Prize Winner and up-runners! Poetry Competition…

1/ Chalcedony Shoes

The black slippers had been with me for half of my lifetime.

Grown old, they had fallen apart.

Zippers still intact, that spiny sound of an ascending keyboard or

A persons feet racing up a circular staircase sends me into a nostalgic muse.

I didn’t like them at first when mum brought them in with the shopping.

Ugg boots were what I wanted, not old man shoes.

“Practical”, she said, “They were all I could find”.

Conceding in my pragmatic way they have been with me since.

A thin woolen lining like buffed skin to shield my feet from the elements needed the

Additional protection of socks. A design fault, certainly, if these slippers were an animal

They would soon die out in the race a hopeless cause; they needed something else to survive.

An ancient shoe, as they lived with me I began to like them more. The gray rubber sole

Was durable and never let in the wet from an outside lawn or a messy bathroom.

It was only as they were shedding layers like a snake that I took heed to their beauty.

The sole gained holes. The rubber, cross hatched with the poorly sown line of stitching

That held them together.

Deconstructed I pondered over each section and the hands that made them.

Is this slipper art?

The back heel was last to go, as a withering flower dies another blooms more brilliantly.

The material wore away. A cheap piece of cardboard was held between the wool, this

Flimsy junk that housed my skin was but bark off the tree lined in a green glad-wrap that

Was clearly salvaged from rubbish near the sweat-shop they were created in.

Tearing the cardboard away, the real treasure smothered my breath with a

Heart-wrenching awe. A fabric, soft as silk, deep maroon with flowers of yellow centers

Slightly faded but alive with fiery petals of green and orange. Blue wisps of string

Smothering them was ripped away with prying fingers to gaze at the inside of a slipper.

Never had I seen such hidden beauty as these crystallized stones of blood hidden behind

Walls of slender fibers in parallel bands.

2/ Out in my Backyard

i Awake to the gentle caress of the warm, humid breeze
In a swaying hammock, groaning with content
i sit myself up, Stay the hammock’s swing
Smell the uneven grass, bathed in morning dew

A sea of radiant gold pries open my sluggish eyes
The golden hue of the raggedy grass sharpens my focus
How could one trade gold for jade?
Though the diggers have left much gold remains

Kookaburra cackle as i find my morning feet
The old verandah mourns that i turn towards the door
Little Black Willy scrabbles over the tin roof above
Maggie cries in my ear – stay a little longer

Though my fingers touch the splintered door i turn back to the sun
It nows shimmers and shines as grass brushes my sole
i twinge slightly as Gecko traverses my palm
Swat as Fly darts pointlessly around

Then there in my yard limitless life!
A flock of Galah and the sight of Warratah
A music more than any symphony, orchestral
An uplifting rhapsody! i remain enraptured, till Cricket sings his closing hymn…

3/ I am Arthur

I am Arthur
Searching
For the Holy Grail
Not realising
This quest
Will steal away
What I love most

I am Icarus
Aiming
Higher than I should
Then falling
To sea
Sink or swim
I’ve made my choice

I am Midas
Obsessing
For the priceless touch
Then finding
Like lead
Gold will also
Drag me down

I am Me
Emotions
Not quite detached
Failing
To distance
Myself
From our lust

4/ A beautiful mind

“Everybody will go some day!” He proclaimed.

I thought he seemed scared, Anxious. He seemed so fragile yet so strong.

His illness has made him see differently.

What does he see that I don’t?

As we walked through the gardens

he winked at the lillies,

he whispered to the butterflies,

he told me of this garden’s secrets.

He has another scope.

His illness has moulded his mind, I thought.

For the better.

His imagination, somewhat childish,

was most appreciative.

He gave the lillies character,

he gave the butterflies a reason to

Be. They became his companion.

I watched in utter amusement.

This was emotional. Lovely.

The garden became a secret.

His secret.

His illness has made him better.

It has made him see what I don’t see,

what many don’t see.

He doesn’t seem scared. Or anxious.

He knows better.

5/ REAL vs. IDEAL

Skanky parasitic creatures multiply forth.

Devour every item. Mouth and earth are yours.

Blotch eternal

from a symptomatic inherited obsessive legacy

of control?

(or lack thereof).

No blotch.

Universe expands, then contracts like a balloon deflated.

The Big Crunch.

The blink of an eye.

6/ The Algarve

I left Portugal
The mingled bright lights
The cobbled pavement
The glasses glitter

Ice cold salt water
Splash the Atlantic
The cooling beach sand
At night the brass band

Proud light of day shines
The breakfast sublime
The solar eclipse
How the beach waves rip

Moroccan fever
Still moist wind in hair
The white line is grand
Hurry see the band

Out in the country
Burnt landscape oh my!
Bright red omber sun
Cool night sparking star.

The half red sun brave
The moon revel shade
Anonymity!
Stand high cliffs reach sky

Utopian mass
Tranquil land soothe soul
No city burden
Leaves, tiles, simple life

Consoled and at peace
Street beat wild, how neat
At sea boats lull, rock
Memories are locked.

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