The Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Missing Soul’ by Joanna Halliday

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As Autumn kicks into gear we welcome a new face: Joanna Halliday, whose piece 'Missing Soul' becomes the latest Poem of the Week. As always, you'll find the poem in this article if you missed it when it was first posted on Write Out Loud, along with Joanna's answers to our Q&A. Happy reading!


How long have you been writing poetry and what was your initial influence for doing so?

High school was where I wrote my first poem. That was about 10 years ago. I had a lot going on and I really needed an outlet. We learned about writing poems in English class. I had a wonderful teacher who encouraged me to write! Once I got to college, I took a few courses which broadened my understanding and solidified my love and need for writing poems.

Is there a particular style of poetry that you enjoy writing more than others, if so why?

I love writing free verse and short poems and I most recently have been writing a bit of lyric poetry. I am always impressed when I come across poetry conveying large, complex ideas in so few words.

Have you ever performed your work, if so any advice for those still to do so?

I have, but to be quite honest, in mostly safe spaces up until this point. Performing my work in front of an audience whom I am unfamiliar is something I plan to do by the end of this month! It’s a goal of mine and my advice to anyone thinking about performing, I say find a local spot, bring some support and just do it!

If you could only have one poetry book which one would it be?

Anything by Sylvia Plath or Shakespeare

Which four persons, living or dead would you like to share your last meal with?

Hands down, my family. Which 4 members, I dare not say!

Missing Soul
by Joanna Halliday

I come to at half past three
in the middle of the night
and these images won't erase
I'm haunted by the tape
once it is light
your hands disappear
my brain is mine
and my limbs come crawling back
but the tape keeps playing
I know there's no escape
because night always falls
then I fall into you
and my mind leaves me
with no thoughts left to think
I make my way
the void is frictionless
when my blood turns cold
I'm not afraid
I leave my body behind
the soul finds a way
it's dark and it's silent and I can't stop
I just can't stop
I can't
it's grotesque, hate dipped love
misery and its constant compulsion
my mouth aches and you kiss me anyway
I wait for your eyes to glaze
then I wake up

◄ Poetry Competition Supports Young Persons Charity

Swiftscape: Frances White, Seventh Quarry Press ►


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Martin Elder

Sun 21st Oct 2018 15:25

A beautiful description of such an unwelcome malady and a well deserved POTW Joanna

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Sat 20th Oct 2018 22:21

I sense here a sort of compulsion in your poem Joanna. A sort of emotional detachment while in an intimate environment expressed in a sort of staccato voice. Powerful thoughts indeed. Congratulations on winning POTW.



Fri 19th Oct 2018 06:29

Congratulations Joanna, well deserved POTW.

All the best des

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Taylor Crowshaw

Thu 18th Oct 2018 17:35

Congratulations on poem of the week.. Well deserved..?

<Deleted User> (19913)

Tue 16th Oct 2018 23:44

Absolutely beautiful. Well done. ?

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John F Keane

Tue 16th Oct 2018 16:16

Very well-styled and expressed existential piece.

I note that 8 of the last 9 POTW winners have been female. Going from strength to strength in poetry, as in most other fields.

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Peter Taylor

Tue 16th Oct 2018 02:17

great build-up of tension, powerful stuff, well done.
Peter Taylor

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Joanna Halliday

Tue 16th Oct 2018 01:24

Thank you all for your kind words. I feel so welcome ?

<Deleted User> (18980)

Mon 15th Oct 2018 21:09

Congratulations Joanna!

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Jon Stainsby

Mon 15th Oct 2018 19:16

Congratulations, Joanna

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 15th Oct 2018 14:07

Can a spambot answer QA's Big Sal?

Big Sal

Mon 15th Oct 2018 13:40

Congrats, I enjoyed the poem the first time I read it.?

(Anyone else think it would be funny as hell to see a spambot make POTW one of these days, just for the hell of it???)

Please tell me I'm not the only one. . .

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 15th Oct 2018 10:47

Something that we all experience. Disturbed sleep, crazed dreams, night thoughts, irrationality it all here and succinctly put.

Well done on POTW Joanna, look forward to reading some more of your work.

<Deleted User> (19836)

Mon 15th Oct 2018 10:14

Congratulations! An exquisite expression of two battling emotions dangerously close! Well Deserved POTW!? Thank you. Jane

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