Things I Have Lost

The lovely and inspiring poet Holly Anne inspired me with her clever list poem .  I have never been able to make this work in the past, but felt she had laid down a challenge.  So here goes…

Things I Have Lost


Socks in the laundry too numerous to mention,

keys and their copies, wallets, post-it notes

and once –mortification! – a book from the library

which I paid thrice over

then found behind the wardrobe.


Shopping lists and pictures, love letters and a cow

(she found her way to church

to moo till kindly neighbours brought her home to Gran).

My heart to a hopeless cause,

sense of humour for weeks at a time.

Prescriptions and receipts – and shouting cannot replace them –

money, houses, contracts, insurance documents.

All good working pens, broken pencil stubs,

my capacity to wonder,

time, when I could have been writing.

my temper, oh, at least once a day!

Three lovers, two friends, a husband.

Jobs – yes, in plural, you heard it right –

business cards and phone numbers of key networking gurus,

the respect of the corporate world.

But the feeling is mutual.


The will to live.


My respect for politicians

blind belief in science or doctors or the bank

sense of worthiness, still searching, still in need of daily airing

when and if and ever found.

12 thoughts on “Things I Have Lost”

  1. A cow???? Lol! I wasn’t expecting that one! 😉
    Seriously though, I love your poem – the way you’ve juxtaposed the “items” on your list is very clever.
    And thank you for the flattery and the ping! I don’t think I’ve ever been pinged before! x

    1. Thanks for inspiring me – your juxtaposition was very clever and got me thinking! Yes, I was supposed to look after my grandma’s cow and managed to lose it while climbing the cherry tree and stuffing myself with fruit. I was the laughing-stock of the village for a while…

  2. Nice one. I especially like “My heart to a hopeless cause” and the way you end the poem. It sounds really good out loud, too, which is always a sticking point for me and poems.

    1. Thanks for noticing my efforts with the sound. I’m an auditive rather than a visual person, so I always hear the poems out loud in my head (and often have to say them out loud, my own and others’).

    1. Wow! That one looks hard! Congratulations for such a good result. I think it might be too much for my little brain (goes to put a cold wet flannel on her forehead in a darkened room). Seriously, I used to try really hard all those topic/stylistic/form challenges when I was in high school, churning out vilanelles and terza rimas and what not. I just can’t do it now anymore, my concentration seems to have just gone.

    1. Thanks, everyone, for such encouraging comments. This is my first list poem I have ever felt was ‘shareable’, usually I end up with such mundane drivel that it feels like my shopping list instead of a poem.

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