Highly Commended at Tenterfield Brush with Verse

I’ve just found out my poem ‘Puddings’ has won Highly Commended at the 2010 Brush with Verse run by the Tenterfield Shire Council. This competition requires poets to partner with artists to submit a poem and artwork, with the artwork based on the theme of the poem. I was lucky enough to have Maryanne Oliver, illustrator and artist extraordinaire create a gorgeous piece to accompany the poem. The poem itself is written in homage to my grandmother, who was famous for her Christmas puddings. Here it is:

Deep in summer it’s always the same. Bougainvillea tumbling
armfuls of blooms over the fence, citrus haze pressed flat by heat

and from her kitchen, the view is memorial. In thin cotton she’s a
jumble over the hob’s wooden belly, salt and pepper crowned

coursing labours, born, boiled and swaddled into puddings, knotted
with string, and swinging from nails hammered there in 1962

long before tongue and groove became the only witnesses.

Like a row of bottoms waiting to be smacked, they hang. Studded
through with threepences and love and tradition and regret,

and with hands as dry as bone she unfolds another calico length,
endures the weight, and the heavy snip of the shears as it begins

again, freighting brown papered puddings to copperplate addresses
and preparing for the emptiness to return to sender.

Vanessa Page
Mitchelton, QLD


2 Responses to “Highly Commended at Tenterfield Brush with Verse”

  1. 1 Janette
    January 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    trying to find entry forms for art with verse rodjanet@bigpond.net.au

  2. 2 vanessapage
    April 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Hi there, the forms are available on the Tenterfield Council website or you could try calling them. I’m not sure if the competition is still running. Good luck!

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