Monday, October 4, 2010

Random Word Poetry Contest

Each year I post a list of randomly selected words that can be used to write a poem and I post the best poems.  Tomorrow the list will appear with instructions on how to compete.

Here are the winners from last year's contest:

Lay of the Angry Jiggler of the Smooth Speckled Stones
by Ed Pacht (June 2009)

Caring for none, dryer than death,
his empty spirit falling away,
he trudges onward in a weary road,
with a smoldering bitterness deep within
that pierces like a painful splinter,
laboring longer, clenching fists,
longing for he knows not what,
and never coming to find it..

Before him looms a towering presence,
a pair of dark forbidden portals,
opening to a land of ugliness and deep despair,
reeking with the smell of rotting broken eggs,
with a doom forecast for those who fall into its lure,
drawn by their own deep hidden hatreds,
straggling or stranded in their horrid grip,
and falling through those gates into that smoking pit.

But in his ears there is a hint of harmony,
a quiet song of softly gentle sweet persuasion,
whose renderings, like a tinkling wind-chime chorus,
draw his tortured soul to look another way,
to turn aside from those dark portals,
to turn himself toward pleasant gates,
to enter into the Presence of the place,
to know, to find, to love, in joy.

A Lonely Chorus of Wind Chimes
John C. Nichols (June 2009)

I find that I
Am caring for none,
Feeling no remorse as I swiftly stab
The lifeless living with glass so fragile
Like a broken egg, like a painful splinter
Stuck in my heart.
I find that I
Am longing for all, yearning for that
Which is me denied.
Yet ev’ry word I spew is naught but
A lonely Chorus of Wind Chimes
Tinkling in the straggling breeze.
I find that I
Am falling away burned out and broken.
My heart’s deep desires
Imprisoned and slain
By that towering presence, that presence of this place
Which sucks my passions dryer than Death,
Colder than space.

It is Kurtz to me—
An Abomination, a Heart of Darkness.
A truth so black a lie must suffice.
I wish it were not so.
I wish these renderings would return to my mind,
So that I may paint in harmony once again
And with this gentle persuasion
I bid thee:

Set me free that I may write again.

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