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May’s Competitive Dash

Published on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by

Please note: In order to break the tie voting will continue until midnight (PDT) Friday 8th June. If there is still a deadlock after this date a final decision will be made by Harriet Gausman.

The Competitive Dash, an adjunct to the Daily Writers’ Dash, uses anonymous peer review through an online poll to find the most outstanding poem, flash piece or short story. The winning piece is then displayed in the Winners Wall of Fame.

The competition is open to all ages and nationalities, although entries must be written in English.

The winner will receive L$5,000 (Second Life® currency) or a $20 Amazon gift voucher and publication on the website on our Winners Wall of Fame.

Deadline for submissions is midnight (PST) on the 1st of March, June, September and December. We accept only 4 entries per person.

Public vote begins midnight (PST) on the 4th and ends midnight of the 30th. Winners will be notified by the 3rd of the following month.

Writer retains copyright, however, we reserve the right to republish winning work, whole or in part, in future electronic and/or print editions or anthologies.

Send your submissions to andrea@virtualwritersinc.com.

Please read our general submission guidelines here.

To vote read the poems below and scroll down to the vote box at the end of this post.

The Competitive and Daily Dashes are set predominantly in Second Life®, however, anyone can participate. Look out for our Daily Dash prompts on Twitter and Facebook.

THE ENTRIES

Reencarnación

Winsome and articulate,

Immortal with love,

Devout follower of God

You push past death’s offerings.

“My life, that I may honor you.”

Who has forgotten you?

Your passage rough,

Like white caps frothing on the grey waters

Of Lake Winnipeg

Suds frothing cold, beating mercilessly

Like the hands of the devil himself.

Your back arched to the wind,

Suffering blows like whips of rain.

Pitted against the hungry hand of starvation,

Knotted in the pit of your stomach,

Grueling torment gnawing from within.

“Love, honor and obey the Lord in all things.”

Brave one, how you worshipped from the mountain daily

Offering divinity and peace

I see your face immortalized in memory

Touching my shame,

Honoring my truth,

A stranger no more.

You played with the numbers of your fate,

Chastising fear within

With your well-defined rubric of love.

Hand held in offering

Bearing an olive branch

To the unknown

I will remember your life’s blood,

Let me fill myself from your gourd,

like a hungering planet

burgeoning with populace,

warm to the dedication of souls and minds

Folding back in on itself

With the reminder.

Covert, on the brink of discovery.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental

******************************************************

The Returning

Passions swell inside

Awaiting focused attention
For an erupted creation
Caught in my own boomerang glue
Springing into action as my wings take flight
Collapsing in on myself, close to where I began

How do I keep moving forward

When back-tracking refuses to step aside?
Felt on top of my world
In the right direction
Fast tracking where I was meant to go
Loving the changing and growing

Suddenly returned to where I started

For a while I was someone new, who I was meant to be
Now caught somewhere in the middle
Trying to find my way back, and ahead
Make up for what I lost
That part of me is gone, and clueless how to retrieve

How do you find yourself again

When you were never complete to begin with?
Journeying to figure yourself out
After losing a part of your life that never got to blossom, and never will
As if the foundation of my life is destined to repeat without completion
Forcing me to seek a replacement, unable to manifest towards the proper destination

Everything comes back to that gut-wrenching fateful day

After digging a little deeper
Afraid to touch that level without coming through another
No reason other than fear of what will be found
Plus the pain that’s connected
Wishing the outcome could be different

So much hoped would be different

Believing if I kept learning
Figured out how to fix the “wrong”
Applied theory would turn over completion
Problems would be righted, moving forward anew
Guess that’s what pushes me to try too hard when it connects to my losing you

Collapsing in on myself, close to where I began

Crushed when you left this world
I’m forced to start anew, lost and confused, without you.

©2012 Amanda C

******************************************************

Settlement

An act of dignity is the fact of wearing it.

You shine a lantern over your garden –

Light inhabits limbs and creeps across lawn,

Vines tumble over a corner precipice.

A disturbance of movement in the grass

Is the racing of robins filled with delight.

I pardon myself for intruding your silence –

Me, taking photos with my eyes like a sightseer

overlooking your patterns of existence.

My apology disrupts your thoughts

And you look at me in surprised wonder,

Guessing at my request like a student

Poked by a question from the proctor.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental

******************************************************

Second Life

Imagination as far as the world can see
Limitations not always what they seem
Something for everyone
With plenty of work and fun
A real world representation
With some slightly different forms of temptation
Never knowing what you’ll find
It’s a great place to come and unwind
My eyes light up with wondrous love as I explore
Never knowing what kind of journey is in store
Recreating places of present and past
Do you think this can be unsurpassed?
This is just a small sampling taste
From a Second Life waiting to be embraced.

©2012  Amanda C

******************************************************

Little Big Picture

Battling within to understand
Where do I start?
Searching under every stone and cloud in the sky
Interacting with all I can
Mulling it over
Sorting the information to suit my hearts’ beliefs
What do I wish to claim as mine?
What to toss aside?
Take my time to personalize
Redefine to suit my being
May resonate with another’s creation
Yet I’ll adjust to fit my heart’s position

Feeling like a fish in the wrong ocean
Swimming constantly upstream
Enjoying the challenge
Pushing myself beyond my previous limits
Learning along the way
Discovering I’m not even in water
Testing the ways of going with the flow
Sometimes fitting in for a bit
Feeling as if there’s a place I belong
Never for long before the cave collapses
Wondering what happened
The search renews

With a world of possibilities
Split into all sorts of categories
Attempt to piece them all together for the grand picture
When I think I’ve thought of everything for a part
Something new presents itself
So much out there
Unable to fit the bigger picture into my small frame
Without pieces falling out

Welcome to a map of my inner world.

©2012 Amanda C

******************************************************

Life’s Travels

It’s the path you choose
Where ever you go, explore
Enjoy the Cruise

Whatever you do, don’t snooze
It’s an adventure where you’re sure to grow more
It’s the path you choose

What have you got to lose?
Life is a personal adventure, you don’t always know what’s in store
Enjoy the Cruise

Even if you feel you’ve made a wrong turn and wish to refuse
Life continues onward, regardless of your deplore
It’s the path you choose
Sometimes you may need to stop or backtrack and tend to a bruise
Life may have you wanting to wage war
Enjoy the Cruise

The journey is different for everyone, with different lessons to review
It’s helpful to have friends you can turn to for a shmooze
It’s the path you choose
Enjoy the Cruise

©2012 Amanda C

*****************************************************

Impressions of a Sunny Afternoon

Crowd

Standing still

Nude or dressed nude

Only

Subtle calculated poses

restless

impatient

Women with bodies

Super chicks

Men

Pea-cocks

Feel the tension

Screaming for attention

in Silence

Once hooked

Negotiation

towards

TP-moment

not to find each other

but

to find themselves

through the other’s

words

©2012 Goodie

******************************************************

The Lily

A single lily glistens on the beach

like milk-white silk among the mustard gorse

whose barbs stand guard against the spring tide’s reach

and picnickers’ relieving dogs and worse.

By day its petals timidly unfold

to free the fragrances it nourishes.

At night they cower from the haar. Though cold

and fragile yet it somehow flourishes.

And so I watch her from my cliff-top bench,

my headland hide, binoculars in hand

lest late-night lager revellers should wrench

this limpid blossom from the lonely sand.

For in the swirling eddies of self-worth

she’s found a haven and a summer berth.

©2012 Martina Meinster

******************************************************

Mantra

of a wild dance-night at Lars when a girl goes home…
alone

Born
in her sad brown eyes
Slowly
discovering the bridge of her nose
caressing
down rolling
wetting the very tip
hesitating then
suddenly jumping
falling

on the red rose
wetting her petals
losing weight
aging
in a last effort heading downward
following curves
down
finally
resting
in the red red desert
And just before dying
the vaporizing teardrop
bursts into the sky
blue

©2012 Goodie

******************************************************

Dance
I was born a whirligig
dancing, skating, water skiing
playing on the edge of laws of physics
pirouettes on water surface
only paved by some molecules
remembering laws of adhesion and cohesion
writing my life minute by minute
enjoying rays of sun
the green welcome arc of a blade of grass
waving over this small puddle
sliding, a moonlander on earth
drinking a teardrop from the early morning dew
eating lost algae from the deep
romancing bees and grasshoppers
living life a million times at once with kaleidoscope eyes
feeling free as a bird
I failed to see
yes it was me
she aimed …

Now
I  dance my last waltz
over the River Styx

©2012 Goodie

******************************************************

1157743_beggar_in_roop

Beggar? WINNER

Waheguru! Praise the Enlightener of all the worlds!

You, who pass by this stoop – make a wide birth. You will find no begging bowl here. This brown Kashmiri lohi I wear keeps the wintery chill out. That is all I have taken from my house. And yet, I am not concerned. I recite Waheguru! Waheguru! The beloved shaheeds, the Forty Immortals are protecting me.

I have the same-coloured cloth on my head. It looks like a light ladies turban. Today young revivalist Sikh women wear it to proclaim equality with men, although it was never the way in my time. Ladies wore embroidered lace shawls called tiuni to cover themselves with modesty. Today, I have draped the Kashmiri lohi from head to toe because I was forced in a rush from my house by my own younger sister, her husband and sons. Yes, I have given them 30 years of free use of my husband’s house and village land, while I have lived with my own children and grandchildren abroad.

If I was of the generation that wore the warrior dress of Ma Bhago, the woman who regained the lost honour of forty men by leading  them against the Moghul army after they had refused to fight for Dasam Padshah, the 10th Guru of our Sikh faith; if I was a woman of that stature, I too would dress like my father with weapons and turban and fight against injustice in the only honourable way known to a Singh whose name means lion! But today, it is only the cold I can ward off with the top end of this long shawl wrapped like a turban, the rest draped as a wind shield. Thus I wait on this city stoop. And perhaps you think I am smiling? It is because I would not let the world know a proud woman’s pain, widow of a Freedom Fighter suffers – her house occupied and land stolen by relatives.

Who would have thought a 75 year old like me would here waiting for my worn out son, forced to go knock at the doors of the local police tarna, and the land clerks and lawyers’ offices. In India to seek justice you must knock and knock again with a special something in your hand to be left on the table, which will be later divided in parts and paid as a share up line to each ranking officer to the Minister. It is a fact. They are all one – the same rotten cadre who bleed Punjab and the country dry whether over a license to sell tea on a railway platform, or to steal the rights of the landowner.

Today, my relatives have filed yet another document, a ‘secret will’ claiming my husband’s family have deeded a portion of our land to my sister. Pure fabrication! Six months back it was a forged title deed made out by the patwari, the land clerk of our village. Three months before it was other filed lies and so on. How can it happen to the wife of a freedom struggle fighter who endured five years of British gaols, who was tortured with electrodes in the knee-caps, who taught himself to read Urdu poetry in the Lahore Gail when India was India without a Pakistan; how can it happen to the true son of the soil who refused political office and his surviving proud wife who helped her own blood sister with a house and land when their own holdings in Uttar Pradesh were gutted and ruined by floods? Thirty years of ingratitude! It is too much to accept. Even after my own son took her eldest to the heroin clinic, paid those people to cure him and employed the other with a lame foot and gave cash to the family. Now these chickens have come home to roost in my own village compound, eating the flat roti made of wheat from my own fields with never a yearly teka – rental paid- on the crops. What ingratitude! How stupid am I to have allowed it!

I will wait for my son to halt on our old Enfield motorcycle that blows smoke behind us as we move. I am here for another interminable round with corrupt officials, fighting our case of land dispossession by a nest of rats I now refuse to call family. They have promised the patwari and witnesses a kick-back if they all play along.

Once called Jat Sikhs, we were honest farmers, who filled the ranks of soldiers at war-time and spoke the salty truth of the earth, but now we are shit-bins and heroin addicts who have cut and shaved our warrior locks like sheep. No Singh, no lion among them.  If only I were that same Ma Bhago with a righteous sword in my hand, I would start in my own compound, but the country of my ancestors is rotten.

I am a simple Sikh widow. My name — Paramjit Kaur. It means Princess of Supreme Victory. My father named me. His name was Param Singh. A Singh is a lion and a Kaur is a Princess in our religion. Our first names are neither male nor female like the soul, the jiva that inhabits the body. My husband Ajit Singh has long since gone among the Shaheeds, the Forty Immortals who return to help the poor, or those seeking justice. I believe in them both, and despite the ongoing case, I know the Guru will be kind to me. I retain the faith of Dasam Padshah, I honour the sacrifices of my ancestors. I turn the beads with my hands beneath this shall, repeating Waheguru! Waheguru! I am no beggar woman, despite weathered skin and thick nose, I am still the proud wife of a Freedom Fighter. No one can take away the loving memory of his hands that still own my body.

©2012 Singh Albatros

******************************************************

At Least for This Moment

Sitting by, I sense quivering sparkles of aspens as they whisper responding to the sun’s energy.  The breeze speaks only to me.

I reflect, pioneers crossing this land, where they too extracted pinions and cones to adorn their wagons and craft with their children.  As we sit by a campfire, they too followed its path to the moon and a sky filled with sparkling constellations of stars.

I was here long ago, a time now melded into this space and thoughts of yore that seem to make me part of their family, at least for this moment.

©2012 Celeste Cooper, author

******************************************************

Patrick the Panther

Once upon a time, there was a panther who panted. Not that he minded much, just that he preferred not to drool inappropriately, as some panthers do. Patrick’s panting got him into all sorts of trouble, though. He could never control it and women thought him obscene. One day, while searching for prey, a lovely Amazon woman stepped from the shelter of a waterfall, just as Patrick the panther was leaping across the pool. He saw her and drooled. Well, not that she minded or noticed but his panting breath felt like wet moss on her heated neck and she thought someone notorious was watching her bath and enjoying it. So she swore and threw a fish at him in the bushes. Not that Patrick minded; it was something to eat. But the thought of ravishing her was too much for him and he started to sweat. A sweating, drooling, panting panther is something to avoid when you are a lone female swimming, so she hiked to shore and climbed a tree. Now, a naked, treed woman is something that a sweating, drooling, panting panther ought to avoid but can’t and so he crept to the base of said tree. In a matter of minutes the woman was screeching bloody murder, whilst straddling a branch, frightened, treed and naked. Now, when you are a black panther it is better not to stalk women to their tree and try to make polite conversation. The poor panther panted his remorse, knowing himself to objectionable and hoping an apology would somehow overcome the unsightliness of his drooling. He sighed and cooed but to no avail. The screeching, treed, naked bather found a sling in the branches and shot a coconut at him. Patrick, the pitiful panther turned tail and ran into the woods, panting.

©2012 Ginger Jorgenal

******************************************************

withdraw

was it the moment I spoke those words too soon?

or the instant I bared my soul, when you merely wanted the moment before?

did I too easily give… was this my flaw?

now no longer….within my view

I knew not that you would withdraw

so quickly

leaving me empty

again

©2012  BobbiJo Jonson/Sheri Solomon

******************************************************

signal

56, 23, 88, hike

did you get the signal?

were those the right numbers

did I mess up the order….

how do you play this game….?
with tight ends

full backs

and mascara under eyes

what were you telling me?

what was the play again?

do I fade left,

or right

or out of the picture..

looking at you for direction,

where have you gone?

off sides

©2012  BobbiJo Jonson/Sheri Solomon

******************************************************

amend

a tear

a broken heart

a concussion of the soul

an injury needing

a mend

needle and thread

weave and sew

is it possible such pain to bind inside?

or perhaps….

the need for air to cleanse –

healing

while allowing

a mending wound to simply breathe

©2012  BobbiJo Jonson/Sheri Solomon

******************************************************

Père Lachaise and Back

Père Lachaise, no not the father
I ever dreamed of
Father of death
Father of all lost souls
Famous ones at the least
or ones thinking they were
famous, rich or respectful
in future tenses.
Here where “le petit prince”
rediscovers his strange life forever
here where Rossini’s violin
echoes through my steps on the cobblestones
here where I taste Rothschild’s wines
through passers flavours
here where Piaf, little sparrow
confuses me with the twirling whistles of her heirs
here where Oscar Wilde relives
through my absent mind
my head fills with a thousand tears
tears from their beloved
once a river, now dried and empty
with every crack in the zerk
with every crumbling stone
together with Molière they form the
frozen witnesses of a play of
life that can only be lived once

But me, their uninvited guest
imagining this massive chilly fog of hopes
understands their last will
We dream a deal: one moment of my life
for their insight a lifelong
Hurrying down to the exit
Into LIFE
Life
Once again
Just for a moment
Just for now
Away from eroding memories

Life
In all its forms
Together with my famous guests
I guide them to the Eiffel tower
Vast monument of human prosperity
We marvel the wonders of the Louvre
Registry of human culture and innovation
Louis XIV from one of his statue outlooks enjoys the honour

We throw a look at a little girl at a street corner
singing and dancing
her 7 year old joy to the world
tears wetting empty eyes

Full of courage we sail our imagination
towards the library of François Mitterrand
A thin line between architecture and self aggrandizement
Louis XIV gets nervous
Looks disgusted

Once famous for its humble and vivant clochards sleeping under the Seine
Paris hunted them to replace  for goldwatch-youth
Swallowing champagne and heroine
Showing their bronzed bodies in this early sun

We found Quasimodo moved to centre Pompidou and multiplied into every tourist
We lose control when seeing this fuzz
Of people
Forgetting themselves while looking at mannequin filled showcases
Forgetting each other with feverish looks at partners elsewhere
Eating and drinking not to say swallowing
Walking paths long stepped before
Losing the difference between have And enough
Forgetting time heads only in one direction
Losing their lives with worthless subjects
Inhaling the fumes of a thousand breaths
And cars and motor cycles and meat

My long evaporated spirit companions, living just this very moment
Only see selfishness
And greed
And egoism
Was that what they lived for?
Created their beautiful arts?
Invented the future?
Organised civilization?

Only one small wonder
Gives them hope, there
At the back of the notre-dame de paris
(dragged for months from a mine somewhere in the Netherlands
on foot, by boat, by hands to this very place in the age of 1165)
That tiny green leaf
Fighting its way through that grey sandstone wall
a Saxifrage
Crumbles stones
Laughs with materialism
My elder spirits cradle this very moment with hopes
Hopes that once torn down
And humanity comes to an end
Everything can start over again

©2012 Goodie

******************************************************

cauterize

cut ..bleeding

you left me wounded

pooling around my feet

crimson fluid

I did not know how deeply you pierced my core

nor how  brutal would be the depth of pain …

when you left….

will someone  ever come…..

to cauterize my soul

©2012  BobbiJo Jonson/Sheri Solomon

******************************************************

OPINE

The Pine opined
that he preferred the crows moved on.
They’re messy and noisy.

The Willow complained
that her Osteoporosis
kept her bent over.

The Maple grumbled
about baldness every Fall
as her beautiful leaves dropped.

The Oak boasted
that his great strength and long life
was crucial to forest creatures.

The Joshua Tree stated
that she provided refuge
for Desert birds.

The Redwood bragged
that he was the tallest and strongest
of all forest trees.

The Eucalyptus put forth
that he made wind-breaks for cattle
and a home for Koala Bears.

Why do people think
that only humans
have strong convictions?

©2012 Franja Russell

******************************************************

Renounce

Whether world is with her or not

the peace within her is strong,

and so she is worthy of living.

Land, be still though the world rages

sheepishly behind in its cages –

forgetting that she is worthy.

Beast of burden beheld by many

to be slammed in a way uncanny,

and of this her body was worthy.

Abandoned to torment and forlorn;

blood on the floor by which she’d sworn

she would overcome their ruinous army

And renounced her kin of no great worth –

They who did this of evil birth,

stood jealously over the vanquished.

So her tattered heap did lay

under a cloud of blows, to bay

and chastise her tormentors.

Berating all, words failing none;

While the blows fell, how life had begun

to unwind its spool of records.

Yapping at an ever-closed door

So the world turned and did ignore

her passage to that nearness of woman.

So babe and life and ways did pass

The mirror trapped the image fast –

Mortified, frozen, wane,

and diligently poses insane.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental

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