Scribes Writers

Go to content

Main menu

- 1st Traditional Verse

Poetry Competition



First Prize


Predator/Prey by David Campbell

I know him as a shadow on the stair,
a movement at the door, a whispered prayer
to still the frantic beating of my heart
before my fragile world is torn apart
as yet again I'm forced to cower, weak
with anguished shame and fear and cannot speak
while brutal, careless fingers idly teach
betrayal with another pretty speech
that opens wide the yawning gates of Hell
so I can hear once more the tolling bell
of endless pain, far more than I can say,
for he is predator and I am prey.

You need to know that sacred love
is granted by our Lord above,
for nothing is more pure and true
than all the love I have for you.

I keep my eyes shut tight and build a wall
of sunshine days that greet a magpie's call
and carefree childhood picnics in the park
in days before his hands had left their mark
and shattered any dreams that might have been
with blue-black bruises that remain unseen,
for no-one in this nightmare comprehends
that wilful ignorance has many friends,
like those who know yet still remain so blind
they turn away and somehow cannot find
the inner strength to overcome the shame
that's hidden deep behind an honoured name.

You are my precious, darling child,
a jewel I won't see defiled
by strangers in some heathen way,
so bow your head and let us pray.

There is a word for what he does to me,
but words are ghosts, mere shadows floating free
like drifting lace at windows newly cleaned,
while languid, lipsticked ladies, fresh-caffeined,
recline in tennis skirts with idle chat
of who it was said this, and who said that,
and I am sacrificed, a lamb stretched taut
beneath the blade, lost hopes of childhood caught
behind closed doors, for I do not exist
where red-brick rules, a cry for help dismissed
in rooms of laughter, scones with jam and cream,
for none who live there dare to hear me scream.

<Back to 2018 Poetry Results>

Back to content | Back to main menu