Free Contests for Poets & Writers, Deadlines Approaching

  • What do haiku and soap have in common?

There’s still time to submit your haiku to 2019 Soap Haiku Contest. It’s a fun contest, the entry’s free — hurry!

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Just a few days left to submit to Owl Canyon Press Short Story Hackathon #3. No cost to enter, big prizes — don’t miss!

Good luck!

Happy September

Nino's art, Kite

I’ve no weight,
I’m a kite,
fly me high,
hold on tight,
don’t let go of my hand,
bye-bye, land!

I’m air,
I’m light,
I’m day,
I’m night.
Watch me how I go whee!
Fly with me?

Burning bright,
burning clear,
from this world disappear
in the blink of an eye
you and I.

 

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2017 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Echoes (poem)

The Earth is shaken,
Images of horror,
The senseless carnage
Dominate the screen,
Mankind is one —
One heart,
One soul,
One pain
That time will never dull…
But time is singing
Its ancient lullaby
And we forget.

How eagerly selective,
How blissfully short-lived
Our memory is.
Succumbing to the steady hum of years
We let the past lie dormant
Till pure evil
Attacks once more
And its distorted features
Surprise us
With a sense of recognition.
The old bell tolls again,
And we recall.

 

© 2012 Sasha A. Palmer

Image copyright info 

Once upon a Winter’s Night (poem)

Once upon a winter’s night—
bittersweet, sleepless,
lit by the pale light
of the blue-eyed moon—
you’ll find that your room
is a boat with white sails—
summer bound, ready—
you’ll sail away, away
to the place that has no use
for riddles, because youth
has all the answers, the place
ringing with echoes
of laughter, full of traces
etched on the golden sand.
Meet you there. I’ll stand
on the shore of that place—
so distant, so near—
where time’s but a long tress
wrapped around a girl’s
little finger, twirling, twirling…

 

Image: Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Moonlit Night at Zdravnevo (1896), oil on canvas, 143 x 90.4 cm, The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk. Public Domain

“Two lovers’ union…” (a sonnet)

In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage

Two lovers’ union — stronger than a bond
between a mother and her child. A man
is nothing but a wretched vagabond
till he is whole with his betrothed. What can
persuade a lover, worshiping his love,
to see the presence of another king?
No, neither found inadequacies of
a “perfect” love, nor quarrels, nor the sting
of jealousy that pierces the heart
will cause a man to doubt his love — but time
and time alone will feed its apple tart
to human soul, until—in truth sublime—
a quiet revelation takes the throne:
we’re born alone, and we depart alone.

 

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage, 1917. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). BF601. Public Domain.

Cold Summer (poem in Russian)

У Кирилла и Мефодия

Чёрен, чёрен белый свет,
Стынет лето, правды нет,
Кривда-матушка одна,
Да тюрьма, полным-полна,
Да по шее холодок —
Ропот, окрик, шепоток.
Время покатилось вспять,
Воздух по дворам распят,
И поруган, изгнан вон
Под сусальный перезвон,
Спас растерянный, опалый
Поправляет венчик алый.

 

Image:  © 2019 Vlad Dokshin

To the Girl in the Sunlight (poem in Russian)

Girl in the Sunlight.

Отчего ты печалишься, дальняя
незнакомка знакомая?
Может я, помогу чем-то —
словом, молчанием?
В саду твоём — солнцестояние,
лето вечное, тень резная
фатой подвенечной легла,
ты из света, тепла, руки сложены
так покойно, покорно… Может ты,
мне расскажешь, что видишь-ведаешь,
зачем в глазах грусть?
Незатейлив секрет пусть,
ты его как ларец дорогой открой —
помоги, научи, помолчи со мной.

 

Image: Girl in the Sunlight. Portrait of Maria Simonovich by Valentin Serov. 1888. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Happy August

Boy and dog, starry night, Nino

I would have said,
no, we could not explain
the physics of the lightning,
or the rain,
stars galloping
across the endless sky…
I would have said,
no, we could not tell why
the world would trade its green
for gold, and fall
onto the earth
we treaded with our small
bare feet of childhood.

No, we surely could
not ever tell.
We simply understood.

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2015 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Blind-man’s-buff (poem)

 

Group of Figures (Study for "Un dimanche à la Grande Jatte")

The sun trapped in my half-sealed eyelids, I
could not peek if I tried – the blindfold’s tight.
No need to, though – I can identify
you anytime, old friend, both day and night.

No matter where I go I’d recognize
the bitter-sweet of clover on the tongue,
the cool caress of wind, I don’t need eyes
to see you as you were, when we were young.

I hear the stillness of the hot high-noon,
and smell the earth stirred by the garden rake,
I feel the rain with all my cells, and soon
I know you, friend, I do, make no mistake.

You are my dream, my childhood, my July,
I carry with me, though I’ve left, you stay
forever in that place where you and I –
that magic place –
where blind-man’s-buff we play.

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: Georges Seurat. Group of Figures (Study for “Un dimanche à la Grande Jatte”), 1884–1885. Oil on panel, Overall: 6 1/16 x 9 3/4 in. (15.4 x 24.8 cm). BF2506. Public Domain.