Poetry competition CLOSED 30th April 2024 5:12pm
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2024 Official DUP NaPoWriMo Challenge

L.C. McQuillen
Thought Provoker
Australia 4awards
Joined 17th Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 62



I don’t know how much influence
I’ll have in this world
I’m not even sure how much influence
My soul has to my heart
And my heart to my mind
And my mind to these lines
They all seem so
D I s c o n n e c t e d
At times
And if I was being honest
I would have to admit
I have a bit of a compulsive habit
To be less than truthful  

Mostly to myself
Surrounding my psyche
With delusions so I’ll never
Have to deal with what’s
Actually rotting within me
I guess now I’ve come to a point
Where must choose in between
Progression and confession
Forfeiting inauthenticity
Because what will my influence matter
If it really isn’t me?

{78 unique words}

Dangerous Mind
United States 17awards
Joined 8th Mar 2016
Forum Posts: 269

14 of 30

crushed cookies

she used to look at me like she hated me
...my mother's mother...
wanted to erase my existence from her reality
mom always said it was all in my head
...that I was just being too sensitive
{I got that a lot growing up...}
until one holiday when I was 15
that woman sent a box of presents
lovely wrapped packages for mom & my sister
...complete with shimmery bows & pretty labels
each of them receiving warm fluffy robes
{they even had big pockets!}
...& matching slippers for them both
purple for my sister & dark blue for my mother
mom kept digging into the styrofoam peanut packing
looking for something addressed to me
at the bottom...slightly crushed
no fancy paper...no shiny label
...4 pinwheel cookies in a ziploc
simple strip of masking tape bearing my name
...hastily scribbled...afterthought kind of thing
mom's face went as white as a sheet
& then immediately bloomed red
...my mother was so upset
she tried to give me her own beautiful gift
but I refused to take it
{I have to say...
to this day I detest those cookies
a hard day for mom...unexpected lessons
she could no longer deny it
my grandmother made no effort at all to hide it
{there's a certain amount of twisted respect
for such blatant shameless honesty
over time I grew accustomed to her anger & nasty looks
actually avoided her whenever I could
until alzheimers removed consistent recognition
...making it marginally safer
& I'd go with mom to visit
staying near the door & watching her warily
ready to retreat as soon as I saw that spark of memory
as the blank stare turned into a glare
hatred oozing from her sunken sockets
& I'd quietly slip away
{I used to wonder if it wasn't all that loathing
& not the cancer that finally got her
a different kind of disease eating her
...inside out...
you see...
I reminded her too much of my father
a fact she apparently she never forgot
...her loss
my mother's greatest joy was her mother's deepest resentment
the only time mom ever defied her
she held that bitter bile until the day she died
going to her grave still hating me
...& all I represented

Tyrant of Words
United States 117awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 14923



We write to remind ourselves
that we are alive

Does it matter
if anyone likes it
or not
if it’s wrong or right
empty or mindful

Life’s labyrinth
of willing wonders
amid a congealed Universe
offer us freedom
of choice

Whether beautiful
or grotesque
excellent or mediocre
we offer the verse
a conduit—
not of but through us

Trust that its newborn
breath enters the palms
of Mother Earth  
from this vessel of service

Believe muddy thoughts
stirring the sediment
of our meager intellect
will settle, eventually

before emerging
as a creation
worthy of poetry

Dangerous Mind
United States 18awards
Joined 29th Mar 2017
Forum Posts: 1391


Ode to Cut Crystal

She sent me out to hunt my switch
and I got lost in the spring’s first green.

I fled the warm kitchen, shame-faced
and tear-streaked. I didn’t mean
to break her favorite water pitcher,
the one her mother tucked away in her hope
chest for whenever she had a home of her own.
The one she only used for Sunday lunch
that cast rainbows all over the ceiling
and our faces while we ate fried chicken
and mounds of mashed potatoes
when the sun came through the window just right.
Everything tasted better when
you were eating rainbows.

The one we weren’t supposed to touch.

But the sun was just right and I wanted
rainbows all to myself instead of sharing
with cousins who didn’t appreciate
all the colors blending together,
diffusing into one another while they danced
around our gathered laughter.

The warm sun gave way to dappled green-gold
as I left the yard for the trees.
Hunting for switches was worse
than the switching and my broken heart
couldn’t bear the thought rainbowless
Sunday lunches.

The maples had put out their first leaves
and I nestled between the roots,
let my Granny’s grief leak down my cheeks
while the trees whispered their comfort.

Papaw found me as the sun went down,
the sky a red-pink riot, the clouds lined gold.
I broke off a swishy, thin branch (the worst
possible kind) off a nearby redbud and followed,
head bowed in dread, several steps
behind his quiet.

“Your granny’s waiting for you in the kitchen,”
he said, holding open the farmhouse door.
I couldn’t make my feet move, my eyes
were already swimming.

Then there she was, silver-hair halo
glinting in the gloaming.
She crouched so that her face was close,
and I couldn’t resist the call of her arms.

“All is forgiven, my girl,” she kissed my hair,
I sagged against her
and held up my swishy switch
when she let me go.
“A thin, young thing,” she said
whipping it about between us.
“You must feel very bad indeed
to voluntarily bring me this.”

I tried to dry my tears, but they
decided to ignore my attempts.
I tried to say I was sorry, but my voice
decided not to work.

“I don’t think we need this,” she said,
tossing it off the porch and sitting down
on the swing. “I saved this for you.”
She pressed a tea towel into my palm.
When I unfolded it, the familiar cut crystal
pattern fell into my lap, and I stared
at the egg-size piece of the broken pitcher

“So you can have rainbows
whenever you want.”

poet Anonymous


One For The Dormouse🐭

I don't believe in finding complicated ways
to write a poem that simply says
I love you.

I won't conceive of using convoluted rhymes
to plainly say a thousand times
I love you.

I can't perceive of metaphors or similes
to say the thing my heart believes:
I love you,

and so I weave these simple lines
to say how glad I am you're mine,
the Dormouse whom I think divine,
I love you.

Tyrant of Words
United States 123awards
Joined 25th Jan 2011
Forum Posts: 2645


The Wait/The Weight

inside the stillness, somber of mind
traveling with your true face while I sleep
tears escape,

in my mind, stirring I think it a nightmare
but it's truth comes over me like a thief
stealing my reverie

darkening my blue skies
even the daisies in the garden weep
treachery is afoot

planting seeds of derision you creep
appearing so kind with division on your mind
warned about you, I put such thoughts behind me
not knowing how high you would climb

little spider creeping about
spinning a web of deceit
taking note I wait

love is a feeling you can't fake
he lusts and for that I set aside my pride
because true love trumps that
orgiving weakness of flesh
realizing I won't be happy without him

Lost Thinker
Joined 30th Mar 2024
Forum Posts: 33


crab cakes

The afternoon’s lakelurks
Became dinner’s lakelurk cakes –
Crab cakes – back in the vault,
Canned lump meat instead of the wasteland’s
Freshest, meanest and apparently tastiest –
According to Six, at least.

Brad and I sat around the fire
As the cakes sizzle on the makeshift pan –
One-inch thick, like the recipe,
And a not too common bottle of wine passed between us.

Soft, slow music fills the night silence –
The voices of the man and woman
In harmony with each other and the desert –
The kind that allows a good, deep sigh,
Seeps to weary bones –
Allows the restful staring off into the horizon
For a bit of slow dreaming.

The cakes turn golden brown and
He flips them to cook the other side.
A few more minutes –
And dinner will be served.

For now, I rest my head on his shoulder,
And close my eyes for a bit –
I’m sure the lakelurk will taste better than the crab.

Thought Provoker
United Kingdom 1awards
Joined 21st Feb 2024
Forum Posts: 65


Wild wicked witch

I’m a wild wicked witch
That’s right, you heard me bitch
You can poke at me with your sticks
But I’ll never miss a trick

Let me cast a spell
Ensnare you in my hell
You can fight, you can yell
But the magic always tells

Tell me where you’re hiding
Where you’ve ran, which wall you’re climbing
It’s all just a case of timing
I’m forever learning, forever finding

Finding things I’d left behind
Finding things I’d hidden
Finding things I’d cast aside
To things I’d said good riddance

And yet as I stir my pot, it bubbles and boils
Billowing smoke with fluorescent gargoyles
All rising to the surface, all swimming about
From where do they escape, from where do they hence sprout

Unique word count: 87

Lord Viddax
Guardian of Shadows
United Kingdom 32awards
Joined 10th Oct 2009
Forum Posts: 6705

#14 of 30

With the flow

I do not know what drives me,
I am but a fish
carried by the current
Towards the inevitable waterfall and end
of which no fish knows of the beyond.
Yet despite the torrent around me,
all to often
I appear to be stuck and slow
the lack of progress only punctuated by time
as each moment drops away,
So I am but a fish
in a stream
somewhat awkwardly flailing
in the temporary stream.

(Unique words: 53)

Dangerous Mind
Philippines 11awards
Joined 6th Jan 2019
Forum Posts: 373



Time has changed us
In every aspect of our life
Physically we have grown older
We can see the marks
Of the passage of time in our body
Which is more pronounced
In the lines of our faces
Mentally time has ripened us
Into maturity
It has changed our perceptions in life
And the way we react and deal with life circumstances
Emotionally it has taught us
To be in control of our emotions
And not let it rule us
Spiritually time teach us wisdom as we grow old
And lead us to search for meaning and purpose to life
Socially we are more open and connected to others
But most importantly time has
Made us more tolerant
More understanding
More forgiving
And more loving to each other

Tyrant of Words
Canada 12awards
Joined 18th Nov 2015
Forum Posts: 1203



“We praise you, O God,
Our redeemer, creator…”

Almost time to get tidied up
for the parade of washed and scrubbed souls
lined up in our chairs in the chemo ward
waiting for that weekly infusion of faith

“Not what my hands have done
can save my guilty soul…”

I do want to look like I have my shit together,
at least enough for basic hygiene
forget that an hour before, I was stinking and greasy.
I’ll stand up there and sing
and they’ll imagine me “mature in faith”,
a leader, even
a fucking hypocrite
barely managing to mumble their language
around the marbles of doubt.
Anyway, I can believe in the music
even if the words taste a bit poisonous

“My life flows on in endless song
above earth’s lamentation…”

Some poison can be good, you know.
You just need it to kill more of the bad stuff
than the good stuff.
Maybe that’s what we should pray for:
God, don’t let us take this too seriously;
let us feel the complexity of your music
without tripping on our simplistic words

“My friends, may you grow in grace…”

How can I keep from singing?

Dangerous Mind
India 4awards
Joined 9th Mar 2023
Forum Posts: 122


many forms of motivation

seeing tall dense trees, plants are never jealous laughing with joy and inspires you to always smile

colorless pictures and blank paper also
become reasons for writing poetry

the same way...you are my meditation
my love, you are the shore of my lost boat
there is an end to my desires

it is nature's nature to snatch happiness
from lap, but when you are with me
I will not afraid of any storm

you are dearer to me than the words of poetry, more than the tears in my eyes, more than the mystery of the blackness filled night

i know life is a field, and will find artists playing strange tunes, but if I keep kissing the music of your lips, then even the stone floor will feel soft

a vine, it is not afraid of cold and heat,
it sticks firmly to the tree, just as it waves in the strong wind, it sets out to touch the sky, in the same way I will always there with you...

Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom 20awards
Joined 1st Aug 2021
Forum Posts: 1208


Musical Meanderings 2: When in Germany...

Bedhead chef fed Dad a bad cabbage!
Dad had a headache; he defaced effaced baggage.
Aged hag aced cha-cha-cha;
begged a faded cab; ha-ha-ha!
Egghead had a deaf cad fed;
beheaded beach babe gagged, caged, dead!
Badged bee dabbed a hedge-edged beach caff;
each dag faced a cabbaged gag gaffe.
Feed each deb a bagged beef fadge;
heed facade ahead; cede beaded badge.

Dangerous Mind
United States 29awards
Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 749


Queen Of The Marigolds I

A blazon sun
of herald flume
is kept in surrept,
seen by none

Earthly nest;
the waxen forge
deep within its
royal durge.

Humble gilded
velvet clothed
softly resting
in Autumn's throne.

In her finest was she
all Summer long
from Springs gay mantle
whence she first sprung

Bearing her gifts
among her a surge
all the little workers
waiting to emerge

     54 uw

Dangerous Mind
United States 19awards
Joined 8th July 2019
Forum Posts: 902


Second-Hand Love

wisdom stares into innocence;
your eyes are the same
as those I remember so fondly,  
when your father was my baby;
his mannerisms passed down
to you like a favorite stuffed toy,
or a beloved blanket woven
by years and experiences,
ready to support and give comfort;
your legacy of heredity and familiarity,
these second-hand gifts of love
all for my precious baby’s baby

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