And the Pick of the Month for May 2016 is… ‘Ghosted’ by Vicky Morris!

Vicky Morris’ ‘Ghosted’ clearly resonated with many voters to emerge as Ink Sweat & Tears’ Pick of the Month for May 2016.

Vicky writes poetry and short stories. She runs groups and projects for young writers. In 2013 she made the documentary – Dyslexic & Loving Words and in 2014 she won the Northern Writers Arvon Award.

She has asked that her prize of £10 be donated to a local Sheffield charity Cavendish Cancer Care.



It’s not like he’d planned to wake up
after 23 years of marriage,
to find the taps turned off,
everything dried out on the draining board,
no one checking the mains,
bulb gone in the hall,
the garden too barbered for its own good.

He laced up his quietest loafers,
grabbed some socks from the top drawer,
slid his passport from a copy of Punch,
loaded his toolboxes into the car.
While she stared at the TV she’d never watched before.
It’s plug without a fuse,
remote control in the drawer.


Voters’ comments included:

I love the simplicity of imagery – the quietness in the husband and wife after a long marriage. The feeling of isolation, separation and bleakness is palpable.

A sense of loss I’ve seen that really struck a chord with me

The imagery, words, and sense of raw emotion

Such a beautiful poem with very powerful words, I was moved after reading this!

accurately sums up a feeling which is almost impossible to explain. Very sensitive and clever

Beautiful, almost prose style, captures that peculiar feeling of grief that comes with middle age

It makes you curious about the bigger picture but with no need for further details.

poetic lucid view of domestic life and relationships at the end

It reminds me of a life I choose not to have


Comments on the rest of the shortlist:

Helen Calcutt, ‘Bird’

Such unusual images – so authentic and strong – a total commitment to language and an utter (and refreshing) absence of cliche. One of a very few poems I’ve read online in recent moths that would genuinely encourage me to seek out the author’s works.

Carrie Etter, ‘The Find’

Love the strange surrealness, feels almost like a mini-movie.

Brian Johnstone, ‘Pledge’

I felt like I knew what it was like to make that pledge.

Susie Wild. ‘In case…’

I liked the social commentary behind this poem, its dryness, and also the way it exposes the dislocation behind our ‘so-called’ connectivity.

Phil Wood, ‘Cardigan Bay’

Simple presentation of a strong image as well as the father/son interaction.

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