No, not me. But the surprise and wonder was awesome for that split second, wasn’t it? (I haven’t heard anything yet…).

thom-sullivan-poet-poetry-copy2Instead I write about Thom Sullivan (who blogs here). Thom has won the 2017 Noel Rowe Poetry Award, winning publication of his own poetry book in 2018 (Vagabond Press). A hearty congratulations, Thom!

I had the pleasure and benefit of having Thom do some editing work on my first novel, Vengeance Will Come. I am deeply thankful for the time that he invested. It was also immense fun as he challenged me, sharpening the inference of words and de-cluttering sentences. He was painstakingly wonderful in analysing word choice and placement; a skill, he possesses in abundance.

For me, the skills of a poet (especially the winner) are best summarised by this excerpt from the Award’s Judges’ Report:

…the language was sharp, the images immediate and vivid, with a certain rhythmic alertness, and where the sense of human experience and its significance was heightened. … [used] good illustration, with their deft economy, of how less can be more…

Though they are talking about poetry, the same is true with all writing.

Aside from being a great poet Thom is also incredibly humble. (So I apologise for this post, and what I’m about to say…). He is easily among the top 10 nicest people I have ever met. He is as softly spoken as a grief counsellor, with the sharp intellect of a neurosurgeon. And he can nail poetry too. (Is that the right word, Thom? 🙂 )

Today I have a highly anticipated coffee catchup with my Dad. We are visiting a bakery, which seems ideal on numerous levels.

Around that, for the rest of the day I plan to be writing. Time to regain some traction with revising The Rebel Queen.

The Sacred Flame

This came to me the other morning. I haven’t spent long on it, so it could probably use some polish… but I have a synopsis to do.

I guess it’s a poem… of sorts? (My apologies to the real poets).


As Initiates we watched in wonder the Sacred Flame

Intrigued by its subtle dance, its warmth and its glow

We longed and hoped one day to receive

Our own flame springing forth


My wife and I are Keepers of the Sacred Flame

Priest and Priestess, dedicated to its care

Sanctified to keep it burning at all times

It’s a job for two; one cannot do it alone


Studying it, we learn to read its mood

To sense its movement, anticipate its need

Oak to burn long, spruce to burn fast, hickory for heat and aroma

There is a time for each, to keep it burning bright


We must learn to love the flame

To tend it always, through the long watches of the night

Protecting it from breeze and strong gale

Guarding always its purity and beauty


We have become accustomed to its presence

It is for us, a cherished Friend

That warms the body, and makes glad the heart

A flame reaching upwards, toward its Creator.