'Saturday Collection Duty' was commended in the 2018 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "'Saturday Collection Duty' struck me as utterly original in its content, with the use of white space enhancing its strangeness. It reveals vulnerability slowly and I found it more and more moving every time I read it." - Kim Moore

Saturday Collection Duty

by Lia Brooks

When visiting the city I take envelopes. I keep them
      in the baggy pocket     of my wax jacket. When someone

passes on the high street I take up a few stones
from their footstep     and seal them away. Each person has

their own envelope. I plan for eleven each visit, but I am
      not disappointed when I return with nine. My choices

are guided by small things – sun on an earlobe,
      wind caught at the corner       of a loose coat. It might be
a raindrop bleeding outward on a shirt-cuff. But the moment is fast

and there is little time for any conscious thought, only an instant
of feeling like the glorious     snap    of fingers, and I know to bend
down as they step past. Recently, I saw jam        at the corner

of a man’s mouth, bent to collect the gravel and knew
I was wrong.                 There is too much weight in the red jam
      on a man’s face. Certainty is a child or an elderly woman,
and never a man. Returning home that day to label

and stack the envelopes in the dining-room, I reminded
      the small things of their weight. The man is         one of many
who can never be collected.       It is   how it is. And crying was useless –
measurement has its own sorrow. I have never taken stones

from my own footstep. I confess        I have wanted it. In the way
      two people hope to touch each other but never will, I pretend

it’s happened – someone has stooped unseen, like I do
when I’m working, and        has taken them. I lift above the cold bodies

of the high street, sail that way for a remarkable distance and live.

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 4000 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.

More about the Poetry Society…

Tweets @PoetrySociety

Follow @HistoricEngland and #wherelightfalls for more images and a link to a live stream of @CommaJane's poem for Coventry Cathedral ...

test Twitter Media - Follow @HistoricEngland  and #wherelightfalls for more images and a link to a live stream of @CommaJane's poem for Coventry Cathedral ... https://t.co/n0ILeGrIBO

So overwhelmed to see my poem on @CovCathedral this evening as part of #WhereLightFalls a project from @HistoricEngland & @PoetrySociety - incredible music @BarnSmithMusic & projections @DoubleTakePro bringing it all to life. Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Baudelaire’s unknown extra verse to erotic poem revealed New lines to The Jewels, inscribed in a copy of Les Fleurs du Mal, has been unveiled as the volume comes up for auction theguardian.com/books/2019/nov…

New commission from Jane Commane tonight at @CovCathedral as part of Where Light Falls - plus talking about #peace with Keith Jarrett - @PoetrySociety @HistoricEngland collaboration

test Twitter Media - New commission from Jane Commane tonight at @CovCathedral as part of Where Light Falls - plus talking about #peace with Keith Jarrett - @PoetrySociety @HistoricEngland collaboration https://t.co/nGUJ6Qbdba
test Twitter Media - New commission from Jane Commane tonight at @CovCathedral as part of Where Light Falls - plus talking about #peace with Keith Jarrett - @PoetrySociety @HistoricEngland collaboration https://t.co/nGUJ6Qbdba

Favourite poem so far in latest issue of The Poetry Review is ‘Far Too Much’ by Jenny Xie. @PoetrySociety @jennymxie Retweeted by The Poetry Society

I was sad to learn recently of the death of Elaine Feinstein. But here, with the kind permission of @PoetrySociety , is my review of 'The Clinic, Memory', Elaine's New & Selected, @carcanet , for the sake of the quotations! carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexe… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"I discovered Margaret Tait in the dark" Read the essay 'On Margaret Tait’s disappearing trick' from the latest Poetry Review by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer bit.ly/TaitReview & don't miss screening of Tait's Blue Black Permanent 18th Nov 7pm Poetry Café bit.ly/TaitBlueMayer

test Twitter Media - "I discovered Margaret Tait in the dark"
Read the essay 'On Margaret Tait’s disappearing trick' from the latest Poetry Review by So Mayer @tr0ublemayer https://t.co/hNVQwKn50X 
& don't miss screening of Tait's Blue Black Permanent 18th Nov 7pm Poetry Café https://t.co/NX18WgaxnC https://t.co/4jt4PU3xS6

Podcast: we spoke to Stephen Sexton and Kirsten Irving about the relationship between video games and their poetry, following the launch of Stephen's Super Mario World themed collection If All the World and Love Were Young. Hey! Listen! soundcloud.com/poetrysociety/… Retweeted by The Poetry Society