Weekly Contest

Poetry contest
19 competitors

Classic poem of the day

Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns dismayed,
The reverend champion stood. At his control
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last faltering accents whispered praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.
The service past, around the pious man,
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
Even children followed with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed —
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed.
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.

member poem of the day

Beautiful Catholic Bernadette,
the contradictory black sheep,
hair like a witch’s streak of white,
conception ruled you’d never reach
the obligatory brunette
sung in your sisters’ six-part mass.

It was totally inappropriate,
but wholly within character,
for you to flick your fag-ash on the floor
at your bloody-minded father’s wake,
rippling the warm after-death tipple,
to drag your boyfriends home from hell
and trash the positive-thinking books
that kept your mother’s faith from fading
like the blooms in the tangled garden
or the sweat-thumbed notes in her purse.

You had the look of her easy prime,
the high-arched brows and marbled skin,
unlike the eighth who looked as drawn
and tired as her worn-out skull,
as if the womb now cried, "Enough!"
and continuing might produce a corpse.

Did the holy water spill your brow

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