Poetry Contest About Choices
A poetry contest about choices. Twenty lines maximum. One poem per person, please. Winners will be published in my new anthology about choices. Published date around December 2016. Thanks to everyone who entered. The contest is now closed.
WINNERS OF THE CHOICES POETRY CONTEST ARE:
First place: Regina Puckett “Their Pool of Pandemonium”
Second place: Tanda L. Clauson “If You Want to Exist Do Not Choose Left”
Third place: Kate Ann Scholz “About Choices”
Honorable Mention: Mona Dawson “By My Choice”
Honorable Mention: Elaine Webster “Whispers of the Lake”
1. Vee Byram March 13, 2014 at 10:50 am
On my fiftieth birthday, I met my daughter for the first time since she was a few days old. At the park, at the appointed time, a woman walked toward me.
I hugged her. She felt stiff, so I let go.
She handed me a gift. Inside the gray box was a rose pin.
Hot tears spilled. I handed her a small photograph. “Here’s the picture I asked the adoption agency to take.”
She looked at herself as a newborn. Her eyes brimmed with tears.
I hugged her again and this time she hugged me back.
2. MonaDawson March 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm
By My Choice
I do not look before I leap, I do not think before I speak.
I do not listen when I am warned, I do not learn from my mistakes, I’m scorned.
I only know the way I feel, I only know my love is real.
3. Mary Lou Haugh Submitted 2014/03/13 at 3:26 pm
Illusions are full of life. They feel like
deep beliefs and ancient myths. They
took the lead through dreams, the
catastrophies that have come and gone
Freedom is my only resource now.
No attachments, no excuses, no songs
to sing, no need of that. I rid myself of lies
and hope, everything but my truth & love.
It’s time to live, to let go of comfortable ideas
handed to me; instead, I make my work count
with every word my pen now calmly puts to ink.
Last night, a place of revelation
lead to a Private Refuge.
Like a wildflower, full of deep magic
and the lure of life, I seek my nature
pure and clear, like clean water from
the well of cosmic oceans that come
from glass mountains on the other
side of dark nights.
By Mary Lou Haugh
4. Vee Byram Submitted on 2014/03/13 at 10:54 am
I stand on my side of the river.
You stand on the opposite bank,
our pain mirrored in the water.
I cry out, “Come across.”
You cringe, turn away.
I don’t understand.
Softly I say, “Please.”
You hold your ears;
my word falls short.
I wade into the torrent,
to meet you part way.
Icy chill stops my breath.
You put one foot in,
pull it right out,
tell me no, you can’t.
I crawl back to shore.
Legs frozen, my body
shivers in the wind.
The words of healing remain unsaid.
The current of pain is too strong.
5. Kate Ann Scholz March 14, 2014 at 8:58 am
We very seldom have choices really.
Because choices are an illusion,
From the minute we are conceived and born
We move forward in states of confusion.
Indoctrinated and conditioned
We are individually structured and raised,
And conforming is subtle but strong
To follow our life/culture is valued and praised.
It is hard to make changes from this norm
Regardless of choices we see,
Conformity is expected
How can we break free and just be?
Whatever the culture and expectation
Of that time is the road we travel,
To escape or live different it seems
Would cause our families unravel.
Conformity, conformity becomes our only option
What else is out there, we don’t even know,
How can we break free and be who we are
From this conditioning and strong undertow?
6. Mary Palermo March 17, 2014 at 12:34 am
A LINE WITHIN OUR HEADS
There’s always a line within our head
To do what’s right, when wrongs have lead
To reap the fruits for sufferings sake
When thoughtless regrets have tempest takes
When shadowed blossom’s mist and die
And valley cads just laugh and cry
When festering wounds rule woeful storms
Their twisted rally shaped human forms
We etch deep strokes with stylish flair
The urge to purge, we cross when dared
Within this battle of inner slew
A bottomless well, a conquered you
Volleyed shots of battery-shells
The jaws of death, the kiss of hell
Who will rise at thunder’s gate?
A horse, a hero, or blundered fates?
Hung smelted horns remain askew
That bright land game ‘tween him, and you
To prove the best man’s valued worth
Your ego buried, your destiny berthed
Copyright September 2013 by Mary L. Palermo
7. Elaine Webster March 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Whispers of the Lake
My choices often find me
standing alone in deep water.
I dive unafraid—
cutting through the resistance.
Shouts from shore warn me of danger.
A loved one hopes I won’t drown.
He has resuscitated me before—pushed air into my lungs,
until I spurted.
But I can hear the whispers of promise.
The secrets the lake holds about
those that failed at their attempt to swim.
They did not stop, until eventual death.
It’s those whispers of hope—
I look to find in friends.
Aloneness is easy, comfortable and sure,
solitude is a place of peace.
Yet a shimmer off the water
lures me one more time—
to try—until someone
pulls me under, from below.
8. Tanda L. Clauson March 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm
If You Want to Exist Do Not Choose Left
Perhaps because it’s sinistral,
I cannot comprehend
Leftness. Left is
An enigma… an unsolvable riddle.
Nonexistent in memory… Nonexistent in reality.
I enter a room without a door
Without a door, I cannot leave.
I eat my food and like a waltz
I whirl about, and magically,
My plate of food is here. I eat.
Although I’m told I came
So near to finishing my plate, I dance
And magic shows my plate is full again.
Like Zeno’s arrow I cannot move.
Though people tell me yes,
I know no left.
My universe is right.
Left is… a riddle… sinistral.
If you want to exist – Do not choose left
9. M. Zane McClellan May 1, 2014 at 1:01 am
“Not Much Choice”
Abandonment is a painful exile,
an exorcism of the familiar.
A powerless isolation pervades,
adrift as human flotsam and jetsam.
Samaritans become perpetrators,
substances become solace and escape.
Patterns of self denigration imprint.
Poisons are mistaken for poultices.
I survived a systemic negligence,
emancipated to uncertainty.
Trails marking my past, overgrown with weeds.
The lonely woods dark and full of despair.
Parents made a selfish choice to leave me.
I must make one to always love myself.
Some days I find it difficult to do.
On those days, I choose to love much harder.
M. Zane McClellan
All rights reserved
10. reginadee2014 May 5, 2014 at 11:33 am
Their Pool of Pandemonium
Each day there are so many challenging choices
So many that I’m left confused by the babbling voices
Each one is shrieking and shouting to do that or this
How will I ever decide which ones to keep or dismiss?
So I’m covering my ears and shutting them all down
Before I fall into their pool of pandemonium and drown
All rights reserved
11. gkarlkumfert June 4, 2014 at 11:45 am
by G. Karl Kumfert
It was my choice, and I chose poorly.
I was true to my principles.
I didn’t give in to special interests.
I trusted my gut.
I was strong.
I knew numbers could be manipulated,
Evidence could be fabricated,
And people complained no matter what.
So I tuned it out — all of it — and stuck to my guns.
I made the tough choice.
I kept my promise.
And I expected to live with the consequences, effortlessly.
I was wrong.
Instead of critical thinking, I was just critical.
Refusing to compromise, I forbade myself to see.
They were my opponents, after all.
How could truth possibly be on their side?
12. Lani Longshore June 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm
Choose the Moon
Take one small step
Foot in front of foot
Journey’s end visible
So far that colors change
Plant your heel
Push against stony ground
Stretch sinew, bone, intent
Grasp the horn of the crescent moon
Breathe in the ether
Choose your next challenge
13. Patrick Coyle July 1, 2014 at 9:18 am
Thread Finger Bowl
These words: thread finger bowl.
What would I choose to make of them?
We thread words from our minds and hearts through our fingers
— holding a pen, a pencil, or moving across a keyboard.
We choose words to put onto a page,
into a text, an email, a manuscript, a poem, a song.
We may chant them,
we may strike a singing bowl,
we may pray with them,
we may finger our beads,
we may dip our fingers in a holy water bowl,
we may reach ourselves or another.
14. timetowritenow July 1, 2014 at 9:20 am
Thanks to everyone who submitted poems. The contest is closed. I will send the entries anonymously to my friends who are poets for a consensus on the three top winners.
Western Flash Fiction Contest October, 2013. Note: the two winners’ stories can be read in Written Across the Genres an anthology available on Amazon.
We did it. After the two judges of the Western Flash Contest had opposing winners chosen, I took the four submissions to the members of my writing classes to participate in the judging process.
The first place winner is Jeremy Milburn for “The East Coast Dandy”. Congratulations, Jeremy. Please email me so we can get your story into my anthology.
Second Place Winner is Emily De Falla for “Devil or Angel”.
Thank you to all who submitted. Writing a story within 500 words is not an easy task and you all did very well.
See you at the next contest.
Please submit a flash short story with a Western theme DUE OCTOBER 25, 2013. Word count is under 500 words to include story arc and character arc. Please submit to the reply section on this page with your link at the end.
I suggest you check out Wikipedia’s definition of the Western Genre. It will inspire your muse as well as give you guidelines for the story.
Winner will be published in my anthology, A CLASS OF MUSES, available for purchase in January, 2013.
Flash Western Short Story Contest
POEMS ABOUT CHILDREN CONTEST, September, 2013
The first place winners are Lani Longshore, author of DEATH BY CHENILLE, for her poem “Armistice” and Julie K. Royce, author of PILZ, for her poem “Questions”.
The two Honorable Mentions: Susie Crumpler for “Untitled” and Peter Dudley, Author of SEMPER and FORSADA, for his poem, “Tipping Point”.
Requirements for the poems were: Submit a four stanza poem of four lines each about children. Entries due September 15, 2013. Only one submission per person.
The prize is a book and announcement of your win on social media. Please add your links at the end of your entry.
May to June 2013 Title Contest Scroll down to see who won.
On May 13th, I posted the following:
Here is the Iambic Group Poem, Glen Meisenheimer guided us to produce at the Poetry Workshop last week. There were 12 participants, but we forgot to title it. Any suggestions? Please reply with a title and we will vote on the entries. The winner will receive a book by the end of June.
The time she waits on none who tarry long
Instead she dances t’wards her scheduled end.
Ignoring worries; seeking pleasure’s song,
She hopes to make the day a lasting friend.
The other side of time we know is death.
She nudges us along to paths not sought.
Although we fight for every passing breath,
The end will come to all no matter what.