Congratulations to Caroline Squire who has won the Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition with her poem ‘An Apple Tree Spouts Philosophy in an Office Car Park’. Carol Ann Duffy picked this poem as the winner from more than 1,000 poems entered. Over £2,000 was raised for the homeless in two North London Cold Weather Shelters and this competition will run again next year.

Caroline is now working with Ward Wood towards completing her 20 page chapbook which will be launched in early autumn. There will be a prizewinner’s reading from the pamphlet at the Camden and Lumen venues. Proceeds from sales of the pamphlet also go to support the Cold Weather Shelters, and you can pre-order from the Ward Wood Website or from the regular Camden and Lumen open mics.

An Apple Tree Spouts Philosophy
in an Office Car Park

by Caroline Squire

I am not particular on the subject of being shaken
and I wouldn’t give a whit if my offspring were chosen
to be drop-kicked. Nor would I mind terribly
if my June falls were served blithely from tennis rackets

as to be used in some way would be a relief.
It’s no good when your windfalls are brushed aside
and no-one looks up to admire your full achievements,
my speckled posies of rosy Starkrimsons.

Three harvests ago two office managers, suited and giggling
like flighty scholars, threw sticks into my branches,
tickling me nearly as pink as the pockets of fruit
with which they departed,

but nothing since. No step ladders, no children with carrier
bags, no mothers with ambitions for portions of stewed apple,
just this December rash of iced droppings. But I should do well
to consider my origins. I was a lucky seed, a happily ignored

sapling left to establish in a meadow, surviving drainage
and bulldozers and the view of glass buildings, and I fancy
I shall still be here when they’ve re-located, growing my bark
around the wire fence like a grin.