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  • 2016 Poetry Prize

    2016 Poetry Prize

    This year's theme is

    RhymeZone will make unconditional grants totalling $5,000 to 10 authors of thought-provoking poetry.

    The submission deadline is Tuesday, April 12, 2016 and winners will be announced on Sunday, May 15, 2016.

    How to Enter: Compose an original poem related to the theme of Community and share it with the RhymeZone community by posting it to this forum. (Note: Do not reply to this post, but rather, create a new topic in this forum. Please see this link for more detailed instructions)

    Judging Criteria: Poems will be judged on the basis of how thought-provoking, well-crafted, and original they are, and how well they adhere to the theme of Community. All entries must be original poems that have not won any award previously. Ten winners will be selected from the bunch by May 15, with each winner awarded $500 USD. Five of the ten winners will be selected from the entries that adhere to (any) rhyme scheme, and five will be selected from the rest.

    Why a Poetry Prize? It's our annual thank-you to the poetry community which has been so supportive of RhymeZone over the years—and also a way to encourage the writing of more great verse. Last year's contest was a great success, with over 3500 entries submitted on the theme ofUnderstanding.

    Please see more detailed rules and guidelines about the contest.

  • #2
    Thank You For This Opportunity. Even if i do not come out the winner, I will still be happy that people got to see what I had been working on. I will soon be posting myself rap over with the words form the poem on SoundCloud. Again Thank You For this chance, I am only 14 and still have a long way to go in life and may not know everything. But I know to be happy for what I have.


    • mags
      mags commented
      Editing a comment
      It doesn't matter what age you are, creative writing's a gift. I started writing when I was really young and it's not changed really.
      Last edited by mags; 03-12-2016, 11:32 PM.

    • BellaTheWriter312
      BellaTheWriter312 commented
      Editing a comment
      I also agree 101%, bibekmoktan. I am only 12, in 6th grade, and some people have made fun of the things I do, such as poetry. Poetry makes me feel free and I can let my imagination run wild. I'm scared people would say that I can't do anything only because I'm 12. It's sad for me and I think that we youngsters can have a chance at being great like the adults and other amazing writers. We shouldn't be underestimated…

    • KingofLaughter5
      KingofLaughter5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't worry about it man. Poetry is a free thing, it isn't like math or science. There has never been, in the history of mankind, an "bad" poem.

  • #3
    Is the contest one poem per person?


    • ThinkTank
      ThinkTank commented
      Editing a comment
      An applicant may submit multiple entries throughout the contest period, as long as (1) each entry is an original work that meets all of the submission guidelines, (2) the applicant uses the same email address for each entry. Judges reserve the right to limit prizes to at most one prize per individual applicant.

    • mags
      mags commented
      Editing a comment
      write as many as you like hon good luck

  • #4
    This is gonna be a lot of fun...


    • #5
      You Do Realize

      You do realize
      They’re going to all be gone soon.
      The last ones with the comic accents;
      Mishpucha, famiglia, kin, kith.
      From Brooklyn. South Boston. Chicago.
      Tongues mixed with poverty and cabbage.
      They’re almost all used up.
      Almost all gone.
      The last ones who remember us as children,
      Whether we want them to or not.

      Our children find it hard to believe.
      “You don’t understand,” we say,
      “You don’t understand.
      They were giants.
      Little, tiny giants who owned appliance stores,
      Who got very far up in companies;
      Who should have invested.”

      They’re going to all be gone soon.
      The “Greatest Generation.”
      The one that saved the world.
      Disregarding that they saved it
      From their own generation, but
      That’s another story.

      They’re fading fast.
      Drying up.
      Busy, busy all day now,
      Like in the brochures.
      Pictures of swimming pools and dining rooms.
      Whispering away in Boca, Boynton Beach, Port St. Lucie,
      Whispering away with memory of the bright big bands,
      Echoing across the lake,
      The twinkling lights.
      How rich it was when they would go dancing.
      How rich the world was.

      They’re going to all be gone soon.
      We find that hard to believe,
      That they will all be gone.
      They find it hard to believe.
      You can bet on that.
      They were the generation that saved the world.
      You can bet on that.
      Then we had to save it from them.

      Our own children go about
      Making their own dominion,
      Saving it for themselves.
      Making their own history
      Anyway they goddamn please,
      It seems to us.

      They’re going to all be gone soon,
      We still ask the few remaining about their history.
      They still shake their heads.
      “You wouldn’t understand,” they say.
      “Times were different.”
      “Things happened.”
      “We had responsibilities.”
      They’re right.
      We’d never understand.
      We didn’t really want to fill their shoes.
      Which is maybe why they are in Boca,
      Boynton Beach and Port St. Lucie.

      We’ve worked hard to forgive ourselves.
      Worked hard to make sure everyone understands.
      Our own children don’t ask.
      We want them to.
      We tell them
      We understand the world right now.
      They don’t believe us.
      Backwards on backwards.
      We’ll see if it stays that way.

      They’re going to all be gone soon.
      How can that be?
      There were so many of them.
      They did just about everything.
      And now they’re going to be all gone?
      How can that be?

      We make room for friends and more friends,
      To join us in this choir of middle aged orphans.
      We say to stricken faces. “Yes, we know,
      They were giants.”
      We must be firm with them.
      “They’re going to all be gone soon, ” we say to them.
      Yes, the greatest generation.
      Gone. Every last one.
      Such a silence we can’t imagine.

      Whispering away with memory of the bright big bands,
      Echoing across the lake,
      And the twinkling lights.
      How rich it was when they would go dancing.
      How rich the world was.

      - Richard Marcus


      • pipersfancy
        pipersfancy commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Richard— welcome to the Forums of Rhymezone! Say, if this work in intended as an entry in the poetry contest, you'll need to re-post it by starting your own thread below. You've put it into the admin's thread where the context was announced. This is the thread to ask questions, and (hopefully!) get some clarity on the contest, read up on the rules, etc. But, the actual entries belong in their own threads.

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Especially when you consider that if gay marriage catches on like some trends do, we could in just a couple of generations, be without progeny.
        Was it the Shakers that learned that lesson regarding their ability to grow as a viable sect?

    • #6
      Raised by the spirit of God from the sea
      you became the Island of the druids.
      Where pilgrims flowed like water to a tree
      or thirsty nomads in search of fluids.
      Heaven and earth are three feet apart
      but that distance is thinner by your side,
      where the veil between worlds is lifted in part
      for believers to catch a glimpse inside.

      In five sixty three a special one came,
      an Irish abbot to add to your name -
      Iona of Columba - the dove,
      who with twelve disciples followed your fame
      and founded a monastery of love.
      From your centre he travelled north and east
      and made miracles for the Picts to bless.
      Famously fighting off a water beast
      which he banished to the depths of Loch Ness.
      Yes, Iona became a special school
      for missionaries to spread their learning
      to reach the pagan parts of Pictish rule
      and instil a Celtic spiritual yearning.
      You were the spirit deep in a Nation
      shinning with divine illumination.

      Then the Vikings came to blow out your flame,
      plundering till your monastery fell.
      But yet your embers flickered on to claim
      sovereignty in the fierce face of hell.
      For a man was born on your sacred soil
      to be the first king of Scotland in bone -
      He defeated the Picts in a great toil
      and claimed his throne on the stone of scone.
      But all kings must die in their royal bed
      and return to be amongst the flowers.
      And so he walked through the street of the dead
      and returned to be within your powers.
      Still, forty eight Scottish kings there remain
      linked together by an invisible chain.

      Donald W Falconer
      Last edited by crownstreet; 01-31-2016, 12:57 PM.


      • pipersfancy
        pipersfancy commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Donald— welcome to the Forums of Rhymezone! Say, if this work in intended as an entry in the poetry contest, you'll need to re-post it by starting your own thread below. You've put it into the admin's thread where the context was announced. This is the thread to ask questions, and (hopefully!) get some clarity on the contest, read up on the rules, etc. But, the actual entries belong in their own threads.

    • #7
      On stage spitting these verses, delivering some positivity this is not murderland we will not be known for these hearses. No place on earth is perfect but if you trying to make a house a home then Bmore is definitely worth it. Sometimes the beauty gets mixed with the gritty, I would like to take this time to welcome you to my home that we call charm city......where we bleed purple no matter the season, down Druid Hill Park on Sundays chillin for no reason. Sunday dinner at your grandmas crib, dressing, greens and potatoes I think you're gonna need a bib.

      Golden brown cornbread gravy sweet potato pie for dessert, seconds and thirds got your grub on til your stomach hurt.
      In the oven we got them brown and serve rolls, win lose or draw....... gotta love them O's.
      Sister Johnson selling sweet treats for cheap, right in the hood our own nickel candy store....and don't forget your kool-aid icees sold right next door. Bethel A.M.E in the morning praising the lord, two services on Sunday to get our people on the same accord. Pimlico Motors on Park Heights got them guaranteed car loans, can you make some noise one time if you remember Murphy Homes. See it was rough but it wasn't absent of love, rest in peace to our loved ones that watch us from above
      Were full of culture from the Zoo to the Harbor, if your wig is busted go see Mike Jones he's one of Baltimore's illest barbers. Hit Mondawmin so the gear is fresh some new kicks for my feet. My stomach was rumbling yall, had to get me something to eat. I was starving I needed a whole please don't make me laugh.....cheese steak with everything......and of course jumbo half and half.
      Shout out to Cherry Hill, gotta listen close for the knowledge I spill, can't touch Dunbar on the wood with the pill. Alameda and Harford Rd, Lexington Terrace, some of the toughest stories told. But home is where your heart rest, Bmore is the best, we got it all yall from crackheads for hire to dudes in a dress. But this is home and I shall claim no other, tho I pray for the days we can walk the streets without ducking for cover. Cuz I know that we are better than this as a people and we can treating each other as equals. Cuz none of us are without sin, not even your closest a matter of fact that's how a lot of us got here, cuz in the bedroom is where alot of that back sliding begins. ANYWAY......Off my soap box lets keep cruising these city blocks.
      Up at the village Kimmy's got that food pumpin, after this chicken box it's off to Walbrook Junction.
      Hit the science center and the aquarium for some entertainment and increase the knowledge, peace to Johns Hopkins the country's leading medical college. You haven't even heard the rest and you already feel so blessed, and don't forget you're a creation of GOD now let that line manifest, and when you doing his work is when you at your best, not the times you reminisce on your arrest. So to all the kids stay in school, cuz only a fool thinks his jewels makes him cool, and take care of number one that was mamas golden rule. Always do your best 100% and nothing less, no making up excuses cuz that's just lazy, a man should stand on his own two?? why is this concept so crazy?
      Old York and Cator can't forget Hollander Ridge, and take some time with youth.....remember when you was a kid??? No childs the perfect angel but I believe you get my angle, I have two of my own that I sometimes want to strangle. Wouldn't trade em for the world what else could be a bigger blessing? I pray my message was received by the ones in whom I was addressing. Again this is home and this life is what we make it, sometimes things are out of reach til we realize we gotta get up, go out and take it. Not everything you get will be handed, maybe with this knowledge our people won't feel so stranded......but sometimes the beauty does get mixed with the gritty I hope you've enjoyed your tour of our home that we call Charm City.


      • #8
        I have a question. I have a blog. I have not put my entry on my blog, if I did, would that be considered as being published? Can anyone answer me please?
        Last edited by grevisangel; 01-31-2016, 03:35 AM. Reason: correction


        • pipersfancy
          pipersfancy commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello grevisangel— there is nothing specific I can find in the rules/guidelines here on Rhymezone that would prohibit you from posting your poem on your personal blog, and still entering it into this contest.

          Now, regarding what is considered, "published". If you intend to enter contests offsite (the type of contests sponsored by poetry/writing journals) or if you are thinking of submitting your work for consideration of publication in a journal... then you do need to be careful. It has been my experience that journals are very strict about not considering any work previously published, including works published online in ANY form. So, yes, posting a work on a personal blog, Facebook, any social media site, or any poetry/writing site is generally considered "published". There are some exceptions I've found where some journals are ok with works having been posted on a closed, paid-member-only, writing site for the purpose of constructive feedback and editing... however, those are the exceptions. For the most part, "publishing" means ANY MANNER where the work may have been viewed publicly by anyone other that the author/poet and his/her editor.

        • grevisangel
          grevisangel commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks again Piper. If I were to submit to any journals, it would be something new, nothing I already have put on Facebook, my blog or on here. I am running into writers block right now, and am having problems writing anything more than a few lines. I start one and put it up, and do the same with another. I hope I can get back in the groove.
          Thanks for responding. I think you answered this question for me before. Thanks

      • #9
        This Generation
        What happened to those days when people were humble and
        Didn’t mumble behind each
        Others back?

        What happened to the women who had pride, dignity, and respect?
        And good self-esteem about

        What happened to kids honoring their mothers and fathers and
        respecting their elders?

        What happened to our elders teaching our children right from?

        What happened to the young men who had accepted themselves?
        For whom they are?

        What happened to the pride, dignity, honor and self-respect?
        People had for one other?

        What happened to education and the rest of the nation who
        Teach each other and
        Demonstrate for one another?

        What happened to education and teachers teaching our children?
        For this foundation?

        What happened to our Generation?


        • pipersfancy
          pipersfancy commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello Cmadura— Since this is just the thread where the contest has been announced and rules, guidelines and questions are answered, your poem cannot be considered "entered" while on this thread. I do hope you take the time to re-post it under the actual 2016 Poetry Prize Entries thread! Best of luck!

      • #10
        The PTSD conundrum(s)

        Two souls in identical roles
        Wars' foxholes, took different tolls
        Now, at opposite poles

        One's left with just memories
        The other, a physical, brain freeze

        - that's one anomaly of PTSD

        There is physiology
        behind this dichotomy
        It's down to your genetics
        and "system mechanics"

        After a fright, most get uptight
        But some who've been scared,
        are permanently impaired
        They live with that optical impression
        they forged, confronting oppression

        Severe, distressing, emotional upset
        follows, not only a physical threat
        So when it comes to trauma, and PTSD
        you'll need an emotional, dictionary

        What unsettles you, and leaves you blue
        for someone else, has a different hue
        The determining factor is -
        what effect did it have, on you?

        Should you be susceptible
        flashbacks may plague you
        They're not inexplicable,
        please see them as physical
        and, - readily treatable

        If those genes are yours, then beware,
        (Otherwise, it's a temporary scare)
        But if you are the type,
        was it merely a fright
        or will it haunt you, - every night?

        Tried nearly every remedy
        Still dealing with anxiety
        Unhappy with remission
        Want a cure for this condition?

        Treating only the emotion
        after fears are set in motion
        can drive you to devotion
        or leave you with no notion

        This injury is real
        The feelings, immaterial
        Flashback drives the whole ordeal
        That thing analysis, cannot heal

        Look for the perpetrator,
        that common denominator
        the adrenergic reactivator
        that visual malefactor

        PTSD's not such a mystery
        and there is effective therapy



        • pipersfancy
          pipersfancy commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello Sorehead— Since this is just the thread where the contest has been announced and rules, guidelines and questions are answered, your poems cannot be considered "entered" while on this thread. I do hope you take the time to re-post them under the actual 2016 Poetry Prize Entries thread! Best of luck!

      • #11

        "How do bullies know to pick on me?
        I must stand out like a Xmas tree
        They always seem to find me out
        I'm the one they like to clout
        So what makes me stick out?

        No matter what I do or say
        it seems I'm there to make their day"

        What is it that a bully discerns?
        That's the source of my concerns.

        PTSD, comes into its own
        when you're inside, a hostile zone
        But if something activates your fears
        when you should be safe, with your peers,
        bullies, - prick up their ears

        Any sign of disconnection
        seems to switch on their attention

        When a bully gets in your face
        inside a confined work space
        the slightest hint of aggression
        may trigger a PTSD manifestation

        Bullies know from past experience
        to find the route of least resistance
        They'll take on those who have less power
        and they're looking for, that initial cower

        The bully’s psychopathology,
        based on a fear of inadequacy
        makes them want to dominate
        Their means for this, is to intimidate

        Once they perceive
        that Post Traumatic freeze
        it activates their fantasies
        They want you on your knees

        The problem is, some victims retaliate
        far in excess, of what you'd validate
        Then they, appear to be the aggressor
        To deal with court, they'll need a professor

        To add to their distress
        their memory can regress
        Should they enter a major dissociation
        they might act out their original confrontation
        They'd be unaware of their current situation
        and hence, have no recall of their retaliation

        Not all who are bullied
        have pre-existing PTSD
        but, from my personal observations,
        it's in most bullying presentations.



        • #12
          Thanks - new to this - I'll see if I can work it out, S


          • #13
            This is called Minorities
            minorities the smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half the whole number
            a relatively small group of people, especially one commonly discriminated against in a community,
            society, or nation, differing from others in race, religion, language, or political persuasion.
            its sad to see that there are still pointless gaps that place a difference between you and me
            but apparently this is something people don't want to see cause they just close their eyes and look the other way
            they rather believe the lie and live in their own little world instead of looking at the facts and trying to make a difference
            equality for this equality for that how are we going to fight for more equality if we still don't have equality for the whips on our backs
            the scars may not be visible
            but it is still there but it seems like they just want us to move on and not care
            everyone one has equal chances they say but who gets the better pay a John or Daquan
            even though Daquan went to school and graduated the top of his class
            you still put him at the bottom and treat him like an
            hands up don't shoot that's what we are saying
            even though when some of us say it we are only playing
            but the sad truth is that shouldnt even be circling around
            that saying wouldn't even existed if we weren't being gunned down
            but its not all their fault, if they think that we are gangsters and thugs
            how are we going to get treated equally if we are still fighting against one another and cant show each other some love
            It's partially our fault my sisters and brothers
            we should be a strong bonded race that isn't afraid to look a cop in their face
            we should be able to help one another without the fear that they want something in return
            We need to stop having the mindset of sex, women, money and drugs
            we need to have a mindset of rising above the hate and discrimination
            we cant move on as a united nation / culture
            if we still act like we starving vultures

            Man,women are still being looked down upon, disrespected and if they don't look act or talk a certain way they are rejected why do we treat our Queens like this ignorance is not bliss especially if you don't get this
            we confined the female sex into a stereotype and I hope when this is done youll see that this is not right
            we force girls to wear makeup because we said they don't look beautiful without it
            girls should have to want stop eating or throwing their food back up because the stereotypes of girls is so twisted and corrupt
            ladies you don't need to look like those girls on the magazines youre beautiful the way you are just look in a mirror and see what I mean
            Weither you are Fat think skinny or thin
            The only person you need to impress is the women within

            There are more wrong things that I could have listed but if I did you probably turn me off and wouldn't listen
            Theres a lot of twisted stereotypes going on and some credit goes to the artist that but derogative words in their songs
            If there is ever going to be unity
            There needs to be a change in our communities.


            • #14
              Great theme! Conjured up some short and sharp images in my head.


              • #15
                I hear earth nature singing a chant,
                this tone gonna make the better man,
                a blue print a better plan,
                life is more than,
                being a rich man,
                with a overflowing trash can,
                you call your self a family guy,
                but the thing is you know you wrecking futures paradise,
                carrying on sorry with closed eyes,
                we got to live with the next ten generations in mind,
                some times you got to be tough to be kind,
                stand up to remind,
                if you saying that stress is keeping you blind,
                the way you living is only a state of mind,
                if you don't like it then leave it behind,