Entries for Protagonize 2009 Autumn Poetry Tournament

Entry 1 - Untitled

The cold beeping in a sterile hall

You never wake

Dawn comes, yet one more Autumn day

But never breaks

Mumbled platitudes and shuffled feet,

Ignored, you sleep

A year gone by, eyes closed in dreaming

Long, dark and deep

Counting of a metronomic beat

I can not sleep

Break through glass, to fall to asphalt sky

Shards cut me deep

I kiss the glass into a flower,

Break through to wake

Scenes replayed a million times before

Now ice, it breaks

You’ve lived within the dark for so long

Year without light

Eyelids flicker to hold back the pain,

Regaining sight

I breathe and break through, from beneath ice

I see the light

To see the world, pain is a small price

Straining for sight

You return, awaking from your sleep

Tears on my face

I see you, I’m rising to my feet

And we embrace

Entry 2 - Untitled

To my congregation

Sat with empty faces

In empty pews.

A silent sermon

For the masses

Under my roof they meet,

But never see each other

Each one an island,

They feel me lapping on their shores

So much in common–

Ignored, oblivious to my cause

Their ironic companion

This salty trail I lead them down

One set of footprints on the shore

To take communion.

They never realise

They share this church with others

There is another world outside these solemn walls

An unwanted Father I remain,

I stand beside them all the same

The Club

Shoo-ba-dee boo-whop

And I’m tapping my feet.

The trumpet plays,

The smell of smoke fills my nose

Ba-dee-ba dee-ba dee-ba.

The double-bass thrumming,

Two notes

Loud and clear.

I can taste it in my mouth

Something fine

Something divine

And then it starts

All over again.


I feel the beat in my liver

The scat man is playing his mouth.

He’s playing…

Bop-ba-de-bop-ba-de bop-a-da-doo-whop

Oh yes, they’re playing alright

The smoke and the laughter

One more time

I want to stand up and shout!

Dum-de-dum de-dum de-dum.

At the club.