Heat 3 Entries

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Heat 3 Entries

Heat 3 Entries

Appended below are the Entries for Heat 3 of the 2012 Poetry Pentathlon, numbered 1 to 25.

Please read them all carefully and decide your top 3 poems.

Place them in order of merit, awarding them Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Submit your votes directly to the Editor via his contact page:


Emails are to be headed: Heat 3 Votes.

The body of the email should consist solely of the identifying numbers and titles of the poems in the order Gold, Silver, Bronze.

Entrants are reminded that they may not vote, or solicit votes, for their own poem.

Deadline for receiving votes is Midnight BST Saturday 27th October 2012.

Failure to vote may result in disqualification from this Heat.

1: Don't Please don’t steal my spirit, or take my will to write. Don’t send me spiraling and steer me from the light. You know I cannot fight my demons way down there, where sadness lies in wait, and I’ll no longer care. My apathetic mind shall quickly manifest into a shriveled thing, brought forth at pains behest. Inspiration stifled; artistic vision blurred; unable to recall the beauty of a word. Without poetic thought, I’m just an empty shell; a husk of skin and bone; no story left to tell. Let me be creative ... if only for a while. A sonnet! Prose or rhyme! My muse is versatile. Let me keep my spirit, so I can write to you. Of dappled dew {blood red}, where fields of poppies grew. *   2: Nothing Is Too Good To Be True I always worry that someone will enter my room unannounced when I’m kneeling at my bed in prayer that they’ll see me and cough and say sorry and leave quietly followed moments later by raucous, unkind laughter downstairs. Prayer helps me every single time otherwise I wouldn’t do it so why do I compare it with being caught riding a whore or on the loo mid-wipe or with my hand in the till or having a wank? If I don’t pray I’m pretty sure I’ll die a very ugly death probably face down in a pile of puke so why should I care if people think it’s a crazy cop-out when they know the madness is tucked away in disbelief? Once when I was deep in prayer a swirling orangey yellow light filled my room but it was just a rubbish truck on the street. *   3: A Life on the Tiles I've blended into the background, You won't see or hear me, I've toiled for a lifetime, Invisible to those near me. I've tended the garden, Scrubbed the floor, Put out the rubbish, Cooked meals for four, Made Christmas happen, With never a moan, Done all the shopping, Answered the phone. Where is mum, did she go on that outing? I'm here in the kitchen, part of the grouting. *   4: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Proclaim Peace … From place of comfort he’ll release generic gestures cooing ‘Peace’. Winged envoys sent to touch the conscience, encourage peaceful co-existence. No listening ears to hear the throng air grievances, discern the wrong; no observation of the hate, to analyse and arbitrate, and proffer help appropriate. Himself a man of mystery, with hidden face, veiled history: if he would show himself, reveal his own life’s struggles, hard and real, he’d gain respect for his appeal. *   5: Final Flight Build me an aircraft to escape the apocalypse. Sculpt me a post-industrial angel suit, All washboard abs and pop-riveted wings. Make my exoskeleton soar! What will you need? Cash? I piss dubloons! Bring on that golden shower! Enough to make your glass half full, to empty Emin’s sex. Or do you need that witch for that, that Bride of Munch? With her skulls and sockets and fire-clawed fingers? Can only spells and chants and conjured craft Generate that rapturous escape velocity? No, you say. Just give me the sea And the feather-soft freedom of uncaged doves. And I shall do the rest. *   6: The Caged Doves When we walked from A to B your soft lips, Fluttered over my red raw sunburnt cheeks Tired, we sat down and watched passing ships Our aimless drift had persisted for weeks A sand dune sofa held our limbs in place Sea salt flavoured a stew of heat wave skies Through a navy roof of limitless space Though we were free I still felt caged inside But mute sighs blew the silence full of words Dawning in sackcloth bags sown by frayed string Flying to perch on the air with lovebirds Whispered thoughts invisible but living Our curtains will never close and divide My stick sings a note while you’re by my side *   7: The Creative Process Am I a man to be called a poet? A master of imagery and rhyme? Well, now, here it is, my chance to show it Get going, start now; do not waste this time. But where does one start? I’m no longer sure. Put pen to the paper and let the words out? My mind now is empty, its blankness is pure And worse, I find I am filled with self-doubt. Did I really see me, a weaver of song? My mind must be addled: a ludicrous notion! Accept the plain truth, it’s all going wrong. Give some new idea my ardent devotion. Truly I would wager my life upon it There’s no god damn way I can write a sonnet. *   8: Cornish Sonnet (Recently Discovered On A Sea-Front Pathway in Falmouth) My love! As I walked along the coastal path, eager to hold you in my arms once again, Death met me seated on a dune, his wrath veiled in a cape with no head to see, only timid birds cooing in order to soothe my pain. "I have come for you" said Death. "Oh no, sir, not me!" My time cannot be now. I am walking to meet my love!" Death tapped his stick three times upon the ground. "I wait for no man" he said. "But one thing I'll approve. A final wish contained within a single thought transmitted by me and delicately found." And so, my love, my wish is as it ought: If Death visits in your dreams do not frightened be He brings my everlasting love - a love too early caught. *   9: Biography Do I dare to show myself? To take my book from off its shelf And open it up to the world. To go beyond the decorations curled Around its spine and make them see The subtext of my soul; the real me? Or should I leave it there, untouched and out of sight, Withholding all but cover from the light; Keeping thoughts trapped on the page Like sleeping birds in a dusty cage? I long to whisper words to you all And for a touch at my paper pall But the time for notice is ever decreased And I stay on that shelf as yet unreleased. *   10: 5/11/12 And now at last the day is through I see the people come; their arms braced and weighted with stacked velum, split pine chairs; carefully a spokeless wheel is rolled - turned and lifted into place, the burden dropped, rueful smiles to those who stagger the same miles you've seen. The rain is done. Across the sky a few stray strands of light fade – broken hinges gleam, torches jammed into fixings, wombs of bark or gripped by teeth might well become a Valley's scene before the dawn has broken the dark on worn pit-men who stride neglected alleys. In my hand I hold the gift of fire - larch strands tied, dried, safe now from the rains of March. *   11: Bandersnatch Beware the usurer my girl, who lends to see your lips unfurl and softly, slowly, validate the body as his interest rate. Avoid the flatterer my lass: grinning, cocksure, bold as brass; but brass won’t pay the surgeon’s bill, and gold will buy a bitter pill. Then love the laughing boy my child, go dancing with him through the wild, where ecstasy and perfumed sweat will grant a gift, not claim a debt. For kisses laid upon the womb are sweeter than a lonely tomb. *   12: Death Of A Poet The poet’s heart is beating fast – He cries aloud with fear and rage: His hand lies still upon the page Until the pain has passed. He takes a pen; the die is cast. He writes as if a war to wage. Like doves freed from a prison cage His thoughts are free to fly at last. He writes til he can write no more And sunny day becomes dark night. The life in him wanes with the light; His pulse is weak, his eyes grow dim. He falls down, lifeless, to the floor – His pen the sword that slayed him. *   13: ‘Here We Go Looby-Loo’ They’d seen her, that morning, by the church; arms full of flowers for the altar, as she crept through the backdoor to the vestry. Took off her shoes and coat, but left her hat – blue with orange flowers on. No florists’ roses... no calla lilies had she brought. Instead – ladies’ slipper, Queen Anne’s lace, clover, and sweet celandine; survivors, as she, by God’s good grace...the sun and the rain, and a bomb site – wrong side of town. Came afternoon they’d tracked her down – trampled new shoots, fresh and green. Took off her shoes and coat, but left her hat – blue, with orange flowers on. Her name whispered by thistledown as it blows. *   14: Oh, Moon That beams so bright above me; reflecting on you, I feel blessed. I think Heaven must truly love me, to feed me milk from her own breast and, weaving silk of silver, clothe the whole world in a shining dress. I try to reach up and just touch you; repay your glowing, tender kiss; find infant words to tell how much your smile lifts up my heart to bliss. *   15: Folly Of Youth Meets Caricature Of A Poet These men seem knowing of my love affair As if some rite of passage or diversion, In your plaid shirt’s ragged pocket I will sit, Charles, I hope I won’t be too much of a burden. The men they look nostalgically at me, Like I’m a conduit for some lost youth, And in these awkward moments I’m reminded; Aged men have largely given up on truth. I’m learning hard the pain that comes with principle, I’m digging in the dirt of my dissent, Destined not to find a single sliver Of love or meaning; nothing of the critical, But I’ll quarry in my soul ‘til I am spent, In pursuit of knowing you I’ll dredge the river. *   16: Estragón Sur La Plage Yes, there are more than Tom’s hollow men, some have a birdhouse in their soul, sit splay-legged on faraway beaches, where the sun is still shining at ten. My hollow is more than my whole, for I carry a bag full of leeches. My wig is a blanket of horsehair, I’m wearing this hat for a dare. There are holes in my shoes, a leak in my pen my inner birds are a swift and a swallow, a roc, a phoenix or a battery hen. For what is inside is not what we know, this walking stick contains whiskey for when I’m waiting for someone, someone you know. *   17: Resting By The Solemn Sea My hat and cape, hide my face Afraid that it would burn From the warmth of your smile. My heart flutters like dove wings Trying to break free of their cage. My cane helps me stand upright As I become dizzy from your scent. My bag is packed with joyous gifts From life we had together. My baggy pants held up by string That once tied a bow for our letters. Like an old weary traveller Resting by a solemn sea I dream of your once haunting beauty. *   18: A Queen. Jeering, they mockingly disturb her taste- albeit recognition is awarded from another angle and without waste this may be the image afforded. Unless at this point she is richly rewarded by her reflection in mirrors encased. Sisters speaking up of pointless chaste: ‘Today is not the moment to die’. Yet- in between you hear her innocent cry as she runs a mile, looking ahead- at the jagged rocks which shred temptations and self-esteem. Relentlessly disregarding there is a hiss of steam and a queen is raised from the dead. *   19: The Visit What's happening here? I'm in my own bed! Last night I thought today I'd be dead! My family were gathered, the fire was all lit All I had to do was my own little bit Breathe for a minute, sigh, then expire All laid out and ready for the funeral pyre Then off to Memphis to be thrown over the gate My King was waiting, now I'm so late My senses are reeling, my neck is quite sore A funny sensation, I think I want more Did a dark stranger bend over and kiss me Ooooh! there you are! Come here! Did you miss me? You want more of my blood? please Sir, just take it! I know you'll be good! I won't have to fake it! *   20: The Poet We were all gathered in the Great Hall. On the stage, the Esteemed Poet stood wearing sneakers and a cagoule hood; he was no more than five-foot-six tall. His poetry had been described as eclectic and we waited for it with bated breath. He would tell of unrequited love and death and wouldn’t leave any room for dialectic. That is what the audience would wait for, they’d listen quietly and would never tire of his deliverance of a venomous satire. He could not be accused of being a bore and sometimes he’d receive the biggest clap if he concluded the performance with a rap. *   21: Penang 1941 On the far horizon lightning flickers - is that thunder behind the distant hills? Civilians crouched behind their window sills watch soldiers patrol in rain soaked slickers; everyone expected the invaders were coming from the south across the sea to beaches guarded by artillery; no one expected these ghostlike raiders wearing uniforms of jungle stained tan, walking from behind the defending guns, pouring south in overwhelming numbers, acolytes of their emperor to a man, eager faces - thousands of rising suns - waking sleeping giants from their slumbers. *   22: Devil Take The Hindmost This far cry from satyr days, When I'd capture you in oil, Naked and twined in willow; A curved rise on hillside grass Or written with snake and leaf Beneath the shaded surface Of a lake or farmland ditch. Now, the years turn and soften, Peeling back greasy layers To reveal the muted howl Of each secret endeavour, Half-submerged in tar and flame Across your gathering storm, And nailed in my aching palm. *   23: This Is Not A Poem I tell you, ‘this is not a poem’ but you don’t believe me scanning for lines upon the page and meaning yet lines are bars, a cage preventing leaving I tell you, ‘this is not a poem’ but you don’t believe me so I have painted blue of sea and dreaming with hues of you, a gallery that’s fleeting I tell you, ‘this is not a poem’ do you believe me? *   24: Post-Modern Shit, A Sonnet Mechanical man, With your remote controlled God. Mine is not remote And mine will smote yours. Mine is harder, Supra human,the biggest Natural construct In the known universe. Nietzche gave you a Warning, you post-modern fools. Away with your sterile, digitised artifice. God prefers oil and the real. The divine spirit Will fill His cup. He Will sing His song agin, forever. *   25: Go Gently What do you see, a feeble figure? Urinating in the bed Brittle ribs fractured by resuscitation. Made alien by plastic tubes, drips, beeping machines. Do you see a dirty word? The last insult to our might. The incessant niggle; The twinge we cannot master. We have conquered the sky and analysed the atom Crying“not so!” at the night and making prayers of clinical intervention. Perhaps you see piteous vulnerability? A man reduced to babyhood. Frightening and jolting. You are soothed by policy and procedure, by medical miracles. I am looking too. I see a strong and dignified man Dressed simply for the journey in hat and cape and calm repose. His bag is calmly packed. And there, now look, the cage is ajar Two white birds; One for all his loves, one for all his losses. They are starting to sing Fluttering, stirring Preparing to take flight. *
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