Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011


by Simon Daniels

Why can’t eyes be fingers?
Then there’d be no need for a nervy stare
just a soft tap
on someone’s wrist.
Why can’t tears be laughter?
Daft as it sounds, it could work.
Mourners would laugh themselves silly at the graveside
and hopeless romantics could ditch the Kleenex
in favour of some special corset
before sitting down to watch a laughie.
Why can’t hate be love?
Then divorce would end in marriage
and all the tyrants and despots
on the planet
would be canonised by the Pope on Sundays.
Why can’t death be life?
so the crowd gathered
around my sister’s mini
clapped and whistled her into this world,
not stared her into the next.

Added: 12.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


Very intelligent and poignant images. Such a sad story, so matter-of-fact. Love it.


Very strong opening and closing stanzas. This poem suffers from cliches in its middle stanzas, however. Striking and intelligent ideas.


I enloyed the unusual, surrealistic images and at the centre a very moving personal story. I loved 'clapped and whistled her into this world