Competition Ends 7th November 2020 4:44pm
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Touched With Fire

LunaGreyhawk
LunaGreyhawk
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 8th July 2019
Forum Posts: 270

Poetry Contest

A month of digging deep into the struggle between creativity and mental health issues, based on the book, ďTouched With FireĒ, by Kaye Redfield Jamison

ďThe anguished and volatile intensity associated with the artistic temperament was once thought to be a symptom of genius or eccentricity peculiar to artists, writers, and musicians. Kaye Redfield Jamisonís work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic-depressive illness.

Jamison presents proof of the biological foundations of this disease and applies what is known about the illness to the lives and works of some of the world's greatest artists including Lord Byron, Vincent Van Gogh, and Virginia Woolf.Ē (New York Times)


This competition is meant to explore the relationship between the muse and mental health.  You have one month (in case you havenít read the book and would like to) to put your personal experience with the line between creative genius and insanity into poem.  I know that vulnerability in expressing our deepest inner conflicts can be difficult, but Iíd really love to see some frank and honest experiences spilled here.  

The guidelines for the competition are as follows:

ē One month to submit your entries
ē Maximum of two entries per DUP persona
ē Any written style or length poem, including visual/audio; no prose
ē Entries will be decided by a panel of peer poets
ē Entries must first be posted to your page and then linked here; no copy/paste entries are allowed
ē Both new and old writes are acceptable


Good luck!



LunaGreyhawk
LunaGreyhawk
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 8th July 2019
Forum Posts: 270

Cogitatus

how long  
do I have -
before your  
glazed eyes
greet me  
when I pause
to look up
from my page?
 
each time  
I think to myself
 
~who else is here?~
 
Iíve spilled every  
last drop
of the battle
I suit up for
on any given  
Tuesday;
what remains  
before I run out
of ways to say
Iím not alright?
 
~I wonít ever be alright~
 
but as long as
youíre willing
to watch this  
fight to the death,
Iím willing
to put on  
a show
 
when my throat
becomes scratchy,
full of that  
darkness
that canít get
quite comfortable  
here
 
~not anymore~
 
then Iíll come,
and put my face
to the door,
and Iíll open it wide,
spilling my guts
to you
 
until nothing is left
but the last fight
and the soft light  
on the other side
of this battlefield  
 
Written by LunaGreyhawk
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Non-entry entry

anvinvil
anvinvil
Anvillan
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 16th Feb 2020
Forum Posts: 90

Wandering Minds...

Iím alone, but am I really alone?
Who is this voice that speaks to me?
From where comes this voice
that questions my every move?
Who is it that wants justification for
all I say and do? The voice speaks
to me like it knows me, in a language
that is familiar. It seems to know
what Iím thinking before I think it.
I demand to know but only silence.
When pressed, the voice hides.
But then, a faint whisper, like a
train in the distance, coming toward
you, getting louder, ď you canít hide
from meĒ.
Then comes the muse flash.
The great debate between your
actions and your conscience.
The arbiter between what you want and
what you do, between who you love
and who you hate. The silent controller
of you and your life. The muse that
compares what we want in reality
with whatís right in spirit.
Is this inspiration or trepidation?
The court of your conscience issues
both opinions and judgements, opinions
after the fact and judgements on
issues pending. Do those those
opinions and judgements
become words on the page?
Does my pen dare to reflect
who I really am?
Written by anvinvil (Anvillan)
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Insiderew
Insiderew
rew
Thought Provoker
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Joined 17th Sep 2020
Forum Posts: 10

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LunaGreyhawk
LunaGreyhawk
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 8th July 2019
Forum Posts: 270

Insiderew said:Hi LunaGreyhawk,
about the anonymity of the contestants. would a contestant's submission be anonymous to others in DU? Thank you, regards from rew.


Excellent question!  After getting some great advice from a veteran competition host, Iíve decided to put the entries to a panel vote instead; therefore, your submissions will not be anonymous.  I hope this helps encourage more poets to enter.  Thank you 💜

Valeriyabeyond
Valeriyabeyond
Valeriya
Dangerous Mind
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Joined 3rd May 2020
Forum Posts: 1795

Glue Like Complacency

Held in the grip,  
by used cellophane, singe
its coat, burning reflections  
behind  eyelids stuck shut,
 
Mirrored avenue,  
where trees drink in,  
black-- bile †  
Crowded, rich with dwarf willow  
 
†Throwing †her embrace  
around †the dense, strands  
of an old man's beard  
covered with thick lichen
 
It hangs free  
like morbid hammocks
whose anchor has †rotted--away  
 
Languid
oxalic acidic talc pits holes
†in this heavy-- metal collar,  
around her neck  
 
chains dangle
like galling wind-- chimes
†she can't stand  
 
The sound  
picked up by straying  
wingless --feathers †
one more day in the bottom  
of a †bird-- cage  
 
It's †doors left open, †bars
bent into familiar shapes, † †
of escape,  
 
Yet nightingale †sits perched †
on †it's †thorny --branch  
 
Pale wind blows, †the cage
†onto damp concrete
 
†shaded in picturesque fairness †
black moldy images
†keep her †occupied,  
immovable. † †  
within this void  
she loves †
Written by Valeriyabeyond (Valeriya)
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Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 9th Nov 2015
Forum Posts: 5134

Camouflage

 

Iíve been there many times before,
Iíve walked the line, Iíve drawn it fine.

Unbalanced, unafraid of it,
So I can sabotage myself
To fall more often than I should,
The way Iím wired, turned around.

I think I recognize the times
Itís happening to me and still
I let the free fall vortex yawn
That swallows my identity.

I disappear most ways as one,
But you canít tell, you wonít see me.
Yet in my life with poetry,
The more you read, Iím everywhere.

My poíems, all, a puzzle piece,
To gather, forming images,
Developing a sense of self.

The dark of my mentality
Is rife throughout the camouflage.
But all the rest is also there;
Including things I never knew.

ĎTwas for years the black pit in me
Did all it could to end my life.
At times the hours turned to days
Before Iíd come to somewhere else.

I was hurt in so many ways
But friends would find & take me in
And give me a reason to live
Till black came the curtain again.

It seemed it would never happen,
A chance at a life worth living.
Certainly not the unworthy,
Uplifted from hell into grace.

My friends knew me better than me;
Iím lucky that this was the case.
Over time, I studied a lot:
A cripple relearning to walk.

The one thing Iíd had but forgot,
I soon re-embraced in a trance,
The freedom I felt when it came
From my spirituality.

A renewed meaning in my life
And how I felt as a poet.
To dare and share the inner self
Can encourage others to write.

Iíve vanished, gone into thin air
In puffs of smoke from fiíre storms,
To reappear in written words
Among the volumes of my strife.

Iíll always be alive, unsinged,
If you know my humanity.

Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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ELIAS11
ELIAS11
Lost Thinker
Canada
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Joined 17th Sep 2020
Forum Posts: 1

Soul Patch...

I'm closet crazy...

I really need to clean these bones from behind that door of what I could never find a way to properly store...

I'll get to the carpets too...

Just amazing how much stuff can be swept beneath such a small rug...

I don't even own a house broom...

I've been leaving the door open with the light on for myself...

As an invitation from me to me to step inside and start to clean...

All these mementos of where I've been...

Again I sit in the silence and listen to what it has to say...

Sometimes nothing can say alot...

The sedate weight of this train of thought is something that I've always fought...

Let the arguing begin...

I guess it's never really ever ended... Seemingly I haven't really befriended my hoarding other half...

And he's taking up an awful lot of room in my modest closet...

And he seldom wears most of those shirts... My chest god damn hurts stretching into most of these clothes...

Nevermind patching up all those holes...

I need to let some of these things go...

Wear what fits... and focus on sewing up this soul...


  ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ELI
Written by ELIAS11
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anvinvil
anvinvil
Anvillan
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 16th Feb 2020
Forum Posts: 90

Poets Dilemma...

Iím drawn from the forge
of truth, red hot and anvil ready.
Iíve chased my heart to the
depths of the oceans
and heard the songs of the denizens.
My heart dictates but my mind rambles.
I seek control but my pen scratches the absurd.
My mind spins and distorts reality.
I become trapped in the bizzare.
Distant stars will fade before
my well of feeling
will run dry. Chains on my
hands, blindness in my eyes
yet I write and see all.
I soar across the heavens
though tethered to the earth.
I walk on hot coals while
singing sweetly. I talk to
the moon and the man talks back.
I sip mint juleps while basking on
the sun. Iíve done all this
and none of this. The poet is
free, a universe of the unknown awaits
Written by anvinvil (Anvillan)
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wallyroo92
wallyroo92
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th July 2012
Forum Posts: 1172

On Madness and Creativity

 
Dear Mr. Williams,  
I always admired your brilliance,
Your pizazz and energetic flow,
How you used to run a show with non-stop verve and drive†
Accessing the deepest recesses of your mind,†
How the words just seemed to pour out,†
And sometimes not fast enough.†
 
Dear Mr. Williams,†
You brought so much joy and laughter to millions,†
I was always amazed at your range and scope,†
You were such a gifted and talented human being,†
That aside at laughing at your jokes,†
Your warmth seemed to give others hope.†
 
But when I heard the news of your demise,†
I wondered why or how could it be,†
That such a person with great creativity,†
Could keep their pain from the public eye.†
 
Were you also a tortured soul?†
Where the madness down inside could not let go?†
And that despite whatever demons in your head,†
You transferred them into wonderful things instead.†
We didnít see your suffering,†
At first it all seemed so puzzling,†
But little by little I came to understand.†
 
Iím lucky to have lived in the same time,†
To have witnessed such a genius,†
And since I have not words to depart,†
Iíll simply use Whitmanís expression to heart,†
O Captain! My Captain!†
Written by wallyroo92
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TimWombles
TimWombles
Twisted Dreamer
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Joined 21st Sep 2020
Forum Posts: 6

The Voices and the Sword

I feel my veins pulsing
My eyes locked on the sight
I hear the voices talking
Making fun of my plight

Oh to be rid of those voices
Mocking me on this night
My soul would be elated
And gleefully cheer in delight

I reach for my trusty pen
The mightiest of swords
And start to put to paper
If I can only find the words

But simple words elude me
And the voices shout so loud
But I concentrate my breathing
And words they flow so proud

I can hear the voices panic
Scattering all around
As the pen slides across the page
The voices barely make a sound

Deep down I quite suspect
Those voices are really mine
And if I can make it till tomorrow
Perhaps everything will be fine
Written by TimWombles
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Kaden_Malis
Kaden_Malis
Kaden Malis
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 2nd July 2020
Forum Posts: 12

Sacred fire

Sacred fire
A blessing and curse
Cut myself open
For all to see

Everone gazes in amazement
At the truth laid bare
While I'm laying mangled
Does anyone see me bleed?

The truth is...
That fire is always there
Burning inside...
Scorching it's way to the surface

If it doesn't come out in words
Destruction takes hold
When I can't find the words
Alcohol and pills are my new gold

A sick cycle
Merry go round goes round and round
Exhilarating for awhile
Then comes the haunting sound

"Stop! Let me off, I feel sick!"
Numb my burning brain
With drink and drugs
My mind's new trick

Those habits are lifesavers
If I didn't have them
I would have no life to be saved

They put out fires and hold them at bay
Much to my loved ones dismay

I try to explain
But they just look at me like I'm insane

If you feel this fire
Burning inside you
Threatening your life

Get it out!

If kept inside
It will burn it's way out
And bring you nothing but strife
Written by Kaden_Malis (Kaden Malis)
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Bluevelvete
Bluevelvete
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 21st July 2020
Forum Posts: 878

just like that.

   
†† † †  
† † † †
over and over I pled † † † †
I clawed and clawed and I bled † † † †
until bloodied fingertips were dripping with
shame †  
I screamed and screamed until choking on blame †  
I screamed until screams no longer came; † † †  
óthe phone rang, † † †
a voice explained † † † †
and just like that † † † †
..... I was never the same † † † †
† † † †
† † † †
† † † †
† † † †
Written by Bluevelvete
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Girthquake
Girthquake
Lost Thinker
United States
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Joined 12th Oct 2020
Forum Posts: 8

Cursed at Birth

The immense pain
The poison of life
The intense wain of this never-ending strife
What can one do
But push on and on
Joy and happiness farther gone and gone
Yearning for freedom
Dying for air
Just one day I want to live with no care
The frog of growth
Continues its croakin
But I don't have a choice, genetics have spoken
The torment burning
What an immense heat
I will never escape this twelve-inch meat
Written by Girthquake
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Girthquake
Girthquake
Lost Thinker
United States
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Joined 12th Oct 2020
Forum Posts: 8

What Hurts The Most?

Women say childbirth is worse than getting kicked in the nuts
They ignore the pain that shoots from scrotum to guts
Delivering a child has an end goal, a beautiful reward
A nut shot has no meaning, no rhyme, no chord
However testicular destruction is the ultimate euphoria
So I must agree with the women, I really feel for ya
Written by Girthquake
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