Poetry competition CLOSED 2nd January 2018 11:32pm
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RUNNER-UP: MadameLavender

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A Tarnished Masterpiece

Nathaniel Peter
Fire of Insight
United States
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Poetry Contest

Seek common ground in the midst of controversy...
Write a poem that favors a position that differs from your own in an attempt to seek to understand the reason and girder insight through peering through the eyes of something you don't personally agree with whole heartedly, even if it's something you're on the fence about. Illustrate the struggle to be so dogmatic and extreme in regards to any given issue, be it an alternative view of faith, conviction, political issue, or personal sentiment of standing at odds with an estranged relative or friend. Look through the eyes of even the idea of one you may deem as an enemy, think of cultural conditioning or what leads to the twisted psychology of even a serial killer. Make it as dark or controversial as you want to be. Two entry max.

(While I broadened the spectrum of what it can be as I was writing the description, this notion was inspired in regards to an uncle I have that's facing a case in the Supreme Court as he wouldn't make a cake at his family owned shop in favor of a gay wedding due to the fact that it would violate his personal conviction. As I was thinking about this I thought about how what he does is essentially his art making statements of self expression, even in what he produces on behalf of others, and I pose the question of whether a writer would pledge his gift to the vows of the same circumstances if asked, like a hand forced to forge approval of something one might find themselves more inclined to be opposed to. In the end it begs to question if that person might harbor a sense of self-resentment for weak willed principle to appeal to a broader audience or holdfast to his beliefs at the risk of being misunderstood and judged by the very ones that are so "unity oriented" and yet finds limits in which they themselves display a character truer to the sense of discriminatory behavior. To illustrate a better understanding of what I'm getting at, this is one of many videos done illustrating my (great) uncles side of things and considering even if you don't agree with his position what it takes to ultimately forfeit the right to make a wedding cake at all at the cost of 40% of his income, so as to pacify the way the state ruled and not have to do something that would violate his conscience. In the end upon further investigation and speaking with him personally he said that if the Supreme Court rules the same way in his appeal, then he would have to close up shop and essentially go out of business. This is the same place that I associate so many fond childhood memories when my parents were still together. I reference this subject in a recent poem called "Casting Hearts of Stone" that essentially holds true to my values but in the end notes the irony of how strongly one might stand for the sanctity of marriage when the church's divorce rate and struggle with lust in our society permeates some of the most renown hearts of its leaders. Lust I feel is something none are exempt from falling into when it is so prevalently accepted as a way of life and to cast a stone at another is to essentially reap that judgment upon yourself. I don't see what my uncle did as judging the hearts of the men that made the request but rather his own in regards to the relationship he has with God. In either case perhaps this video might shed light on humanizing a man so (ironically) demonized in the eyes of an alternative persuasion for standing up for what he believes in when those that parade unity and acceptance are so intolerant of a different point of view. I guess this is all a bit of an attempt to bridge the gaps in the reasons we find to differentiate between ourselves through labels and stereotypes and find common ground in recognizing the man behind the lifestyle or belief. Featured in this video is my uncle, my cousin, and her daughter...needless to say the title of the competition is based on the name of my uncle's cake shop.)


I suppose my goal in this competition is to empathize with the alternative struggle from the point of view of having desires that seem so overwhelmingly apart of you and yet feel so outcast for the reality of what wages against a conscience that must be seared to condone the opposition of God's ways (in my mind). I relate to that thought all to well in other areas which is essentially one of the key reasons I go by the name of Cloven when I perform at open mics and online, as I battle lacking restraint in the face of compromise when it comes to some of my own personal struggles. When you begin to look at others struggles you may not personally deal with it seems there are thoughts on either side of the equation that are common amidst the frailty of a humanity wrapped in a fallen nature that craves against itself, or perhaps simply who we were meant to be as we contribute our crooked strokes to the canvas of this tarnished masterpiece called life...

Dangerous Mind
United States
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A Recipe for Harmony

I'd suggest best way
To achieve harmony
Is just follow the advice
From the man from Galilee
"Do onto others
As you would have them
Do unto you"
So tell your Uncle
"No cake for gays!
No cake for you!
For that my dear Uncle
Is the Golden Rule" †

Guardian of Shadows
United States
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The Shop Of Blank Cakes

The art is gone from
mine hand, bled out like
perversions flooding existence, and
crimson tides from veins
by Zodiacs, Sams, and
the likes of every Jack and
Dahmer, ever lived.

I am not allowed to believe
lest someone take offense.

The art is gone.
The color is gone.
The cakes are gray and plain.

I poured all colors together
to make them dull, for
if chocolate or vanilla, they
would be racist delicacies.

Would I need words
of defense, dripping
from my tongue, if
I declined my signature on
Black Dahlia muffins, or
burning-cross, hooded cookies?  
Ah, yet the courts
want my soul for
a Biblical perspective of personal
choice and reason.

The art is gone;
humanity is butt-hurt
from semantics, shit
on a fist, crying
a-foul over sugar and flour.

All the cakes are gray and blank, nowó
decorate your own world
on them.

Nathaniel Peter
Fire of Insight
United States
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I think you miss the point its certainly not no cake for gays and you clearly didn't watch the video (comment meant for snugglebuck)

Nathaniel Peter
Fire of Insight
United States
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Great write MadameLavender!!!

Dangerous Mind
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Sorry Cloven if I offended you, but I did watch the Facebook video about your uncle.  And just as your uncle has his beliefs, so I have mine.  And I believe in tolerating gays as Jesus commanded in Mathew 19:12, where he makes it very clear that even though we might not understand why some men are not attracted to women, we must show tolerance and love towards them.  That's my Christian belief.

Again, I apologize, but there is no middle ground between right and wrong.  Sorry!

Nathaniel Peter
Fire of Insight
United States
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So despite the complete misinterpretation of scripture, you do understand the connotation of the word tolerance is to put up with the culture whether or not it agrees with God's word. Paul encourages us to live peaceably with all men but it doesnt mean you agree with people's life choices. In spite of personal persuasions in regards to the subject at hand the competitons aim was to share a point of view considering that which is opposed to your own and write a piece that seeks to understand a different point of view. My uncle is a cake artist and would have sold them anything in the store including premade cakes but was unwilling to customize a cake celebrating a ceremony opposed to his conviction. It would be the equivilant of you writing a poem in support of something you don't support which was kind of the irony of this challenge that from what I gather is something you're not actually honestly considering writing. Though I was going to takle the the thought from a different world view perspective from a point of compassion for a lack of understanding of what I believe and the difficulty it is to go against ones impulse. It still wasn't exactly my supporting it which really is what I'm getting at; using ones art to saying something they dont agree with and the fact that you're unwilling to do so might actually cause you to empathize with what it felt like for my uncle to create art that essentially would trample on his rights to freedom of speech as any form of self expression is a statement we make and what you say is just as critical to understanding the way you think as what you refuse to say.

Lost Thinker
United States
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Hard times coming ya better be sure, hard times will have you going from door to door.

Mmmmmmmhhhhhheeee mmmmmmheeee mmmmmmheeee hmm..
"In my best skip voice"
Lyrical credit to one skip James. Cir 1965

Twisted Dreamer
United States
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The Rain of relieved and pain

Looking out the window of my bedroom seeing how beautiful it is to be raining on the day when I'm thinking about you, my tears are like rain dropping hard on a house, God you is the only one i can't live without, i need you like you need us to come together, BABY i can be your steve and you can be my laura, being there for you through thick and THIN like steve was, I'm there for you like thunder and rain come to me i can make a way, i want you to meet me half way, God please relieves me with the rain this is not a game, i need you WITH me when its rain and storm i don't want to be alone let's come together and we can hold each other in this wonderful weather. THESE cold days and these chilling nights i want you to be there but baby just hold ME tight, walking through the woods, trying to see whats good came home scratches on my back, but I'm still living i am a strong man to take all the pain some people though i was just going insane i want her to be my main, lord wash the pain away from people breaking my heart, that is why i stay to myself and i like being in the dark.
Written by deepthreat1490
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Fire of Insight
United States
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ďThou shall not killĒ
But a few books later
They killed on Godís command,
Cleansing the earth of the wicked,
When taking claim of the Promised Land.

I have read the stories so many times,
And each seemed to have a different lesson,
Even the same passages had diverse interpretations,
It just all depended on who delivered the message.

And itís here where there is a divergence,
The deviation of the good word toward mankind,
That anything outside the good book is evil,
Or at least itís completely out of line.

But what it really comes down to,
Is one own personal faith and convictions,
Regardless of what the world may say,
Itís up to our own views and opinions.

Of the many times I lost my faith,
I found it with a new meaning and perception,
I believe in Godís love toward mankind,
But it seems religion is full of deception.

Fire of Insight
United States
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Shamanic Substance

Some sages † †
burn their fragrant, †  
savory namesake †  
to leaven air †  
in wafts of †  
heaven †  
Steeping wraiths † †
into stupors †  
& binding their bodiless †  
brawn †  
† †
So down, †  
down †
those gurus † †
droop to sleep... †  
Strewing used leaves †  
along premeditated treadings; †  
sacraments in footpaths †  
supposing they've shirked †  
any phantasmic followings †  
† †
~ †  
† †
Ovoos †  
stately slant †  
in ascendant stances †  
with tips like lances †  
prodding Mongol yonder blues †  
a heron hue †  
imbues sanctioned invocations; †  
Thrice to rotate †  
'round the stony foundation †  
custom gyrations - coded oblations †  
† †
Milk & honey † †
blessed & left for Tengri † †
A dusted alter †  
entrusted & encrusted †  
with silken donations † †
† †
~ †  
† †
Wicks shiver in heat †  
lean necks sheathed †  
in cylinders †  
strung in wax; †  
Candles of plum †  
actively passing away †  
† †
Purple light paves † †
lanes †  
to tame astral planes †  
Flame in the room †  
juts westward †  
snapping Haitian songs †  
astray †  
† †
Tinging marimbulas †  
sing †  
dinging past the doorway †  
ringed in revenans †  
overhanging †  
drapery in reveries †  
with fangs †  
† †
Rising faint †  
& up the rope †  
to seance in Antilles † †
airways †  
Conveyance with †  
cadaver saints †  
† †
~ †  
† †
Were I born †  
through alter-womb †  
bred & fed †  
on the strings †  
of another breeze; †  
Strange pneumas † †
indeed, †  
winds like these... †  
† †
could've cradled me †  
Written by AtoMikbomb
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Fire of Insight
United States
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I'm not sure that this is what you're hoping for, or if it's directly in keeping with the theme here. I see myself drawn to other forms of spiritualism were I not a Christian. I have been called an "empath" by some, and am very spiritual, and "soulful", even by evangelical standards. I've not done anything along these lines, but I surely relate to the shamanic archetype, who are usually people with a similar disposition, the same substance in a sense.

I hope I'm not over-explaining, I dug deep and this came out.

Nathaniel Peter
Fire of Insight
United States
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Not at all AtoMikbomb, thank you for your entry, I like your take on the competition, looking at things through the eyes of a different lens. Everyone else's entries are good to, thanks for participating everyone :)

Thought Provoker
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My people have made society what it is today.
Everyone else has just joined us along the way.
Name one of you that was ever great in the same way.
How many of you would be here if you weren't slaves?
Washington, Jackson, Jefferson
You appropriate the success of Hamilton!
You kill your own in the streets, hike my taxes.
Then eat welfare feasts and against me sharpen your axes.
Yet, yell and accuse me of violent debauchery.
I didn't make you a slave but maybe you deserve to be?
Nigger where would you be without we?
Alexander the Great, Queen Elizabeth,
"What nigger is great!?" I ask while you bitch.
I have Aristotle, Plato, Nietzsche,
Jews, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks.
My bloodline is all Caucasian: a winning streak.
Why would I want to soil it with backwards beast:
People with inferior technology and armouries since we'd meet;
People who had poor education and no written history.
Excuse me, if I don't want to share a country with dummies
That were only raised by their mummies
Because their fathers' seem to be inherently crummy.
Excuse me if I think less of Black dudes after watching the news
and seeing which of yous you admire and choose:
Rappers, gangsters, dealers and trap queens.
Most of you are wanna-be-somethings with class like monkeys
My family tree is clean and pure.
No, this is not a delusion of grandeur.
We have more success in one branch than your family has had in forever.
My people have been the trigger for advancement and achievement.
Your people are just niggers that we've dragged to this piedmont.
Number one in crime, leeching and least in reading
We would do better as a country without your being.
Same goes to all the other colors including the chink-men!
Without all the drag we'd be better off than Sweden.
If my daughter brings a worthless nigger then the end.
I need to keep my family pure so we can keep leading
the rest of you objectively inferior heathens.
Written by Dr_MANCHILD
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alon aLion
Dangerous Mind
San Marino
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It`s All on You

dont sympathize
with my condition
prevent collision
correct my vision

prod me from
reclined position
Your mission
make me reach decisions

pry me
from the television
Ween me from
each backlit screen

if I lift a bottle
if I light a smoke

grab my ankle
pull baby pull
til my skull
hits hard wood
that should make me
more alert

kick me
get me off my butt
hold my hand
as I stand up

show me to water
show me no Quarter
Unitil I'm back
in working order

be a nag
should I lag
have no Heart
'less  I do my part
show no Love
til I Man Up

It's All on You

Written by drivelicious13 (alon aLion)
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