I posted before about how honored I was, to be chosen as a judge for this competition. As the competition draws to a close and I have now read all the submitted poems (unless someone is leaving things to the very last moment- as there are still five hours to go) I have to say how impressed I have been with the quality and diversity of the poems. There are many that I have loved, others that have impressed me with rote, style and originality. So I thought I would share a few here. I am sure that you will like them. Lol- once this competition is done you will just have to listen to me rattling on again about my books, politics and general rubbish.
Here you get to see some talent.
These are just a random assortment.
Don’t Let Them In
A party had gathered the night of Samhain When a stranger arrived. “Won’t you please let me in?” He was no acquaintance; his horse threw a shoe. With the rain, might he stay and enjoy the fun, too? His hair, black as pitch; his frame, mighty tall: The ladies were swooning all over the hall.
In this golden era when Victoria was queen, By turns they told ghost stories each Halloween. The house master waited. He told his tale last. His guests scarcely breathed till the story had passed.
His ancestor conquered this manor by siege And ousted the king who had long been its liege. But people still loved him. For full victory The conqueror lashed the old king to a tree. In public he severed the fingers and toes Of the king one by one. Then he lopped off his nose.
The dying man gave his last curse to the land: “You may prosper today. You may think your luck grand. But I promise you this: Nuada shall return! My torture and murder will be overturned When I visit on you what you’ve given to me. Not even your children will ever be free!”
The master’s eyes gleamed as he warned the hushed hall, “One night he’ll come back here to murder us all!”
By now, all the house guests were too scared for bed. As midnight approached, the house mistress said, “It’s time to tell fortunes. Who wants to go first?” They fled to the parlor from thoughts of the curse.
They each took an apple and sliced it nine ways In front of the mirror. They’d find true love’s gaze By eating eight pieces, then tossing the last Over shoulder by candlelight. Inside the glass Some claimed to see friends or that gleam in the eyes Of the one they loved best, like young Lydia’s prize: The stranger in darkness who stole her first kiss While the guests, rapt with stories, saw nothing amiss. At last her turn came, but her lover had gone: Vanished into the night with the horse he rode on.
Young Lydia, pretty, the house’s last daughter, Saw gilded glass ripple like midnight water. Her love’s noseless visage grinned wide like a skull: “King Nuada’s back! Now your family line’s null!”
Nine months, and poor Lydia brought forth a son. Her father’s grim gaze knew whose battle was won. In the boy shone the stranger. No fingers or toes. The most frightening thing was his lack of a nose.
Now Lydia nurses her babe by the hour, Guarding his life from her family’s power. No mere mortal child will inherit the land: One look at his face shows King Nuada’s brand.
On Samhain, the veil between worlds grows too thin. Be wary of strangers and don’t let them in.
Whispered to me, on the holy Wiccan hour. Fool’s searching answers from the Page of swords. The crucible in his poison-lips. My hands turn cold. Poised for the lovers to show me the mystic. Eyes so sad, desperate for the eternal witness. He tasted of a street corner- malice curiosity, birthed with the caul, with foresight he led. My body performing for him. He will never want me deeper. Drink my offering – pray in threes: have me, have me, have me. Tongs dance with serpents in figure eights. Hands nailed open, from the past I asked for. Fingernails chewed to the wick- a warning of fouls profits. Blistered saws- snubbed out black candlesticks. He tore away flesh as I fastened my grip. Powdered salt lips- gently playing to contort. Bulling out the needle, not thinking of the scare. Obscurity startled the black ally cat. Talking in tongs of a lover that meant more. Standing mute. Under the harvest full moon. Inspecting my entrails for answers to leave. I gave thanks to the sacrifice that tended my needs. The body crumbled, as he revealed his true vengeance. The spell, broken. I saw behind the seven veils. This creature of the night. Christened by spite. Hands over eyes- I was left dancing in crop circles.
Once you open the door it can be hard to tell under feathers and masks swan from princess prince from frog because so often they are both
The bedsheet ghosts can be bribed to go haunt the neighbors but once the door is open your own phantoms appear an invisible few you know who
They won’t go away and never stop talking about what should have been different despite now knowing it all could only have been what it was which is why they’re dead and you’re not
And that’s life once you open the door