2020 1st Place Winner - Nadia Lines, 'Woodland For Sale'


First Prize - 2020 Tower Poetry Competition, 'Trees'


Woodland For Sale

I would work on a development

of fairy rings; loop after loop

of polka-dot, poodle-skirt

toadstools, rehoming the fairies


falling from heads in exam halls.

I’d reintroduce the wolf

to his old friends

and end the practice of pond dipping


in favour of pond diving.

The lakes I would decorate

with the eerie jewellery of frogspawn

and big breasted lily-pads;


the streams I would fill with miniature

belugas and all the tuna I regret eating.

I would seed a few forget-me-nots

next to a swing, which the centaurs


could look upon, but not sit on,

mourning being born, foreign 

under their own firmament.

It would rain beetles, spit spiders,


drizzle deer, which would land, unphased,

antlers raised, spun with bone and grace,

trotting on. I’d have unknowable bird song.

I would plant daisies as deeply as tattoos.


I would make kingfishers less camera shy

and find the water voles and mice and

kiss each of their baby heads, one at a time.

I would sprout rabbits in holes


like spring- pricked bulbs, I would

melt dinosaur toys back

to dinosaur oil, give it proper burials.

I’d toil in my woodland


for hours, hoping that somehow

with love, and grubby thumbs,

I could salt the flowers with bees

and give back all the trees.