This poem is the first-prize winner of the Human Cell Atlas challenge on Young Poets Network in 2021.

Centriole

by Anna Bailey

Glass tank in a biology
classroom; I count the centipedes.
See? Hundreds of subtle, creeping things,

life’s sediment, seldom stirred. Quantification is
human nature; three celery-green eyes encircle the
wrist of a fairy tale witch. A trio of centaurs, lamenting

in triolet form. A census. I count centipedes in the biology
classroom; time scuttles past on many brown legs, hiding under
rocks and leaves. Would it take centuries to crack open the

earth, like a walnut or an almond? After all, we perform
so many modern miracles. Spin me a simulation of
gravity. Step into the blank white centre and

bring me emptiness, that stills the
compass needle. Let me hear
its vegetable snap.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 5,000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

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"Turn your head this second, says the crow. I've prepared you for beauty, says the tulips." from 'Encounter', Helen Farish in The Poetry Review Spring 2021 #MHAW #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #nature

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says the crow. I've prepared you
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from 'Encounter', Helen Farish in The Poetry Review Spring 2021 #MHAW #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #nature https://t.co/NWXzKYT4qG

Are you a poet aged 14-25? Do you want your poetry to be heard across the world? Have something to say about freedom? This Sunday is the deadline to submit a poem for our Freedom Across the Globe showcase! Submit for free here: forms.gle/fEPrtepgj4LW9e… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

The National Poetry Competition 2021 is now launched! Judges @rachelnalong, David Constantine and Fiona Benson are looking for poems which tell the truth, catch the heart and tilt the world. bit.ly/2021npc Artwork: Whooli Chen #nationalpoetrycompetition #getwriting

test Twitter Media - The National Poetry Competition 2021 is now launched! Judges @rachelnalong, David Constantine and Fiona Benson are looking for poems which tell the truth, catch the heart and tilt the world. https://t.co/yrgYeN7Jsw Artwork: Whooli Chen #nationalpoetrycompetition #getwriting https://t.co/quBZkMcOLr

"you need food for thought; water is always necessary - as is ink" from 'How to Write a Mountain', Martha Iris Blue, commended in Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020 bit.ly/foyleyoungpoet… #MHAW #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #nature

test Twitter Media - "you need food for thought;
water is always necessary - as is ink"
from 'How to Write a Mountain', Martha Iris Blue, commended in Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020 https://t.co/8Px7DP41I9 #MHAW #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #nature https://t.co/yYRRsGkoFJ

“Writing is distraction and focus in one” says Hollie McNish... Hollie, Kae Tempest, Raymond Antrobus, Jay Bernard, Roger McGough & Simon Armitage on Poetry in the pandemic. theguardian.com/books/2021/may…

We’re so sad to hear of the death of Scottish poet Brian Johnstone. Sharing a poem from his 2021 collection @Arc_Poetry The Marks on the Map. A reminder that people can leave a long long trace on the landscape.

test Twitter Media - We’re so sad to hear of the death of Scottish poet Brian Johnstone. Sharing a poem from his 2021 collection @Arc_Poetry  The Marks on the Map. A reminder that people can leave a  long long trace on the landscape. https://t.co/LOrU2VFOOe
test Twitter Media - We’re so sad to hear of the death of Scottish poet Brian Johnstone. Sharing a poem from his 2021 collection @Arc_Poetry  The Marks on the Map. A reminder that people can leave a  long long trace on the landscape. https://t.co/LOrU2VFOOe

We are delighted to announce #FreedomAcrossTheGlobe, an exciting new partnership for 14-25 year olds with @urbanwordnyc! ✨Submit a poem on freedom by 16 May ✨Sign up for a workshop on 15 May ✨Get tickets to the global youth showcase on 22 May Join in: poetrysociety.org.uk/young-poets/fr… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"But this overshoots the mark, this gnashing sorrow, so Wagnerian; it was more a vague, grey element I moved in that kept me remote and slow," from 'Fly', Fiona Benson in Poetry Review Spring 2018 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 30’s prompt is: Opera

test Twitter Media - "But this overshoots the mark,
this gnashing sorrow, so Wagnerian;
it was more a vague, grey element I moved in
that kept me remote and slow,"
from 'Fly', Fiona Benson in Poetry Review Spring 2018
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 30’s prompt is: Opera https://t.co/qNnDrPMdqT