web analytics

Virtual Writers' WorldVirtual Writers World

Virtual Writers Inc.

June’s Competitive Dash

Published on Saturday, June 30, 2012 by

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DATES HAVE BEEN UPDATED THIS MONTH. THIS IS TO INCREASE THE VOTING PERIOD BY A FURTHER WEEK.

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

Lambaste

His words are vital, albeit vile,

his wit is sharp and filled with salt

to rub in wounds, his own stand out

as ragged gashes across his body: his arms and legs,

he takes a whip, regales the lambaste

with his own bloody cynicism chops away

at dystopian nightmares, we all have them

now, what can we do but absurdify ourselves

the way he does it, with a wile and a stealth?

©2012 Luna Branwen

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

The Kittle

It’s morbid, I know. The way my grandfather carefully puts his kittle on over his suit every Yom Kippur. It’s this white linen garment that falls down to his knees and belts at the waist. It’s his shroud. The same one he’ll be buried in.

A lot of the older men wear them on the High Holy Days, and a few of the younger ones. And a few women, too, if they’re progressive. Not me, though. I can live without that reminder of my mortality.

I wonder what will happen this year. After all the strokes, my grandfather rarely goes to shul. It’s too much effort and he tires too easily. Maybe he’ll put the kittle on at home. Or maybe he won’t even realize it’s the High Holy Days. He forgets things now, even when we remind him.

Or maybe he won’t be with us this Yom Kippur. I’m trying to steel myself to that possibility—that I’m going to lose my last grandparent this year. That after all these years, his kittle will be used for his burial.

Like I said, morbid. But I can’t help smiling, a little, when I think of my grandfather in that kittle. If the worst thing happens this year, I’ll remember him as someone who looked death square in the face.

©2012 Shoshana Moss

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

Concrete

born from the waves of the ocean

enjoying the freedom of weightlessness

molecular brownian motion

activated by suns’ rays

moving by sheer pressure differences

sensing land underneath

by sudden coldness

clogging into microdroplets

absorbing toxic fumes

cars and industry

ozone and freones

pesticides

mixtures of pollutants

entering my crystal clear body

is it a natural process?

or natures disappointment

for lost purity?

driven by gravitary forces

me, humble raindrop searching earth

but to my amazement

not to feed world’s heartbeat

but to die on gray concrete

©2012 Goodie

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

Shroud

Determined to keep to her exercise plan, Julia put on her wool cape,  scarf, and headed out the door before sun-up.

As she double-locked the front door, she glanced down the fog-enshrouded street at the scene she thought she knew so well.

Today’s fog was thick, dark grey, and damp.  It wisped around solid objects, morphing them into questionable figures.  Somehow it seemed to her that she’d stepped into a between-worlds place inhabited by newly-deceased souls.  She wondered if she were one of them, having died during the night without realizing it.

As she walked briskly down the sidewalk, she glanced side-to-side at the yards, trees, bushes of her neighbors’ homes.

“Mrs. Jameson should trim that bush.” she said to herself.  “It’s overgrown, sticks out of the slats in the fence, and right now looks like the Dwarf in that old horror story — “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Suddenly the bush moved. It stood taller and seemed to turn toward her.

“Aaaaa!” screamed the bush.

“Aaaaaa!” screamed Julia.

“Who are you?  What are you doing sneaking up on me?”  yelled the bush.

“Oh.  Mrs. Jameson, it’s me–Julia.  You scared me.”

“I scared you?  You almost scared me to death!”  answered Mrs. Jameson.  “I came out here looking for my bracelet.  I was looking at my front yard last night, trying to figure out what to trim, when it slipped off my wrist.”

“Oh,” answered Julia.  “I guess we both thought the other was a ghost!”

They both chuckled lightly, then went their own way.

©2012 Franja Russell

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

Paperweight

Lovely French maiden,

eyes wide beneath veiled brim

poised within her glass,

portrait-perfect and made to last,

dreaming spools of radiant words –

practiced, alluring, yet never heard.

With her articles pressed firm to her breast,

she counts the hours on her quest

and sweeps the scape

for signs that suggest

she has practiced her polish late –

well enough for her guests, at least,

and minced finely words

that would communicate her duress.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental

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

Ambrosia

When I was a kid, there was a popular salad named Ambrosia.
There were tiny marshmallows, grapes, and bits of other fruit,
drowning in a dressing of mayonnaise, milk, and sugar.
I thought it didn’t fit the name at all.

My personal Ambrosias then were…..
strawberries, dark chocolate, yellow corn, ice cream,
shrimp, crab, whole wheat bread, and scrambled eggs.
However I was allergic to all of those yummy foods.

Why couldn’t I have been allergic to liver or spinach?

Maybe the concept of Ambrosia has a nugget of danger to it.

©2012 Franja Russell

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

Abandon Certainty

Inspired by Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

Abandon certainty
Constantness is but a wave
Never crashing upon the same ground
Eroding different sand

Staying the same becomes plain
Black and white upon the frame
Of a photo you can’t see
Until it fades away

Abandon certainty
Life is fleeting
Love the ones you want to
Hold onto as long as you can

Tell them to abandon certainty
Hold on to hope
To joy
To love
Love means everything

©2012 Eliza Cabassoun

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

Well-heeled

Walking through the shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue, Jennie looked at the shoes carefully.  “I need a shoe that matches the outfit I bought for the ZAO High Tea this Saturday.  I want everyone to see that I’ve done well since we were Sorority Sisters at UC, Berkeley.  They never thought I would.”

The shoes on display included heels of various heights.  The colors were this season’s fashionable picks.  All were leather.  All were very expensive.

A Sales Associate brought several in her size.  After trying them on, she concluded that she didn’t really like any of them all that much, even the ones that fit well.  So she thanked him for his time and left the store.

As she backed out of the parking lot, an idea popped into her head.  SHOE TOWN was a short drive away.  So she drove over there.

It wasn’t until Jennie reached the back of the store that she saw shoes on display which looked exactly like those at the other store.  She tried them on.  They fit.  They were half the cost of the ones she’d seen first.

“Well,” she said to herself, “I’m going to be physically well-heeled in these shoes.  I’ll look well-heeled.  I’ll be closer to being well-heeled financially because I didn’t have to spend the full price.

©2012 Franja Russell

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

Yosemite Stands

Fog rising out of the mountains
Like a train gathering steam,
Pushing up the incline
Through twisted paths and rock

All I can see is blue
Rising from the water
Making the mountains glow
As they stand proudly

Talk to me, majestic beings
You never waver from your height
I cannot quite understand

©2012 Eliza Cabassoun

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

Halo

initiated by instinctive pulses

injected by rhythmic convulsions

conceived during warm glows

two cells fusing, fluid flows

dna recombination cumbersome chemistry

plump machinery slowly translate

micron-small sugar sequences in proteins

proteins in hormones

hormones in action

building blocks carried through

N-a-K channels and semi-permeable phospholipid walls

“under construction”

faster and faster

cell splits in two, in four, in eight, … over and over

cells communicating by chemicals and electrons

differentiating into organs and bones,

muscles and skin

sculpting valleys and hills

after nine months at last

nine months of intense activity

this exponent of random evolution

she  changes genotype in phenotype

and through a halo of her still blind eyes

she instinctively fathoms

the horrifying meaning of life…

and starts crying

©2012 Goodie

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

License

Lauren needed to get her license renewed for the first time since when she had gotten it at sixteen.

She was a good and careful, young driver and they had extended it for her the first time, so now, at twenty-four,

she was certain of herself in every way.

When she went to taken the written exam and aced it, it increased her confidence ten-fold, and so she felt no apprehension at the prospect of the driving part of the exam.

And when she saw the heavy-set man with the clipboard in his hand she smiled at him and waved. The scowl he offered in response to her smile, still did not put her off, and she walked toward him and told him she was ready.

He harumphed at her, and she laughed to herself at the character he appeared to be. Her own innocence and optimism ever faithful in her fellow humans, she felt certain she could bring Mr. Bleakness back from his sour mood.

While her mind was fresh with imagination when it came to creating stories for the people she encountered in her life, she remained mostly blameless toward what anyone might have done or experienced, and she thought that maybe Mr. Penn (which was his actual name) had had a hard life that could have included ill health or divorce or loss, but she had no real idea of what a truly rotten life Mr. Penn had lived.

When she became more and more uncomfortable with his impatience as he grabbed the wheel and tried to reach over her to operate the turn signals, Lauren asked him to please stop. And, he told her flat out that she had failed. It was a shock, and she walked dumbly into the DMV office and handed the clerk her failed test papers. The clerk looked at her, and then at her previous papers and records, took out a giant rubber stamp and approved her license there on the spot.

And Lauren skipped out of the DMV, her faith in humans renewed.

©2012 Luna Branwen

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

Leto II
Inspired by God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert

Oceans of stars fill the skies
Lighting the way to the golden path
He knows not where it may lead
Only that death lies at the end
Yet it will continue on
And they will sing his song
Filled with torment

He lives a strange life
Encased inside a second skin
Few trust him to be right
To do what is loyal
To bring darkness to light
Yet he endures
Struggles to stand
Against his foes

Will he have success
In what he wishes
Will he get the loyalty
He desperately needs
Will he find the answers
In the threads of the past
Or search for the answer
In the future he can’t see

©2012 Eliza Cabassoun

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

Tuber

The scent can be intoxicating, almost overwhelming,

and the first time that I held the long-stemmed multi-petaled,

white flower I thought I had been transported to Hawaii,

even though I had never been there,

the legend of the tuber rose was known to me

from my best friend from high school, who had moved there

within weeks of her graduation.

She: blond-haired, brown-eyed, buxom and determined

to be a Hawaiian girl, she lived there for nine years,

while I ventured to the Midwest of the U.S.

to discern my family roots

and therein meet the man I would come to marry.

She, having followed her high-school, surfing sweetheart from California, we both departed, but then we both returned, and the tuber rose became an emblem of our friendship, but then, long after, the friendship ended,

and all that is left is the remembrance of the fragrance of our youth, the white flower, and the times of growth and change.

©2012 Luna Branwen

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

WINNER! Follow Your Soul

Soaring notes flying free
Circling unequivocally round the brain
The guitar twangs, harmony begins
The rhythm pounding in my soul

I close my eyes to hear it
Nodding my head in time
No reason, no rhyme to all that is
The soaring of the vocals soaring my heart

It grows quiet, then rises again
I listen in pure wonderment
How can someone move the soul
With only a voice and a guitar
And a band behind him

God’s gift of music
Touching them from high above
Giving others comfort
Making them feel the love

How can we feel depressed
How can we be lonely
When we hear something
That moves the soul so powerfully

©2012 Eliza Cabassoun

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

Umbra

Rafe led his horse aboard the ferry, quieting it amidst the crowd of people escaping the city lights in order to better view the eclipse. The gelding nickered and butted Rafe’s shoulder with its head.

He smiled at the beast as he tried to quell the uneasiness that was creeping up on him. Not from the jostling crowd—he didn’t mind that. No, this was the unease he always felt at leaving Halcrest. The city was in his blood. Whenever he left it, it was as if he could feel his life force draining away.

So why bother with the damned eclipse? He was no great student of nature. Why should he care if the moon went black for an hour or so?

Because of that one moment when the moon was in the darkest part of the shadow—when it reached the umbra. Somehow it always emerged from that blackest point.

And so would he, and so would Halcrest, despite the war waiting to engulf them both.

©2012 Shoshana Moss

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

Karma

Letters give a reason for the existence of my pen

Eggs try to discard the hen

Light concentrates into the sun

I am his love cause he calls me “hun”

Children escape a woman’s womb

Hair grows to satisfy a comb

A story materializes into reality

Wind blows by a waving tree

People move to rotate the earth

Death invented birth

Rain fills up the clouds

Sound comes to please the one who shouts

We travel to find ourselves

We read books to put on a shelf

cause and consequence

difficult to distinguish, hence

life does not obey rules or dogma

fuzzy logic that’s life’s Karma

©2012 Goodie

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

The Nebula

The stars part way for dusty trails

incubating those luminous tails

that sweep the span of night.

A sailor’s search will bring him dread

that he must sail away from them

while over the sea he roams.

Fanning nebula creeps from sight,

out of the scope’s domain.

Curling in the winds of space like sails

that over their bridges must bide,

gases lunge and whip and rail against the vacuous tide.

For ever onward, far from shore the ship, The Nebula slips

ever starboard, steadily on.

Darkness spans, offering no light;

the hull is creaking all the night.

Every wave that serves to conquer,

ever onward, ever upward;

ship sinking deep and tilting sides

to the world of sailors she brides.

Her umbra pale, like a white dress

peeping that moonlight must transgress though the storm.

Dancing ocean looming huge,

softly bubbling then riding smooth as the satin of her gown.

Wood-worn hull drenched stern to bow

sips toast to her master and laughs aloud.

What must be dawn peeks through the clouds,

horizon’s stillness beckons on, though land is still obscured.

Days on end and lilting fro,

whilst waltzing with her starlight beaus

The Nebula has settled to her throws,

luminescent with ghostly glows.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental

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

Beauty Is…

Beauty is
a high school band scattering towards the stadium;
getting set up like ants hard at work.
The audience is staring at them in amazement
as if they are a one of a kind!

Beauty is
the football team getting a plethora of touchdowns;
the fight song is being played numerous times.
The sunset is never missing a single touchdown,
and the crowd is cheering!

Beauty is
the high school marching band performing at halftime;
soldiers getting ready to march.
The whistles of the drum major pierces the night sky,
and the show is on with the band roaring like thunder!

Beauty is
the football team winning the game;
the fans are going crazy as if they are wild animals!
Their victory is the big news of the night,
and not to mention the band’s performance!

©2012 Christopher Organiser

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

Primordial soup

Big bang

stellar anarchy

hot floating electrons

date pregnant atoms

pressure only lowered

by gaining entropy

and fly

in all four directions

and after eons and eternity

billions of earths

did condensate

boiling lightning never ending storm

and  in that vast primordial soup

self-replication was invented

by a genius random nature

birth of organic chemistry

out of chemistry

only a fraction of all the earths

marveled this mystic copycat transition

(still leaving several millions)

I am wondering

how many of those earths

evolved into a live form

able to knowingly

destroy all it loves

©2012 Goodie

One Response
Have Your Say
Your Name ↓
Your Email ↓
Your Website ↓
Tell us what you think of this story ↓
You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Follow Us!
Twitter icon Facebook icon Google+ icon
Welcome to Virtual Writers’ World
Welcome to Virtual Writers, first established in 2007. Here we learn to experiment with digital and virtual world platforms to push the creative envelope and develop a strong, unique voice.
Subscribe
Subscribe to our RSS feed and get site updates delivered immediately.
500 Word Snatch Challenge
Featured Authors
Torn Fields – war poets 1914-1918
Hypatia Pickens at The Blue Angel
Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Virtual Inspiration
Disclosure
Virtual Writers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.