This week’s challenge called for a quatrain, on any subject and with any rhyming scheme/metre (though it should include both). This challenge had a wonderful variety of responses on subjects ranging from comedy to tragedy. In the realm of poetry there is room for both and everything in between.
I want to say a special thank you to this week’s judge, Lou Faber of ‘An Old Writer and His Words.’ He put his skills as a former lawyer to the test in order to judge with fairness and consideration. Lou is a fine poet, whose poems have been widely published in the US, Canada, the UK and Israel. His work has received a nomination for a Pushcart Prize and was honored with the Green’s Magazine Award (in Canada). I recommend his blog to anyone who enjoys reading this one. I now hand over to Lou to bring you this week’s results.
First Place: ‘The Visit’ by Valdis Stakle
I lay alone in bed one night
And dreamed of times gone by
I saw a vision burning bright
A light that shone on high
I heard a voice that spoke so soft
And ended in a sigh
A Whisper came alone aloft
And told me I must die
I cried out loud in mortal fear
And asked her to explain
The answer came out loud and clear
I want to end my pain
Come join me in Eternal Sleep
We’ve been apart too long
The love I feel for you is deep
The bond I feel is strong
But I said No! Not now I cried!
My journey is not done
I cannot join you by your side
You must remain as one
And so at last the dawn did break
The sun shone bright and clear
And there I stood confused awake
To linger on in fear
Some years have passed since that sad night
But still it haunts my brain
A brief return a blinding light
And then a restless pain
And so I say farewell my love
And leave you to your rest
I would not join you up above
But hope that you are blessed
The end must come to all I know
To each when time is right
As I walk on so sad and slow
Towards Eternal Night
Valdis is a retired Local Government Officer in the UK who now devotes most of his time to painting, with the occasional foray into literature. You can view examples of his artwork on Instagram @valdisstakle.
This heartfelt poem was written as a recollection of a dream he had following the tragic and untimely death of his wife.
Congratulations, Valdis! I would like to offer you the opportunity to judge next week’s challenge, should you wish to take part.
Second Place: Annette Millican
With every day I get older
And the world I once loved drifts away.
It grows warmer while people grow colder,
But who cares when we have bills to pay.
Annette is a Civil Servant from the North of England who has been exploring her creative side in the time of Covid-19. You can find her on Instagram @tesse23.
Third Place: Don Matthews
Help! I don’t know what to do
Phone towers have all gone dead
I cannot text my neighbour
Is he still ‘live or dead?
I’ve lost the art of talking
Texting is the only way
To know if he’s in bed
Don is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Flippant, Comic, And Serious. He is a regular contributor to EIF, bringing a much-needed dose of sunshine to these pages. Do visit his website for a daily dose of L.O.L. alongside serious, heartfelt and moving poems. I am guesting over there today, attempting to write comedy…
Of this week’s entries, judge Lou had this to say:
“as a poet I appreciate poems that draw me, hold me, and make me regret having to depart. This week’s winner did that, and with great craft. The poem is enhanced by its rhythm and sonic approach. The subtle use of assonance and alliteration provided a gravity which held me to the poem. But I am a lover of humor and, dare I say, satire and the runners up brought both. In a world and being from a country where discourse on social issues is increasingly couched in Jeremiahs and rants, these short poems were a perfect distillation of their position. To come away from a poem smiling while having reconsidered a serious matter of social importance is an unexpected joy. Nearly as much so as our Ingrid, who, although she would deny it, brightens our lives on a regular basis.”
-I didn’t pay him to say that last bit! I would just add that the poems this week were all of a very high standard and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every one. Lou must have had a very difficult job to judge between them, and I thank him for his efforts.
The next EIF Poetry Challenge will be announced same time next week. Follow the tag ‘EIF Poetry Challenge’ to make sure you don’t miss out. Thanks to all who took part, and thank you for reading!