Echoes Contest Poetry Pt. 2

A Lost Soul Failed Life’s Test [Poetry]

After Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Into That Gentle Night

by Daniel Leef

Honorable Mention for Poetry  in the Echoes Writing Contest

A lost soul failed life’s test,

I looked elsewhere in cold place;

My own soul fled from its nest.

An angel sat in the moon’s crest,

Stark trees chuckled in nature’s brace;

A lost soul failed life’s test.

Rubber covered the road’s granite vest

With machine blur that sliced frigid space,

My own soul fled from its nest.

White eyes poked holes in the night’s chest,

Warm breath shapeshifted into cloudy grace,

A lost soul failed life’s test.  

The mammal life lay cold at rest,

Next to the machine’s red, glaring face,

My own soul fled from its nest.

I wait next to my dying guest,

My knife finds the deer its rightful place,

A lost soul failed life’s test,

My own soul fled from its nest.

********

Midnight [Poetry]

by Clara Collins

Honorable Mention for Poetry in the Echoes Writing Contest

Inky darkness sways and stretches across the pond––a

shadowed, looming thing among the reeds,

thick with life.

Hissing grasses meld with

insect song, an uninterrupted hum and tangle of

whistling ferns and swarming. Switchgrasses skitter,

dry, discolored as ash,

billowing in the wind, whispering

“Shhhhh” into open air. As if

quieting a baby’s cry. Water skippers

lurk atop the pool’s still surface, cloaked in black,

hushed but for the muffled click of their

twig-like back legs, knees

knocking together with an almost inaudible “snap.”

There is ocean, velvety and dull––a heavy blanket

in the distance,

unlit by the silvery disk of a moon shimmering high

in a circular sky. It is cold, a

blue-fingered night where

breath hangs murky in the air like

frozen vapor. We were not meant to be here, we were

never meant to touch this darkness.

****

Another Poem [Poetry]

by Sarah Barkouli

2nd Runner-Up for Poetry in the Echoes Writing Contest

Cotton clouds so close

I could break open the window and

feel them melt on my tongue

The fields of grass stretch out like

an ocean below me

and I look down and see tiny houses

like Monopoly game pieces

I wonder if anyone is falling in love

and I wonder who is crying under dusty sheets

and I wonder, Is anyone thinking of

the girl flying like birds were made to?

And I wonder if they see the girl

laughing in her seat

because of the amazement that there’s barely anything

separating her from falling

32,000 feet to the ground

or if they see the ghost inside of her

who is scared that she is the one in seven million

whose flight will crash and whose name will be forgotten

like wind brushing over sand in the desert.

How does it feel to be a cloud?

When the only expectation people have of you

is to rain and rain and rain.

****

Dealing With Life When Life Is Hard To Deal With [Poetry]

by Kailin Carter

Honorable Mention for Poetry in the Echoes Writing Contest

Melt yourself away into the music. Let your blood mingle with the tones of the streets, listen close. Turn it way up loud until you’re swimming in noise. Hear the way the sounds you hate, –car horns, tearing pages, an unexpected no,– harmonize with those good notes, the applause, the silent sound of a smile, the dull rumble in the kettle as it begins to boil. Hear how they hold fast to each other, winding, coiling tight like perfectly tuned guitar strings strung between your heart and your ribs. Make those strings sing loud, don’t be afraid to take a long drag of the cool smoke of the clouds to change the pitch. Learn the notes to play all your favorite memories, find the chords of your mother’s laugh, pluck the notes of the first ‘I love you’ you ever believed, compose the way the wind runs her cool fingers through your hair. Tap your toes on the thin ice of youth, blow on the wind chimes that hang in the back of your mind flown from your first thoughts of your father’s house. Dance along; brace your shaking knees with the sound of your brother’s hand on your shoulder. Let warm and wayward tears fall lithely on the strings, playing a sadness so heavy the notes start to bend into those thunderstorms that gave just enough light to show you how beautiful the dark can be. Play until the calluses on you heart vibrate down the strings to your fingers instead. Pluck the crackling melody of the fireplace with the sharp note of dizzying gas. Let the soft notes of fresh air slipping in through the front door as your sister comes home after a long night pour from your lips, fan the flames with her sigh of relief. Find the sounds of sleep, the notes ringing long after you play them, listen to the last time you fell asleep holding your mother’s hand and the sound of the moon glowing like a silver-plated snowball melting light over the sleeping world. Hear how mixed emotions make the smoothest melodies, even the sky-high pitch of happiness, so cloying alone, rings akin to lemonade when laced with the throbbing bass notes of lament. Learn to play the spinning of the earth, each chord that sounds like learning that magic wasn’t real and the moment you found out that was wrong too. Mix fear with fireworks, and bright flowers blooming in spring with the cracked and dying leaves of fall. Strum these notes, the ones so close to your heart, until you learn to think with your fingers and live through your ears.

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