Poetry Competition Commended | ‘See. I Found This Song’ By Liz Gallagher

For Poetry Day Ireland 2018, HeadStuff.org launched a brand new poetry competition to celebrate this fantastic day of poetic activity around the country. This year the theme of the day was ‘Surprises’. For our competition we chose the theme ‘Surprise Encounters’

Our esteemed panel of judges for this year’s poetry competition were Colm Keegan and Erin Fornoff. Erin noted that they were ‘looking for surprising poems, and poems that arrest and compel and leave an emotional legacy. National Poetry Day is a great way to show that poetry is a fibre in everyone’s life, and speaks to truth that everyone shares.’

We at HeadStuff were humbled by the response to the competition with the sheer numbers of those who submitted their work. The judges were deeply impressed by the high quality of submissions. it was an incredibly difficult decision to pick three winners and thirteen commended poems. 

Over the next few days we will publish the three placed poems and thirteen commended ones. We would like to congratulate all the poets on their achievement. 

We would also like to thank everyone who took the time to submit to the competition. We received a high number of submissions of really high quality so please do keep watching the HeadStuff poetry section for more details on future submission information. Finally we would like to thank University College Cork, Poetry Ireland and Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat for their support. 

Read All Winning and Commended Poems Here 

See. I Found This song

By Liz Gallagher

See. I found this song that I love. It says: ‘I can’t love
you again.’
I love this song. I love the guy’s voice. Oh boy.

What a guy. His sound. His rhythm. His way of rising
those words up into the sunny Spring air does me. You do me.

I play the song real low at first. It is near noon. Lunch is nearly
ready. The dog just came to lick my face. All was well

with my world seconds before. And then whoof! whoosh! even
whack! I raise the volume more. I raise it to its top volume. I raise

myself from my cushion. My back arches. I try to shake
it off – this song consuming me – there, in broad daylight

with lentils on the boil. With a million tasks to do. I stop
arching. I sit back. I let the song have its way with me.

I let it undo me: the me who had said I’m over you. Now
soft, fragile, putty in my own hands. A sort of tiny squeal along 

side a not so small thing dying in me. I allow myself to love
you again even if the song says I can’t love you again.

Then I turn the volume down. I let myself come down from being
up in the air with you. I walk to the kitchen to have my lentils – 

a small sniff escapes me. But wow! what a tender spare rib.
Amongst the lentils. And you? – no longer a stone’s throw

away from me, metaphorically speaking, but light years away.
The song too, long gone. The lentil plate near empty. 

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash