Competition Entry Unveiled… From the top of The Shard

The following poem was submitted for The Frogmore Press Poetry Prize 2012, the results of which were announced earlier today. I took inspiration from the picture below which was taken by a group of urban explorers Silent UK who managed to climb a 72 story building known as The Shard in London. My poem was not about scaling heights though, and was more about being on the brink of something and assessing the scene before you.

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FROM THE TOP OF THE SHARD

On the ledge, sitting, braced
Cold faced and sharp sighted
Unsure of how you got here
Light when you left, but not now

72 stories, high, the air dry
Crystalline flashes blind
Your eyes fixed, pupils dilated
Then closed, only looking out now

From cerebral mind, weaves pictures
A kaleidoscope of the city, glitters
Street lights, saints and sinners
Lie low, blow in the breeze

Every moment seized and sold
Freeze frames of life at war
You know the score, the hustle
To keep alive, thrive against the harsh

Nights dark, angels hark the cries
Of the loneliest and the liveliest, revellers
That creep and crawl like marching ants
In and out of alleyways, monochrome

All of life laid bare, down there
The gallery of human traffic
Showcased in guts and glory
For that is the story, from up here

Stay or go, jump high, lay low
Sit and watch the show, or dive in
Join the din, let the chaos begin
Or wait, just here for a while

On the ledge, sitting, braced
Cold faced and sharp sighted
Unsure of how you got here
Light when you left, but not now

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11 responses to “Competition Entry Unveiled… From the top of The Shard

  1. It’s funny but you reminded me of something. I can walk tiptoe along the edge of a water falls and not feel the least bit of fear. And yet, I cannot say the same about standing atop a building or sitting in a ferris wheel seat. I suppose (though I’m not surprised) that is a sure sign of where I place my trust. Thank you for this, Vanessa. You didn’t tell us the results of the competition though! Did you win? ~ Love, Bobbie

    • Sadly not. Rest assured the poem would have started with I WON, I WON, WOO HOO, I WON if I had… Several results have come in on things in the last few days and I haven’t even had a whiff of the short list for any of them. Boo!

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