Poetry d’Amour 2021

Each year, WA Poets publishes an anthology of selected entries from their Poetry d’Amour Love Poetry Contest. The judge of this year’s contest, Peter Jeffery OAM, also chose the poems for inclusion in the anthology.

As always, the anthology includes a wonderful selection of poems on the subject of love in all its forms. Love of inanimate objects (such as a coffee-maker!), friendship, familial love and, of course, passionate love between two people. This year’s winning entry was written by Virginia O’Keefe and you can read her poem, and the other winning entries, here.

I was pleased to have my poem, Jim & Vera, selected for inclusion in the anthology. The poem is loosely based on a real conversation, though I’ve changed the names for the purpose of the poem.

Jim & Vera

You know he hasn’t been well
these past few weeks.
Vera looks away, fingering the brooch
on her overcoat.
He’s got a lot of fluid in his legs
and his ankles.
Well, you know he’ll be thirty-four
next birthday. Of course, she means
ninety-four. He survived Changi
all those years ago so he’s got
some age on him, that’s for sure.
She looks down at her two
navy shoes, then up again.
She leans closer to my ear.
You know my words aren’t so good
since the stroke.
I hope you can understand me.
They say he might need a stretch in hospital
to get him right. She looks down
once more. You know it’s a worry
’cause I can’t do much for myself these days.
It’s a bit of a worry you know.