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Winner of the Journeying Poetry Competition 2022
Monday 12th December 2022
We are pleased to announce that Wendy Stickley has won the 2022 Journeying Poetry Competition with her poem, 'Iona'.
From the judges, David Arkell and Phil Craine:
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to write a poem for this year's competition.
We enjoyed reading the poems and were impressed by the variety of form and content.
'Iona' is a beautifully crafted sonnet with alternating rhymes and a final rhyming couplet. Evocative descriptions and sensory experiences draw in the reader to share the poet's pilgrimage on Iona. Vivid imagery and alliteration portray the natural world, both as a source of awe and also a force against which we sometimes struggle. The poet's interaction with the island is linked to that of Columba, whose 'humble presence' encounters the wonders of creation. The poem concludes with a ray of hope that peace can be found even in the turbulence of our surroundings.
I stepped where St Columba might have trod
and worn a path towards a sandy bay;
where he, too, might have paused and looked in wonder
before continuing along his way.
I saw the spouting cave he might have known,
leant into winds he also would have battled,
I smelled the seaweed, thick upon the strand,
and heard faint lowing from the highland cattle.
I crossed the shell-fragmented, ancient machair,
past lakes and thickets to a pebble beach,
imagining the great man's humble presence,
the privilege of listening to him teach.
And here, where winds and waves so seldom cease,
I found a deep and elemental peace.