1st, Short category 2004 - Margaret Livingstone

Shadow Bones

Last year there was a skeleton on the path.
A rabbit. Teeth intact. Some remaining skin,
Each day I watched its gentle subsidence,
the tiny returning steps to earlier dust.
Each night its fragile luminescence
faded a little under the grey-green light.

This year there’s no sign of those glimmering bones,
no perceptible greening of that spot,
just the outline of my knowledge imprinted in the earth
like the shadow of a shadow beneath the grass.

2nd, Short category 2004 - Sheila Thomas

the next day, after light rain,
there on the stone step
I found your other wing

Joint 3rd, Short category 2004 - Chris Waters


silver-eyed sister
swathed in a drift
of blue—

uneasy sleeper
arrow-maker, lookout:


Joint 3rd, Short category 2004 - Jane Evans

The Palace at 4 a.m.

Often at this hour dreams come thick and fast.
Long narratives between the first and last
Chime of the clock, unfold and gallop past

Prodigious, prodigal—reined in, they fade
To a clutch of threads, a half-remembered place,
A path, predicament, sensation, trace

Leaving the heart in grief for chances glimpsed
But turned away from, high adventures missed,
Prospects disowned, a richer life unlived.