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Winter Dash Contest Winner: Martina Meinster

Published on Monday, March 4, 2013 by

We have much pleasure in announcing that Martina Meinster is the winner of our Winter Dash Contest. Martina Meinster’s piece is rich both in imagery and vocabulary and is a fine example of seasonal poetry.

Martina will receive a choice of either L$5,000 (Second Life® currency) or a $20 Amazon gift voucher. There will also be an opportunity for her to perform her poem at our upcoming Poetry Festival.


Long before the rise of the men who know,

before the birth of archetype and myth,

a Sun-god held His court

encircled by captive courtiers,

the offspring of His incandescent coalescence,

baubles of molten lava, gas, and ice,

spinning with His energy,

painted with His light in rainbow colours

as yet unseen in any artist’s sky

or Hubble eye.

And in the favoured zone of Goldilocks

the rays that stirred the soup of life

at first advanced

and the people danced,

and then retreated

and the people teetered

as their shadows shivered in the stricken dusk.

They watched. They saw. They watched again.

They rejoiced as the Sun-god rode the sky

in ever higher arcs,

dressing the world in green.

But when He turned His back and sank,

shrouding the land in white,

they feared for His return.

And seeing their precarious dependency

they learned to pray

and built great circles of standing stones

to mark His nadir as the faithful would

with promises and sacrifice.

And Ra begat Helios

and Helios begat Apollo

and Apollo begat the Sun of Righteousness

Whose coming claimed the southern solstice for His own.

And the Spirit of the Shortest Day processed

from the temples and the high cathedrals,

village spires and hamlet steeples,

to the inner sanctum of the Family

where, paternal high-priest at its head

and the Homely Mother ringed by cherished cherubs

before Prince Albert’s tree of evergreen,

they intoned a more domestic liturgy

of greetings cards, crackers and turkey,

making supplication to a semi-secular saint

in crimson robe and Nordic beard

for bounty in the here-and-now.

And now in growing godlessness

we bear the imprint of the old observances.

For we two also mark each wintertide

as pilgrims might,

with bacon cobs and carols in the Advent Forest,

back seat down for the totem tree,

once so tall it bowed to the ceiling

like Gulliver in a Lilliputian parlour,

though now sedate in its perennial apparel,

telling fireside memories

and smelling of Christmas.

©Martina Meinster

Martina Meinster is an aspiring writer of fun, serious and erotic poems in Second Life®. Her poem ‘Roots’ was runner-up in the Culture & Fun group Ekphrastic Poetry competition in Dec 2011 and her poem ‘Hogmanay’ was runner-up in the Virtual Writers Festive Poetry competition in Jan 2012. In March 2013 she won the Virtual Writers Winter Dash Contest with her poem ‘Wintertide’.  She makes ‘picture-poems’, illustrated clocks, photoframes and T-shirts using illustrated extracts from some of her poems and has also undertaken individual commissions to design advertising posters for sim owners. She has put a few of her poems in her Profile Picks inworld – if you want to know more, please IM her.

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