Cardiff International Poetry Competition

Runner-up - Laila Farnes

Laila Farnes Laila Farnes was born in Hargeisa, spent her later childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, grew up in New York and studied in Dublin. She has been working as a general medical practitioner in Norway for the last 25 years. The tapestry of her varied landscapes needed a voice and resulted in the completion of an MA in Creative writing at Lancaster University in September 2008. Two of her poems have been long listed for the Bridport Prize, in 2007 and in 2008.

 Wild Ice

Feet, heads, torsos, Gaza-march in an orgy.
 The Oslo afternoon is a frieze of words

and something wet and cold moves through the trees
shouting January, January. Deep in the wild ice,

air bubbles catch the light
like lovers caught in an avalanche

on the outskirts of the city. Wind roars at the flicker of night
and street lamps direct the shadows.

In the south-west, neon lights blink Canon and Pepsi,
and on main street, trash cans bum. Their flames reveal absurd

splashes of red, pretences of blood on the boys and girls. Men disappear
into the dark, to nurture their drives. Some are blinded

by empty-bottled skylines and MC engines while others chew khat.
They are men joined by their marching, catcalling and chiding,

while their mothers and lovers are trapped
like small children in January, licking icicles.