‘One of those Weird Unexpected Moments’ by Hazel Ettridge is Write Out Loud’s Poem of the Week

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One of those weird unexpected moments certainly attracted some comments when Hazel Ettridge posted it on Write Out Loud.  Her modest response to being chosen as Poem of the Week was to say ‘Thanks, but there have been some much better poems around the site recently. This was not good poetry, just proved to be a controversial subject.’ We think it’s more than that, and we hope you enjoy it. Here it is, along with Hazel’s answers to our Q&A.

What got you into writing poetry?
Roger McGough's Summer with Monika.


How long have you been writing?
Writing since age 5 - I am that little girl, who has a little curl .... WRITING?  - still not sure that I am.
Do you go to any open mic nights?
No. But thinking about it after hearing local poet Kate Tym at a Jo Brand gig this week.


What is your favourite poet/poem?
I have so many. Anything by Mary Oliver - perhaps The Journey.


You are cast away on a desert island, what is your luxury?
Sun cream.

One of those weird unexpected moments.
by Hazel Ettridge

They lay humped on the ground
Like war strewn bodies
But they were only sleeping
In early morning sun in Euston Square.
I had twenty minutes before my connection
Ran into M&S to buy ten packets of custard creams.
I lay them on the grass, one for each slumbering man.
He stirred and stood quickly swearing at me.
He threw the packet at my head.
"Keep away from my patch you bloody bitch"
He stumbled forward and loomed over me.
A young family sitting on a bench watched.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry if I have trespassed"
"Get away from here". He moved closer, gesturing.
I was looking into his eyes. I couldn't help it.
He was just a man.
He was in pain.
It was an intimate moment
For me.
He stopped. Looking back into my eyes. Lowered his voice.
"You are not open."
He turned away.


◄ A "certain type of experience" with Travis Alabanza

Short story vending machines offer literary treats ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 8th Jul 2018 19:54

Yahoo! For you!!!

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Sat 7th Jul 2018 07:48

Huge congratulations on POTW - well-deserved!
When I was studying at WAAPA/ECU in Perth, Rodger McGough was a visiting poet. It was lovely to meet and to hear about his inspirations.
Looking forward to more of your words.

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Jon Stainsby

Wed 4th Jul 2018 13:49

Well deserved.

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Darren J Beaney

Tue 3rd Jul 2018 18:27



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Brian Maryon

Mon 2nd Jul 2018 17:22

Well done Hazel...much deserved.

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Mon 2nd Jul 2018 12:01

A nice treat for you Hazel to ascend to the dizzy heights of POTW. It is as you say the reporting of an incident like this that compels attention. I think it's strength may be that in itself it does not cast judgment - which gives it extra impact, leaving us to do the analysing.


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Martin Elder

Mon 2nd Jul 2018 10:39

Hazel you have illuminated something quite poignant at the moment in this poem around homelessness and peoples reactions to each other in these situations and what might be expected.
a great poem well deserved

<Deleted User> (13762)

Mon 2nd Jul 2018 09:29

Hello Hazel, I'm reading Roger McGough at the moment - isn't his writing wonderful, as in full of wonder? My old profile bio mentioned that I liked to explore those little moments in life that happen upon us without warning or something along those lines so it's good to see that echoed in this piece. Poetry for me is all about drilling down into the core of those moments and questioning why they happen in the context of our own lives. We don't always have the answers but as writers we attempt to gain some further insight through our words. Well done for being chosen for POTW. Col.

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keith jeffries

Mon 2nd Jul 2018 08:40

Very well done and congratulations on POTW. It is well earned.

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