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INAUGURAL POEM CONTEST: THE ENTRIES

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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poetinahat

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Here they are.

I will accept votes starting twenty-four hours after the datestamp of this post.

When voting, please PM me (subject: Contest Vote) with your top three choices, in order, listing poem number and title (or first line) of each, to make sure you've listed the right poem.

POETS: Please review this list to make sure your poem looks the way it's meant to. All poems are going to be the same font, so please don't ask for your poems to be changed to a different one.


Enjoy!

==================

#1.

There will come a day
when the trappings of our past will fall
like chains from slaves made free.

There will come a time
when men are judged
by the strength of their convictions
and not the color of their skin.

There will come a moment
when the world's collective breath
will gather in its throat
and the hopes of
a nation
will soar like the peal of bells
ringing
their praise,
when the future will gleam with
that promising smile
our grandparents remember,
and children will leap
at the chance to find it
while poets and artists find that suddenly
the earth is beautiful
again.

There will come a day
when a proud people
will humble themselves, and
cast their lot not with the powerful,
or the mighty,
or the rich and lofty,
but in the idea of a better place
for everyone,
a safer home
for everyone,
a tomorrow full of new dreams
like candy from a pinata
in bountiful plenty
for everyone.

My friends,
my fellow citizens,
today is that day.

----

#2.

here is where we BE

how we got here is
not really the question, rather,
how will we leave from here?
we must ask ourselves
will it be in flight,
away from the responsibility of knowing where we are,
where time has brought us?
or maybe we will run
with the good news of a new day,
shouting from the rooftops that despair
has dropped off the map?

why are we here?
are we only memorabilia collectors,
memorizing our prejudices, our stale dreams,
our small thoughts? or, have we all
come together to collect our collective self,
our hopes, our dreams, ready to start
anew? the challenge is to find out
what it is that drives us to existence?

that place that others have followed us to,
a place of belief that we,
one entity of many,
can BE, and it is no longer a question.

----

#3.

Like the wind

Like the wind,
Our direction changes daily.

Our sails blown by the people
To navigate issues that arises.

A course is set, hope aboard.
The vessel leaves port on schedule.

Each plots a course,
Unique and historic of its own.

Expanding into waters unknown,
Out of our commander’s control.

Past captains mapped routes which left us
Trapped in the eye of a global storm.

Voyages returned in bloodshed, starvation.
Our souls in need of repair.

While some managed to steer us
To calm waters and sun filled days.

Trips of love and rebuilding
Times of peace and redemption.

Even though beneath us always,
We float on the murky waters.

The craft now pulls up anchor
Beaten and in need of restore

It floats away, heavy with anticipation
To face the waves of anxiety.

In hopes that we, as a people,
Can calm the sea.

United in hope
That we may reach the shores safely.

----

#4.

G'bye George, we won't miss you.
Turned our country into dog-doo.
Obama is now our Prez
Now we won't be quite so stressed.

So begone, George, don't return.
Eight long years we now do spurn.
We look ahead, won't look back,
We need to get back on track!

So g'bye George, get thee gone,
Your end has come, it's a new dawn.
No more new wars, no more greed
Bye-bye George, of you we're freed!

----

#5.

Just like the old stories,
David threw his rocks,
Goliath dropped to his knees.

The masses murmured their queries,
Most not used to such hard knocks,
But change comes with a new breeze.

They spoke about change,
A different history,
About how yes they can.

They cried for this change,
They all want to see,
The history changing Goliath.

----

#6.

What Happens to a Dream?

What happens to a dream denied?
It's filed away,
Numbered in machine-cold code.
Or denatured,
Sun-dried, left beside the road.
It's beaten
and it's flung to hang forlorn
..............and sometimes it's reborn.

What happens to a dream deferred?
It dries up,
like a raisin in the sun.
It festers,
and it stinks and crusts and runs.
It's ignored
and postponed to an unknown fate.
..............and sometimes it just waits.

What happens to a dream renewed?
It's brought out
From the attic chest, a little stained,
Examined,
To see what threads remain.
Repaired and cleaned,
with careful hands and soap
..............sometimes it gathers hope.

What happens to a dream fulfilled?
Who knows?
We cry and laugh and cheer and yell
But then after
sometimes nothing's changed at all.
Sometimes all is changed
And in that brave new light that gleams
..............it begets other dreams.

----

#7.

So Much Hate

Whites against Blacks
Daughters against mothers
Sons against fathers
Brothers against sisters.

Why so much hate?

Where is the love for one another
Where the morals and the guidance?
Where is the unity and peace?
Where is the security and brotherhood?

Where is this nation headed?

When will be united as one family
When will prejudice and racism be erased?
When will neighbor truly love his neighbor?
When will Martin L. King Jr.’s dream come true?

It starts with the golden rule,

“Loving others as you love yourself.”

----

#8.

Prayer For Inclusion

Include me.

Invite me into the circle and guide me to the spot
that bears my name
Escort me with a steadying touch, loose your hold
and bear me aloft;
Include my joy and ebullience, my hope and promise,
The tracks of endless tears and the wounds of struggle and pain
that have marked the past.

Include me raw and refined, defiant, quiescent
Include me enriched and diminished, broken and healed
Embrace me as the one anointed and demeaned,
Privileged and impoverished by stature, circumstance
or the trajectory of an inconstant moon.

Include my willingness.

Reap the fruits of surrender I have cultivated for this moment
Lead me through a doorway unadorned,
a hallway lined with latency,
Pass the drinking gourd so that all who thirst
May sip the undilute nectar of belonging.

Include me as woman, man, brother, sister, parent, child
Include me offering and offered, receiving and giving,
creator and creation;
Weave the strands of my soul into a blossoming tapestry of voices,
Joined by the shared heart of humanity and a long-aching hunger for unity.

Use every part of me
Include the infinitesimal and the inestimable
Lift me at once to my full height and humility
Draw out my hidden gifts and squandered talents
And draw me into the arms of others who await my arrival.

I am here in this Now,
Filled with passion, with purpose
My prayer but so simple:

Include me.

----

#9.

Red canaries, Blue jays and White flowers.
These are the color of a superpower.
Standing and staring with their hands not so high,
Some stand at salute, facing the sky.
Some pledge an allegiance; their hands on their heart.
And watch the stars twinkle at their smarts.
They’ve won a battle, but know there are many more.
Still they fight for rights; they fight for life.
They will fight an eternity; for it’s an eternal war.

----

#10.

Bring This Day

This new day brings us hopes of hope,
Lift it to the light, I say,
Bring it to a place of nurture,
A place of change, horizons new.

Bring this day to a new tomorrow,
Your country, your courage,
You people here today
You have a dream
To shape, to churn, to trust.

Bring this day to your fathers,
To your mothers, sisters, brothers,
Bring it shining from the womb,
Lift it to a light renewed, I say.

These people collected here,
From points throughout this globe,
We come together in this day—
Breathe love, breathe hope
And living dream to life.

No color can make a country strong,
Nor race, nor creed, nor sex,
No man can make a country whole,
Nor woman, nor her child.

Bring this day to hope,
Carry it upon your breast,
Your shoulders, your faith un-wavered.
Bring this day a new tomorrow,
A river of thrust built of people
Marching forward, marching onward
To horizons brave and new.

----

#11.

America United...

Oceans vast divide nations of past
So that men can dream to be free at last
But not without sacrifice can a dream be attained
Not without purpose can liberty be gained
The measure of a man is the bond of his word
The strength of a nation albeit absurd
To give voice to the people who seldom are heard

America united pained at its birth
Twisted and toiled and nearly vanished from earth
But the words from its founders took root and grew tall
Men shall be equal under the law
And so came to past the great civil war
One last reminder to one and to all
That united we stand divided we fall

The turmoil of youth put a century to rest
and the United States had endured every test
To far off lands a beacon beamed bright
The promise of liberty had spread through the night
Huddled in masses from all lands of all creeds
The poor and the homeless endured raging seas
For the promise and hope in the land of the free

Now blended by origin and bonded by Earth
Great minds took root from America’s birth
From Franklin to Edison - Carver to Ford
Invention created found ample reward
Building bridges and roads from iron and wrought
Not from slaves or forced labor or tyranny sought
But from artisans skilled with services bought

A new revolution took hold in this place
That started with industry and continued to space
The word sent forth from a new generation
That the United States now was the greatest of nations
But glory and greatness have seen empires fall
When some are left out and not counted at all
Not equal - but separate under the law

So a nation of immigrants in search of a life
Free of oppression hardship and strife
To the words of our founders wisdom paid heed
That future brought change and change brought new needs
With audacity of hope and malice toward none
The end of the journey has finally begun
America united together as one

----

#12.

For a more perfect union

A flock of lost starlings,
we descended on her,
and borrowed her shining land.

She opened
her Appalachian arms
and we, the tired
the poor,
the landless
lay our bodies down
under soft shade
and tilled succor from her breast,

but always the old yearning,
for familiar scents of almond,
rain on musty dirt roads
leading toward home,
rolling hills that tumble
so differently
than they do in America.

Though we reap of her
wave upon wave of grain,
have our babies,
and raise our houses,
we do not call her Mother.

Wandering orphans
who jolt awake in hollow night
to pace in shadows, unable
to remember our selves.

Overlooked,
the hills roll to a new rhythm,
the land smells of honeysuckle, sweetness
winds itself into our uneasy dreams,
and rain splashes renewal on asphalt.

We wake to realize,
to take to the skies,
raucous in epiphany
unfettered in the boundless sky:

America was borrowed
but now she is ours
to ruin, to change,
to sanctify.

----

#13.

A New Civil War

has begun,
a war like
none other:
a war posed to end
all wars.
Who will be
the most civil?

A war
has begun
betwixt and between
the states
of minds:
yours, ours, theirs.
Who will be
the most civil?

A war contrived
to defeat
illiteracy and
to conquer
differences
has begun.
Who will be
the most civil?

A war
has begun
whose medals
are for believing
each of us do our best;
it’s all we know.
Who will be
The most civil?

A war
has begun
to compete
for knowledge
and for skills to share,
to passed around.
Who will be
the most civil?

A war
that applauds
the sapient
who shocks and awes
and emboldens the bereft
has begun
Who will be
the most civil?

A New Civil War
has begun
with the endless
mission of becoming
the member of the universe
with the civilest parties.
Who will be
the most civil?

----

#14.

The Measure of America

Like a cupped palm
of water drawn
from a raging river,
we hold in our hand
a moment sure
to drip through
our fingers and
take its place
in the stream of time—

the measure of our lives.

Let us drink
of its sweetness
while we can,
to heal our
mind and body,
so that history shall bear
upon its breath
the promise
we have spoken—

the measure of our hearts.

Let us dream
of possibility
and give it form;
lay our stone in the
fortress of knowledge
so our children
may take shelter
behind its walls
of wisdom—

the measure of our minds.

Let us keep
our nobility in war,
generosity in peace,
and seek the path
we may all
walk together,
our differences
a million stars
in a single sky—

the measure of our souls.

----

#15.

Look up. Raise your head.
Take a breath and hold it.
Weigh it on your tongue
like a coin in a purse.

Now, release - let it out.
Watch it mingle
invisibly, infinitely
with the solitary breaths
of your oceans of brethren.

Feel the mother-comfort
of this single silent giant breeze.

Suck in again - fill your lungs.
Draw as much of this
communal vapour
as you can,
as you wish.

As much as you can take in,
there is plenty for you
for everyone
for every breath.

Feel in your blood
how you can take it all
but you naturally return it.

Watch in the television flicker,
the licks of campfire flame,
the stuttering flourescent glare,
and the distant, avuncular stare
of street lamps,
the glow of the Remembrance Torch,
the warning flare
and the welcoming porch light.

Breathe.

=====================
 
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