William Haskins
01-16-2006, 08:14 AM
UPDATE: The poems are now properly credited to their respective poets.

The poll has now closed and the winner is announced here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=465354#post465354).

Thank you to everyone who participated as a contestant or voter.

Hi all,

Below are the contest entries—in no particular order—for the Win-a-Book-From-William's-Collection Poetry Contest.

Jenna is going to enable me an expanded poll (that only sounds dirty) which i will add as soon as possible.

For now, you are free to read the entries at your leisure. You're also welcome to discuss them to your heart's content in this thread, but be aware that any preference expressed there will not constitute a vote.

You must be sure to cast your vote using the poll function, once it's available.

The poll will remain active until next Sunday night (January 22, 2006) at 10 PM CST. At that point, we'll have a winner and I will identify the authors of all the poems.

That winner will then have the option of receiving a mystery book from my poetry library, and we'll all rejoice at what a ripping good time this all was.

So there you go, read on and enjoy. I know I did.

(And please read them all before you vote; it's the right thing to do)

NOTE TO POETS: If you see anything you want edited (spacing, typos etc), please PM me and I'll take care of it.

So, off we go:


Entry #1

My Mother's Laughter
By Cassie88

My mother's laughter -
A new birth,
A ninth child.
Her savior of sanity,
It rumbled and ran like rapids -
Primary colors decorating the rooms
With crystal curtains and trampoline floors -
Wonderful and deep,
Like the ocean, rolling -
Crazy and bumpy,
Like a carnival ride
She never wanted to end.
Ominous, sometimes,
Like rain clouds in the afternoon -
Or gripping, in the black of night,
Like a calloused hand
Clinging to the side of a mountain.
My mother's laughter -
A good witch cackle -
Her moments of fearlessness.
The weight of it
Kicked back her head,
Surprised her mouth,
And kidnapped her eyes.
The joy in it -
Echoed through the woods of my childhood.
The love in it -
Reverberating -
A mountain of my own.

Entry #2

By D.J.

Night, a predator;
it searches for a hostage -
Sunlight its victim.

Entry #3

comings and goings
By kdnxdr

the success of the moment
is the failure of tomorrow
borrowed to build anew,
generations of life and death,
laying the siege mound
to build and conquer,
to be conquered and built
a tower

dig through the layers
in retrospect,
retrace the path of bones
your apathy for success
lay your treasures

leave a print, a mark for others
a fleck
to show your time,
a buried memorial
is all you get,
epitath in slime.

Entry #4

forcing love
By Eveningsdawn

i once read that
making someone
fall in love with you
was as simple as
writing their name
three times
on a piece
of blank paper
and placing it in your shoe.
i take pen and paper,
sit down,
and do not write his name.
nor do i wish to.

i am rather surprised
at myself.

Entry #5

By oneovu

From her prison, she wept
When at last they came home
Under his proud arm

The trophies, the ribbons!
How torturous the affection
Her siblings shown

For she was born neglected
A twistippled mess, 'twas said
Nobody’s, nobody’s prize

Suitably, the title worn
In damp rancid room, her tomb
Scarcely bigger than she

The sun rose, then the stars
The sun rose and it fell and it fell
And rose fell again

‘Til a shiny new Tuesday
When on sweet voice supposed
Today is your day

Oh, the strange joy!
Brimmed in his gentle embrace
Brothers, sisters afoot

Chattering, noisily
Squawking so loudly, so loud!
Her pulse it did rush

But, over the din
Father wretchedly crowed out by
The old weathered stump

Ever cheerful, it dawned
And, she fixed on the clouds
awaiting the axe to --

Entry #6

When Mourning Dawns
By Penelope

All day your name has been against my mind
and hurt me like the too frail loveliness
of pear blooms in the rain.

All night my voice undefined
has swung from star to star
to call you back.

Tomorrow I will know that you can't come
and after that I won't know anything
but small hard shells against my bare feet
and sand upon my lips at dawn.

Entry #7

By Paint

Dark winged brow, coy returned glance
Fluttered lashes proclaim avid illusion.

Misconceived preference for violence
A guillotine drops in silence.

Mask of ochre rage crescendos
Crashing to suffused vortex.

Equilibrium, rational sober dawn
Peace, contingent on forgiveness.

Entry #8

By paprikapink

To articulate.
It's lots tougher when one is
not articulish.

Entry #9

The Bird Lady
By rhymegirl

Another Monday morning and the traffic
hisses on the highway. She comes out
onto her rickety porch to feed
the birds waiting
with their little mouths open.
Another Wednesday morning and the wind
whistles through the trees. She wraps
her ragged shawl tight around
her shoulders and sighs
at hungry birds
chattering on her lawn.
Another Friday morning and brittle branches
snap from heavy snow. She pulls
her blankets up beneath her wrinkled chin
and hears abandoned birds
crying out in lifeless trees.

Entry #10

The World Today
By DenimSoul

See innocent lives destroyed.
Old & young. Dead & alive.

Hear the children’s anguished cries.
Boys & girls. Rich & poor.

Feel the tension in the air.
Love & hate. _____ & _____.

Smell of death in the streets.
Guns & knives. Day & night.

Tears streaming down a face.
Yours, mine & theirs. Here, there & everywhere.

Entry #11

My Unbidden Companions
By sarah s

Like a worm swimming in tequila
bloated, bored, desperate

Emotions surface, unbidden

guilt, shame, self-loathing

A current running through a live wire
steady, constant, humming

Short circuiting my contentment
Frying my brain

I sweep them under

the rug of complacency

Mop the blood from my conscience
beg for forgiveness

Still, unbidden they come
slamming into my happiness

Forcing love out the door
Sucking the joy from my days.

Be gone, Demons!
Suffer the child inside no more.

Entry #12

By mkcbunny

River rapids, lemming drops
Suicidal waves in siren song
Call all to dance behind them
In service of their god.
Glistening temptress spinning lies
To wayward mortals mesmerized
By power and chaotic grace
Is it love, divine embrace
You seek, poor human sacrifice
Cast o’er the mist
One moment, LIFE!
‘fore gravity with heartless clutch
Drags thee to your icy death
Below, where churning waters foam
Like Lazarus they live again.
Fantastic dreamer, rainbow crasher
Fall and be reborn.

Entry #13

Dog Haiku
By Haggis

When I twist just so
I can lick stuff you can't reach
Bet you wish you could

Entry 14

Slow is Winter
By Saritams8

winter melts as ice crinkles
sun reflects against the lake
calm and quiet is all you hear
slow is the thaw of winter

a call from a duck resonates
echoes across my valley walls
ice like glass falls through water
slow is the thaw of winter

cold is the lake against my feet
warm is the air around me
a rush through branches and weeds
slow is the thaw of winter

a flowers head in the soil
life emerging from cold
spring warms but still
slow is the thaw of winter.

William Haskins
01-16-2006, 06:43 PM
kick for morning reading...

William Haskins
01-16-2006, 09:13 PM
the poll is now enabled (thanks jenna!), so feel free to vote away.

01-16-2006, 10:34 PM
Great idea, William. I will vote.

William Haskins
01-16-2006, 10:54 PM
thanks, susie. i'm really pleased with the quality of work.

01-17-2006, 02:42 AM
Voted! This is great, William. I was torn -- I wanted to vote for at least three.

01-17-2006, 03:21 AM
Darn, I didn't know the contest was on... phooey! Oh well, maybe next time. Good luck, guys!

William Haskins
01-17-2006, 06:33 PM
kick for morning voting.

Good Word
01-17-2006, 10:17 PM

Wish I stopped by sooner--I would have entered something too. Next time.

01-17-2006, 11:01 PM
Good luck to everyone!

01-17-2006, 11:21 PM
I overlooked the contest somehow...but I am glad that I got the chance to vote. It was a tough call for me between two of the poems...but I went for the one that had a more powerful emotional effect.

01-18-2006, 02:14 AM
I would have never expected to vote for the one I did. But I did, and I'm glad I did it.

01-18-2006, 03:09 AM
I did my duty. Now fork over the cash.

01-18-2006, 04:04 AM
I voted, but it sure was difficult to pick just one. Excellent work, everybody. :)

01-18-2006, 06:39 AM
I would have never expected to vote for the one I did. But I did, and I'm glad I did it.
How cryptic.

William Haskins
01-18-2006, 06:56 PM

01-18-2006, 09:09 PM
Aaaaaw. How precious.

01-18-2006, 09:33 PM
Ain't that Haskins just as cute as a button?

I've gotta say that I was incredibly impressed with all the offerings. To be honest, I didn't expect such high caliber stuff. Really, really outstanding - all of them.

I hope we do this again.

01-19-2006, 03:49 AM
I've gotta say that I was incredibly impressed with all the offerings. To be honest, I didn't expect such high caliber stuff. Really, really outstanding - all of them.

What do you mean? We're high caliber people around here. :)

01-19-2006, 04:48 AM
Well, I will admit some of you are ;)

01-19-2006, 04:49 AM
Will we find out the names of the authors? I'd like to compliment my vote's author...

William Haskins
01-19-2006, 07:43 AM
late sunday night.

01-19-2006, 01:42 PM
Well, that was hard.

I held off on voting to read and re-read, to gel and think on the submissions. But the weekend approaches, and I knew that I had to make a decision. I found myself focusing on different elements and trying to weight out the importance of various attributes: technical structure, meaning, clarity, emotional impact. How do these things compare? They are so different. What is most important to me? Do I even count, or am I voting in the abstract? What's "best" vs. what I like?

Yes, all voting sends me into a frenzy. And I enjoy [love, in fact] the voting process, whatever that says about me.

I also realized that I do have immediate biases. We all do, but I leap right to them. To counter this reaction, I took the time indicated above. I felt and thought that every entry deserved a fair comparison against the pool, whatever my stupid personal preferences were. I cannot, like our dear truman, say that I voted in a way that surprised me, but I did not vote as I might have had I not thought on/re-read all of the poems over a few days.

Thanks to all for submitting.

William Haskins
01-19-2006, 07:16 PM
kick dat sh1t, homie!

01-19-2006, 08:10 PM
fantastic submissions!
hope you do this again Haskins.

01-19-2006, 08:11 PM
p.s. tell us about your book collection sometime

Albedo of Zero
01-21-2006, 12:34 AM
it was a tough choice...and to paraphrase what i said in the prequel to this thread...Wonderful Work Poets!

Hey William, maybe you could give a topic for the next contest...see how different the interpretations are? Whatta ya think? Huh? Huh? Huh?

01-21-2006, 01:44 AM
Wow, over 900 views. Does this mean over 900 votes?

William Haskins
01-21-2006, 09:22 PM
one more kick for the weekend.

Wendy J
01-21-2006, 09:50 PM
I enjoyed all of the poems.

I wish I wasn't lazy and always hanging out in the freelance writing thread . . . I could have posted one, too!

01-22-2006, 01:22 AM
Wow, that was tough! Great writing, all--it was really hard to choose just ONE to vote for. Good luck!

01-22-2006, 11:02 AM
54 votes out of 900 some-odd views...I reckon lotsa folks, like Mckbun, are deliberating verrrry carefully.

01-22-2006, 11:36 AM
I voted.

William Haskins
01-22-2006, 10:02 PM
one final kick. the poll will be locked, and the winner announced, at 10 PM tonight (CST).

thanks to everyone who entered and voted.

01-22-2006, 10:04 PM

(oh, yeah, you don't know which one's mine.) :ROFL:

01-22-2006, 10:07 PM
Wow, over 900 views. Does this mean over 900 votes?

A lot of people are probably like me. I must have clicked the thread a total of ten times before actually voting. I know I read each poem about three times. It was a very difficult decision. There is too much talent in such a small number of entries!

01-23-2006, 12:41 AM
A lot of people are probably like me. I must have clicked the thread a total of ten times before actually voting. I know I read each poem about three times. It was a very difficult decision. There is too much talent in such a small number of entries!
Is anyone else compulsively watching the returns? With over 1000 views now, I keep expecting some weird last-minute flood of votes.

01-23-2006, 01:27 AM
Wow, over 900 views. Does this mean over 900 votes?

When I just checked it said 55 votes so far. I think many are just lurking and several are just repeat visitors, like me. I would have thought with so many views, more would have voted. I voted, but I keep coming back to see who's in the lead.

01-23-2006, 02:41 AM
DJ, I think the system only counts your original view.

01-23-2006, 04:15 AM
DJ, I think the system only counts your original view.

LOL! I guess since it showed changes to the vote calculations, I assumed it was altering the amount of votes count. I have no idea of what I'm doing! I'll just leave all that techie stuff to others. :)
All I know is that I voted and can't wait to see who wrote the poem I voted for, as it really touched my heart.
This has been fun. Thanks Haskins!

P.S. Hmm...it just said 57 had voted now, so that raised from the count of 55 that was listed earlier when I had posted. I also added up the votes per each poem and it totaled 57 like it stated. So, have there been more votes that what it's showing me?

01-23-2006, 08:26 AM
Now since the polls are closed I want to explain my poem a little bit. The reason for the "______ & ______". This was done intentionally. I was hoping that as people read the poem they would automatically without thinking fill in the blanks to reveal something to themselves. The poem is about violence, people killing people over what they consider vast differences between themselves and someone else. Be it economic, social, religious differences, etc. Sometimes we go through life with a chip on our shoulders or a prejudice that we really don't know we have and if you filled in the blanks with your own words then that could be a revelation to you?

Just wanted you all to know I wasn't absent minded and forgot to finish the poem! There was a reason for my insanity. ((SMILE))

I would also like to say it was a real pleasure to be in the contest and I think all the poems are just amazing. Great job everybody!!! Congratulations to Penelope, awesome poem.