Poetry Competition Winning Entries

We are pleased to feature the poems written by the winners of our St Petrocs 2018 Poetry Competition. Our poetry competition ran over the winter as part of our campaign “Let's End Street Homelessness in Cornwall”.

First Prize
Under 19 Category and Overall Winner
Phoebe Spence

Lilywhite broken dolls,
Piled high among debris
Left without thought,
Without care.
Piece by Piece,
Disappearing into the earth.

One arm, an eye
Forever grasping
Constantly watching
Never waning from Hope
Hope that they had not been forgotten.

Day falls into night
Dusk shifts into dawn
A constant, a contrast.
Yet they never came,
You never came.

The pile falls, rises
Each part sinking further
Irreparable if found.
Lost among others.

What am I?
Pieces? Fragments? A whole?
No, not a whole
Not anymore.

Rats gnaw on what’s left of me
My plastic heart melts
Each eyelash you placed
Now falls into the offal
Among the unwanted

Why did you paint me so?
Dress me so?
Care for me so?
Then abandon me,
All on a flick of a wrist.

Did you ever care?


First Prize
Adult Category
Street Anatomy
Elaine Ruth White

Doorways are jaw, not tongue,
doorways are throat, not song.

Doorways are tooth, not lip,
doorways are bite not cup.

Doorways are chin, not cheek,
doorways are jut, not take.

Doorways are nail, not palm,
doorways are hold, not realm.

Doorways are rib, not lung,
doorways are cage, not fling.

Doorways are brow, not thought,
doorways are bone, not heart.

Doorways are skull, not womb,
doorways are shell, not home.


First Prize
Under 12 Category
Muhammed Amin

“In this area we have a problem of
Vay-grun-see. Deal with it son!”
“Loitering is not permitted love”
The policeman says: “Move on!”
“Look boys, it’s a tramp covered in fleas
Let’s help ‘im wiv a good kicking!”
“Can you spare some change please?”
Ignore. Avoid eye contact. Keep walking.

Always neglected and ignored, never heard
Often maligned, seldom comforted with a word
No safety, no friendship, no dignity
No shelter, no family, no community
The homeless shift shapes, frozen carcass
Silent anguish, empty as darkness


First Prize
Client Category
Denise Harrison 

I’m black and I’m blue – I’m feeling degraded
my hair is a mess – my make-up is faded
I look in the mirror despise what I see
then I look at this man who means nothing to me

I creep out the door before he awakes…
I’m tired and I’m ill – there is nothing to take
I don’t leave my number I don’t know his name…
I’m tired and hungover and burning with shame

I creep down the backstreets – avoid being seen
And I long for a shower – or just to feel clean
There’s no one to turn to there’s nowhere to go
It’s just me and my head in this shit horror show

So I head for the basement and open a can
And I drink to get shitfaced as fast as I can
I’m all out of options I’m running on empty
I have nothing left now… I’m just how he left me

I’m counting the days now I’m counting the hours
Because soon I’ll be dead and be pushing up flowers
And I’m ok with that, I’m resigned to my fate
Because I’ve tried and I’ve failed to keep spinning these plates

It’s too much too deal with… it’s too much to take
And I’ll tell that to God when I’m stood at his gate
And I hope that he gets it – that he sees that I’ve tried
As I drown in the river of tears that I cried

Because I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to stay
In this horrible headfuck of “Alcohol Day”
So somebody help me or lets get it over
I’m all out of hope – I can’t deal with life sober

So this is my story… and this was my shame
Written here on my face and beside my real name…