Anthony Watts

Anthony Watts has been writing ‘seriously’ for nearly 50 years.  He has had poems published in many magazines and anthologies in addition to five published collections: Strange Gold (KQBX Press, 1991), The Talking Horses of Dreams (Iron Press, 1999), Steart Point & other poems (John Garland, 2009), The Shell Gatherer (Oversteps, 2011) and Stiles (Paekakariki Press, 2019).  He has won the Bedford International Writing Competition 2019, Four Counties Poetry Competition 2015, Lake Aske Memorial Award 1978, the Michael Johnson Memorial Prize 1979, Poetry Pulse Poetry Competition 2015, the S.T. Coleridge Memorial Poetry Prize 2008 and first prizes in competitions run by Rotherham Metro Writers (2001), Preston Writers Guild (2001 & 2002), Christchurch Writers (1993, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2007), Norwich Writers (2008),  East Coker Poetry Group (2008), Dillington Poets (1994), Mungrisedale Writers (2013), Poetry Space (2013), Somerset Libraries (2013), Wax Poetry and Art (2017) and the Writers Bureau Limerick Competition (2016).  He was also longlisted in the Arvon Foundation Competition (19820 and the National Poetry Competition (2015). His poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Somerset Sound.  Rural Somerset has been his home for most of his life and he has no plans to leave it.  His main interests in life are poetry, music, binge thinking and messing about outdoors – activities he finds can be happily combined. 

For a Baby Daughter

 For her the world is putting on
 its famous show. The constellations
 quicken with excitement, they have travelled light years
 for this one moment, this private staging
 of their rooftop extravaganza.
 The players are brushing up their parts, the props
 are in place. All's ready now for her to raise
 the curtain          of her eyes.            

Snapshots of my Daughter’s Wedding

 Horse and Carriage
 Hood up for the weather – but barely masking
 the bride’s undimmable glow,
 which spills into the rainy streets like sunshine.
 Like hassocks that have learned to crawl,
 the church is suddenly alive with them.
 The vicar beams her approbation.
 Blokes in suits; determinedly
 casual blokes; blokes armed with jokes;
 staccato blokes, inaudible with nerves.
 Brother and sister
 Shy hugs of adult siblings,
 old enmities dissolved
 in the solidarity of parenthood.
 The clans move in – steps taken
 into the unfamiliar labyrinth.
 Wineglasses light the way. 

Perfection hung between them

like a swan in the mist –                                                                                              
 an angel’s egg, a singing star
 sustained by its own glory.
 The lovers closed in.
 But their kisses threatened to stifle its song;
 it was not used to man-and-woman-handling.
 Under their hot cossetings it lost
 its shape like melting wax.
 Afraid of losing it forever, they
 drew back suddenly.
 Perfection froze, neglected, as
 the floor creaked open and their chairs
 were icebergs floating out upon separate seas. 

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