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This is an annual prize open to anyone
connected with mental health, which will take place during the
Spring each year, with prizes being awarded at the Spring Biannual
Meeting. For details of the 2017 poetry
competition please refer to the Prizes page for further details.
2016 CompetitionWe received 19
entries for the competition this year and as usual it was a
challenge to pick out the winning poems. The judges were Dr
Paul Winterbottom, Dr David Whitwell and Tania
Leigh. Below are the winning entries:
by Chloe Sakal
by Amy Garrod
It matters not that I’m insane
This tangled mess inside my brain
Open up and take away
Little bits of me day by day
Two forty volts I feel the pain
You want to rearrange me till I’m sane
You say I’m mad because I don’t comply
Just get off my back and let me fly
You strap me in this tight fitting jacket
And feed me drugs by the packet
You test me
Day after day after day
Why don’t you leave me to my darkened space
To question who the mad ones are in this place
It’s been four years since I last tried to
Four long years and the scars still shine.
Faded now, but still noticeable.
My warped teenage mind couldn’t deal with my feelings,
All those hormones.
I didn’t know where to put my pain,
So I drew it into my skin.
The blade: salvaged from a broken razor;
unscrewed from a sharpener;
Hidden inside a sock.
Reddened tissues concealed inside crisp packets.
An empty box of plasters.
Bracelets layered over stinging skin.
As I watched the blood run I promised myself this would make me
When Mum noticed the cuts I promised her I wouldn’t do it
When I did it again I promised that this would be the last
I’ve never breathed a word,
But the shining parallel lines betray me.
Maybe one day I will have the courage to speak up:
Answer honestly when someone says ‘what’s that?’.
Until then I will pull down my sleeve and brush it off.
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