DWT Poetry Competition: Second Round


Welcome to the second round of our poetry competition. The first one got over 200 votes already, so we are on to a good start. In this round I made an effort to publish each poem as it was submitted. If you are one of the participants and believe that your poem is not formatted correctly just contact me and I’ll fix it promptly.

Finally, remember that if you are an RSS or email subscriber you’ll not see the poll to cast your vote, so please click on the title of this post to visit the site if you want to vote.

1. To Youth by Betty Harcourt

Across the miles I heard your cry —
I turned aside to see your face
But only a shadow passed me by
And there was emptiness in its place.

Was I too late? Should I have raced?
Why did you cry then turn your face?

“Was there anything I could have done?” I cried
Probably not, but I would have tried.

I reached out to touch you—
once more you passed me by.
Yet I still could hear a faint, distant cry.
I wept—What is your inner strife?

Will you live a full or have a wasted life?

Even though I knew the answers lie within,
For each of us fear our hidden sins.
What a shame we cannot buy or give to one another
Salvation, peace of mind and knowing all
Men as our brother.

Alas! All of this is free
For everyone, including you and me.

Then why do we wait? What is wrong?
Do we prefer discord to a melodious song?

2. Advice From a Tree by Cathy Rotunda

“Are you the person you aspired to be?”
I asked the tall, strong maple tree.
It did not reply.
It stood there and sighed,
“You have to ask? You cannot see?”
“See what? I’m looking, but do not know
Just what your plans were long ago,
When you were young,
When you first begun
Your life’s long journey toward the sun.”
“Young woman, step back!” the tree remarked.
“You’re way too close to my bark.
My cracks are wide
And no longer hide
The sap that’s oozing from deep inside.”
“Don’t look too close, lest you will see
My pain, the stains, the cacophony,
Which are all too often
Quickly forgotten
As they should be,” explained the tree.
“Climb to the top of that yonder hill,
And then continue on further still,
Then you decide
Where to abide
Cultivating your own pace and stride.”
“What kind of advice is that?” I cracked.
“It’s lacking in any warmth and tact.
“I ask, you see,
‘Cause I believe
My life’s not going as it could be.”
“Could, should, would? What nonsense is this?
You people think life should be nothing but bliss!
You want some advice?
You’d better think twice
About setting your sights on everything nice.”
“Establish some roots while reaching for stars.
Shed the dead, shake off the bizarre.
Shelter the weak,
And all the while tweak
Your growth rings of nourishment while reaching your peek.”
“But if you believe you must ask of a tree,
About life and growth and how to be free,
Don’t look too close.
Trust me, it’s gross.
You’ll see nothing but bugs if you hold me too close.”
“But Tree,” I replied, “You surely must know
How astounding you are in the spring or the snow.
I’m surprised you’re so gruff.
From down here you seem tough.
You’re so big and so strong and must have the right stuff.”
“Now you’ve got it,” the tree said, sounding protective.
“What’s important are not parts, but instead, the collective.
It’s the overall vision
Of all my decisions
That displays my success you’ve tried to envision.”
“So look not at the details in those you admire.
Contentment and happiness are things you require,
If you want to have hope
You weren’t known as a dope
By your friends at the end of life’s long, slippery slope.”

3. Remnants by Hannah L.

The world is cold through her eyes: bitter, grey.
Ice and steel,
wrenching pain and spite,
and the distant melodies of sorrow among the ashes.
Memories that surround her still, as a charred whirlwind,
engulf her in a hollow sympathy.
The horizon is hazy, clouded with returning tears.
A riddled future, and the past still taunts her;
Its glare overshadows the plains where once she trod.
The resonance of such a look evokes an aura of fear,
and chokes the remnants of hope that linger within.
These shredded souls are now scattered into the void,
for the world is jeering, marred and bitter,
so bitter.

4. Birthmark by Katherine Denison

If your mother, or your grandmother,
or your lovely aunt,
someone who holds you close in laughter
and swears devotion,
if this woman wears a birthmark over her face
like a whispering silk scarf,
if this wing of color and this promise of surprise
sweeps from under her hair, across her lips,
flowing under her sturdy jaw, purple, powerful,
would you never be satisfied with symmetry,
would you turn away from flatter plains of unstreaked flesh,
crave lovers with dancing veins on one leg,
with a gash inside one thigh,
with a swath of charred skin running along
the western hillocks of the spine?
Would what you love become the standard of your search,
the measure of your breathlessness,
the gait of your heart’s fast trot through blind woods?
Would you always wonder, in befuddled fury,
why you drive toward erratic form, to shapes
that sway and will not bend to reason?
Would you in your groping, take in the lame,
or decorate with shards and findings, none whole?
Would you wear one unmatched clip, one fine Italian shoe,
swing your hair sharply to the left side, shave the right?
Would you wonder, in the breezes of one open window,
how you can find that balance in imbalance,
that disconcerting perfect flow across the face of love?

5. Stormy Night by Arjun Puri

Branches sway, leaves fray,
The trunk shudders and groans
Raindrops sting, power lines swing,
The wind howls and moans
Hard falls the rain
Fast spreads the stain
The purple night swells like an angry ocean
Battered by waves of pain

Clouds scud by, a tempest on high
The sky flashes incandescent
Memories burn, thoughts churn
A heart beats reminiscent
Seven colours that bind
The restless kind
Are hard to see
In a world gone blind

6. Another Day by Scott G Schoenknecht

Cherish the days you spend in love
For the moments are fleeting with nothing left
But the memories in your heart of fonder days
That started oh so innocently with a smile that was surely meant for another
Knowing all too soon the path you must take
Betrayed by wisdom, desiring only to grasp the delicate bud
That is beginning to reach towards the sun for its turn at life
All the while hoping only to embrace the gentle warmth of friendship
It begins with a glance, an unspoken word, the sound of a voice
A careless touch so soft that merely it’s thought alters the coldest of hearts
Into that which men refuse to confess, even unto themselves
And suddenly, what seems a lifetime of diversion turns into thoughts of lust and passion
How enticing this surreal thing called love,
Like flickering candles dancing on a bedroom wall
Silently exposing shadows that one can almost touch, only to gradually disappear
As what once was one now sadly become two again
Cherish the days you spend in love
For the moments are fleeting with nothing left
But a hole in your heart from memories of fonder days
That ended so innocently with a smile that was hopelessly meant for another.

7. Word For You by Virginia Gozali

Never have I imagined
I would fall this deep
The wide ocean and the height of the mountain
can’t defeat my love for you~

The softness of your eyes
As if singing me a lullaby
Bringing me the love
that I’ve never felt before

Your voice that echo in my dream
as if telling me that
I’ll be yours forever.
Your touch makes me believe
that tomorrow will be our future

Your smile makes me realize
that this world is worth living.
I am touched
by the warmth of your heart

I didn’t realize
that my feelings
will grow bigger and bigger

I didn’t realize
that my love for you
has awaken the real me

I didn’t realize
that actually I live in my own dream.
The dream that my mind create
the endless happiness that I want to feel

I didn’t realize
that broken heart
would be this hurt
the aching inside my heart,
the big hollow inside me,
that ripped my heart inside out

I didn’t realize
that the hurt I felt,
the ache I have,
made me can’t cry nor feel

I have now realized
that actually your heart and my heart
will never meet each other
we are two souls that have our own journey

for we are…
143,5 cm apart

8. My Truth by Clara Freeman

We say karma to unexplained things
Faith as small as a mustard seed…mama’s favorite words
When he came to visit me
there had been weeks into
sleepless nights of turmoil
holes punched into the walls of my truth
questions lay unanswered
heavy upon a chest alive with
images gone array…

I remember awakening to a presence
my bedroom walls painted white
Was I imagining this shapeless/ formless mist of movement hovering about?

The pinch is real upon my flesh
my eyes focus around the room’s interior
Everything is as it should be.
I feel not afraid
intuitively aware; This essence were not angels sent at his command,
but something yet not explained…

No brevity of calm … lingering, soothing, reminders
of my faith…
that I am a member of his flock.
He came of his own accord,
to comfort me,
Tell me: “Peace… be stilled child!”

This morning I am awakened
by a gentle nudge
March 1st…my mother’s birth into life.
Her angel spirit encouraging me to rise
It’s time! she whispers…

I’m making coffee in the wee hours . The coolness of kitchen tile greet bare feet.
After four years I remain humbled by his visit
HE is my shepherd.
He keeps a watchful eye.
It’s time …

9. Washed Away by Leonora Pinto

the clouds were throwing tantrums at her
their waters swallowed a drink of her
a lap of ankles a sip of knees a slurp of waist a gulp of breast
her colours ran
and joined their rivers of grey
and she’s forgotten
how to make a paper boat
and float away to dolphin games
but she still has bubbles left

10. Status Quote by Paul Fraser

My friends, my dear friends, are so very well read
They start off their sentences with “Oscar once said…”

or “To paraphrase Shaw…and “Shakespeare said it best…”
They will quote whole books with which they were impressed

They recite morning, noon and night, their capacity is amazing
They can recall an epigram for every occasion

But for once, just once, be it collectively or alone,
I wish they’d have an original idea of their own

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9 thoughts on “DWT Poetry Competition: Second Round”

  1. Daniel:

    I just want to take this opportunity to thank you and the wonderful people on your staff for the second round of the poetry contest.

    I had no idea I would be reading poems from such a great group of people. Amazed by the sheer scope of the talent on display here.

    It blew me away. Wow. Apart from that, what an excellent blog you have here, to be able to showcase poets with their poems.

    Every poem I read is like a breath of fresh air in a smoky factory.

    Please keep up the good work. And don’t forget us gentle folks, who depend on your good judgment to bring us more of the same.

    Just reading these lovely poems really made my day. Cheers!

  2. Daniel:

    I am writing to add my two cent’s worth, but also to clarify.

    And these ideas are based on my own experiences, since I have read and commented on several blogs, over time.

    Sometimes, what tends to happen is that we have differences of opinion.

    And we tend to get carried away.

    Quickly, it can deteriorate into name-calling, blaming, finger-pointing, etc.

    Since our objective is to learn and share, I guess that’s really unfortunate. It is rather–if I may say so–sad.

    Instead, we can choose to “agree to disagree” in a polite way.

    We don’t need to be back-slapping buddies, but being friendly helps, in my opinion.

    On the other hand, constructive criticism is helpful.

    Genuine differences of opinion can enable us to build a better product or provide a better service, and all good business people understand that fact.

    So, let’s be open to critical evaluations also. Just make sure that comments are helpful and based on the light of reason.

    And if we make mistakes, so what? We all make mistakes. “To err is human/To forgive, divine” as a true poet put it once.

    Since our lives are always a work-in-progress anyway, mistakes are a great opportunity to learn and make changes. So that tomorrow is better than today. And so on and so forth. Cheerio.

  3. I like these poems….they are an evidence of thinking, feeling minds and hearts
    Very exploratory

    They would have made Socrates happy

    Socrates: ”A life unaxamined is not worth living”

  4. Please accept my congratulations for having put together such a beautiful site. Apart from providing opportunity to many amateur/ budding poets, it is exceedingly well maintained. The painstaking effort is evident and I wish the whole team all the best for the future. Thank you Daniel 😀

  5. ‘Advice From A Tree’ was my favorite was by far the best, i wish i could have voted, but this was a while ago…

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