Jackie Kay



By Jackie Kay in collaboration with Soup Collective 

A brand new commission for Lightwaves 2017 ( 8 17 December 2017)

International novelist, University of Salford Chancellor and Scotland’s national poet, Jackie Kay has produced a brand new, large-scale commission neon word sign, which spans 15 metres in length across the Plaza outside The Lowry.  Jackie Kay was invited to choose a sentence that for her sums up this year.  The neon (LED) word art spells out ‘I Forgot To Say,’ with the latter, ‘To Say’, illuminating and increasing in intensity and colour when audiences leave their messages. . In response to the messages left, Jackie Kay will produce a brand new poem in early 2018. Jackie Kay’s first poem is here below.


I Forgot to say


I forgot to say

I do love you, or even goodbye, that day,

at least I think I forgot –

the problem with forgetting is

you’re never sure what you’ve forgotten –

but either way, I’m not one hundred percent

what difference it would have made anyway.


I forgot to say,

come what may,

the seen, the unforeseen,

this endless day,

I will love you anyway;

even when facing the other way…

or when your faults accumulate by the day,

or when looking back things go astray,

or when the good memories will not stay,

or when nothing stands in the way

of this heavy, very heavy heart, hey,

this old heart of mine…

and nothing can be done, eh?


I forgot to say

that if the dead still live

although I leave you, day by buried day,

day by burnt ash day,

it’s a bright blue winter’s sky, bare trees,

and all that obstructs the path of love

is the kick of leaves.


I forgot to say a proper goodbye, au revoir,

adieu, auf wiedersehen, laters…

to think, before I said the heart-stopping words,

to get it right in my head.

I forgot to say I’m forgetting things.

But anyway, it was only yesterday,

only I think yesterday

when I forgot to say

I love you, my dear, most dearly.


So, let me take back I love you,

or take back the farewell.

Or forget it… and forget it.