The inaugural Virtual Game Fair writing competition has certainly brought the poets out of the closet with both winner and runner-up submitting poems.
The winning authors are:
WINNER: ‘One Shot Wully’ by Seamus Erwin
RUNNER UP: ‘Water Wolf’ by Pamela Marten
Seamus Erwin, a well-known hunting man takes the top spot with his amusing tale of a day out with terriers and a well known shot some 30 years ago…
One Shot Wully
There’s a man from Ballymena – I’m sure you know him well
His name was Wully Allen and this story I will tell.
Big Wully was a civil sort and not a bad big bloke
But a dopey doc and a bottle of booze sent his wee house up in smoke.
Now Wully was a hunting man and many of you know
This little story I will tell, happened many years ago.
He loved to hunt at Clinty, Craigywarren and Carnbeg
Along with Harry Dempster, Bob Irons and Little Craig.
They all had fancy autos, gleaming in the sun,
Some of them held 5 shells – Big Wully’s held only one.
He started off the season with 20 shells in his box,
Little were we all to know, he would only miss one fox.
Wully’s single had no permit, no number or no name,
Yet he carried it everywhere – from Clinty to Coleraine.
But one day when out hunting – with Erwin and McDowell
As Wully was taking up his stand, the fox slipped out the hole.
It ran down along the fence, then up along the brew,
Big Wully gave a jump as the fox came into view.
We held our breath in silence as Big Wully made his play,
Then came the bang we waited for but the bugger got away.
Wully stood there baffled, his gun down by his side,
He said, ‘I thought I got him, but the shot was far too wide’.
Up the field came wee Erwin – his face was in dismay
And Wully got a bollicking on that cold winter’s day.
Pamela Marten from Dungannon earned the Runner Up prize with her paean to her favourite fish – the pike.
I sit looking out across the water
Watching the wind blow ripples across the surface
And chasing unseen tides deep below
The grey top of a cold unwelcome mass.
I wonder where they are hiding?
Watching and waiting for prey to come along.
Or are they already feasting on a meal long caught,
Resting in the aftermath of a battle won?
The Water Wolf in its brilliance of colours,
Yellows, blacks, greens and browns,
With stripes and spots covering it’s body
And providing camouflage wherein it lives and hunts.
Lightning fast speed for ambush and attack,
Jaws of razor sharp teeth, strong and lethal.
A head so big with ferocious features
And a powerful tail which speeds it along.
This is a creature hated by many men,
Seen as a pest who will eliminate stocks
Of the fairer fish – tastier to the palate
And as threat to us – we become a danger to them.
Man will ignore their natural beauty,
He will catch and kill, rather than see
That there is plenty for all of us to live on
And leave the pike to swim, wild and free.
Surely when caught, we should see nature
At its brilliance as defiant and strong.
These creatures will fight for their life and freedom
Rather than give up and die at their captor’s hand.
As we release them back into the water,
They will take a minute to regain their strength.
Fight over, the energy restored,
They will swim away proud and free.
I alight from my daydream of my favourite species
And look again at the lake before me,
Surrounded with windswept trees, banks and bushes
Reeds in the water, making up the habitat of the pike.
Look out for our follow-up creative writing competition coming soon at The Virtual Game Fair.