'Near / Far Away' was commended in the 2018 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "An arresting first line and the poem continues to surprise the reader, and I suspect the writer was also surprised by this poem. That devastating last image of the father contrasted with the certainties expressed earlier in the poem, and it was the puzzle of this image that haunted me through numerous re-readings." - Kim Moore

Near / Far Away

by Nick Garrard

Find someone who looks at you the way a drone pilot would.
People who live by the railway know a house is just
an assembly of stones waiting for the right train
to pass so close it shakes the walls and brings the roof inside.
In your life you can be loved precisely seven times
and never know; red-headed students and knock-kneed waiters,
conference attendees with rich inner lives,
all casting their eyes like fly reels into unrewarding waters.
Love was my father who screamed himself awake,
my mother who walked him to the narrow, yellow kitchen,
pressed him in the seat of a favourite chair
and tipped his head back until slow and silent,
tender as a faun, a wire-legged spider came crawling from his ear.

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

"Poetry is the most accessible that it’s ever been – with the click of a button you can share your work with almost everyone in the world." We've been speaking to #FoyleYoungPoet and @BhamCityCouncil #YoungPoetLaureate Aliyah Begum! Read on: bit.ly/brumlaureates Retweeted by The Poetry Society

#OnThisDay 19th April 1824. Lord Byron dies in Messolonghi, Greece. To this day, the name ‘Vyron’, the Greek form of ‘Byron’, is a popular boy’s name in Greece. A suburb of Athens is called Vyronas in his honour. Painting by Joseph-Denis Odevaere. Retweeted by The Poetry Society

‘Seferis’ extraordinary gift occupies … the realm of the marvellous real.’ Delighted to hear G. Seferis' 'Complete Poems' from our Classics series so favourably discussed @PoetrySociety! poetrysociety.org.uk/review-blood-a… Find the great Greek poet's work: carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexe… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Had the best time at the Poetry Review launch on Wed night reading w/ @InuaEllams and @hatefuldaughter. Thanks @PoetrySociety for being fab Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Listening to @WakelingKate weave between her equally brilliant adults’ and children’s poems while lying on a fluffalicious raspberry ripple rug under a giant balloon was a delight @PoetrySociety @NOWGallery Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"We honor those who let go of every- thing but freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought, who became other by saving themselves." A very happy Pesach, whether you'll be sedering with friends, family, alone, or not at all- Here's a poem from Marge Piercy, via @samsax1 twitter.com/samsax1/status…

In Our Time discussion of life and work of Gerard Manley Hopkins bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00… "GMH intended his poetry to be heard, not read." Retweeted by The Poetry Society

TONIGHT at the @PoetrySociety Cafe the Farrago Easter SLAM! with a brilliant feature line up including Artin Selimi, @Anna_McCrory , @Clive_Oseman & Leanne Shorley & an open to ANY poet SLAM! with chocolate eggs & Chirpy Chicks for prizes! A few slots left-message to reserve one. Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Delighted to be reading at the @PoetrySociety‘s Poetry Cafe in support of the launch of Richard Aronowitz’s debut poetry collection, Life Lessons, published by @PalewellPress, on April 29th. Retweeted by The Poetry Society