Young poets in the footsteps of Wordsworth: 1

Next week we will launch our annual poetry competition for young people in Cumbria. All in Cumbria schools, primary and secondary, can enter, and if you want to start planning now, the theme this year is Milestones.

Meanwhile, we want to remind you about our previous winners, so each day for a week we plan to publish the poems that have stolen our judges’ hearts so far. We begin with the winner in 2013, Scrap of Iron, by Will Crisp, a pupil at the Lakes School

Scrap of Iron

Step upon the grass, rain-spattered, wind-shattered,

A fair distance down I see a wrought iron beacon, beckoning me

Forward across the pools of green, ploughed and pummelled,

At the tip I’m one of the mass, swelling and apprehensive.

A blacksmith approaches, he reckoning me local.

He holds a bucket of fire, excited and ready,

Pour it on, the first flame ignites the hills, mighty at last.

The second from Brantfell, the third from Helvellyn, menacing and sharp.

Fourth, fifth and sixth!

By dusk, eleven could be seen, from Scafell to the Pikes.

We lit the flame and we lit up the world.

I shift to another scene, silent and mysterious for

Miles I seem to be alone in perpetuity, oaken and peaceful.

The fields won’t stir, insentient and desolate.

I am one and myself, with empty heart yet enlightened.

And the people have gone. But cheered with fervour at the light,

It’s a marvel, those having a curbed life never saw.

I will sit, a metal bench and slate plinth for a walker,

Appreciate the thought close to the mere, deserted and beautiful!

The beacon lies on its side, abandoned and burned,

It’s the only memory, of the Lakes, for some.