Ink Pantry’s Dr Zhivago Poetry Competition 2020 Winner: Zhivago by Mark Sheeky

A dark leaf runs,
toyed by a winter’s wind,
away from my grasp
towards the train
and my father’s body
bent on the track.

In the dim room, I recall
only scents of candle smoke,
and notes of fruit wood,
a melody which winds
like cotton, around my wrists,
to touch beautiful Lara, then flee
ragged, a whip
of time singing sparks,
screaming steam
from mourning breaks
and shots of vodka
that ricochet past Komarovsky
like a snake of black
bent on the track.

I huddle on my tram,
which rattles like my old teeth,
and again touch her memory
which butterflies into words to write,
to fly, to her lost grave
and kiss that sorrow’d soil
where my dark leaf lies
on its broken back,
with my father’s mistakes
bent on the track.

Inky judge Andrew D Williams writes: A poem that touches on an early moment in the story, as Yuri’s father falls to his death from the train. The short lines echo the sound of the train on the track, while the images and events flash past. A train can only go where the rails will take it, and likewise Yuri’s life is a series of unfortunate events that he has little control over.

Mark Sheeky is a surrealist artist in paint, music, and writing. His poetry has moved on hugely in the past couple of years, partly by knowing more poets. Mark’s latest poetry book, The Burning Circus, was published in 2020 and includes a foreword by former Cheshire Poet Laureate, John Lindley. Marks’ book, 21st Century Surrealism, is a successful contemporary re-examination of the First Surrealist Manifesto. You can find more of Mark’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Andrew D Williams writes psychological thrillers with a streak of dark humour. His stories question the nature of reality and those beliefs we hold most dear – who we are, what we think is true, whether we can trust our own minds – and combine elements of science fiction with philosophical questions. When he isn’t writing, Andrew’s time is split between swearing at computers, the occasional run and serving as one of the cat’s human slaves. You can find more of Andrew’s work here on Ink Pantry. 

Leave a Reply