Primary Winner 1st Place

You'll find me in the library by Charlotte Wolverson

It's books that make me cheerful,
Full of dragons, witches and friends.

It's books that make me cheerful,
Full of mystery and suspense.

It's books that make me cheerful,
With their fresh and welcoming scent.

It's books that make me cheerful,
So when I'm feeling blue,
You'll find me in the library,
And I've saved a chair for you.

Primary Winner 2nd Place

Happiness By Esme Wilson

Happiness is special
Like a blanket big and warm
And things that make your cheerful
Are like a kind of happy storm

Being with friends makes me happy
Reading a book does too
Sitting and listening to music
Getting a beautiful view

Laughing around in the day time
And singing songs in the night
Having fun by the hour
Knowing everything will be alright

Things that make you sad
Should just be ignored
Instead think of all the things that you've done
And that you deserve an award

Happiness is amazing
A beautiful sort of treasure
So do what makes you feel the happiest
Because it should fill you with pleasure

Primary Highly Commended

Free again By Rory Powell-Jones

We're going to the fun fair, round and round
bang wizz pop, hear that sound.

We're going to the beach, we're gonna catch some waves, exploring for treasure in deep dark caves.

We're going to the railway, woosh chug steam. Shiny Flying Scotsman watch him gleam.

Going to our grandmas, we can huggle her now.
Digging in their allotment with a shovel and plow.

Going to be free again, cheerful with my friends
No more staying home indoors, a summer that never ends.

Primary Highly Commended

My reasons to be cheerful By Eva Fray

There are many reasons to be happy.
I like watching my baby brother silly dance in his nappy.
Spending time with my family is my favourite thing to do.
Or dressing up for Halloween. BOO!
Going on adventures by the sea.
There is no place I would rather be.
Apart from maybe Japan
Where I will eat purin flan.
Easting hotdogs brings my tummy joy.
And so does playing with my favourite toy.
Seeing my friends after a long time apart.
All these thing I hold in my heart.

Secondary Winner 1st Place

Watering the plants By Sinead O'Reilly

I press my thumb over the hose.
A jet of water divides
Into the greenhouse.
Water sprays, tomato leaves
Perk up, stems curve to catch
The drip before the tiles.
Greenest of green, limp
Dust-spattered lettuce unfolds
Around my thumbprint.
The cat lies on the moss-stone
By the giant leaning daisies.
The sky is so blue through crosshatched trees
I could lie down and look at it forever.
I crunch gravel on my way to the compost.
Shadows dapple tree lichen.
Back in the glasshouse I fill clay pots.
I watch leaves spring back,
Damp yellow flowers unfurl.
The air is fern-heavy, rusted
And brushed with the hairs of moist stems.
The curl of a leaf to catch water.

Secondary Winner 2nd Place

You're on the bus By MJ Fraser

You're on the bus,
just the two of you,
and you know it's not love, you hope it's not love,
because, well,
you're far too young.
But she makes you nervous,
she makes you happy,
and part of the reason you even go to school anymore
is so you can hear her laugh.
You're touching knees and
you're wearing the top your mum hates,
but you stopped caring when she said it suited you.
You're happy because you're young,
and maybe not in love,
but it definitely feels like it.
Is that such a bad thing?

Secondary Highly Commended

Mon Cheri By Annabel Cochrane

A man who knew better than to put the milk in first
Left his best hat and best coat in the hallway
To sit at his piano.
He dusted the top with blotting paper
And the click clack of a typewriter
And put scrambled eggs on the piano.
The night only listened and never spoke -
So the man put the night there.
He took the Caribbean winds and cheered applause
And cast them aside...
To fit a knotted guitar string and her grin
On the piano:
Is there life on Mars?
The man nestled Venus amongst the keys
He played a note and in it he put
Her silly French accent and paperclip earrings
The piano never shuddered nor screeched
So he continued piling it high
Higher than the feeling of her hand in his.
It didn't even squeak when he added her
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
And her heart
That replaced the top of the Eiffel Tower.
For his heart and her heart
Were friends.

Secondary Highly Commended

The colours of you By Margaret Williams

When I think of you
You are the colour yellow.
The dimple in your cheek when you smile
Holds the warmth of the sun
On a crisp spring morning.
Your voice is royal blue:
The bold streak of a biting breeze
The salty air of the Cornish seas.

Your name is spearmint green:
Fresh morning breath
Rounded softly
At the edges.
Your hands are heather
And your eyes are moons,
These are the colours of you.

Collection HQ Prize Winner

The Heirloom by Phillip Burton

We buried him in those clothes that he'd have chosen:
brogues buffed to a wan shine, the suit that was Sunday,
broad cufflinks, driving gloves, generous belt, pinstripe tie.
I never saw him dress, or undress, or even buy that stuff.

More humour attached to his other possessions.
I'd like something of his, a personal deeply serious item
but nothing foldable. Nor put-away-able. Nor everyday.
He was a rock, a table mountain, a rugby forward;

I search for a weighty souvenir - a furtive act of interference
with tomorrow's flat clearance: no, not the mirror
he'd whistle Colonel Bogey, performing a shave;
nor those keys he named Turner, Isabel, Mack The Back;

nor his pocket compass with its So Long South, Hullo North;
nor his Oris wristwatch: Ten to lunch, or A quarter to tea
he'd tell me. I opt for the bucket of nuts and bolts, saved
in an intricate life that made the most of machine parts.

If you throw it away, you'll discover a use tomorrow,
he'd groan and smile. His parsimony lives in me,
a son with no talent for spanners. With comic irony
not lost on Father, I limp off, turning Turner in the door.

Adult Gold Prize

Yarn Bombing By Chris Sewart

Guerrilla knitters take no prisoners,
look down on crocheted
doilies, laugh in the face
of three-ply mitten makers:
they want something chunkier, edgier.

Guerrilla knitters form a cadre of clickers
(knit-one, pearl-one commandos)
that meet at midnight under streetlamps,
target litter bins,
stalk battered highway bollards.
Fighting shy of CCTV
(in ribbed balaclavas)
they go about their
clandestine prettification:
snaking turquoise scarves
around gun-metal railings,
sneaking bobble hats
onto road closure signs,
buttoning oversize cardis
around sickly ash trees.

Guerrilla knitters go about their cheerful business:
brightening town centres
(swapping dog-eared patterns)
kicking against the bland
(sharing tales of knitting derring-do)
smothering streets in psychedelic rib
(whispering the name Sirdar in awe).

Guerrilla knitters
brandish large gauge needles,
are never off duty,
ready to cast on (or off)
at the drop of a stitch.

Adult Silver Prize

Filey Brigg By Charlotte Murray

as cradle
you watched like a proud parent as I took my first unsteady footsteps in the cliff-cradled bay. Held back the surge of the North Sea from rockpools that sang with unknown creatures, from sandy hollows where summer curled with a book and a bag of chips, waiting for next year

as memory
kept alive by the photograph on my grandparents' living room wall, in the place where other homes have crosses. Ever more distant the older they get, a wraith of sea fret, draped in the clang of bells from the Coble Landing, crumbling, stairs leading nowhere but air

as sanctuary
from the flat West Coast, flat as a pillow over mouth and nose. Taut as a held breath in a clammy train carriage, through cities caught up like dying flies in a steel web. Your salty wheeze greets me at the end of the line, slipping down my neck to push my shoulders from my ears, lending me air so I can release mine. Just able to catch a sunset to keep until next time

as ending
a tightrope of land, thinner year on year. A bony finger pointing to where only waves wait, a dark mass curling foam claws around rocks, fallen remains of land lost. I am the wrecked ship in the bottle that bestows the sole warmth. The only slice of sunset I see is the moment everything goes black

as tattoo
sharpness of stones in shallows, grit under bare feet, rocks scraping against skin. An imprint like a fossil resurfaced, age old, groundbreaking. Mast against winter horizon, jet on wet tan sand, black tail feather preserved in ice. A view I will literally carry always, fiercer than memory, bolder than scars. Wherever I am, I can trace the spine of your coastline to the castle standing sentry over inky tides

as hope
light pushes at my eyelids, gulls call the sun into the sky. Already there are fishermen on the rocky promontory, no strangers to sunrise. Dew blankets the roof of the van and licks my ankles as I boil water on the stove by the Cleveland Way sign. I watch a cormorant prepare to fire the arrow of its body from the cliff, its wings held up like mountains

Adult Highly commended

The Beekeeper's Strike By Chris Sewart

She set aside
the smoker,
sank to her knees,
and eavesdropped
the hum and drone
of petulant workers
trembling the hive.

On impulse she downed gauntlets,
removed her hat and veil,
retreated to a plane tree.
In its shade
she stretched out her arms,
and in a quiet, persistent murmur
picketed the drones,
suggested they swarm her.

And one by one
they did,
bearding her face,
comforting her chin,
buzzing their slogans,
lobbying for better conditions
less work, more cheer.

But after a while
momentum stalled
and the cool scented twilight
had the rabble shimmying home,
and collectively settling
for their infinite cycle
of wax and wane.

Adult Highly commended

A swim cormorants By Glen Wilson

Their happiness is in forgetting,
as each time they dive below the surface
to catch the next moment,
they give no thought to the fear
of disturbing everything that went before.

They care not for the presence
of other seabirds, knowing they can
always go deeper, hold breath longer,
find prey that gulls and herons
will never be able to grasp.

Some men in the past pressed snares
into their throats so they could fetch fish,
unable to swallow the larger fish
the birds retched them into men's hands.
But these refuse to see man as master.

They are unaware of the beauty
of their bright blue gular skin and lores,
how they contrast to the dark plumage,
they are equipped for every element
but unlike us boast of nothing.

They arise one by one, each more daring,
most bringing tribute of fish, some hold
the unfinished sentences of eels
in their long hooked bills,
reels of soul sustenance.

On the cliffs they dry themselves,
fine feathers easily shake off a whole sea
in their crucifix pose, noble
in daily sacrifice, resurrection
and ascension, the rewards of trust.