Poetry Competition Commended | ‘Alive And Well And Shopping In Aldi’ By Amy Redmond

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 

Alive And Well And Shopping In Aldi

By Amy Redmond

I’ve an idea a South Indian
vegetarian curry would be good
So here I am rummaging through boxes
trying to find a few decent
red peppers
unswaddled in plastic
And I turn around and see
my dead father
combing the shelves
basket in hand
without a care in the world
He looks up at me
double takes
gives me a second glance.
Hello I want to say,
Hi, Wait, What are you doing here? Can I help you? Where did you go?
Is it you?
I realise now that it’s Ash Wednesday
Is this some joke the church is playing on
A fallen Catholic like me and a totally
irreverent atheist like him!
Has he defied us all
And come back to life and
is alive and well and shopping in Aldi?
Happily sifting through the weekly bargains
I blink but such an
unmistakable resemblance
drives me to follow this man stealthily,
aisle by aisle.
Slightly stooped though nimble
Grey crew cut sticking up at the back of his neck
Wax jacket, loose and comfortable
Trendy jeans
The shoes
It is the shoes that
give this impersonator away
Flat and navy with a white plimsole
Dad would never be caught dead in those. 

The first HeadStuff poetry competition was kindly judged anonymously by Colm Keegan and Erin Fornoff.

HeadStuff are extremely grateful to University College Cork, Poetry Ireland, and Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat for their generous support of the competition.

Photo by Katherine Lenhart on Unsplash