December's Poetry Contest Winner: A Sweetness Absent from the Ocean Air

December's Poetry Contest Winner: A Sweetness Absent from the Ocean Air

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Every month, Goodreads and the
¡POETRY! group host a poetry contest. It’s a great way to discover and support the work of emerging poets. Join the ¡POETRY! group where you can vote to select the winning poem each month from among the finalists. Aspiring poets can also submit a poem for consideration.

Congratulations to John, who is our December winner with this poem:

A Sweetness Absent from the Ocean Air

by John

The Weeping Window bleeds ceramic poppies

that blush St. Magnus’s cathedral wall

and each seems miniscule among them all—

the throng comprises nigh a million copies:

one bloom per British serviceman who died

in World War One, a massive flower bed

entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

displayed in London where it dignified

that War’s centenary. Now part has travelled

to Orkney, here to mark one century

since dreadnought fleets waged battle on the sea

near Jutland. Lifelines tangled and unravelled—

in two short days eight thousand men and more

succumbed as riven battleships went down.

With Princess Anne, the envoy of the Crown,

their relatives are welcomed at the door

of this, the Viking edifice erected

in memory of Magnus, who eschewed

bad blood in favour of the holy rood,

a man of peace, nine hundred years respected.



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