Friday, January 22, 2010

Poetry Stretch Results - Winners and Losers

The challenge this week was to write about winners and losers. Here are the results.
by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech

Losing the Williams Junior High School
spelling bee, on “eleemosynary,”
was, I now see, an act of charity.
Knowing the Latin root for “alms”
(could you use it in a sentence?)
guarantees no one a varsity letter.

Although it burned me that I flubbed
the double e’s, entreating the floor
for the proper etymology
before retreating to my seat
to small applause, conciliatory
(c-o-n-c-i-l-i-a-t-o-r-y, conciliatory),

Worse by far would have been
the booming backlash in homeroom
next morning, hearing my name
among the roster of brainiacs,
“loo-zer” in any language, certain
I’d perish (part of speech?) a virgin.

by Kate Coombs of Book Aunt

There is no winning
now, no trophy with its rim
curved like a golden smile,
no tape to burst through,
no joy to shout, no hands
to bear you aloft, no song
to sing except a lullaby
as you turn gray
with pain and shoulder
your way swordless into
that dark, silent wood.

--Kate Coombs, 2010

Laura Salas shares a poem entitled R You Sure?

Massachusetts Mourning
by Jane Yolen

Yes, I voted, and would have voted twice.
But I am a good girl, moral, clean, and nice.
I always stop for red lights, I listen to advice.
But if I could have,
I really would have
Voted yesterday

©2010 Jane Yolen. All rights reserved.

Historical Fiction
by Liz Korba

They aim
The guns
Life lost
War won
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.


  1. This is quite a fun haul - and two spelling bee poems! I see that haunts us all from childhood...

  2. I live in Massachusetts too. Like Jane, I'm also in mourning. I would have voted twice times thrice on Tuesday if I could have.

  3. Nothing To Lose

    They were right,
    I was wrong.

    They won,
    I lost.

    They succeeded,
    I failed.

    They were victorious,
    I was defeated.

    They were congratulated,
    I was ignored.

    They were accepted,
    I was rejected.

    They were honoured,
    I was shamed.

    They were excused,
    I was blamed.

    May as well read the Good News,
    Now that I have nothing to lose.

  4. Of course, Michael, the first four lines could read as victory if you retitled the piece:

    Joining Weight Watchers

    They were right,
    I was wrong.

    They won,
    I lost.

    Jane (PS Can you tell I am dieting!)

  5. I do like your parody, Jane, and I hope you keep to your diet until in victory you have "nothing to lose".