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  1. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    Past Contest Poetry Contest #262 -- Theme: "Prison"

    Discussion in 'Monthly Poetry Contest' started by thirdwind, Mar 29, 2015.

    The theme for this contest is "prison" (courtesy of @LorenaTralala). 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, April 18. 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. ChaosReigns

    ChaosReigns Ov The Left Hand Path Contributor

    Mar 20, 2013
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    Medway, Kent, UK
    My Own Hell

    Sitting in a dark room.
    silence and stillness around
    My head goes into overdrive.
    My senses tweak as they hear a sound
    Deciphering what it could be
    Is it a person?
    Is it a creature?
    Is it something more sinister?
    My mind,
    So Sinister
    So Dark
    So hell like
    Trapping myself in this prison
    Of my own mind
    My body cannot function properly
    As I wait this out.
    I know not what is going on
    Aside from these horrible conditions
    That I am subject to.
  3. Lance Schukies

    Lance Schukies Active Member

    Apr 1, 2015
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    the first time visitor.
    razor wire on tall featureless walls.
    long line of women looking sorry.
    the small door opens as three people are let in.
    after one hour it is her turn with two others.
    she hands over her ID and a copy of their marriage.
    he takes them and hands her a ticket with her number.
    126 it happens to be their sons birthday Dec 6.
    she follows the other women and waits in another line.
    this line ends in a female guard patting her down.
    she is then told to enter the visitor room.
    it a vast hall with bolted down tables and chairs.
    she sees the women and men talking no touching.
    she waits for him.
    he arrives with a smile he is so happy.
    she speaks " I want a divorce I am not waiting 20 years for you".
    she is gone.
  4. Chinspinner

    Chinspinner Contributor Contributor

    Oct 15, 2011
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    London, now Auckland
    The Conversation

    "It is a piece of perfect pitch and rhythm; each word delivered with deft precision."

    "Yes, it is lyrical mastery."

    "No," he said "it's more of a serial larceny; the same thought, the same rhyme, repeated time after time. It's all been said and done, the novels you've read and the songs you've sung. There's no new idea here, just a re-run, of ideas once told, and stories sold; of the rattle of spears, or a fair maiden's tears, or the timely return of a prodigal son."

    "So every writers a thief?"

    "That is my belief, but I say with relief: The statute of limitations has passed, the imitations are too vast to; try and convict, to; interdict the lie; while those pieces mimicked with conviction, using similar diction, or plot, or boiling pot, or however they rely on previous fiction, meet no restriction. Stories have been told for time immemorial and each telling was a tutorial."

    "Will they ever serve their sentence?"

    "There is no repentance, only your mind mocking and that clock tick-tocking as the walls close in and you recognise your sin: Not an original page will touch these finger tips and not an original word will be heard from these duplicitous lips."
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  5. Sword

    Sword Member

    Apr 23, 2012
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah Apparently I'm Lazy and I Recognize That Fact; Yet, I'm Too Lazy To Change It

    Fuck you. You're locked up for possession of half a g.
    Let me tell you what prison is to me.

    Prison is the fact that I sat here
    thinking of something to write.

    And I did. Yeah, that's right.
    Yet, you see the problem I've got here is that I deleted it.

    A pathetic sophomoric attempt is what it was.
    So I erased it, okay.

    Then I started thinking to myself...
    "I should write something better!"

    So then I kept writingandwritingthinkingtomyself, "how self referential can I make this
    before it becomes atrocious again?"

    I've clearly hit that point.
    Which is why I'm deleting this and never posting it.
  6. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

    Jan 7, 2015
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    New Mexico
    Eternal Prison

    From far away,
    Across vast tundras,
    Dunes, and deserts,
    I heard a mutter; howling,
    Everlasting winds
    Drowned the innocent whispers,
    ‘Come hither.’

    It wasn’t compelling.
    Why bother? I thought,
    There sifting through sand,
    Playfully making a mess on a mess,
    Abusing my hands
    Under veilful dust storms;
    T’was a bliss that was telling.

    More than later,
    The voice came again,
    In the form of a vision.
    It took me over that day,
    As I sat blissfully bored,
    After a day full of fill,
    Atop those arid
    And dusty hills.

    I closely watched
    The up whisked dust
    swirl and twist;
    The waves of chaos
    Of the days since past
    And yesterday.

    It was then that the visions spoke
    Of a place nowhere close,
    As matter a fact,
    I had a great deal to go.
    Uncountably so,
    From every direction
    They all called,
    'Come hither'

    Each one a pole:
    Rising from earth,
    Stretching through skies,
    And all in one row.

    Lavished tall bars
    Made of pure gold,
    With sparkling glitter;
    Every facet a marvelous
    Speck Of a jewel.

    Each of them called
    From every direction;
    Each one compelled me,
    Each more and more.

    The journey is long,
    So I pondered,
    Which one?
    Spending much time,
    I carefully chose
    To which end
    I'd go.

    I started treading
    Soon after,
    Set on my mission
    For that foolhardy vision,

    Hoping one day
    I’d see at last,
    At the very least,
    One end
    Of my Eternal Prison.
  7. Victor Valesser

    Victor Valesser New Member

    Apr 11, 2015
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    The Man’s Plan

    There was a man with hands falsely bloodied.

    His face was tarnished and reputation sullied.

    Condemned he was, to life in chains,

    to spend his final days in pain.

    But in his cell, a friend he found,

    a lad with eyes both big and round.

    Together the two did conspire,

    to escape beyond the razor-wire.

    They tried again and again, all had failed.

    All their plans had been derailed.

    And when the lad had lost all hope,

    he decided in prison, he could cope.

    But the man was stubborn, he insisted:

    We could escape, if you persisted.”

    To this the lad chose to reply:

    To you what help shall be I?”

    The man gave a suggestion queer:

    Bring some rope and paper here,

    And then go fetch a rusty blade,

    so you can see the plan I made.”

    The lad complied and left to find,

    the items the man had in mind.

    With rope and paper he returned.

    A brief gratitude the lad had earned.

    And when he left to find the blade,

    he returned and found himself dismayed.

    From the item the lad had wrangled,

    did the man’s corpse slowly dangle.

    The note was brief and quickly written.

    “With you I found myself quite smitten,

    but in here there is no room for love,

    and so now I depart to the place above.”

    The lad was struck and heavily damaged.

    And only with great effort he managed,

    to lift the blade up to his throat,

    and drain his blood on the man’s note.

    There were two men, with hands bloodied.

    With names forgotten, and bodies buried.

    Condemned they were, to life in chains.

    They spent their final days in vain.
  8. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

    Dec 7, 2014
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    fargo, ND

    Everyday is exactly the same when
    Mirrors of envy reflect my pain
    Days not yet lived feel etched in stone
    Inside prison walls in here alone

    Your face now a ghost to me
    Soft touches no longer felt
    Sweet whispers drown in Screams of regret
    In my mind all alone
  9. Hubardo

    Hubardo Contributor Contributor

    Feb 22, 2014
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    Carve me a bird
    Set it on the sill
    Sit me good n still

    Maybe it's the weekend
    Broke his front tooth off
    Maybe mornin'll be nice
  10. Canopyvine

    Canopyvine Member

    Aug 22, 2014
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    You want to stop sometimes and dream.

    As spiders crawl beneath your skin.

    And as the hours flow like sand.

    And as the floor scrolls to the back.

    A dream unreal, and so long.

    To last forever, right or wrong.

    To twist and coil around your hands.

    And to connect in iron cuffs.
  11. edamame

    edamame Contributor Contributor

    Apr 5, 2013
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    Alone in the Dark

    darkness creeping, crawling, lying
    as the fireplace ashes, dying
    in his dusty forgotten bed
    the invalid tosses, lonesome, wed

    no human voice greets him with cheer
    flimsily tied were those thought dear

    for when sickness comes
    minutely strangling
    leaving only the ill

    no one to save you from gloomy thoughts
    no one to tell you, you aren’t forgot

    for who can save a drowning man?
    some can only point his way to land
    unable to lend a true hand
    to the drowning, now drowned man
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  12. United

    United Member

    Nov 8, 2014
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    Deviousness from a Cage

    Dear, dear, dear---
    I once lived
    in a place where
    the birds sang.

    They sat up,
    up, way in the tree---
    I could not
    snatch them.

    My tiny paws,
    my dull claws,
    I tried to climb, but
    I failed---stupid trees!

    So yummy, the
    birds they seemed,
    so juicy, savory---
    my favorite.

    Alas, that darned
    old hag figured
    my plan. She locked
    me in this cage.

    Nowadays, she sits
    out on the patio,
    watching her little birds.

    I'm all alone,
    in a prison, deviously
    plotting to fill my
    stomach when I return.
  13. Darkkin

    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

    Jun 21, 2012
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    Following the footprints in the sand...
    Death's Echo: The Fate of Cleveland Lowelle

    The purpose of the Echo is known: To return.
    Thoughts, ideas, and bits of wonder as they churn.
    This must be understood, firmly understood,
    if from this darkness there is to come any good.

    It sits on the promontory, where the shoreline cleaves,
    a cottage, ancient and weathered, greying to the eaves.
    It is the Cliff House, its name to the Strangeways known,
    and it is home to a boy, sloe-eyed and pale as bone.

    This boy was named for the rugged place where he was born.
    Of the Cliffs, was the meaning of the name, called each morn'
    Such was he, young Cleveland Lowelle, quite a singular boy,
    for he was a genius, some called mad, an artist of clockwork toys.

    He tinkered and played, building and moulding, wonders great,
    most for the amusement and delight of his little sister, aged eight.
    It was for his beloved Maggie Miri's laughter and joy,
    he sought to perfect each marvelous, ticking toy.

    Maggie Miri Lowelle was a curiosity, even among the Lores,
    naught but copper hair and glowing eyes, a child of foreign shores.
    Frail and vibrant, she drew all hearts to her, a beacon fiercely bright.
    But it was clear, her time was marked, Death coming for her light.

    Cleveland, a vow to his father, made: Keep her safe, come what may.
    It was a promise that haunted him, through the night, down the day.
    For Maggie was fading, her light each day, weakening a little more...
    Frantic, Cleveland, paced and thought, wearing a path into the shore.

    And it was from the shore that Cleveland first saw the crow,
    the herald of the Little Tin God of Twice Forgotten Row.
    And idea, bleak and mad blossomed in his head,
    a plan to save Maggie, even if it saw him dead.

    So, under the divine guard of Hermes of the Golden East,
    Cleveland placed Maggie, for Hermes was a daunting beast.
    No hound was more faithful, true blue as his coat was gold,
    for Hermes was a Mastiff, whose sires served the kings of old.

    With his sister protected, away he went, a single lantern glowing,
    seeking the raven, herald of the Little Tin God, young, yet knowing.
    Forward into the fog and the night he went, that clever boy,
    with him, he carried a bribe, a wondrous, clockwork toy.

    At length he came to a place where the brook and the river meet,
    and 'neath an ancient Alder, he finally paused to rest his weary feet.
    Cleveland's gaze was fixed upon the rolling ebony waves of the sea,
    when something rustled in the branches overhead, the raven, twas he.

    That raven, a well travelled and cunning old fellow was he,
    as into Cleveland's lap he dropped a heavy, iron-wrought key.
    By his lantern's flame, he saw it, a door, where no door could be.
    A door to nowhere, hinged and hanging from a beechwood tree.

    A door of iron in a place of water and wood, odd, even in the Strangways.
    But Cleveland, a promise made, had no choice, given Maggie's fading days.
    So, to his feet he rose and toward that door he went, key in hand.
    Into the lock went the key, as creak sang the door, revealing a strange land.

    Foils of green, a sky of hammered copper, the sea, a flowing quicksilver wave.
    Down to the right, away from the door, came a ticking, a clicking, from a cave.
    It was a world of clockwork wonder, the likes of which has never been seen,
    but Cleveland, fixed on his task, went looking for the heart of the machine.

    Into the cave, burrowing through a mountain of ore, raw and torn,
    Cleveland followed the click tick and soon encountered a silver unicorn.
    Its sapphire eyes were weary and sad, clicking, ticking, no dreams to be had.
    Who had created such a wonder, so brilliantly beautiful and mad?

    'Rounding a corner, by a singular candle's bright glow, the answer came.
    Cleveland had only to see to know this petite deity by rumour and name.
    A helm of burnished curls, eyes like polished tin, it was she, Titan Small the Odd,
    the creator of Twice Forgotten Row, she, the knowing Little Tin God.

    She looked up from her book as the sad-eyed unicorn clicked across the floor.
    'Who are you, sir, to warrant such need, that Raven brought you to my door?'
    Small's smiled was bladed, her eyes seeking, as for an answer, she waited.
    Cleveland swallowed his pride, as with renewing hope, his fear abated.

    'Cleveland Lowelle of the Cliff House, a protector of a Strangeway joy.'
    Small's gazed grew knowing. 'It is Maggie Miri's death you seek to alloy.'
    Cleveland nodded, hope, naked and shining in his gaunt, aquiline face.
    'To gain the knowledge, you must first defeat the Mad Fox in a race.'

    That flicker of hope, nearly died, but Titan Small's smile grew bright.
    'Fear not, I will help you if you can set my sad, tarnished unicorn right.'
    From a bag slung 'cross his back, Cleveland pulled a parcel, dusty and small.
    Away fell the paper, a clockwork lark revealed, quietly it began to call.

    Lark song took wing, a prayer heard across that ticking, artificial land,
    turning mercury to water, copper filings to squeaking, glassy sand.
    It was a song of hope, a breath of life in a world without true light,
    and that unicorn, its heart began to beat, a soul made real and bright.

    And Titan Small, that Little Tin God, whistled long, whistled loud:
    Out of the darkness, came the last remaining clockwork, tall and proud.
    Cast of quicksilver and golden bones, he was of perpetual motion made.
    So, with Lore, a greyhound ticking, Titan Small's debt was paid.

    Into Small's hands Cleveland pressed that singing Lark,
    a light and breath in a world made of artifice and dark.
    And that Lark sang of hope and truth, a world made bright,
    and land, its denizens and creatures now, real and right.

    'Good luck, Cleveland Lowelle, with you, my trusted Lore, goes.'
    'Just hold tight and all will be well, Lore hunts by sight and nose.'
    Now this fabled Lore was a wondrous beast, strong and sleek,
    a greyhound in his prime, relentless in a game of hide and seek.

    Lore the Strong beside, young Cleveland Lowelle, did bow,
    as Titan Small cried out, 'You must go! Go! Go now!'
    Cleveland climbed astride the ticking Lore, gasping his collar tight,
    the boy settled, the greyhound, leapt, running with all his might.

    Upward and twining through the tunnels, searching for the sun,
    higher and higher, up from the bowels of the cave, did Lore run.
    Cleveland felt the tick, the tock, Lore's lush clockwork flow,
    and with him, that boy merged, tight as two flakes of falling snow.

    Low over the grey's neck he stretched, flexing and reaching,
    tight to the springing spine, knees gripping, Lore's rhythm teaching.
    Bound and touch, grip and reach, whispering o'er the the ground.
    Bounding, pounding, ever onward to that door, ran the hound.

    The portal stood open, but the wind, how it now roared,
    haunches bunching, Lore, now desperate, launched, soared.
    O'er the threshold he touched down, as that door locked tight.
    Even as the pair came about, a maniacal cackle echoed from the right.

    Another insane laugh, it was the Mad Fox, gone in a blur of red and black.
    Lore, a clockwork over-wound, pounding hard, followed the torturous track.
    Faster and faster those massive paws stretched, gripping, struggling to reach.
    Cleveland swallowed a curse, their quarry was making for the beach...

    Alder, silhouetted by the moon, waved, cheering on the flying Lore.
    As one, boy and hound flowed after Mad Fox racing as never before.
    Onward, forward...stride by stride, the mighty Lore ate away the lead.
    Mad Fox corkscrewed onto a moonglade in a savage burst of speed.

    Cleveland holding tight, his weight, balancing Lore as he pivoted, hard right,
    onto the silvered path, across the tops of the waves, rushing to the home of Night.
    Mad Fox laughed, utterly confused, now winded and slowing.
    Never before had a creature managed to keep up, let alone keep going.

    Knees gripping, haunches bounding,
    Lore's fleet feet reaching, pounding.
    One toe touching, greyhound flying.
    Two hands holding, one boy trying.

    Mad Fox, weary and blown, finally slowing...
    Up ahead, a night garden and a boneyard, glowing.
    Off the map, into the Unknown, Lore seized the lead,
    taking the final brutal lengths at break neck speed.

    Mad Fox conceded the win to the lightning footed pair,
    for they had taken victory by all things foul and fair.
    'The answer you seek lies in the Knowledge of Death's Keeping.'
    'Into the boneyard, after the Pussywillows you will be creeping.'

    Thus adjured, Mad Fox returned to the moonglade, his debt paid,
    Through the Night Garden, to the boneyard, the pair went as bade.
    All was quiet, still and sombre, for this was the home of Death,
    a place, that had never before known a mortal's breath.

    Gently ticking, ever onward went intrepid Cleveland and Lore,
    leaving behind a line of footprints marring the virgin shore.
    That Night Garden from the boneyard grew, death bringing life,
    a poignant reminder that sliced Cleveland like a knife.

    The Pussywillows of the Night Garden held the key,
    the secret Cleveland needed to set Maggie Miri free.
    But the Pussywillows were the notes of Memory's Song.
    How, even for Maggie, could he commit such a grievous wrong?

    Sensing the question Death itself, in the guise of a black swan, came.
    'Cleveland Lowelle, I will give you the answer, in return for your name.'
    Between a rock and a hard place, he was trapped, no going back.
    Cleveland nodded his assent, so nodded back the swan of black.

    Nevermore will your name or words be spoken.
    You are now my Echo, the Memory Song's parting token.
    Forever, shall you and Lore, chased down dreams, that final word.
    Forever, shall you return these memories, making the stories heard.

    From a bush, at the edge of a pond, the swan, a pussywillow snipped.
    Shaking it out, it became a cloak, flowing and silver tipped.
    She is a Morph, a Selkie, whose coat was lost.
    Return this to her, and you to me, will return, such is the cost.

    So passed Cleveland Lowelle of the Cliff House, Echo in his place.
    And unto Maggie Miri Lowelle, he gave that cloak, peace lighting her face.
    Forever bound to Death is the Echo and his Lore.
    Ever calling along that barren, pebbled shore.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
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