At The Future I Choose party the night before the election, we announced the winner of our poetry competition judged by John Bird and Shane Solanki.

For your pleasure, here are the shortlisted poems….

The Happiness Project by Olivia Spinkles

I seize upon the pink stickie,
On the community workshop wall.
‘Happiness Project’. Let’s create it.
Let’s do, do, do, let’s plan a project,
Let’s make it happen, let’s take those
Five or seven steps to happiness.

This is my happiness project.
This cardboard cup of soup,
Celeriac and pear, paler than
The winter sun. The warmth
Of the pot soft as a lover’s hand.
I dip my spoon. It sails out to sea.

The sweetness of a radiant autumn
Afternoon, pressing chunks of
Red apple and green pear plucked
From a blue sky, dripping juice.

The earthiness of a kitchen evening,
A heavy pan of celeriac gratin,
Bubbling browned from the oven,
Melt of cream and molten laughter.

This is my happiness project,
Contained here in this cup of soup.
I look out, pull my scarf tighter, watch
A pink booted pigeon parade
On the glass palisade, whilst the river
Washes scudding clouds away.

The Future I Choose by Richard Watkins

It’s not universally acceptable to say how much you enjoy things,
Much more popular to point at problems –
Proclaim preciecely when and where we got down trodden.

But friends can be frank so let us speak candid:
We all have more cause to thank than cause to panic.
And our calamaties, although inconvenient, are rarely titanic.

So – what shall we do with this habitual imbalance in our speech?
Well, it hardly requires a grand intelectual leap.
Maybe we just need to give nice things more attention,
A mention at least.

Direct Action by Paul Williamson

Direct action,
May not be in fashion,
But the attraction,
Is future satisfaction.
Start on the path,
To the future today,
Get up, get active,
And have it your way.

By Paul Williamson

What difference can one person make,

Which route can someone willing take?

Sometimes big things cause procrastination,

Take small steps towards the destination,

Pick a path then set off walking,

Choose a viewpoint and get talking,

Actions speak much louder than words,

But pick for yourself, avoid the herds,

Groups of people can get things done,

But every collective begins with one,

Stand up and be counted, make them take note,

Think it out, act wisely, and vote.

If you want to contribute to the book with a poem – feel free? What’s The Future You Choose?

Check out this video made by Roland Wimbush on the night of the party –