Lost poem


I had begun the poem after work one day, on a pad of work-related notes. Get in, get out, I thought, before they come to get you, before you are found out. Not much of a poem, and not much of a start, but a start nevertheless. I almost never remember anything about writing poems. This one was slightly different, in that I knew I was saying something I ‘shouldn’t’, which other people might not like. For its tone. Maybe its content. It was not (is not) a nice poem. Which is why I knew I needed to begin writing it, to see where that not-niceness might take me. I did and did not like writing it. And then life and work intervened and I forgot all about the poem until the other day when the content -that’s not the right word- I mean the tone of the poem entered my head again while I was washing up or looking up a reference or something. A kind of hissy, quite-pleased with itself tone, a tone taking pleasure in not being very cuddly. And I knew I had to go back to it, right there, and finish the job off, while that tone was still in my head and before they came to get me. But no. The poem was not there. Not in the meticulously-kept filing system (ahem) of my drafts folder, not in the maybe-this-is-a-pile-of-crap-drafts folder (which is really just a lot of scribble on the backs of envelopes, nor even in the (ahem) filing system (ahem) of the pile on my desk (ahem). Where was it? A frantic, on-off, three-day search ensued. The poem was nowhere to be seen. I began to consider the possibility that I had hallucinated writing the poem. I had forgotten everything about it, except for that tone. And that I had used squared paper to write it on. It dawned on me that I had made the schoolboy error of letting the poem know I was interested in it. A terrible mistake, like doing photocopying in a hurry. The machine will always see you coming. A new search began. Not for the poem, but the pad. I found it in three minutes. Right there in front of me all along, in a pile on the desk. Where I had already looked. The lost poem.


I still have not finished it. I may need to forget all about it, or lose it again, before this can happen.


  1. Ant, you’ve done it again, brilliant almost reminds me of some of my dreams, where can’t put things back together.

    Very good enjoyed very much, keep up the good work old bean !!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it Anthony – enjoyed the reference to the filing – made me smile! 🙂
    About a year ago I started two poems, a one-liner and a longer piece about a wonderful person I once knew – both unfinished!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have heaps and heaps of stuff – and every so often , like the moment too – I get that Must get that one! It can take days, and if I’m lucky I find it. Usually disappointed.
    Tried doing this on computer but that’s even worse. I do find I have a kind of memory of the kind of paper, form of notebook, colour of ink – but using computer memory as a store too, addles the memory.
    With college notes, I found on re-reading them years and years later brought back when I made them: what kind of day it was weatherwise, a feel for the room’s atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is it in how writing something down sets it in the memory. I should say, supposedly there – writing down a shopping list does not mean I remember everything on it. Even when it’s in my pocket!


  4. Oh yes, the lost piece of paper. I’m sure we have al been there.
    I hope you don’t mind, but this was written a while ago. I never did find te lost gem

    Looking for inspiration
    One night, weeks ago
    I scribbled down a thought
    on a scrap of paper, and tucked it inside
    the top drawer of my bedside cabinet,
    then, knowing it was safe
    I slept.

    Tonight I hunted for the words
    not knowing what they said
    knowing that when I saw then
    I’d know them –
    but the hunt was useless.

    I found various scribblings- two quotations,
    for example:
    To the world you may be one person.
    To one person you might be the world
    soon today’s future will be tomorrow’s past,
    it doesn’t take long to make history

    plus a small piece of paper with my bank balance, in March
    along with the words, a farmer planting his lines
    in black felt-tipped felt pen, and under the tissue box
    a Bridport Prize entry form (out of date).

    The pencilled gem was not to be found –
    never to be developed
    into anything more profound than
    an empty memory
    of a flash of inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m just finding your blog today, though you wrote it days ago. It was a pleasure to read. Really enticing, relaxing, and it seemed to carry it’s own rhythm even though it isn’t written like a poem. What is a poem that isn’t a poem? I’ve forgotten, but there is a word, isn’t there?

    Liked by 1 person

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