Winners 2010

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Hugo Havranek (Commended)

St Paul’s School, London

Sign Language

They hand in hand with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.

John Milton, Paradise Lost XII


The Emperor will give the word.  Thumb, be
The right way up (whatever that might be);
Now that that dual-edged duel is lost and won,
The floored must live (to fight another one.)


My five fingers now form a crude symbol.
Those same five fingers also give my word,
The middle swearing one way and the little
Swearing the other, in symbolic discord;
I cannot put my finger on what’s true,
So long as fingers cross (and people, too.)


London is caked in white heart-warming blanket.
They said that it would rain, but it snowed
Heavily.  Fingers locked forev- (Forget it-
She said that she will stay, but she’ll go:
She cheated in the snowball fight, and oh!
I know she’ll cheat on you in time, I do.)


They said that it would snow, and it’s snowing;
London’s reborn in white nursery rime.
My heart is in my hand: I am not going.
I’m telling you: it’s not that way this time.
And it means nothing, what I said before –
Just – I will have you, and you will have me, for-


How can I give my word?  The snow’s now slush,
But my heart’s always- How can I have you
Know?  Or make myself heard, when symbols clash,
That all those things I’ve promised you are true?

Project Details

  • Date January 30, 2015
  • Tags 2010 Promises - Winning Poems