Thursday, 3 September 2015

Waverley Lines poetry competition #MyBordersRailway

Went along to a lovely reception for the prize winners in the Scottish Borders Council Eildon Tree magazine Waverley Lines competition last night. This competition built on workshops at the Borders Book Festival and had writers of all ages taking part. A great success.

Sara Best as the conductor
 - schoolchildren worked with her to create his head complete with hipster beard

The anthology is going to be distributed to the first passengers on the re-opened railway this weekend. My poem is in it too. I came second in the Open Poetry competition. One of my best results in a competition so I was pretty happy with that. And my cheque for £75!

Online search Borders Railway

That small symbol on the map is back, you know the one,
the arrows on the lines
signifying railway in Stow, Gala and Tweedbank.
Google it – it sits right there like a power light
bright on our map; now imagine
other old targets, the turntables by Station Brae
all empty, grown through with ragwort and rust;
that long commute there and back to Edinburgh -
impossible choice between home and work
when the line closed; keeping us tight here
in our cauldron of sheep, mills and folk.

And then forgotten routes from Level Crossing Road
or The Sidings or by Station Street, across our Borders land,
firing up like a canny Sevens play,
ideas travelling forward and home.
Until our train of thought is back:
track and bridges, engineers, lamps and gravel,
jobs and trucks and the test trains
slicing through the thousand journeys needed
to make this railway real; cutting out the lonely time
when the only buffering was as a result of low-quality
broadband. Yes, our network holds us tight always and again:
our hills resonate with buzzing transported voices,
connections no longer missed spark like welding torches.
We’re on the map, our wheels turning on the train.

Bridget Khursheed 2015

You can read the fine winning poem and more here http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/news/article/1292/waverley_lines_competition_winners_announced and more on the railway here http://www.bordersrailway.co.uk/

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