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This was a question I was recently asked to answer – on behalf of Wenlock Poetry Festival and their search for the second ever Shropshire Young Poet Laureate. It was one of several questions. The answers that I and other poetry lovers gave can be found on

Unfortunately I got somewhat carried away –  there wasn’t enough room for the selection of poems that I wanted to share with everyone. So here they are now (one at a time because technology is not letting me lay them out as it should !!!)… Thank you poets xx

THE CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES for Shropshire Young Poet Laureate 2015 IS 5pm ON FRIDAY JANUARY 16TH 2015


Fence              Mario Petrucci
(Chernobyl, 1986)

This side of the fence
is clean. That side
dirty. Understand?

You must forget
that soil is like skin.
Or interlocking scales

on a dragon. Dirty
Clean – is all that matters
here. Imagine a sheet

of glass coming down
from the sky. It’s easy
no? On this side

you can breathe
freely. Your cow can
eat the grass. You can

have children. That side
you must wear a mask
and change the filter

every four hours.
You ask – What if my cow
leans over the fence?

Personally I say
it depends which end. But
we have no instructions

for that. It is up to you
to make sure your cow
is not so stupid.
© Mario Petrucci 2004 from Heavy Water – a poem for Chernobyl (Enitharmon Press) This poem is reproduced here with the kind permission of the poet.



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