I recently held an extremely challenging round-robin poetry contest at AllPoetry.com. Each poet was given the same photo prompt and asked to compose a poem, in any style, to support the prompt. The following poems were the award winning finalists from that competition. Please follow their title link after reading their poems, and leave them a well deserved note of appreciation. Congratulations to all of these fine poets extraordinaire!
CHILDREN OF CHINA
by Stuart McCabe, All rights reserved
Wars woes betide young youthful sprouts,
life’s melancholies holds no restraint,
Witnesses to few winters, virginal innocence no
shield against life’s lashing lance,
Death’s caress naught but a bayonet stroke away;
blade and blood soon to acquaint,
Empire’s sun rising, servitude, slavery,
children of China now lives in Showa’s manse.
Shadows be the cradle of their birth,
under the Rising Sun does darkness come,
Blade point to their hearts and mothers’ bellies,
death comes before their birth,
Bayonets slick with blood; child visceral bathing
in Nanking’s flames; bedlam,
On children’s backs Empire treads upon,
dominion assured, sating Tojo’s mirth.
Blood runs down the Yangtze River,
crimson on the Yellow Sea; China bleeds,
Slaughter’s symphony sing in every salvo,
children’s chorus silent; death’s crescendo,
Battle lines drawn, tyrants’ grip slipping;
in shadows burrows communism’s seeds,
Mao’s revolution reaching far, heeded;
young hearts hear his name; free from Shinto.
East Ocean devils defeated;
China’s newborn star eclipsing Empire’s dying sun,
War won; orphans know not a peace,
in red their future; blood, Marxism, Cold War,
Enola Gay’s Little Boy takes history’s glory;
China’s pain suffers infamy’s omission,
Soviet Bear to the north, bald eagle circles;
enemies, foes China’s children will abhor.
TEARS FOR NAGASAKI
by Mark Andrew James Terry, All rights reserved.
As winter came like summer frost,
he sang sincere daijoubu,
and softly cuddled sense of dread,
her whimper’s tearing for the dead…
no home, no life to go to.
One second’s unpinned umbral urged
our fury’s fuming cauldron.
It seared through bodies, atoms-purged,
and forty-thousand souls emerged
to gather near their children.
That moment froze in disbelief
to life’s denuded breathing.
The young boy’s song, a sad motif
in quiver’d chant, was no relief
to rife and anguished seething.
In knowing lives can vaporize
to end a fight, we theorize
then live in anonymity,
avoiding Hibakusha eyes…
the ones who lived where terror lies.
O when will evolution overtake
our tendency to so forsake?
by Chrysanthy, All rights reserved.
there are times
I feel I’m drowning
in the midst of chaos
fear and agony seize
my core existence
and desolation threatens
devouring the depths
of my embodiment
it is in these times
you are nearest to me
desperately I cleave
endless devotion onto you
for only through you
can life’s aspirations
ever be replenished
and though darkness
for beauty lies there in
even as we bathe
in tears of injustice
filth and sorrow
this inescapable nemesis
we will conquer
and over throw
hold fast onto destiny
fortuity is by our side
carrying eternal death
this phantom wraith
devour and paint him
what is due
till day light
shines upon us
the brevity of life
in search of
by Mary Lou Healy, All rights reserved.
beneath the hand
Does the omniscient eye
or does it blink
and look away?
Life offers choices…
to accept the solace of belief
in a benevolence
or to know the loneliness
of your singularity
in a vast universe.
A guiding hand
that traces a path to follow
yet the soul is strong
who charts his own course
Cry out to the heavens
and listen long
for an answer
that does not come…
except in the heart
of the believer.