Mist and Mountain Residency & Gerard Rochford Poetry will be publishing a selection of poems from the competition entries that were Highly Commended by Dr Wayne Price.

We hope you enjoy them –


๐—•๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ช๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐— ๐˜† ๐—™๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ – ๐—–๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜† ๐—ฉ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜

T๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ผ๐—ป’๐˜ ๐—ข๐—ฐ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐˜† – ๐—ก๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ธ

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜†๐˜€ – ๐—ข๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—š๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ

๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐˜…๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป – ๐—”๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ ๐—๐—ผ๐—ต๐—ป

๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ด – ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ต ๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜†

๐—œ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป – ๐— ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฒ๐—น ๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป

Doing ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐˜† – ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑe

๐—ฆ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—บ – ๐—๐—ผ๐—ต๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—น ๐——๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€

Ch๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ – ๐— ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฎ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป



Many days I would watch while you stood, 
binoculars pressed to your face, 
a full stop in our walk, rooting you in place.
While you twitched, I fidgeted to move on.
Birdsong was like hold music to my ears,
an unnecessary pause in conversation.
Waiting in the stillness of the wood,
I marked messages in the dust,
checked under logs for adders, found pill bugs.
If there was nothing to be seen
you would peel away, hands locked at your spine,
alert for what might be in the next tree.
If patience paid off you would bark out the find:
Nuthatch, Redstart. Warbler, Siskin.
You would hold me up to look and listen.
I was always unfocused, in the dark.
I never could catch a thing,
but a flash of gold on a retreating wing.
You read feathers like runes,
tuned to the songs like a wireless dial.
As we wandered you piped
the slow ribbon whistle of the Curlew, 
the telephonic insistence of the Chaffinch.
I hear them again across the distance,
a familiar ring from a thicket, the click 
as it comes through, the line no longer busy. 
The world shrinks to one bird, finally.
The years telescope to fit in my hands,
and I raise them up to see.

ยฉ Cindy Vincent
* * * 

Aฬฒbฬฒoฬฒuฬฒtฬฒ ฬฒCฬฒiฬฒnฬฒdฬฒyฬฒ
Cindy Vincent has had poetry shortlisted for the Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Prize and is soon to be published in the upcoming Roger McGough Poetry Prize Anthology, โ€œIdentityโ€. She lives and writes in Norfolk.
The Spaces We Don't Occupy
(For Hemant, 20-ish,
who passed away too soon) 
One minute, you are a boy on the 
of quivering possibilities, the next 
a speck of white light, a tear on 
the face 
of your mother, and all mothers 
who have silently hovered around 
you, quiet
maternal fortitude, warm cicadas,
in moving spheres, you know, like 
mothers usually are.
I think of you, and the sheer vastness 
you now embody, and would someone 
tell me what becomes of spaces
that were, that used to be, and now 
just aren't:
trapped air between hands enveloping 
a brother in a hug, the chasm between 
a handshake, 
places that collect drops of sweat, 
and vacuums that are pushed away 
by moist, warm 
breath? What becomes of it all? 
ยฉ Nikita Parik

Nikita Parik holds a Master's in Linguistics, a three-year diploma in French, and another Masterโ€™s in English. Diacritics of Desire (2019) is her debut book of poems, followed by Amour and Apocalypse (2020), a novel in translation. She is the recipient of the Nissim International Poetry Prize 2020 and was shortlisted for the Rama Mehta Writing Grant 2021.. She has been invited to read her poems at the Sahitya Akademi Multilingual Poets Meet and Sahitya Akademi Young Writer's Meet programmes. Her works have appeared in Rattle, U City Review, The Alipore PostVayavyaThe Bombay Literary Magazine, Bengaluru Review, and others. She currently edits EKL Review. 
The Lonesome Cowboys
Iโ€™d arrived back home and without thinking 
I leapt onto my fatherโ€™s back and was carted
like a child, his arms my saddle. I was twenty. 
He galloped through the house. Digging 
my spurs in, I egged him out onto the prairie 
of the concrete court for neighbours to witness. 
I donโ€™t know what prompted that sudden surge 
of intimacy. I seized the reins tight, clung
like a rodeo rider. Nothing was said.
In that moment, we were fused, father and son, 
neither of us aware of what we had done. 
A man can say I love you without speaking 
and youโ€™re never the same again. 
I dismounted. He rode off into himself.
ยฉ Owen Gallagher  
Owen Gallagher โ€“ Bio
Owen Gallagher was born of Irish parents in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. His most recent collection is "Clydebuit', Smokestack Books. 'She swept the litter out of my head' is forthcoming from Drunk Muse Press.
There was that day in May during study leave
when you asked if weโ€™d like to go for a walk.
We packed cheese and ham sandwiches,
three oranges, some chocolate 
and flasks of water and juice. 
Weโ€™d walked these fields
for more than sixteen years,
even so, you showed us a new path 
from Kitleyknowe to Carlops. 
We skirted Mill House, climbed
Patieโ€™s Hill and watched the view steadily open โ€“ 
Lammermuirs and Moorfoots to the south-east,
Pentlands firmly under our feet.
You asked why the earth was spherical
and whether there was an easy 
explanation for gravity
then turned, like the wheeling gulls, 
to trace the line youโ€™d taken winter sledging,
the place youโ€™d baled out โ€“ where hill 
plunged to burn and fence wire. 
You explained the qualities of snow,
how jump skis differ from slalom skis,
how, come winter, youโ€™d travel to France, 
train as a ski instructor.
We settled back in the wind-blown grasses, 
absorbed the rare and sun-soaked afternoon,
listened to meadow pipits, crows, gulls, 
the whisper of water under the bridge.
Your voice danced, light as the orange-tip 
butterfly, newly emerged,
making us forget the journeyโ€™s doubt,
uniting mother and father
with their last-born child,
their late-born boy.
ยฉ Anita John
Anita John - Bio
Anita is a published poet and playwright and runs wildlife writing workshops for RSPB Scotland Loch Leven. Her books include Childโ€™s Eye (short stories and poems); Unveiled Secrets (playscripts with Oliver Eade); and Plays 1 with Borders Pub Theatre. She writes about family and nature and more of her work can be found at https://anitajohn.co.uk/
Waiting Stag
Mist tissue-wraps the fields and sky,
as my father and I drift down the lane, 
his stick tapping out our pace.
A herd of deer scissor across
the golden stubble beside us,
bare-bladed by late autumn sun.
They reach a stone wall, leap over 
without breaking their shared stride, 
until only one hesitant fawn is left.
On the other side of the boundary,
the stagโ€™s antlers fork the horizon,
millennia of earthly instinct
condensed into each bated breath,
as he waits for his youngest
to join the rest.
I place my hand on Dadโ€™s arm,
as if to steady him.
ยฉ Sarah Leavesley
Sarah Leavesley - Bio
Sarah Leavesley is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer, who thrives on creativity and loves being outdoors in nature, walking, cycling or simply observing. Website: www.sarah-james.co.uk.

And seeking that lost summer light I set outย 
along the Low Road with my two daughters and my son,
a cool breeze cleansing our faces.
All ears for the corncrake, we passed by the slumbering inn,ย 
then rose through banks of fern, haze of fuchsia,
and what Iโ€™d later read was wild thyme and hogweed and red clover.
On a swell of the narrow lane we sailed over the bogย 
then followed the dune grasses to a small bay.
This is it, I said. No, this is definitely it!ย 
We stepped down onto the sand like moonwalkers
and stared at the oceanโ€™s glinting as if weโ€™d always kept inland.
There, I said, beyond where the waves are breaking,ย 
but not too far out, I asked your mum to marry me.
I donโ€™t know how I got her in, it was freezing,ย 
and afterwards by those bare rocks we dressed again.
And that little cafรฉ back there, we were the only customers.
I remember we had big bowls of hot soupย 
and dreamed our wedding and our travels and our children,
and now youโ€™re here on Inishbofin and I love it
that you love Inishbofin too. Your mum gifted me
an island, and this same island I give to you.
ยฉ Michael Shann

Michael Shann โ€“ Bio
Originally from Yorkshire,ย Michaelย Shannย has had three books of poems published by the Walthamstow based Paekakariki Press:ย Euphrasy,ย Walthamstowย andย To London. He is a member of Forest Poets and works for the charity Carers UK. His forthcoming book,ย To London Two, will be published in 2022.ย www.michaelshann.comย 
Sometimes doing family is in the learning
to hurt and then move on without
being destroyed, the way good cooking
is in the negotiating with fire, manipulating 
the tenuous lines between the simmered 
and the seared, the raw and the burned.
I accept the love that makes me
small because blood is its own kind 
of containing and the injuries of intimacy 
are their own kind of branding. It is the necessary 
violence that is also discipline, eroding 
the self until less pours out each time.
ยฉ Samantha Samakande
Samantha Samakande - Bio
Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean poet currently based out of Bloomfield, New Jersey. She is a graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and is a junior editor for F(r)iction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Sugarhouse ReviewPif Magazine, Hobart, Gordon Square Review, and South Florida Poetry Journal.
* While we are unable to publish John Paul Davies entry 'Slipstream' at this time, we are delighted to share these details so you can find out more about his work.*
John Paul Davies โ€“ Bio
Born in Birkenhead, UK, Johnโ€™s poetry has appeared in journals including Banshee, Southword, Channel, Crannรณg, The Manchester Review, Maine Review and The Pedestal. Runner-up in the 2017 Waterford Poetry Prize, and longlisted for the 2018 National Poetry Competition, he helps run a creative writing group based in Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland (Twitter: @Bulls_Arse).
*Whilst we are unable to publish Michaela Coplen's entry 'Chest' at this time, we are delighted to share these details so you can find out more about her work.*

Michaela Coplen - Bio

Michaela is a poet and doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford. She earned her BA from Vassar College, where she served as a poetry editor for the Vassar Review. Her poems have been published online with The Atlantic and Poets.org, as well as in the Bellevue Literary Review and Up the Staircase Quarterly. She won the 2019 Troubadour International Poetry Prize, the 2020 York Poetry Prize, and was included in the 2020 Best New Poets anthology.