Today, I sent five poems to the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s national contest. They are entitled “Stranger in the Night,” “I Walk Alone,” “Excuses,” “Cancer,” and “Death of a Hard Drive.” I could win as much as a hundred dollars, and one or more of my poems could be published in the organization’s quarterly magazine, The Poets Touchstone. These poems have not been published anywhere else.
“Stranger in the Night” was inspired by an incident that happened last year. A man with blond hair wearing a dark shirt, work boots, and a baseball cap entered a house and threatened a woman with serious bodily harm. She and her children fled, and the police notified neighbors within a one-mile radius, myself included. When I answered the phone, an automated voice told me to lock all doors and resume normal activity but be vigilant. Later, the perpetrator was found and charged with a lesser crime. He never went to jail so in a sense, he’s still lurking, but as I said in my poem, life goes on.
“I Walk Alone” is about how I walk around town with my white cane. Last year, I submitted this poem to an anthology of poems with the same titles as Sammy Cahn songs. I never heard back from the editor of this anthology so I’m giving up on that one. The original title of the poem was “I’ll Walk Alone” since that’s the title of one of Sammy Cahn’s songs, but I changed it to “I Walk Alone” because the poem is in the present tense.
“Excuses” is about what you might say to your spouse when you’re late getting home. “Cancer” is an account of how my mother suffered and died as a result of the dreaded disease.
“Death of a Hard Drive” is the story of how the hard drive on my old Macintosh computer finally decided it was time to go. I’d recently bought a PC and transferred most of my files to the new computer. I guess my old Mac knew it would soon be put out to pasture.
If you’re a poet, there’s still time to enter the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s national contest, but hurry! The postmark deadline is Monday, November 15th. Entries must be submitted by mail, and the fee is $3.00 for the first poem and $2.00 for each additional one. Visit http://www.poetrysocietyofnewhampshire.org/contest.html for guidelines.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome