'Trick' was commended in the 2020 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "Perhaps more than any other poem in the competition, this poem does great work in the white space beneath it, calling out to us as readers long after we have read it. This is achieved by the absolute care of every formal and linguistic choice in the poem. We loved the way we are ushered into the intimate space of the tool-shed, and the way in which details such as the blindfold generate narrative tension. The poem's final sentence is astonishing: violent, beautiful, and managing to pin down, visually and unforgettably, a moment of self-revelation and emotional vulnerability.”

Trick

by Mark Pajak

Inside this disused tool-shed in Hammer Wood
slatted walls morse daylight on an earth floor.

Here two local boys find a knife, its blade
freckled in rust. The older boy picks it up,

with its egg whiff of wet metal, and points
to his friend to back against the wall for a trick.

Then the younger boy’s t-shirt is hustled
over his head and rolled into a blindfold.

In its blackness, he imagines the moment held
like a knife above his friend’s head. His friend

who whispers. Don’t. Move. And then
there’s a kiss. Lips quickly snipping against his.

Silence. He’s aware of his chest, the negative
of his t-shirt. He pulls his blindfold. Looks

the older boy full in his up-close face. And sees
that he’s bleeding, everywhere, under his skin.

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.

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"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

'And the wind said 'Shush' through the keyhole and the rain said 'Hush your lies.' ' But I wasn't listening in the least with my hands brimful of stars.' Vona Groarke 'Poetry Review' @PoetrySociety Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"At sunrise picture bottles smashed in flight, As day spills round your feet; a pool of light." ‘Ode to the Milkman’, Sinéad O’ Reilly, commended in Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020 bit.ly/irelanddaymilk… @PoetryDay_IRL

"It is not Samuel Beckett's fault Or the fault of any man who stays Awake, who cannot sleep with all The fuss injustice makes." 'The Seven Pear Trees of Avigdor Arikha', Thomas McCarthy in Poetry Review Spring 2016 @PoetryDay_IRL

test Twitter Media - "It is not Samuel Beckett's fault
Or the fault of any man who stays
Awake, who cannot sleep with all
The fuss injustice makes."
'The Seven Pear Trees of Avigdor Arikha', Thomas McCarthy in Poetry Review Spring 2016  @PoetryDay_IRL https://t.co/96Hhzb3LDk

"I pressed against her, arms around her waist, her strong swimmer’s legs pushing us up the brae, (legs that had saved a child from a whirlpool one day in Donegal)." 'Push-bike', Elaine Gaston, commended #NationalPoetryCompetition 2013 bit.ly/irelanddaypush… @PoetryDay_IRL

test Twitter Media - "I pressed against her, arms around her waist,
her strong swimmer’s legs pushing us up the brae,
(legs that had saved a child from a whirlpool one day

in Donegal)."
'Push-bike', Elaine Gaston, commended #NationalPoetryCompetition 2013 https://t.co/gwGEqJ386A @PoetryDay_IRL https://t.co/HxACRS8Obh

An otwituary for Michael Collins by Andy Jackson twitter.com/azjackson/stat…

"when I tell Arji I'm meant to be writing Chinese wallpaper poems but don't know what to write he deeply empathises" from 'Dazzling Blue' Hannah Lowe in Poetry Review Autumn 2019 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 29’s prompt is: Chinese Wallpaper

test Twitter Media - "when I tell Arji I'm meant
to be writing Chinese wallpaper poems
but don't know what to write
he deeply empathises"
from 'Dazzling Blue' Hannah Lowe in Poetry Review Autumn 2019
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 29’s prompt is: Chinese Wallpaper https://t.co/eGpInMl6hG

I enjoyed Terrance Hayes’ rhapsodic pen-portraits of Black women poets in his @PoetrySociety lecture this evening #poetsprose Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Thankyou Terrance Hayes for an amazing exploration of the influence of Gwendolyn Brooks in tonight’s @poetrysociety annual lecture ⁦@WritingatCentre⁩ ⁦@ObsidianFdn⁩ - and oh those recordings! Retweeted by The Poetry Society