Co. Londonderry/Derry

Kevin Kiely, Derry~Londonderry

Kevin’s poem evoked strong feeling and the judges really felt that they were with the poet. It has a strong sense of place and language with a good, sparky start. They liked the spin of words with “trickle” and “tickle”.

Swimming on a Sunny Day

After the shock of electric water and wave

with towels and wet gear drying

we sit dressed again bathing in golden rays


Faces pale, radiant tingling limbs

and the taste of salt

inducing hunger, rubbing of fingers


In the palm of the hands, warmth of skin

the grains of gold dust

trickle from a fistful between our toes


tickle and sieve back to this desert floor

how clean we feel: purified after the ocean

the baking hot wall and rocks are warm


we cook ourselves

and shrug away the final shivers

in the fiery light of the immense star


immense beyond our sight but for its piercing

glare while closed eyelids keep us

in a vast room of heat that heals with the drug

of gentle sleep


The movement of tides

float us into deeps even dreams

of the water solid and secure, our bed

of rock greater than all the continents