Saturday, September 17, 2011

Who Gives a F*** about First Place?

A chorus of dahlias, none of which won first place in a competition.

Losing a competition doesn't make you a loser. I entered a poetry contest a while ago that required us to use as our first line a line from another poet's poem to create one of our own, and the results were announced this week. I didn't place. The winners were wonderful poems, and as I read them, I was thrilled by the quality of their work.

The world is full of music of all sorts, and at this point in life I don't feel the need to believe my preferences are the best. There's room in this world for a choir of voices, and it's the blended sound that is beautiful. The joy is in the variety.

So here is my contribution to the choir of poetry, inspired by someone else's first line, but sung in my own voice, in a tune that arises from the wealth of my own life.

A Savior Lies in the Desert

When I rose from my bed I was a watering hole for justice
and you were the desert of skulls encircling me
Twilight squatted on the juiceless ground like a blue dog
and you spoke
with a clattering of jaws from the skulls of the dead
lolling on the sand:
I thirst.

You embraced me, craving vindication,
all you who died a ghastly death
by negligence, design, fucked-up neurons, roadside bombs
I went to bed a woman with ordinary woes
but woke to find myself
your last resort
How do I atone for the bony hand that nothing filled
the demented crone who died alone, that lonely
bloody shoe?
You asked too much
of a simple seepage in the sand

All I had to offer was the trembling puddle of my empathy
But you begged
so I bestowed a kiss from my moist lips on every skull
that rolled to the brink of my pool and I called this
justice



8 comments:

Brian Miller said...

nice...there are some really great lines in here chris...i like the 1st and 3rd lines...and...hey its ok, you still #1 in my book....

Lou said...

The judges were obviously drunk!! You're arrangement is a winner. And you're take on life gets the blue ribbon.

the walking man said...

Different. I am not sure of your conclusion yet justice comes from many directions and forms.

Steve E said...

As a judge (ahem) of fine poetry, I would have read the first stanza and dropped the Blue right there. Winner and still champ!

Choir of voices? Guess I never read about an angel singing solo, always "choirs of angels". Could Eternity also be a 'we' program?

Rachel Fox said...

I think I've read this before, no? Thousands of miles away..?
x

Syd said...

Well, I think that it is thought provoking, although I confess that I don't understand the stuff about the demented crone and the bloody shoe. I think that you are talking about different forms of justice. Just not sure enough. But I love the flow of the words.

♥~Judy~♥ said...

Chris, the actual fights you have fought are much tougher than a poetry contest and you are a champion there. Poetry is only a form of expression, which while being very artful, can be wasted on those who ears are not attuned.

haikulovesongs said...

if you didn't even place the other poems must be masterpieces worthy of the centuries because this is a powerful, original, intriguing write. true excellence, Chris!
dani ♥

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