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We need your help! Cast your vote to choose six poems to appear on PoGo (Poetry on the Go) – a new augmented reality app which will showcase poetry to young people across Europe.
Young Notts poets have submitted their words. You can help us choose which six will appear on the app. The winning entries will appear alongside poetry from young writers in Denmark, Germany, Poland, Romania & Turkey.
PoGo stands for Poetry on the Go. The project is a joint effort between organisations from six European countries: the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Romania & Turkey.
A mobile app will be developed. It will use Augmented Reality to showcase poetry to young people across Europe. Poetry by Nottingham and Nottinghamshire residents will sit alongside classic works from the countries involved. It will also feature writing by professional contemporary poets. Stickers, badges, postcards, beer mats, posters that launch the app will be distributed to libraries, schools, universities, gyms, sport clubs, music clubs, restaurants, cafes and bars in the partner countries.
This project, and the resulting app, aims bring together young people across Europe to explore their diversity whilst discovering what unites them.
Read the poems below, make a note of your favourite six poems and then vote for them using the poll at the bottom of this page.
The deadline for making your selection is 31st January 2021.
I fall into my groove,
Effortlessly you know, throwing on my
Unique individual self like a onesie,
Baggy to perfection.
I’m so colourful, cover your ears.
My pinks blind strangers into submission.
My yellows are so sour you’d think your tongue
Would just, like,
My shoes don’t match?
That doesn’t mean they can’t kick your ass.
Sadly, they’re just TOO mature
To fight it out right now.
I’ll let you roll your eyes at my
Really cool bow tie.
I might be smiling, but my sparkly headband
Is glaring at you like Tybalt at
Poor, dead Mercutio.
the crow sounds bright, a morning sun
delayed though here at last to rise
and set as gods discern demise
through squinting leaves: the day has won.
the night long fought the night long thought
and somehow i am here thereafter,
through squinting leaves i hear their laughter
sounding bright and so it ought.
the silence closed a breath not there
to fall and rest in blessed dell,
my lungs were wings and here is hell,
no storm nor sea could clear this air,
for days are waiting jilted urns
and from the day there are no turns.
I’m at the window
watching him go
on dates with you
like I used to
and it stings
seeing him do the things,
that I should have.
He notices the changes in your hair
tells you he’ll always be there
tells you that you look great
at least thirty-eight times a day
and isn’t afraid to say
he loves you,
to anyone that’ll listen.
I wish I was in his position.
I’m missing your kiss
and whilst he’s biting your lip
I’ll bite my own,
Because you’re happy now.
And that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Reflected in the broken glass and your home stands burning in an empty road
You are what you’ve seen or so I’m told
The cut might bleed but your heart is gold
Stand for something
Or die for nothing
Be yourself don’t go self destructing
The walls of Rome collapsing and I’m finding myself in the ashes
There’s no wonder the philosophers so unkind
Baby blue eyes but brutalized
Was born and got a death sentence for living
Don’t stress yourself, express self
a day in the life of lockdown.
forever riddled with guilt
the day begins as it ends
we’re exhausted of being exhausted
allowing feeble brains to rot away through our square eyes
nightmares emerge as daydreams
seeing relatives on screens,
delighted to even speak to those
who hardly ever seem keen
chores & snores a common occurrence
it’s such an effort to clean
but distraction is inevitable
as we all patiently wait for a vaccine.
“And with the stroke of a reed…”
And with the stroke of a reed I
download my memories
so that they might prosper and
multiply, my mind exist outside
itself and bulge bulbous beyond
the brain’s chamber, pink flesh
pressed against dry
bone – that my thoughts may be known
for every tomorrow, or til the ink
sundrunk fades or paper shreds
or we lose our eyes to read,
til the burning of the libraries
may I remain known, may I
As her hand slipped into mine,
Her soft skin brushing against my palm
I knew i would face the devil in the eyes,
When this life was finally up
If only to enjoy her touch
For a minute more
And as I took in the freckles on her nose
And the way the light made her hair look
As if it were spun from fine gold
I wondered how something this beautiful
Something this perfect
Could ever be a sin
Peace and unity we all seek.
Plant the seeds of love, watch them turn into trees.
Greet the people with ease, relieve all grief.
Let the pain leave, you just need to breathe.
See beauty in the oceans, go chill by the seas.
Every now and then I feel we need to retreat.
Receiving blessings daily, by the One who made me.
Fighting my ego till it’s zero and deceased.
Approach the vision you saw with a golden eye
Your heart should bond with the line of loving life
Inspire to aspire the youth and never be confined
To the box of being destitute, you yourself are a prize
Destined for a date with destiny wearing a suit n tie
Conversation over red wine flows like silk in the night
As she tells you you’re champion
And that them passionate eyes…
Are really showing her that there is a warrior inside
Brightly lit headlights clear a path.
Cigarette fumes lingering in the air.
Wet grass and fog cover the scent with nature’s reek.
Street lights loom over your head.
Grit cushioning the soles of your wellies.
Car engines zooming past with alongside empty pavements
Stars shining in a sea of iridescent glitter.
Venus watching over our ways with serenity.
The moon staring with such stillness.
Clouds struggling to shine through.
Misty air breathing through a gentle wind.
Rain settling like snow should.
Winter coats two-sizes too big.
Scarves and gloves tickling our skin quietly.
Legs quivering in the cold air.
The sun was a eye watching the world passing by giving us hope for a better future. The summer was a time for play and to climb mountains once perceived as impossible. A table once use I started to abuse because there was no choice when you live next to a holder; like a cardboard folder from a college students cupboard filled with work that shouldn’t be there. The eye keeps looking and the eye would return.
In case you have forgotten carry your worth and your wallet in the same place, remember
the process of self healing is as beautiful as falling in love all over again
Wrapping yourself up within your own warmth,
Being at ease with your own company,
Not romanticising your reality but being comfortable and present in the places you stand
Shower yourself in so much love so that when hands that might mean your harm caress or coat your skin not a brush of a finger tip will be able to shake you.
You owe yourself that and so much more
how to get to sleep for city dwellers
when digits on your phone shine moon-bright in the darkness slip
between the waters of bedsheet & blanket sirens &
cars racing past will try to lull you into night’s chaos but in your head
try your hardest to build a daydream out of walls
in your memory swim away to some place of sand & sea some place
where waves lap gently
over you & laughter soars through sky far away
from your city’s quivering lights
Pain, like arrows fall
a pair of baby shoes sit
for sale. never worn
There once was a rat in a sewer
Who’s tail grew bluer and bluer
his fashion was rad
but his grammar was bad
so he kept saying less and not fewer
The sea air brushes my hair,
the ghost of fallen maidens screaming in my ear so I won’t join their ranks, in that aimless amble through that abyss.
The waves crash below me a terrifying reality of my decision.
But in this second they reassure me partly a warning, partly a comforting whisper.
I glance at the incoming storm clouds, seemingly so far away and yet so near, the incoming conflict rolling closer and those ink dot clouds prowling forward.
Icarus beckons me forward, his hand outstretched, the wax shining in the last rays of sun. I take his hand and we perform our last dance. As I lay my head back and laugh like the myth beside me, Helios shielding his eyes from us.
You are not the hero of my story.
You are as much a shining knight
as I am a damsel in distress.
But, when the story ends,
You are all I have.
I will let You wrap me in silken lies.
(Ignoring the claws in my skin and your hand on my thigh)
I will let you hold me tight, listen to the poison drip
(“I am your salvation” )
of your whisper in my ear.
Because while You are not my hero,
There are worse things in the dark
Then a boy playing at being a dragon.
It’s not Love.
It doesn’t need to be.
In a fish tank world,
With our hands pressed against the glass,
faces blurred by condensation,
There is distance between us.
But, while your hand is not in mine,
and my hand is not in yours,
Our hearts beat in time.
In this fish tank world, we take what we can get.
Through this screen, through this call,
Because while this is not Love
It could be.
And isn’t that enough?
Consider this, my letter;
Not the words, written in ink.
Not the paper, crumpled and torn.
My letter is, when it comes down to it,
An accumulation of detail.
The sweeping of the dust,
From the shelf you could never reach.
The folding of the clothes,
You never put away yourself.
In these things, read my life.
Read between the lines-
Can you see it? My love, for you?
In every action, in every comma.
(I wish you had.)
Consider this, my letter.
When the shelf grows dusty,
When the clothes grow wrinkled.
Will you notice? Will you care?
I’m not really on fire.
She says she feels like she’s burning too, and I love her all the same.
She loves me all the same.
We’re tethered. Protected from spiralling.
Her warming my hands as we stand in the cold is simple, yet monumentous. Even if we grow up and apart, this anchored feeling may remain.
Your beautiful, messy, human self
to love mine.
You share my messy, terrifying, weighted thoughts and neither of us are broken. You love me when I don’t think anybody should.
You don’t have to.
We’re not on fire. I promise.
All the things we should be
All the times we should have chosen
differently, should have thought
differently, should have been
We should refrain, should stop
we should choke
before we utter the word
for to should someone is
to break someone.
To should is to shame
to make a problem
to taint perfection
The only way to bring peace
of mind is to stop
shoulding each other,
to should no one.
The only should that shall prevail
is the should-not-should,
a unique should
to end all shoulds,
the last should
A Golden Shovel
If it seems to you that nobody
thinks about the bigger picture, it appears that everyone exists
just to waste time on
a seemingly endless roller-coaster without purpose.
We wallow in the thought that nobody
knows what happens once our body belongs
to the lifeless earth. Absolutely anywhere
we go, we’re reminded that we’re
insignificant in comparison to all
the stars in the universe, slowly going
through an endless journey to
another point in space to die.
Sometimes it’s best to come
back to the present; you can watch
your future or you can simply watch TV.
My trike who likes to serve, waits where I leave it
butler hired for life, tired as a miner covered in mud
My trike doesn’t cry during a chain transplant
carrying my shopping and friend soldiers on without complaint
My trike in a room full of forgotten furniture
cherished like a missing child returned to its parents
My trike with brakes worn like old shoes flat and torn
old wounded horse with only love left to give
My trike on its deathbed, a bed of scrapyard metal
a single raindrop running down its face