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August Competitive Dash

Published on Thursday, September 6, 2012 by


The Competitive Dash, an adjunct to the 15-minute Daily Writers’ Dash, uses anonymous peer review through an online poll to find the most outstanding poem, flash piece or short story each month. 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$2,500 (Second Life® currency) or a $10 Amazon gift voucher and publication on the website on our Winners Wall of Fame.

Deadline for submissions is midnight (PST) on the 27th of each month. We accept only one entry per person per picture prompt or a total of 4 daily dash entries.

Public vote begins midnight (PST) on the 5th September and ends 2 weeks later on midnight of the 19th. Winners will be notified by the 21st September.

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 for next month 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.


1. Fossils In My Flesh

Did I say that?

I heard the words, across the crowd, aloud –

Too late! There is no way I may unsay

the sounds I spat

Did I do that?

I moved yet proved my will was still undone

I know not what will stop the train of pain

my deed begat

Did I think that?

Who knows from whence appeared such weird ideas,

what urge would make such wayward thoughts enforce

their own dictat?

Am I all that?

A mating procreating naked ape,

surviving fittest, nature-nurtured twin,

conditioned rat?

What good is that?

My traits, non-standard deviations, means,

percentiles and prehensile factors, types,

conforming norms, my ego and my id –

my profile’s flat

To see the ‘I’ afresh

I tussle thus to find the ‘mind’ behind

hormonal cells, genetic code, and pulse,

whose neural paths and archetypal roles

of mother, father, child embed my head

–        like fossils in my flesh

©2012 Martina Meinster


2. Jumping For Joy

She crouches on starting blocks of grass like a champion

limbs set, lungs silenced, tongue hanging

her eyes alive with the flame of Olympia

burning for her Zeus in waxed cap and jacket

He waits, displaying his control like an elite coach

comfortable in his casual command of the arena

and of her readiness

knowing the obsessive hours of discipline and training

He readies, she steadies

the unheard gun is fired

the sweep of his majestic arm launches

a ring of gold, one from five, into the skies

Instinct and conditioning combine in exponential energy

released as at the birth of time

She extends, strains, strides

a streak of black and white sheen against the green

the point of her nose rising like Concorde

Tracking the calculus of the disc’s arc

she judges her run with the precision of a missile

locked onto the in-coming projectile

closing on the cross-hairs of the kill

Timing her leap with artistic perfection

she transcends gravity like a gymnastic prodigy

threading her snout dead-centre through the eye of the ring

with a mid-air crack of teeth on target

She returns to earth in triumph….

Elation and the fulfilment of performance propel her

in a lap of honour

Pumping to the beat of success she turns

steps up to the podium at his feet

wearing her medal in her wide smile

her winning tail wagging like a thousand flags

©2012 Martina Meinster


3. The Flight to Naples

Below us the cloud

grey as Lakeland slate

grim as a mortician’s slab

encasing the places of the island races

Movement below

shifts and drifts in the layers

slow as fermentation

disturbing like the murmurs of quiescent people

Snowfield below

a blur of dazzling powder

unsullied by mortal heroes

setting for myth and untold fairytale

Foam below

a tub of wash-house froth

all urgent effervescence

stirring the vision of myopic men

Billows below

puffed pillows of down

a fleece of whisked egg whites

bubbling with mummified monsters

Wisps below

strands of spun candyfloss

sweetening the rawness of the rays

screening the skins of children

Below us a galaxy of suns

diamond eyes of car roofs and windows

sprinkled glitter on terracotta

glinting with hints of an ancient humanity

©2012 Martina Meinster


Winner 4. “Waving Goodbye”

It was the third night of dreams that broke my resolve. The first dream was exciting, the second unsettling and the third terrifying.

In it I ran along a pebbled beach, stones stabbing into my feet as I chased the outgoing tide.

The faster I ran, the quicker the waves receded and the harder it got to pull air into my burning lungs.

So I stood on the flood barrier, staring down at the rippled sea, squinting my eyes against the setting sun.

With a last look over my shoulder I jumped in, flicked out my tail, and swam home.

©2012 Robin Sure


I thought we’d turned a corner, me and you,

And made it past our wanton, wandering phase
but here I see a too-familiar view:

Same hall, same doors. We’re caught up in a maze.

I wouldn’t mind a labyrinth of Thrace
where all the double-back and narrow-in
leads ultimately to a deeper place
and hero finally holds his heroine.

But you and I don’t seem to have a goal
beyond meandering the endless halls
and when we nearly meet, fall down a hole
to stand bedazzled by the mirror walls.

So now I’m only searching for a door.
You’ve got your space: an endless corridor.

©2012 Kassy Fatooh



Be there busy, pulsing, teeming

Rush to talk and think and do

While I hide myself from you

Far off in the country, dreaming.

Echoes of debating, scheming

Reach me in a day or two

Satellites your smiles beaming

Sell your circus, bread and brew.

I could catch you live and streaming

Stay informed and get a clue

But I had reasons when I flew

All my quietude mere seeming

Bees are busy, gardens teeming.

©2012 Kassy Fatooh


7. Paper Artfully Reveals Cushioned Enclosure: Love

These little objects chosen for their weight
as much as for utility or charm
are light in mass but are in meaning great:

I hope unpacking them won’t do you harm.

Here’s nothing to go stale, rot or melt
or cost a price that I would find too dear
but each thing wasn’t chose so much as felt:

I picture you unpacking it with fear.

Will any item weigh more than it should
in memories, desire, expectation?
How time and distance spoil what was good:
what once was fresh may stink with maturation.

It’s too late now to call the parcel back:
it’s on its way to you, all filled with lack.

©2012 Kassy Fatooh



She typed til her ribbon was worn, and when it snapped she mended and re-inked it, and when the mend gave way she carried on long-hand until her manuscript, full as it was of white-out and line-throughs, was finished, and she tied the pages in a satin ribbon and their weight told her she had a book though no one might ever wish to read it, not even her daughter going through her things to settle her estate, for in her heart she awarded her mother no prize ribbons for having completed the thing but instead resented each minute she had spent toiling over the awful novel instead of over a livelihood that would have bought a new school uniform not worn and mended and a pretty ribbon for her hair.

©2012 Kassy Fatooh


9. Diffuse

Sunrise on the Arizona desert

presents diffuse colors over the landscape

which change as the sun rises higher in the sky.


At first, purple greys slide along the ground

with darker grey as shadows

cast by pillars of ancient landforms.


Then tinges of sandy orange

replace the darker hues

as the sky brightens,

chasing away the night.


Next slide in darker oranges,

brownish reds, unexpected patches of green,

as the sky becomes pale blue.


Finally, as the sun comes up over the horizon,

all the warm browns, reds, oranges of the painter’s palatte,

spill over the landscape and become solid.


I saw this happen when I was five years old

and still see it in my mind as if I were there.

©2012 Franja Russell


10. Constable

Sir…um, Officer…uhhh, Constable.

What was the driving mistake I made?


But I did signal before making the turn.


Oh, pointing isn’t an acceptable signal?

And I didn’t have my arm out the window long enough?


But there wasn’t any traffic coming down that street.

Not a single car.

And there were no cars behind me at all.


By the way, Sir…um, Constable.

Where were you when I made the turn?


My Driver’s License, yes I have it.

I have both Licenses with me—for Europe and the US.


Thank you, Constable, for taking the time to explain

the fine points of signaling to make a turn.

I’ll be more careful during the rest of my visit.

©2012 Franja Russell


11. Waterfall


During that summer’s drought

the only waterfall I saw while camping

was a six inch whispering wiggle of water.


It flowed near where we camped–

flowed from the lake

which was two feet lower than anyone had ever seen it.


Birds, squirrels, bobcats, and others came,

morning and evening, to drink at the lake

and the thin trail of water leading away from it.


Mostly they ignored us humans

who gave them space to safely come.


What I most remember is the silence.

The water slid over the six inch waterfall

without even a single splash.

©2012 Franja Russell


12. Ledge

There’s not much to do on a ledge of rock

except burn with the sun and the sense of isolation

and rise when the wind blows too wild and chases you

to the inside wall where you dot the space with pebbles

to protect your land or mark days – whichever my friend –

it won’t go far, either way then, when you have no choice but to stay.

See, you can’t breathe the thick air coming at you,

corrupted with ash from the heavens and Mount St. Helens

(she wouldn’t be the only one erupting for show).

And I know you thirst for water, fight with grit in your hair,

the dryness on your skin while it crawls and you hear voices

amongst memories so thick they bleed out onto the ledge

while you act out in soliloquy all your past hurts,

your words like daggers as you cry

and sing new songs to your orphaned loves

behind you in their lives, still orphaned by your love.

And there you lie, abandoned, your bed a rocky cliff

and all you can do is think of others

and vow as you dive under your arm for cover

that there’ll be justice in the end –

and it drives you and burns you hotter than the sun.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental


13. Face

how many times can I look at you

and see the way that it all could be?

how can I trespass on the bitter tides

and see you from a thousand miles away?

it makes me weep inside

to know that you love me

across that great expanse

that no bridge ever spanned

and no mortal dared swim at all.

I see your face this time,

clearer than before.

my eyes are open wide

you walk in through their doors

and into the depths of my soul.

©2012 Ginger Jorgental


14. Languor


he sat alone

but was he there?

who on earth could blame him

if he didn’t care?


I watched him go

he didn’t see

there was nothing

standing between him and me


it took so long to find him

– I turned away –

he didn’t see that answer

was as bright as day


he was the largest part

of all on earth I’d ever sought

and stole away

under the light of day

to some shady grove

where no one ever goes


he looked away

into the sky

and saw it glow

but how was I to ever know?


he could not say

could not reach for words

and I would stray

blinded by love

each night into the dark

to find his love


and who should go?

me, the dark, I’ll never know


…just look away

into the skies

and watch the heavens

for a sign


until the wind

catches him in flight

©2012 Ginger Jorgental


15. Abacus
Make for me an Abacus
of cedar and of pearls
that I may count my wealth
in loving thee
in breaths on the fair perfume
of a noble wood
as I caress thy firm heroic brow
and play at dangles
with those white romantic gems
of an Oceans rise

Almost matched I trow
as Royal spangles
to that rich beauteous blue
of thy strong loving eyes
which rest upon

mine own

My own accounted Love

©2012 Queen Bluestar


16. First Occupy…

First occupy the arts of SPACE
that forces your reality
to make its place
retract the fundamental
geometries of the mundane
and stack them to their corners
not quite forgot
for reasons sake
in leaving time for front of eye
to SEE
and hear
with all you have to hold
of Creature mind
that which
liken to the gods
the Life


First published at Lit Up Singapore Literary Arts Festival

©2012 Queen Bluestar


17. Gargantuan
how great gargantuan the watery reserves
of Earth
for such a name as we in innocence imposed
In looking down from that dark sheltering embrace
of unearthed endlessness
how sweet this little orb we ride
bright blue oasis
to a trillion trillion trillion affairs
of states unknown
but to our fabricated mass
which call by presence
of our jewel like colours
and a light reflected heaven

to all of entity who pass

might yet amongst us come

©2012 Queen Bluestar


18. Plaster

I love the smell of plaster where it lays
wet pressed across a fresh made wall.
That heaven in the nose so perfectly aligned
between the mineral and sweet
which of surprise bears nothing wit to either
as properly discerned
but stalks… in positive and just that side
of pleasurable
to tweak the body’s curiosity
at least upon the first imbibe

A practical perfume set to release
all bonds of a cloying fantasy
and clear the mind straight back
to the better formulations of
the Day.
©2012 Queen Bluestar


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