Poetry competition CLOSED 31st January 2018 10:12pm
Viddax (Lord Viddax)
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RUNNER-UP: ImperfectedStone

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Fahrenheit 451

Guardian of Shadows
United States
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Joined 17th Feb 2013
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Poetry Contest

What if you had to burn your words?
We're all wordsmiths and writers here, so what if your work was not allowed to exist at all?  I'm not talking about the nitpicky "censorship" that crops up at times, but what if we weren't able to have the written word, at all?  What if our work and ourselves, were the outcasts destined for obliteration?

Explore the social, personal, etc. implications of living in such a society that outlaws all books and writing, and get some poems out about it.  Write as many as you want, any style, length, just no books (no pun intended)  no collabs, two weeks.  

Here's some links to familiarize yourself with Ray Bradbury's dystopian "Fahrenheit 451", and the original 1966 movie version of the book:



Get writing, before they light the match!

The Gardener
Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom
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Before Kindle. (F451)

In the plumpness, in the ticking of our stage  
You stained,  
You were the evermore, the capturing of a moment, the capsule of my spirit and  
Was so many blurred events that led to here,  
The conclusion of an ending  
The disillusionment of your pure form  

I whispered your name in a coffee shop on the East side  
Between the tickerdy tap of dials and aggravated look ups from little, back-lit screens,  
I lusted after the lumps one gets on their inner finger from hard pencil grip,  
I touched myself in toilets filled with an acceptable usage for you,  
I wept for your lovers of lead and ink and crayons and paint.  
I gargled quotes you gifted me between electric brushing and spitting fluoride.  
I missed your scent when I'd run the tip of my nail along your insides.  
How lucky I was to know you, to read with you, to write with you, and bathe, still, in all our shame.
Written by ImperfectedStone (The Gardener)
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A start, perhaps?

Guardian of Shadows
United States
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Thanks for starting off, Imperfected!  Anything goes, so whatever you feel led to write based on the topic.  :)

Tyrant of Words
United States
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the preliminaries are over. we’ve discussed the latest
best sellers, a trendy art house, a French film that you
had no interest in, but it happened to be chic at the time.
abruptly, the conversation ends.

in the silence, we gaze at each other briefly. our lips
touch, your mouth opens slightly at my urging, our
tongues engage in the lovers combat. as my hand is about
to cup your breast, it is deterred by the small barrier of your
own hand, and I allow you that victory, like a man without a
backbone, without a hunger.

are we afraid? fearful of being taken before a tribunal
of unblemished hearts, stripped and lashed,
for unlawful carnal knowledge…

we are prisoners of love in separate cells. the eyes in the
walls watch us, blinking codes to each other that only they
understand. the elders who rule would judge our simple affection
as the crime of uninhibited souls. the thought police would arrive and
break down the door, and soon after we would be nothing more than
rebellious memories…

in the heaven of a million stars, is there one star that
would afford us a haven, a blissful refuge?
do you know that star?
can you guide me there?

Written by JohnFeddeler
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poet Anonymous

Related submission no longer exists.

Guardian of Shadows
United States
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Thanks John & Starlight!

Lord Viddax
Guardian of Shadows
United Kingdom
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Baptism of Fire

The day when the work was done
and dusted pavements spoke volumes
about the ashes of our alphabet
when the fire was mightier than the pen
as language and conversation died
to better cater for short attentions.
The day the music of letters died
killed by all too common consensus
of slaves to tablets and images
more come with emoji  
than overcome with emotion like I
whose written word was not outlawed.
Yet from that fire of ignorance
I salvaged an ember of intelligence
and fought fire with fire
to go on to preach fiery poetic rhetoric
and inspiring prose to the populace
that burns and flames only make stronger.
In the past I would have holed up with a book
cocooned in blissful ignorance by fantasy
only to wake up and smell the burning leaves
and make the itinerant information my reality
delivering hot topic bars of oration
akin to the past wordsmiths.
My words and others are the flames of fury
that will burn this idiotic corruption out
it will cleanse in fire that which generates ire
a guiding light burning bright as the north star
to cauterise this wound upon our species
into which new writing will be emblazoned.
I speak with fervour for the word
a message and story in this daftness
where kindle is king and smartphones bear no intelligence
and I enkindle in others this flame wreathed frenzy
its touch scorching scalding and scolding the illiterate
burning them as they burned the beloved literature.
Written by Viddax (Lord Viddax)
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Thought Provoker
United States
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Words of war...

Burn our pages
Put the writer in jail
As history ages
Censorship will fail
One opinion as gauges
Of what truth will entail
One of eternal sages
My language my grail
On your chest my signature rages
Perforated by lead in Braille

Nathaniel Peter
Fire of Insight
United States
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Outlawed Symphonies

What are these works but extentions of ourselves
And the words may leave the pages
But you'd have to incinerate my heart
And make a fire of my ribcage before you could silence it
Universal thoughts, there is nothing new under the sun
Just better ways of saying it all
Perhaps we'd be better left in silence
When freedom's speech is a shackle tongue
For misappropriated rights of lethal words
Reoccuring themes ring out in the will to control
Government paranoia and civil conflicts over guns at war with peace
Unload the chambers and quench the powder
You can take the teeth from the canine but it doesn't mean he's not a killer
Regulating words to confine knowledges
Like minds are arsenals and thoughts are the evidence
To incarcerate serial killer paradigms
And lock us up in a cell of self with eyes like barred windows
What's the next step but to cut out the tongue of a linguist composer?
And furthermore make stubs of our hands
Lest we write or preach a rhetoric of sign language
As we spell stories to influence with the reigns of dangerous ideas
God forbid we think for ourselves...

Thought Provoker
United States
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No Words

No words allowed? No books to read?
How can my voice be heard?
This is an outrage! My thoughts suppressed?
How will I let the world know how I feel?
Oh God! Emotions and feelings restrained within
Experiences and stories meant to be told
Recipes written in binders
Historical, ecclesiastical,  and traditional writings of old
No children's story book
Peter Pan and Captain Hook?
Ha! This is an outrage!
My world has collapsed, my imagination can not breed.
Written by QuinnARichardson
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Thought Provoker
United States
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Joined 19th Dec 2017
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I Stayed True

I lay in my bed and softly cry
I can not believe that my words on paper I can not bequeath
My heart beats fast
As the words come to me but I can not make them last
The anxiety, panic even of no relief
How will I get it out? How will the story be told?
My pen wants to write, this is absurd!
The world needs to know that I exist
That I lived my life and to myself I stayed true.
Written by QuinnARichardson
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Tyrant of Words
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If we weren't allowed to express ourselves in words we'd be lesser than the lowly beasts of the earth, because wordsmithing is our defining attribute as a species. We have no other superpower. Oh, that's  right, I wrote a poem about it.

Tyrant of Words
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Idea's Shelter

Without a tongue to mother us
We have no shelter in mind or mouth
For ideas to make our fuss
We'd be the least of beasts from north to south
Without our mother tongue to express how we feel separate
How could we explain how we are altogether desperate?
Or give our eloquent praise to what inspires
Or project our hope to what transpires
But from the rising sun
To the setting west
Human language fun
Makes us noblest and best
Rudimentary communication
Is part of each animal nation
Yet we human creatures
Construct the abstract
And most wonderful features
That animals of earth cannot imagine
The ideas our mother tongue shelters intact
Written by EdibleWords
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Guardian of Shadows
United States
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Great stuff, everyone!  Thanks for joining in!

Dangerous Mind
United States
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Burning Words

The thoughts and things that we write out
On paper because they get too cluttered
In our heads. Some people want to watch
Them burn because we dared and uttered
The unbearable truth with words, a splotch
Among the “perfections” of this tamed world.
Why do we punish those who give us peace?
We give people an alternative universe to
Live their fantasies. All of the pages curled
Up because we can never stop the release
Of hatred spewing out like flames, but you
Watch from the sidelines, being too afraid
To take part in the action. I wish everything
Can stay etched in marble and stone forever.
I wish they would have lingered and stayed.
I wish the words would hang and cling
To my skin so I can never endeavor
The pain I once felt all over again.
With the burning, I can feel the stain.
Written by eswaller
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