1. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    Past Contest Poetry Contest #253 -- Theme: "Skid row"

    Discussion in 'Monthly Poetry Contest' started by thirdwind, Sep 21, 2014.

    The theme for this contest is "skid row" (courtesy of @Selbbin). You are free to interpret the theme however you wish, but please make sure your poem does take the theme into account in some way.

    All entries are due by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, October 11. All entries should be posted directly in this thread. Replies will be anonymized by the anonymizer system, and they will be de-anonymized once voting ends. Keep in mind that you're responsible for making sure the formatting of your poem is correct.

    Good luck to everyone who enters!
  2. Darkkin

    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

    Jun 21, 2012
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    Following the footprints in the sand...
    Skid Row Runner

    Darkness, fragile and speaking, hovers.
    Eyes, shaded, watchful, adjust
    to the slender brightness of the street light's glow.
    All along the row silence reigns,
    broken only by the voice of the river,
    the verses of the tugs.

    On a stoop, damp with autumn's veil,
    a silhouette stirs.
    Small and spare, a clockwork overwound.
    Tense and flickering.
    At odds with the utter stillness of the row,
    energy coiled, abounding.

    Deaf to the river, the tale bearing tugs,
    In her head, her heart
    repeats, echoes, pounds.
    Garden calling on repeat.
    Battered shoes strike out finding the beat.

    Key tied tightly to a lace,
    away from the river, the quay, the tugs,
    away from skid row,
    she rushes.
    Feet pounding, rhythm found,
    as her heart begins to race.

    Maniac McGee, a childhood hero, who made it far.
    A book that carried her as she chartered a course,
    shooting for the moon, yet willing to settle for a star.
    Feet strike out away from the row.
    Eyes on the sky, watching
    for morning's bright glow.

    Flying fast as she can go.
    Pelting headlong through the fog,
    sidewalks, alleys, streets, and lanes,
    blurred and melting one into the next.
    Chest tightening, lungs burning
    with a familiar, aching pain.

    Brick and stone and concrete fall away,
    as grimy shoes grip and memory answers.
    Strides grow long, a smooth lilting action.
    Clockwork ticking...
    Like shampoo directions: Lather, rinse, repeat...
    Those worn trainers keep their traction.

    Dawn breaks softly, kissing the bluffs
    as they loom in the east.
    Skid row now lost and the university ahead.
    'Eyes on the prize,' a good man once said.
    Words that have endured,
    even with the dreamer long dead.

    Time is flying as fast as her feet.
    Savage is keeping a steady, driven beat.
    The chill of the morning bitingly bright.
    As the quad emerges from the urban coil,
    she laughs,
    everything feeling impossibly right.

    Through campus and across the tracks,
    further still.
    There is no turning back.
    On either side the lakes bloom, mirrored and large.
    A gaggle of geese gracefully passing,
    waters untouched by motor or barge.

    In the shadow of the bluffs, now looming, she runs.
    Into the mist, away from the light,
    into an illusionist's world of both day and night.
    Clouds and fog billow and roll,
    as the beauty of this place sinks deep, deep
    into the bowels of her soul.

    At last she finds it, there along the road.
    terraced and centuries old,
    a legacy to all the lives now past,
    their stories done, the tale told.
    A place of wonder, no one can hold.

    Skid row runner breathing hard, finally slows
    as she comes at last to the cottonwood stump,
    weathered and charred.
    Energy spent and muscles aching,
    dreams mapped out,
    she settles down as the world is waking.​
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  3. Alexander Raisintree

    Alexander Raisintree New Member

    Sep 23, 2014
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    On Skid Row

    eparable in existence, a soul adrift like an anonymous anomaly.
    Kakidrosis stench atomizing a festering, fiendish fortune foreclosed.
    Ichnites of ichorous existence thriving even where shadows succumb.
    Death knocks at the door like a familiar friend, a beginning...an end?

    Rampant ramifications of a rarefied spirit lost in the frey without a say.
    Omnipotent sentient without perception of time or place, living or lace.
    Whichsoever is right? Day or night, frighten or fight, measure or might…

    …...when you’re on skid row.
    Alexander Raisintree likes this.
  4. edamame

    edamame Contributor Contributor

    Apr 5, 2013
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    My Friend Ronnie

    Ronnie with his Skid Row bravado
    Had an ego large enough to fill a whale
    The swagger and the dapper-do
    Of the toughest Italian mobster, Sal

    He crouched like an overgrown ogre
    Grinned like some predator on the prowl
    With one leer he took all the comics
    From the boys at recess with a snarl

    He was knobby-kneed, granite-fisted
    Ate nails, scrap metal and the such
    Any dare or no-you-can’t
    He think didn’t amount to much

    But when his Pit Bull, Sharkie, died
    He lost his bluster and his brass
    Sitting down, I slung an arm ’round his shoulders
    And Ronnie’s heart shattered -- only glass
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014

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