Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Radical Poetry winners!

by Zoe Parness

The Radical Poetry night in early December was great. It was lovely to see so many people at the refurbished Flagg and there was some wonderfuly personal and very moving poetry. So much of what we do in SL is text based so it is a treat to hear some of the voices behind the avatars reading their poetry.

There was a competition for the best original poem with a little prize attached. It was so difficult to judge because there were some very good poems submitted. In the end it was decided to split the prize between two entries. (Hope you don’t think that it’s a cop out)

One winner is the truely wonderful Stosh Quartz. She has delighted so many of us with her original poetry which is often very personal but also often has a political dimension.

Her poem ‘november rant’ takes as it’s theme the way that the media are failing to bring us the truth and how they distort our view of was is really happeneing in he world with trivial news and celebrity gossip.

The second winner is DonJuan Writer who is another of SL’s favourite poets. Try to get to one of his events and if you are lucky you will not only hear him read his very original work but you may hear him sing too :) His winning poem ‘Frank’s Machine’ at first seems to show only anger about the wrongs in the world but ends with a personal plea to all of us to combine our feelings with our intellect in the cause of peace and the ending of injustice.

In discussing the entries with a friend it was pointed out to me that the term ‘Radical’ had been almost universaly been interpreted as an opportunity to express anger and frustration with the way things are. There were few poems which expressed a positive image of a possible future. Perhaps this will be a theme for a future event in the New Year.

In the meantime here are the winning entries. I hope that you will enjoy reading them as much as I did and that may inspire all of you to express your thoughts and feelings in this way. Happy writing !!!

november rant by Stosh Quartz

once upon a time
the news cameras scanned
had the panoramic view
could see
would focus on
the edges
the fringes
the outskirts
the Big Picture
voices were raised
when they showed us injustice
we acted to make
things better
but someone
seems to have put
vaseline on the lens
it seems
it seems only yesterday
zooming in
the strobe flash
would shine a light
in a dark corner
intending to
roust the evil
rescue the damaged
feed the hungry
heal the wounded
counsel the disenfranchised
wrestle the demons
comfort the weak
soothe the abused
reform the abusers
share the wealth
raise the debate
raze the walls
the walls that shield
the walls that shelter
the walls of a maze
the walls that obscure
our view
keeping justice for all
just beyond reach
somehow the
emphasis changed
now reporters tell us
funny stories about
celebrities caught
being human
the broadcasts will not
drop the subject
even as
children are enslaved
women are enslaved
men are enslaved
people are dying of starvation
being killed in wars
sinister shadows
cannot be penetrated
sinister shadows
by big business
big crime
big money
our focus is steered
away from things
that might make us mad
might make us fight
They--the ones to whom we
have given reins--
lull us with
shiny baubles
sleep sleep sleep
and when you wake
we can talk about
tiger woods
because in
Grand Scheme of Things
what could be more
important than
learning what happened
in his home
last week?

Frank's Machine By DonJuan Writer

Curse the day,
When they found a way,
To make war pay.

Curse those who fill their pockets,
With money made from selling rockets.

Curse all those politicians,
Who rate human life beneath their career ambitions.

A financial dictatorships sets the par for the course,
Our way of life kept in arrested development by fiscal force.
They keep our outrage at bay by editing what hits our screen,
People as a renewable resource to fuel the cogs of Frank's Machine.

They hail our heroes who died in their wars,
For their idealism that keeps us on all fours.
Tax on wages,
And everything we buy,
Monthly installments,
Until we die,
And it doesn't stop there,
There's more despair.

People starve in war-torn lands,
Children work their Happy Meal hands,
Men of God crush men of peace,
The money grab means for a fight that won't cease.

Environment disasters,
And economic crime,
We slave for faceless masters,
Who clip our claws so we can't climb.

They limit our drugs,
And lay guilt trips on our lusts,
Pat the heads of their thugs,
And benefit to our disgusts.

Now it's gotten to the stage where apathy reigns supreme,
And manufactured music plays behind some fucking football team.
We are conquered by a solitude divide,
And fight our individual wars inside.
Peace is the only way for tension to unwind,
Stop the fighting, align your heart and mind.

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