Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poetry Competition 3: Special Mentions

Erin (Hove, South Australia) opened her poem with the vivid line: ‘I see Fear sitting in the corner over there’, and Pamela made me laugh with the lines:

My biggest fear was drawing near
How would my little baby appear?
Cute as a button or
Ugly as mutton??

I liked it when people wrote about unexpected fears - for example, Lesley opened her poem with, ‘This pain I fear will never go away’; Sylvie of Fresh Meadows, New York wrote a haiku about eighth grade insecurity; and Louisa of Kensington Park, South Australia wrote about our fear of being ourselves.

The judging panel agreed that any poem longer than a page could not be considered for the shortlist, since the contest had asked for a ‘haiku or short poem’ – but I want to thank all those who sent in long poems, and make special mention of two particularly powerful longer poems: one by Shauna (Duncraig, Western Australia); the other by Michelle (Ottawa, Canada).

Here are a couple of stanzas from Shauna’s haunting and intriguing poem:

The first time I saw the ghost was in my backyard.
She looked exactly the same.
Before I’d sent her away in the red car.
Watched her disappear down my street.
She hadn’t seen the tears slip down my face as she turned the
But now, it seemed, she was back. She watched me carefully from
the other side of the lawn. I blinked once, and she was gone.

The second time I saw the ghost was at the park.
She sat next to an old tennis ball.
Waiting expectantly.
Waiting for me.
I ran towards her. But the faster I ran, the further away she seemed.

And here is an extract from Michelle’s wickedly clever and moving,‘The Ghost in My Mirror’

About this ghost of mine:
He looks the same as the way I last saw him.
Auburn hair
Amber eyes
Five o’clock shadow along his jaw (though he haunts at all hours.)
He does not look at all waxy or transparent,
The way I suppose you might expect a ghost to look.
He’s wearing those sun-faded jeans, the price of which was our summer,
And the matching tan
And that’s all, I think.
I can never see beneath his knees.
(The mirror is an oval.)


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