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Poetry Competitions


  • The Witching Hour Competition
  • Allan Lake: The 2017 Winner

    Originally from Saskatchewan, Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania & Melbourne to date and visits Sicily annually.

    Lake has published two collections; Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence (1988) and  Sand in the Sole (2014).  Lake won the Elwood Poetry Prize in 2015.

    2016/17: poems were accepted in Australia by Meniscus, Plumwood Mountain Journal, Poetica Christi Anthology, Poetry Matters, POAM, Releasing the Genie, Poetica Christi Anthology, Verge, Yours&Mine Mag, & StylusLit.

    Clark Cook: The 2015 Winner

     
    Clark Cook is a Canadian poet who explores the vagaries of love, time, mystery, myth, & the complexities of poetry itself. He works mostly in free verse, with occasional forays into rhyme (humour and satire).  He feels that the best of poetry embodies Robert Creeley's insight that Form is Never More than an Extension of Content. 
     
    Clark taught English literature at Simon Fraser University & the University of Victoria (prison program, BC Pen) & Business/Technical Communication at BC Institute of Technology. He retired as a Head of his department at BCIT. 
     
    Four recent UK anthologies feature Clark's poetry—The Poetic Bond III (2013) & IV (2014), The Bridge of Fates (2014), & Remember (2014).  A fifth anthology, out of Germany & exploring the issue of violence (late Summer 2015), will feature one of Clark’s poems.
     
    Three poems are in a USA literary journal-- https://thegreenwichvillageliteraryreview.wordpress.com. (I, ii 2015).
     
    Five poems are in two issues of a journal out of India, Ashvamegh:  the Literary Flight  I & II (Feb & March 2015). See www.ashvamegh.net
    Thirty-five earlier poems are at http://moonfroth.hubpages.com. 

    2017 Commended Poems

    The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

    • Moana Mink for her poem "For M"
    • Roger Sippl for his poem "Lifelong Couples"
    • Dianne Turner for her poem "Signatures of Love"
    • Eleanor Sivins for her poem "The Guarded Ones"
    • Afzal Nusker for "Smitten by You"
    •  

    2016 Commended Poems

    The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

    • Bryon Richard Smith for his poem "Two Become One"
    • Sheila Marlin for her poem "Look to the Stars"
    • John Ward for his poem "Look At You"
    • Emma Doughty for her poem "Believe In Me"
    • Anita S. Pulier for her poems "How did you do that?" and "Sounds of Morning
    • Denise C. Buschmann for her poem "FDR and Eleanor, a Love Story"
    • Alan Harris for his poem "If Stephen King Wrote Poetry "
    • Sharyn Stone for her poem "It's Time"
    • Adrian Ernesto Cepeda for his poem "As I Sit Here Waiting..."

    2015 Commended Poems

    The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

    • Bryon Richard Smith for his poem "What Is Love"
    • John Brookes for his poem "Three Sonnets, linked by love"
    • John Ward for his poem  "Cocoon"
    • Emma Doughty for her poem "Believe In Me"
    • David Lindsay for his poem "Trellis"
    • Uma Venkatramen for her poem "Love's Journey"
    • Wanda Morrow Clevenger for her poem "When I Loved You"
    • David Joseph for his poem "It is You".
    • Steven W. Baker for his poem "Afterglow"
    • Alisha Grace Scott for her poem "Northern Lights"

    2014 Commended Poems

    The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

    • Bryon Richard Smith for his poem "The Crossing"
    • Rei Aziz for his poem "A Piece"
    • Margaret Ann Waddicor for her poem "Two souls"
    • Miguel Saporta for his poem "Proof Reading"
    • Thomas Vaughan Jones for his poem "Eternal Love"
    • Penny Sinclair for her poem "Love"

    2015: Highly Commended Poem

    Like Poets of Long Ago 

    Your words begin to flow, 

    I look into yours 
    And I honestly know, 

    That the love we share 
    Is like it was a new
    And as magical as the day 
    That 
    we

    said “I do.” 

    You speak fWhen you speak poetry to me, 

    It echoes through my soul— 
    What comfort it brings me 
    And makes me feel whole. 

    When you look in my eyes 

    And you from the heart— 
    One poet to another, 
    And just as the Brownings, 
    We were made for each other. 

    by Stacy Savage 

    2014: Highly Commended Poem

    Onion

    My onion is my lover
    He's the first thing I see when I get home
    And open the fridge in desperate hunger
    Where he sits add waits on the bottom shelf
    So eager to help me make dinner.
     
    I place him on the chopping board
    And undress him
    His layers tumble off easy as silk
    Yet my Lover acts coy about his body
    I assure him he is very well endowed.
     
    Soon he is fully de-robed
    Naked and ready to be chopped
    I split him in two but he shrieks angrily 
    And starts spewing sour insults
    I chop again and he becomes blind with rage
    His juices seething
    I feel tears pricking the back of my eyes
    After every splice his roar becomes louder.
     
    He tells me I shouldn't have stopped dieting
    That I look like an obese leprechaun
    And he declares his hatred towards my mother
    After she juggles with him and his friends
    By the end I am a sobbing mess
    And unwillingly toss him into the pan
    I always end up crying when he's around
    We haven't had a single meal where he hasn't lost his temper.
     
    by Tasman Hogan

    2014: Highly Commended Poem

    Anniversary


    I guess I love you in my way,
    I hope you die before I do.
    Your stupid face, 'neath brows grown grey
    In front of the TV all day.

    Your balding patch, how you slurp stew
    'Twas you or loneliness, I knew
    I guess I love you in your  way
    But you'd better die before I do.

    by Deborah Jane Willimott

    The Gallery of Winning Poets

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    The Winners Roll of Honour

     

    Allan Lake 2017
    Nicki Riley 2016
    Clark Cook 2015
    Bonnie Roberts 2014

    Winning Poem 2017 'Her Prince' 

    Her Prince


    She's a regular at the al fresco tables whereas
    I always sit inside at a window table for two.
    She and Prince, her Scottish Terrier that looks
    like he could be a member of parliament
    out and about with his PA (Personal Assistant).

    PA's a peony just past its best but still blessed.
    There's make-up, hair colour, dangly earrings
    and especially those high-heeled leather boots
    that adorn a PA with no agenda other than to 
    please her adorable, rascally, wire-haired master. 

    Every second passer-by pats or tickles Prince 
    and she responds like she herself was cuddled. 
    People fondle the dog, speak to the dog and ask 
    her the dog's views on matters of consequence.
    And me? I've observed her, adored her forever 
    but she's taken. 

    by Allan Lake

    2016: Winning Poem 'My Perfect Love'

    My Perfect Love

    I want the kind of love they write books about 
    She said 
    Never knew what I was capable of 
    Until I had her in my bed 
    It wasn't about the sex 
    It was more about the trust 
    It was never about the lust 
    It always just came down to, us 
    The safest I feel is when I'm in her arms 
    Or her head, on my chest 
    Her laugh leaves me speechless 
    Her awkwardness is pure beauty 
    She has brought out things 
    I never knew were parts of me 
    She makes me feel smart 
    In a world where I've always felt dumb 
    She's made me feel whole 
    When I've always seemed broken to some 
    She brought to life part of me I never knew existed 
    I tell her something, she remembers, 
    She listens 
    She made me feel comfortable for the first time in forever 
    She's made me believe 
    Happiness can last forever 
    I never thought about a wedding 
    Like I think about one with her 
    I never thought about moving away 
    When I think about her 
    It seems like a choice I could make in a day 
    I'd marry her tomorrow and mean every word in those vows 
    If I could fall asleep, every night 
    With my face against her cheek 
    I'd wake up every day 
    With my knees just as weak 
    As weak as they did the first time that I felt her in my arms 
    Or the first time I felt her lips against mine 
    Ever since I spoke to her 

    I've 
    realized there is so much to this life that I'd gladly leave behind 
    She is so smart in the way she speaks 
    She is so kind in the way she looks at me 
    She is pure beauty in the way she makes me see 
    How there is so much more than my past to me

    by Nicki Riley

    2015: Winning Poem 'How to Woo a Girl'

    How to Woo a Girl

    I wrote you a poem but the words
    pouted and frittered on the fringes
    of my imagination, colliding with
    discarded thoughts and half-baked
    ideas which took the words with them
    on their way back to the oven.

    So I sang you a sweet song 
    and sent the fragile notes
    trembling across the blank spaces
    between us,
    but earnest robins plucked up the notes
    before a melody could form.

    So I picked up my saxophone and breathed
    l o n g sinuous 
    wails onto the night air, sending
    waves of sound to you across the broad meadows
    but the waves of sound lost their way in the dark
    and fell to the grass, drowning in heavy dew.

    My art is a reluctant emissary, 
    an unwilling partner
    in commending my love 
    to you. . . .  
    perhaps
    I should give up poetry
    and teach robins 
    to warble love songs            
    in keys you 

    already know.

    by Clark Cook

    2014: Winning Poem 'Beholder'

    Beholder 

    He does not believe 
    in picking wildflowers. 
    Not even a single petal 
    to remind him of their beauty. 
    He gives them a light brush 
    of his lips 
    and for a while 
    shades them 
    from the noonday sun 
    and then leaves them 
    standing. 

    He asks me if I too 
    believe in Karma; 
    he honors me with his kisses 
    and covers me with his body 
    and with his love 
    leaves me 
    standing.

    by Bonnie Roberts

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    The Joy of Reading

    'It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.'  Oscar Wilde

    2017: Best Romance Poem

    Kisses In Time

    I look deeply into your eyes
    Your face I cradle holds no lies
     
    I smell the scent of your caress
    My senses rage against your breasts
     
    I hold you close to feel your love
    Your tight embrace I now dream of
     
    I taste the flavor upon your lips
    My tongue in you it gently dips
     
    Your breath I take away from you
    A thief I am of hearts so true
     
    Within my arms you are now mine
    Forever lost in kisses in time

    by Bryon Richard Smith

    2016: Best Romance Poem

    Bird Language: A Love Poem

    In the Northern Turkish town of Kuskoy, people have developed an entire language of whistles. The name of the town literally translates as “Bird Village.” 

    From a housetop 
    on a green slope, 
    the Turkish man cups his hands, 
    rests forefinger on front teeth, 
    blows words into space. 

    His message trills, gliding 
    like a lark out into the valley, 
    singing out the shopping list, 
    Please buy honey 
    at the market. 

    His note flutters like 
    paper, 
    sifts through arguments, invitations, 
    measurements for a young girl’s dress. 

    In the market, his wife 
    touches the honey jar 
    already in her basket. 
    The longer we are together 
    the less we need to say.  

    by Faith Paulsen

    2017: Most Original Poem

    Susan

    When I saw Suzi first

    Her eyes were brown
    Awoke such passions with a thirst
    More fit to drown
     
    When I saw her again
    Her eyes were grey
    Asking not why, nor where, nor when,
    If love love stay
     
    When next I saw her face
    Her eyes were green;
    To love and leave no trace
    Where love had been
     
    When last I saw those eyes,
    Those eyes were blue.
    How strange that I should realise
    Old love, once true!

    by Seth Murti

    2016: Most Original Poem

    Dog Sleep

    This slip of a black dog 
    Represents my heart, I’m told. 
    Phew! I love that windmill tail 
    And sweet Chaplin stroll. 
    Such 
    lovable, ridiculous dog, 
    But his life is already quarter lived 
    (I don’t tell him so - of course not!). 
    I wish I could offer him a wider, 
    Bigger pile, not just a pile of me. 
    Take yesterday, when I scolded him 
    For stealing a Christmas pudding 
    (and putting it on my pillow). 
    He (then we) crumpled so badly 
    I could revive him only with a frankfurter. 
    He’s lying tight to my side as I write 
    (How friendly that feels!), 
    And he 
    turns 
    his hurrumph on me: 
    She really loved me and I loved her too. 
    Why was it so complicated for you? 
    Then he sighs and turns full turtle, ears fanning, 
    That muzzle with flash of gum hard to one side, 
    Huge front paws striking up like a disco dancer 
    Before folding into their buttery soft flop. 
    I wish you could still witness that 
    (And the other wonders of our life). 
    Every day we 
    Bump into 
    That wish 
    So hard 
    It hurts. 

    by Dave Pao

    2017: Highly Commended Poem

    Love and I 

    Love and I are no strangers 
    My life bears her fingerprints 
    left on fleeting visits 
    Chance encounters 
    enriching my life 
    never blossoming 
    into a lasting relationship 

    Love and I are no strangers 
    but she never became a friend 
    For she could spread joy 
    as easily as sorrow 
    but always in extremes 
    She was not one for balance 
    it would seem 

    Love and I are no strangers 
    but she always left me in the dark 
    never explaining why 
    she sometimes gave generously 
    then abruptly took it all away 
    as though she felt 
    we ought to know 
    the sweetness of pleasure 
    the bitterness of pain 

    Love and I are no strangers 
    So if we met on the street 
    we'd have a chat over coffee 
    I would ask why she never stayed 
    Her only answer would be 
    an enigmatic smile 
    and her silence would tell me 
    Love and I are strangers, after all

    by Uma Venkatraman

    2015: Highly Commended Poem

    If

    If, for some reason 
    you were to end 
    it all with me 
    tomorrow morning; 
    I go to bed tonight 
    nestled in your arms 
    Knowing I am so happy 
    to have known you 
    and would not trade 
    any of it for peace 
    of mind 
    or

    mended 
    heart. 

    If, for some reason, 
    I had to end it all 
    with you 
    tomorrow morning; 
    fall asleep my darling, 
    know that I have loved you 
    with purest and deepest heart 
    and clear intentions 
    and I know you love me 
    as we rub noses 
    and share breath 
    for this, our last night. 

    If, for some reason, 
    the universe 
    found

    cause 
    to separate us; 
    stay strong and know that 
    our time together 
    was a gift and should we find one 
    another again, then 
    it is truly meant to be. 

    If, for some reason, 
    everything goes according to plan 
    and we lay in 
    each

    others arms day after day 
    remain in the truest love and stay together, 
    know that I have pondered every alternate universe, 
    and in even the darkest timeline 
    I have always returned to you 
    and you have always found me. 

    by Audrey El-Osta