Weekly Contest

Poetry contest
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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

wave it like a white flag, surrendering

     with handshakes and smiles
     so civil

project upon it red and blue patriotism

     stars like ordnance exploding
     stripes like prison bars

     (truth, held captive)

parade it like a memory

     celebrating men who slaughtered brothers
     to enslave

     (sense, held captive)

whisper, like wind whipping fabric:

     the emperor’s new flag still has no colors

whisper, like rending garments:

     the problem is not one man, elected
     the problem is a tyrannous minority who sustains him
     the problem is small men chasing votes

     stuffing our futures
     like paper scraps into ballot boxes

     (humanity, held captive)

wave the white lie, blank as a black screen

     like electronic voting machines swallowing code
     returning unverifiable results

the next war will not be civil



First appeared in Poets Reading the News