'Lost' by Chris Hubbard is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week

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‘Lost’ by Chris Hubbard is the new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week. Chris, a retired academic originally from Lincolnshire and now based in Australia, took a creative writing course during his degree studies more than 20 years ago, and was “hooked from then on”. But until he discovered Write Out Loud, he had not published any of his creative work, and has not yet read at any open-mic nights. His favourite poet is Auden, and his favourite poem is ‘Fern Hill’ by Dylan Thomas.



What got you into writing poetry, and how long have you been writing?

Around 22 years ago, I began a bachelor degree in politics and government which had scope for optional first-year units. One of them was a creative writing course, with emphasis on poetry. I was hooked from then on, and have never really stopped writing it. That would have been around 1994.


Do you go to any open-mic nights?

I have thought about going to open mic events here in Perth, but somehow never did. As a retired academic (I started getting educated at the age of 40 and received my doctorate in 2001) I am not fazed by talking in front of large groups; I suppose I simply didn't have confidence that my material was good enough to perform. At my age, and with many years writing, I now have that confidence, although there is limited scope in Perth. Having said all that, I now remember that I did do some very shaky performances of the poetry I was creating during that far-off university poetry class. I recall that I received some positive responses to it at the time.


What’s your favourite poet/ poem?

My all-time favourite poet has to be WH Auden. I'll nominate my all-time favourite poem as Dylan Thomas' ‘Fern Hill’ because of its incredible lyricism and magical imagery.


You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?

A computer with eternal internet access, and which never runs out of battery!





by Chris Hubbard 


Lost when your eyes are too wide,

lost when the sky

shouts high notes

when it should be whispering;


lost when the fires die.


Lost when complete strangers

give you the finger and grin,

or when the beer and the noise stop

and you can hear you own ears hissing;



when a mother-of-pearl sunset

in the corner of your eye flicks

into slate and steel,



when the car hits a roadblock

on the wide freeway

and I should care but don't,

and nobody notices;



when good-looking people

with wide smiles and intelligent eyes

talk about their lives

like a slow dissolve;



when the rumble and shout

of city streets disappears

like the click of fingers

and turns into a silent film

of a silent city;


lost in the one-way system

in a wrong-way way,

and before you know it

it's four a.m., with the radio on ...


… and the stale smoke room

is also cold, like winter clouds,

and I must have been asleep,

but not you,

because your eyes are still wide,

and lost,


as I am when blank minds skitter

through discarded wasteland

with knives in their shoes

and graffiti in their eyes,



because everybody's talking

and I'm listening to no-one but you,

avoiding eye contact in corridors,

banging fists on brick walls,

because they don't make a noise

like a wooden door,


a door which might open

and show the sticky floor beyond;



when friends forget to call

and their machine's switched off,

and beyond the Frigidaire's compressor buzz

you can hear the V8s spin and growl

in their nocturnal walz,


beneath the billowing sky galleons

and big-drop showers,

back-lit by the Moon, angling

and rushing off Southern Ocean combers,

as down payment on next summer's survival.


Lost, because all this

squeezes my skull

tight around my brain

and my sight goes

and light becomes shadow,

or only blackness;


rips at my clothes,

tears my skin off,

leaves me blind and naked,

burning in the studio Klieg lights,

says “bless your heart”

and strolls slowly away, laughing quietly.





◄ Jackie Wills to judge £400 South Downs poetry festival competition

Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club tonight ►


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Julian (Admin)

Wed 22nd Feb 2017 07:28

HI Chris

The event I pointed out to you from our gig guide is now run by Elio Novello, who has kindly let me know about others in Perth that you might be interested to try:

Perth Poetry Club, every Saturday afternoon
Perth Spoken Word, every Wednesday fortnight evening
Voicebox Fremantle, last Monday evening of each month

We would love to get reports or reviews of the events, and would be very grateful if you were able to take some of our flyers along to them – which we can supply electronically - and let them know they can list on our worldwide poetry gig guide.

My contact is Elio Novello, Perth Poetry Club - perthpoetryclub@gmail.com and I am sure he will let you know the details.
0417 345 863
Another Perth poet has just uploaded a poem on here about her daughter’s artwork https://www.writeoutloud.net/public/blogentry.php?blogentryid=64913

By absolute coincidence I was reading all about Western Australia just the other day. It sounds quite a place, if very remote from the rest of Oz. a bit different from Lincolnshire.

Again, the comments on your work are very well deserved.


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Nicola Beckett

Tue 21st Feb 2017 20:55

Love this. It's haunting x

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Stu Buck

Tue 21st Feb 2017 13:29

tis a cracker for sure. i havent read many lines that sum up that need to fill your brain with distractions than

when the beer and the noise stop

and you can hear you own ears hissing;

worthy winner id say.

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Laura Taylor

Tue 21st Feb 2017 13:23

Ahh, this is an amazing poem - I've not been around that much myself so only just seen this. Congratulations, a worthy winner.

Re 'there is limited scope in Perth' - I see Julian's posted a link but you know, you could always start up a night yourself. If there's limited scope, I bet there's tons of poets would welcome an open mic night!

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Julian (Admin)

Mon 20th Feb 2017 17:44

Shades of the beats in this, Chris. I love the rhythm to it and the stream of consciousness style of it, riffing on the urban landscape like an Oz Howl.

I love that it has come, fremantling its way from Western Australia. Excellent!

Are you aware of the long-standing open-floor poetry night in Perth that has been listed on our website for several years now: https://www.writeoutloud.net/public/eventview.php?day=04&month=03&year=2017&eventID=6026

Perhaps you could go to the night, read your poetry there AND write us a report about the evening? It is the only antipodean poetry night on our famous poetry gig guide, all alone there near the coming together of the Indian and Southern Oceans.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 20th Feb 2017 13:25

This covers so much ground, but your skill of isolating disparate ideas and their related imagery keeps injecting the reader with incentive to read on. The rewards just keep multiplying. That is a killer final thrust.

It's been weeks since I've been on site.

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Chris Hubbard

Mon 20th Feb 2017 09:18

Many thanks to Colin, J., and Graham for their kind and encouraging remarks. It's one thing to admire one's own work from the myopic and self-absorbed perspectives.

Although a poet's work is its own reward, a measure of support from others in the field also feels fantastic. This will give me a further push to keep going!

Chris Hubbard

<Deleted User> (13762)

Sun 19th Feb 2017 13:15

enjoyed this first time around and good to read again as POTW.

My attention was caught by the picture of the sea and together with the title made me think of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 that disappeared in 2014. The Australians played a key role in trying to locate the missing plane as I am sure you will be well aware of living in Perth.

I read it again and re-imagined how each stanza could be applied to that tragedy. Some worked and some didn't but it was interesting nonetheless.

Congrats on POTW Chris. All the best,

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Sun 19th Feb 2017 11:30

Was a good read, great rhythm

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Graham Sherwood

Sun 19th Feb 2017 11:04

If there is one good reason to run POTW it is to be given the opportunity to read great poems that you missed when they were originally posted/and or you had forgotten.

I must look at WOL ten times a day for new member/moderation purposes but still managed to miss this.

There are too many good lines in this to single one out.

Well done Chris

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