'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

Wondering what you should do tomorrow in London? How about joining our fun poetry book making workshop with artist Ceri Amphlett 10.30am-4.30pm (£55/£45 concs) at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St London WC2. poetrysociety.org.uk/event/exhibiti…

test Twitter Media - Wondering what you should do tomorrow in London? How about joining our fun poetry book making workshop with artist Ceri Amphlett 10.30am-4.30pm (£55/£45 concs) at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St London WC2. https://t.co/UJWo5QRFco https://t.co/4eAaMd9Dzh

See pictures, meet artist, socialise. At the Poetry Cafe Covent Garden, Wed 25 April we launch Ceri Amphlett’s latest exhibition at 6.30pm - all welcome. poetrysociety.org.uk/event/exhibiti…

Aged 11-17? The #FoyleYoungPoets of the Year Award is now open for entries More info at the library or foyleyoungpoets.org Here is some #RFIDpoetry from one of our young self serve kiosks... The idea of #RFIDpoems started with @warkslibraries as far as we can tell... Retweeted by The Poetry Society

A medical poem from Natalie Shaw, who works as a user researcher and ‘thinks about data a lot’. Her poetry has been published and anthologised widely, most recently in IS&T. She was commended in the 2018 National Poetry Competition. @redbaronski Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Raymond Antrobus reflects on his parents' role in shaping his view of poetry... #RathbonesFolio #WritersPrize Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Poets! @RSLiterature want to know what writers need today in order to flourish professionally. Please take ten minutes to fill in the survey: bit.ly/UKWritersSurvey #UKWritersSurvey #ARoomOfMyOwn Retweeted by The Poetry Society

2 spaces left on Poetry Surgery with @heidiwilliamson via Skype - personal and private 1-1 feedback on your poems wherever you live in the world SAT 11 May "Many thanks to The Poetry Society for offering these high quality online options" poetrysociety.org.uk/event/heidimay/

test Twitter Media - 2 spaces left on Poetry Surgery with @heidiwilliamson via Skype - personal and private 1-1 feedback on your poems wherever you live in the world 

SAT 11 May 

"Many thanks to The Poetry Society for offering these high quality online options"

https://t.co/0u5FqhTClL https://t.co/w1b1yHU6Ku

Mole Valley Poets' Poetry Walk Sat 27 April, 2-3.30pm, from Dorking West station to Ranmore, Surrey. For more info, [email protected] The walk can be accompanied by Alison Carlier's Podcast, 'Sounds from a Shallow Sea' molevalleypoets.co.uk/programme.html

test Twitter Media - Mole Valley Poets' Poetry Walk Sat 27 April, 2-3.30pm, from Dorking West station to Ranmore, Surrey. For more info, stanzarep@molevalleypoets.co.uk 

The walk can be accompanied by Alison Carlier's Podcast, 'Sounds from a Shallow Sea'
   
https://t.co/9ovrbCClZi https://t.co/wUHUtmgOhA
test Twitter Media - Mole Valley Poets' Poetry Walk Sat 27 April, 2-3.30pm, from Dorking West station to Ranmore, Surrey. For more info, stanzarep@molevalleypoets.co.uk 

The walk can be accompanied by Alison Carlier's Podcast, 'Sounds from a Shallow Sea'
   
https://t.co/9ovrbCClZi https://t.co/wUHUtmgOhA
test Twitter Media - Mole Valley Poets' Poetry Walk Sat 27 April, 2-3.30pm, from Dorking West station to Ranmore, Surrey. For more info, stanzarep@molevalleypoets.co.uk 

The walk can be accompanied by Alison Carlier's Podcast, 'Sounds from a Shallow Sea'
   
https://t.co/9ovrbCClZi https://t.co/wUHUtmgOhA
test Twitter Media - Mole Valley Poets' Poetry Walk Sat 27 April, 2-3.30pm, from Dorking West station to Ranmore, Surrey. For more info, stanzarep@molevalleypoets.co.uk 

The walk can be accompanied by Alison Carlier's Podcast, 'Sounds from a Shallow Sea'
   
https://t.co/9ovrbCClZi https://t.co/wUHUtmgOhA

Thanks to everyone who supported the show last Thursday at the @PoetrySociety Cafe, to the fantastic features @Anna_McCrory , Artin Selimi, Leanne Shorley & @Clive_Oseman & congratulations to everyone who slammed, especially to Maymuun Ali, the new Farrrago Easter SLAM! Champion! Retweeted by The Poetry Society