Ros Spencer Poetry Contest Anthology 2020-21

Each year, WA Poets Inc conducts the Ros Spencer Poetry Contest. Periodically, an anthology of selected poems from the contest is published, with the most recent anthology, Brushstrokes II: Ros Spencer Poetry Contest Anthology 2020-21 having been released in November 2021. The poems in the collection were selected by former judges, Ann Gilchrist and Mike Greenacre.

The Ros Spencer Contest does not specify a theme so the poems in the collection are varied in subject matter, as well as style and length. The poems address nature, relationships, Australian life, ekphrasis, the pandemic and many other topics. My poem, Nowhere to Hide, was included in the anthology:

Nowhere to Hide

She knows why the maple leaf turns
upside down on the way to the ground.

She can feel the wind hesitate
before punching between those two golden
poplars at the end of the paddock.

She can read the mood of a red-brow, double-bar or robin
as it flutters gently through an April afternoon.

Truth is in my breath
and in my gaze.

In the brightness of her glow
I have nowhere to hide.

She has seen the sun set on centuries
of forgotten secrets etched in the dust.

She has felt the cool of the night
drain warmth from the old stone steps
where you and I used to leave our stories.

She has watched the light and dark of an eavesdropping magpie
fade as the rays of the day angle away.

Truth is in my voice
and in my touch.

In the brightness of her glow
you have nowhere to hide.

Brushstrokes II: Ros Spencer Poetry Contest Anthology 2020-21 is available from WA Poets Inc.