Poetry Competition 3rd Place | ‘Fair Green Amenities Site 1997’ By Glen Wilson

For Poetry Day Ireland 2018, HeadStuff.org launched a brand new poetry competition to celebrate this fantastic day of poetic activity around the country. This year the theme of the day was ‘Surprises’. For our competition we chose the theme ‘Surprise Encounters’

Our esteemed panel of judges for this year’s poetry competition were Colm Keegan and Erin Fornoff. Erin noted that they were ‘looking for surprising poems, and poems that arrest and compel and leave an emotional legacy. National Poetry Day is a great way to show that poetry is a fibre in everyone’s life, and speaks to truth that everyone shares.’

We at HeadStuff were humbled by the response to the competition with the sheer numbers of those who submitted their work. The judges were deeply impressed by the high quality of submissions. it was an incredibly difficult decision to pick three winners and thirteen commended poems. 

Over the next few days we will publish the three placed poems and thirteen commended ones. We would like to congratulate all the poets on their achievement. 

We would also like to thank everyone who took the time to submit to the competition. We received a high number of submissions of really high quality so please do keep watching the HeadStuff poetry section for more details on future submission information. Finally we would like to thank University College Cork, Poetry Ireland and Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat for their support. 

Read All Winning and Commended Poems Here 


Fair Green Amenities Site 1997

By Glen Wilson

He sorted through our detritus,
household, garden waste,

electrical appliances, fridge freezers
kept separate to dispose of the coolant.

Eager to help us unload our car boots
of burden, the outgrown toys,

the stitched and restitched
hand-me-downs finally leaving.

Then they came, darkness
wearing darkness on a bike,

the spokes clicking as they
cycle and recycle, looking for him.
Hands lift up like a mime in a box
only the people here can see.

So little the movement
on the trigger, so endless

the recoil; a son, a father,
a husband, an unalterable

tear in the timeline, memories
disappearing on a toddler’s

etch-a-sketch. He is left there
in a minute’s silence before

it is broken by the sirens,
too late to stop anything.


The first HeadStuff poetry competition was kindly judged anonymously by Colm Keegan and Erin Fornoff.

HeadStuff are extremely grateful to University College Cork, Poetry Ireland, and Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat for their generous support of the competition.

Photo by N R on Unsplash

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