Weekly Contest

Poetry contest
42 competitors

Classic poem of the day

Deep asleep, deep asleep,
Deep asleep it lies,
The still lake of Semmerwater
Under the still skies.

And many a fathom, many a fathom,
Many a fathom below,
In a king's tower and a queen's bower
The fishes come and go.

Once there stood by Semmerwater
A mickle town and tall;
King's tower and queen's bower,
And the wakeman on the wall.

Came a beggar halt and sore:
" I faint for lack of bread. "
King's tower and queen's bower
Cast him forth unfed.

He knocked at the door of the herdman's cot,
The herdman's cot in the dale.
They gave him of their oatcake,
They gave him of their ale.

He has cursed aloud that city proud,
He has cursed it in its pride;
He has cursed it into Semmerwater
Down the brant hillside;
He has cursed it into Semmerwater,
There to bide.

King's tower and queen's bower,
And a mickle town and tall;
By glimmer of scale and gleam of fin,
Folk have seen them all.
King's tower and queen's bower,
And weed and reed in the gloom;
And a lost city in Semmerwater,
Deep asleep till Doom.

member poem of the day


how to trap the amber within the tree
how to trap the fly within the amber
how to trap the blood within the fly
how to trap the hunt within the blood

rest of it i will handle
everything will be saffron and my wife
will be open mouthed with wonder
she will be dissuaded from
cutting her hair,
her quick fingers braiding it up
again and curling into the roots.
she will abandon the unfolded sari;
i hold out a wrist and she
smiles into it.

thursday evening my glasses break
and she scolds me, her quick fingers
rescue the miniscule screw, pinch it
carefully enough that her skin
splotches red. i close my wet eyes
and laugh and laugh and laugh.
in the next room, there is a jasmine plant
ravenous for sunlight, seeping in
through unturned shades.
some days i am keener
on certain
brands of cruelty.

strong scent of incense when i return,
as though all week, gods crowded around
my body seeking offerings. she
lies on her side, fingers curled over
one corner of the warm red sheet.
what i know better than anyone, after
thirty-one weeks in the glass city, is how to
open a door with mental oil on its
hinges. a measure of rope lies
on the little table, half-ringing a plate of
lentils and rice. steaming. i swallow
and sit down, soundlessly. across the
room, her dreams
are fields of wheat.