps of discrete hills,
crouched like armies, cowering waiting,
then they come, the many,
tumbled by a river forest
in companionable disorder;
fresh-foliaged thrones for homes.
We step from the car onto the cast
of leaf-dry, leaf-mushy floors.
From full lips, our voices press
against timber and the curtsying of leaves.
We again ask opinions for our lives.
Leaves toss possibilities one to another.
They are busy, forget; return
to listen to the gossip of birds.