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Cloudy, with outbreaks of Brexit

January 14, 2019

We are delighted to announce the winning poem in the Brexit in Poetry competition: Cloudy, with outbreaks of Brexit by Sarah Doyle.

The Judges said: ‘This poem stood out from the 522 entries we received. Using our unpredictable weather as a metaphor to describe the Brexit process works very well. The poem has an excellent rhythm and is full of arresting images.’

Many congratulations to Sarah Doyle for her well-deserved win.

Cloudy, with outbreaks of Brexit

The storm was stirring long before we knew
it, when the sun was still obscuring our vision
and we thought squinting was a defence. Not
out in the Atlantic where the wild squalls are
birthed, nurtured by ungovernable sea-winds,
to come barrelling in from the west. Not even
south, in the summer-swelterlands of mainland
Europe, whose holidaying borders we crossed
when isobars were no barrier. This strange frost
was formed on British soil – a slow hardening
of earth and heart. Here was atmospheric
pressure of an unknown kind: prediction-tricky,
unsettled, becoming cyclonic. A populace,
overcast with claims and counter-claims,
moved like ghosts through fog. There is no
demystifying of mist, even for those who
are all bluster. As the tempest approaches, we,
who live in its eye, brace ourselves as best
we can – protesting voices whipped away by
bittering winds. Only four degrees of separation
between 48 and 52, yet the division is a gulf.
The long-term forecast, we fear, is turbulent.

© Sarah Doyle

More information about Sarah Doyle