Winner of the Fred Holland Poetry Collection Award 2017

Winner of the Fred Holland Poetry Collection Award 2017: MARIA DE OMENA

 Maria de OmenaMaria de Omena is the winner of this year’s Frederick Holland Poetry Collection Award with her poems on human suffering and obsession, and delivered with passionate wording.  We will be celebrating with Maria in October, 2017, and presenting her with a cheque for £1000. She is currently studying for a BA in English and Creative Writing, and has already been published this year. Maria says:

Poetry has always been my favourite form to express myself and ever-present in my life, thanks to my grandmother who read her poems to me. I dream of becoming a published and best-selling writer and also having my own publishing company.

You can also find her winning collection below, and in the printed Coventry Words magazine. Congratulations Maria!


A collection called: There is no Light




Should eons from now

the shackles that bind my wrists

oxidise and grind granting me freedom;

Giving me a solace I never knew I needed,

enabling the chafed skins on my wrists to finally heal

from the unrelenting grip forced upon me,

I will still feel enslaved.


Should in a switch

the magnetic force binding our essences

change directions and poles

making my charge and yours the same,

both victims of the same crime

slaves of the same demons

confused by the same riddles

I will still feel out of place.


Should karma come and

you find yourself with a sword digging in your throat.

Your gag reflex making your Adam’s apple bob desperately

for this time, it is I holding the hilt,

I want you to look into my eyes and bend to my will

But still,

Vindicated is not what I’ll feel.




I was floating in the middle of a green field,

cold hands grabbed my waist.

A bleached tissue covered my mouth

and chloroform had never smelled so bittersweet.


I remember when I told you I liked red,

you said I looked exquisite in it.

Is that why you made me bleed?

So you could paint my body with your fingers,




Crafting and carving on my skin.


I recall when I told you I liked purple,

until I became it.

Your face branded on my eyelids every time I moved,

with your twisted fingers you’ve tattooed me.

The arms around me resembled a cage –

I should have run when I had the chance.


I remember when you said my grey eyes were beautiful.

maybe you liked them so much that you wanted them still.

The gris turning to ice, losing its sparkle;

Orbs always open and never blinking

you would be the last thing I see.


I recall every time you said

You would help me become what I found most beautiful.

I was the only canvas you needed to express your artistry.

You loved me, so you would make me your masterpiece.


I wonder, if I had said I was colour blind, would you have let me live?


A Man



1, 2, 3
Breathe in… that’s it.
Don’t worry, pretty girl, your path is free!
                                                               But what if there’s a hand in a dark alley
waiting for a skirt to rip?

4, 5,
A few blocks to go.
Hurry your steps, stay under the lights.
                                                          Though what if the old man two posts down
is a creeper hunting amongst the crowd?

6, 7,
She could take a shortcut…
Yet the thought of a desert alley is enough
to make the pretty girl with bleeding feet
choose to walk miles more than take a turn.

8, 9,
                                                                                                                Oh  Lord!

                                                                                               Where is everyone?

Wait, there’s a shadow at a distance.
Is it weird that she’d rather it was a murderer than another rapist?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 In this world

                                            you better hope

           you’re born

                                                                    a Man.





The moment I saw you

I was reminded of silver.

The way your smile shone in the sunlight

made you seem more like a precious metal

than a stack of organic material.


You kissed me and I felt the heat

as if you had lit up a torch inside me;

The metallic taste of our kiss was addictive,

your scent reminded me of some spice:

exotic, rare, never explored.


Then you slipped through my fingers when I tried to reciprocate.

It was when you tried to break me

that I found out I was Platinum.

I was just as resilient, even more precious.

I was the rare one, you were but a scavenger.


The bitterness in our kisses was the taste of my own blood,

the light in your eyes was the reflection of my own.

You forgot that while you’re a famous catalytic,

I am known for being highly unreactive.


So shall we take a leap into this lava pit?

And while you are melting inside the gates of hell

I’ll crawl out,

still whole,

radiating heat.


A Journey (to silence)


“Fix me” I yelled.

I can be good for you!

I will take all the blame

as you stomp over my soul.

I will be the best thing that’s ever happened to you

even if you are my very doom.


“Mend me” I cried.

Glue these broken pieces,

sew this loose strap.

In fact, you can alter me

I was not made to last.


“Hold me” I begged.

Don’t crush me.

Anyhow, I will love you like you should love me

if only I could believe I deserved so.


“See me” I whispered.

Give me a chance to change

and I will be whoever you want me to.


“Mold me” I croaked,

so I’ll fit in your frigid arms.


Silence: I should have cut the roots at the start.