Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry 2017

Congratulations to Nevin McCone, who has won this year's Senior Poetry Prize, presented in memory of Old Columban Peter Dix, who died in the Lockerbie tragedy in 1988. Here are three of his poems.


Connecting trains sever hearts,
Ending stories before they’ve even begun.
On lonely platforms lovers depart,
Two separate journeys, both ending one.

Palms on glass that never quite touch,
“I’ll write to you,” lies, he’ll miss you too much.
Smiling you hear him, tightening your disguise,
Yet he can see through you, to the tears in your eyes.

As the train pulls off, amongst smoke and commotion,
Your heart skips a beat; cardiac locomotion.
Suddenly he’s gone, far back in this distance,
But you think of him still, savouring his existence.

Alone he stands at the connecting train station,
Yearning for you in romantic desperation.
On the lonely platform, lovers have departed,
Destroying the journey they’d only just started.


We bump into strangers, mumbling hello,
And ignore some, letting them wander by.
Yet we pick up others, as friends to grow,
For these few join us, companions for life.
To be in close proximity of friends
Is a foundation, which friends deeply need;
Though hearing their tales of love and love’s end
Is the actual meaning, note, take heed.

Seeing joy (a result of your presence)
And joining up with different people,
Is addictive, despite rare occurrence.
A monumental social upheaval.
Savour these beings, place them in your heart.
Never lose them, or let them drift apart.

I went fishing with grandad,
Once upon a time,
To catch memories in the cove.
Grandad never lied.

We walked down together,
Both hand in hand
To that quiet stony inlet,
The sun splitting the sand.

“There are mermaids that live here,
Believe me I’ve seen them.
It’s said they emerge
To brave hearted sea-men.”

So with laughter as bait
We cast out our lines,
Disturbing the tranquil
With a twinkle in our eyes.

Yet the day still grew old
and the light, it defected,
But we made our way home,
Feeling evermore connected.

“What did you catch?,”
Inquired mum when we arrived.
“Memories in the cove,”
Grandad never lied.

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