A couple of months ago I entered a poetry competition, and the results are just out.
There were a total of 1,305 entries – and I was ‘long listed’! I didn’t make it to the short- or prize-list – and to be honest, I didn’t expect to – but I’m pleased to have made it to the long list in a very large field of entries. Well over a thousand people didn’t..!
Here’s what I offered up (it was inspired by the image attached to this post):
I looked for you in all the usual places
yet even in my memory I failed to find you
as if you had deleted yourself from my history.
I knew you were there, somewhere;
pursuing another dream;
revelling in isolation.
“Anonymous is not invisible” you once said
as I struggled with your life,
your way of not living.
And taking you at your word
I look for you on street corners, in coffee shops;
I glimpse a hint of your smile in others’ faces.
I look over my shoulder,
unable to dispel the sense that your new project
is simply you watching me.
I have never wanted to be absent, to disappear;
I have always felt that proof of life
is to make a mark on it, however small.
Yet here you are – or here you aren’t –
making your own kind of mark
in your own intangible way,
invisible but not anonymous.