Many poets who have been published by the Society of Classical Poets have had their poems linked to, and therefore promoted, by the news aggregator Whatfinger over the years. The people who put this grass-roots site together are genuinely interested in truth and justice despite being in a world that seems increasingly at odds with traditional values. In appreciation, we are hosting a contest here for the best poem dedicated to Whatfinger. It could directly be about Whatfinger or it could just be dedicated to Whatfinger.

Read more about Whatfinger and the people behind it by clicking here. 



Post your poem (one poem per entrant) dedicated to Whatfinger directly in the comments section below. It’s easy. Just scroll down and post. Only one poem per entrant. (If you posted more than one, let us know which one you would like to keep and we will erase the others.)



$100 and publication on Whatfinger.



April 1. Winner and honorable mentions announced April 10.






Anyone anywhere may enter, with the exception of Mike’s own family who are not allowed to enter.



Mike Bryant, SCP Moderator




NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

45 Responses

  1. Damian Robin

    Thank you Mike for setting up this support.
    A pity your wife and yourself are out of the prizes. But maybe you, both, could give encouraging trail blazers to the rest of us. :^)

    I’m already encouraged by what you’ve done so far so here’s my little one:

    Support the online enterprise
    that picks the brave from molten lies,
    that fields the small heroic acts
    and hits the twists of woken ‘facts’.
    It shines a light on broken bends
    and soaks the fires from token ‘friends’.
    A worthy wordy wordly slinger
    of stones like David’s — Go Whatfinger !!

  2. Roy Eugene Peterson

    By Roy E. Peterson

    Whatfinger’s a news source to which I now relate.
    They stand for truth and justice overcoming hate.
    They take on transgressors like with a sword and shield
    Pinioning opponents and make the dastards yield.

    Fake news is running roughshod everywhere I look.
    We become the victim when truth the news forsook.
    I count on Whatfinger to rectify their sins.
    Research is the answer to cease their careless spins.

    They list vast sources on the right side of their site.
    Whatfinger aggregates the news from left and right.
    Whatfinger is the answer to the “Drudge Report.”
    They share more news than the combined next nine import.

  3. Helmut Licht

    I have a recipe for Oatmeal
    And one for Apple Pie
    But my recipes keep changing
    As my cooking days flit by

    My meat loaf is quite scrumptious
    I let it cook all night
    Those buttered mashed potatoes!
    And my omelet’s out of sight

    Beef Stroganoff, my specialty
    No one makes it as I do
    I add some good Chianti
    And soak it through and through

    My Bouillabaisse and Quiche Lorraine
    Get compliments all year
    When I serve them to my gourmet friends
    With a glass of German beer.

    My Wiener Schnitzel’s hard to beat
    My Strudel’s wunderbar
    My Moussaka and Souvlaki
    Are the best I’ve had so far.

    As I mention these delicious meals
    I get hungry more and more
    There’s a Wendy’s right across the street-
    I’m heading out the door!

  4. Patricia Allred

    HELMUT,. Your poem on being a puppet impressed me. At times I wonder. What’s the fear of being yourself! Yet, it seems most on the planet are this way.
    If raised to be one, it is possible to be otherwise. Sometimes, one needs a big push. Without that push, it’s hopeless,
    It takes courage and the willingness to walk in the face of adversity, and have best friends avoid you.
    Your poem is awesome! A puppet cannot be responsible.anymore than an infant. They live in a perfect town called, ‘Blamesville.’They follow orders like puppies plus are the most boring people on this planet. This poem is relatable and thoroughly enjoyable, yet may I say, profound. Thank you and best wishes!



    • Helmut Licht

      Patricia (one of my favorite Chachas) –
      Thank you so much for taking time to write to me. I really appreciate your comments. Do you write poetry? If yes, where can I find it?
      Have a great day!

      • Patricia Allred

        Helmont! I apologize for this late reply.
        I like Latin Jazz, plus other kinds.
        Yes, I have tons of varied poetry at another site.
        Should you choose to email me, I will send it. ))
        I don’t advertise it. Only been writing a few years. Thank you, Helmut.
        Hope to hear from you.

  5. Leonardo Sferruzzi

    Solace in Sorrow

    In the darkest night, sorrow grips my soul
    And thoughts of loss and grief consume my mind
    I seek the solace of a peaceful whole
    And find, in time, a peace that’s hard to find.

    Though you’re gone, your love lives on withing,
    Your passion and spirit that I shall haul,
    And though the tears may flow, I’ll not give in,
    To sorrow’s grip, for love will conquer all.

    And thus, to recollections, I’ll cling tight,
    Of all the joy and laughter that you brought,
    Thrust that, though apart, our love is my plight,
    Your love will always be a comfort thought.

    And though the road ahead may seem so long,
    I’ll find my way, with you to guide me on.

  6. Mark Stellinga

    Stick With Guys Like Us

    “Who do you feel’s responsible for ‘taking out the garbage’?” Carlton Whitney quizzed me, as we filled our cups with ice.
    “Anyone who can,” I said, “especially – guys like us…
    And well before they get a chance to do their damage twice!

    “Long before they break the law again which, as you know, Isn’t often lengthy ’til the day they do arrives
    And, once again, they flood their victims worlds with endless Pain, unconcerned with crushing hearts and mutilating lives.

    “Steve an’ Dave agree with me…Grant says he’s on board…
    And based on what you’re saying, Mark, I’m guessing you are too.”
    “Count me in,” I spouted, “it’s a fight I’ve hoped to join
    For several years and many reasons, and…the same as you…

    “When I fin’ly get the chance to save the county funds
    By ending someone’s spree of crime… even fifty cents…
    I’ll make absolutely sure…to which you’ll testify…
    The move I made to stop the perp was done in – self defense!

    “Sergeants Pat an’ K an’ L an” Mike are on our side,
    Deftly using Whatfinger to put things back on track…
    To point out who the culprits are…expose them one and all… And make them pay the piper for the common sense they lack!

    “See…’rehabilitation’…though a tactic worth attempting…
    When it comes to actually working seldom ever does,
    So…count me in, Whatfinger, ’cause the only way I see
    For – ‘taking out the garbage’ – is to stick with – guys like us.

  7. Flannigan McGaffigan

    Wake in the morning
    And coffee taste linger
    Read news of the day
    All found on Whatfinger

  8. Peter Cowlam

    Graduation and the School of Correctness

    Censorial editors defended
    In public debate their ‘emendations’,
    But in private defer to my student
    Scholia, and secretly theorise.

    Choice tutors connived, of course (commended
    My texts), made haste with the explanations:
    Graduates learned what was always prudent,
    If not to overlook, then sanitise.

    Let me predict: the tactical footnotes,
    Mountainous litter, foil for my learned
    Paper, swamp what I have in the margins
    Of combative life. The exam board gloats,
    Shored up by institutional wealth, earned,
    Note, where a profession of lies begins.

  9. Michael Theroux

    Drop the hammer, Mother Mary
    I’ve been too long at my beads
    Hailing your Grace-fullness
    When all the while,
    You knew…

    You watched the Pope commute
    The Bloody Horde, declaring
    By default, that Divine Logic
    does not compute.

    Mary, by your spared rod, which
    In some corner must surely wait:
    Spare not these cruel actors
    Collectors of fingers,
    Fresh from ballots

    These smiling bandits
    of elections, for whom
    Only Wars bring on erections

    They’re strong on Electoral Procreation
    (talk to the Pope, dear Mary
    Political Contraception.

    Dedicated to WhatFinger: “Drop the Hammer”

  10. Heaven Rowell

    Mona Lisa
    By: Heaven Rowell

    How dirty a soul is to be divide

    At will that is and my heart I provided

    Like pig in filth he sat there and lied

    While he continues to plague my soul with lies

    How dirty is a soul to be divided

    I wonder how she felt, were her feelings subsided

    A dirty soul who plague two hearts

    His lies poetic such glorious art

    Art so glorious so bright and so blinding

    That i never understood what secrets were hiding

  11. Warren Bonham

    Broad Brush Art
    Dedicated to Whatfinger

    What’s considered great art isn’t static at all.
    There are always new trends that beguile and enthrall,
    We’ve had cave art, art deco, abstract and baroque .
    There was cubist, impressionist, pop art and folk.
    Each with palettes and brushstrokes that set them apart,
    But the newest and greatest is called Broad Brush Art.
    It takes years at an Ivy to study and train
    Where all traces of wisdom are washed from each brain.
    Once inspected and found to be empty inside,
    Each fresh brain can be loaded with undeserved pride.
    They will then get a palette containing a list
    Of long words that all end with a “phobe” or an “ist”.
    Either suffix plus any new sex. creed or race,
    Makes new words to be used at the right time and place.
    They’re then given a brush that’s uncommonly wide
    That has bristles to which all their words are applied.
    For a canvas, they use any privileged class,
    Which with one artful stroke, will get painted en masse.
    Those with functional brains largely sigh in despair.
    They think broad-brush attacks on a group are unfair.
    Broad Brush artists will say great art needn’t be true
    And besides, truth is based on one’s own point of view.
    Once the paint is applied, though it never comes off,
    It’s seen only by people whose brains are shutoff.
    Using logic on those who adore Broad Brush Art
    Will befuddle your brain so it’s really not smart.
    Though they speak very loudly, their numbers are small.
    It is best if you never engage them at all.
    So, avoid cars with stickers that say “Coexist”
    Since the driver is likely on their approved list.
    Most importantly, those with an Ivy degree
    When engaged may infect with their toxicity.
    Do not trust their opinions on art history
    They created this cult of Broad Brush lunacy.

  12. Joshua C. Frank

    In Praise of Whatfinger

    If something should happen disproving woke “truth,”
    It’s labeled “fake news;” disagreeing’s uncouth.
    The sheep hear the wool-wearing wolf howl and eat,
    And they’re bullied to blindly believe it’s a bleat,
    But Whatfinger News shows you both kinds of sound;
    You decide who’s a wolf and where shepherds are found.

  13. Breauna Michelle

    The Reason

    We are born with this thing given us
    Exactly what we do not know
    It sometimes seems a lonely curse
    in a world that’s just for show
    We want so much to just make sense
    of the way that humans seem to be
    We see the many ways we imprison ourselves
    and wonder why we can’t just be free
    So we made our attempts to assimilate,
    to get along the best that we can
    in a society that doesn’t seem natural
    but forced into some greater plan
    Now the masks are all starting to crumble
    and the curtains are being pushed aside
    The evil has gained enough power
    that it no longer bothers to hide
    We know now what it was we were given
    though we still do not know its name
    But we care about truth and justice
    more than we care for the game
    There are things in this life more important
    than the surface that can be easily seen
    There is something above and within us
    that’s more powerful than what’s in between
    We see clearly now what is our purpose
    Shine the light wherever we’re able
    And though most don’t yet want to see it,
    we spread the darkness out on the table
    We can see through the lies for a reason
    Yet we have a formidable foe
    They are gathering their army against us
    made of people who would rather not know
    So why must we keep pressing forward
    when it appears we are so far behind
    Because humanity is only worth saving
    if we can hold onto our soul and our mind

  14. Carolyn Mack

    Mercy Me, Mr. T____

    Dedicated to Whatfinger.com,
    Voices raised in song, a psalm:

    Fetch the little fishes in to flay,
    and gather all the unsuspecting lambs,
    Who never sing of life in such iambs;
    his epitaph to fleece them on the lea.
    Read no remorse, he fed the birds of prey.
    Beside himself with glee, others’ discourse bans
    of foreign breed, truth bought in trade opines
    as, even in his testament to slay.

    Gathered all their wits, packaged it to sell
    He must collect and grind their bones to ash,
    turn every once of flesh and bone to cash.
    Practiced for the capitol crashes

    that Corporate Body prospers, an ass
    sins in his master plan most heinous
    the Creed of Mammon of this narcissist’s
    greed; would he kindly not reject U.S., please?
    Then listen to the deathwatch tortured pleas?

  15. Matthew Miles

    Dedicated to Whatfinger.com

    Gestures of requited idylls wax more mundane as memory and nostalgia render a mere tawdry conjecture. Specious kisses haunt moonlit shadowed halls where scenes of angry passion betray an encumbered, false romance. Youth left breathless cannot detach the retinal damage love’s imposture optically transposed from ecstatic pain to elastic bitterness and deceit.

    Let the mask bare the guilt, the thespian stoop for roses!

    And yet, with all alacrity we storm the beaches long abandoned in our childhood misgivings. We mourn the passing of halcyon days when castles stood on distant shores of innocence. The wallflowers beckon, the sirens call, hearing only the droning clangor of a mind enrobed in stoic rapture. The shrill report of souls entrammeled in that Gall of Callow, as the band plays on we dance the St. Vitus, we spin stilettos in the snow.

    There, dashed upon the rocks the gleam of father’s eye; his wish we should solve love’s conundrums pondered, though we bury them in misty, dank vicissitudes. In caliginous solitude we find our heart a traitor; our love a mere contrivance that degrades us as we tumble, and we fall, and rise again to grasp straws of proud insouciance strewn about the shores of misspent yesterdays.

    Let us dance and paint a new milieu with figures from a brighter notion; that perhaps we might attain more perfect knowledge of feigned returned devotion. A semaphore raised up on summer breezes point to stark realities, while question and enigma tie a ligature of self-imposed diversities.

    With fettered minds we spin and toil to fashion perfect paradox. A solipsism perched upon collective insight weaving tapestries of indecision and that oh! so tender intellectual morass!

    Is it not the crafty things that cause so great a colic when brought into that effulgent light of a perfect, zealous penance? We ponder an existence cobbled from whole cloth of mendacious platitudes served cold and barren; much like our estimation of bards of old who enchant with impassioned eloquence, their beggarly message left spinning on empty potter’s wheels:

    ‘Tis truth!
    ‘Tis life!
    ‘Tis virtue!

    And the canker molders in the shadows while the meaning goes unnoticed. It mocks them in their esteemed repose. Feigned enlightened and retiring spent to golden slumbers, only to awaken more obtuse and facile in their righteous contumacy.

    Yet, each new day dawns with the hope of better visions, but alas we see through a glass darkly:

    the candle burns the shadows deep

    gaze upon the question turning

    within the instant grasp of sleep

    the pain of books we’re burning

    we hold these truths on slender threads

    a stifled, false soliloquy
    leave tattooed fictions in our heads

    they burn without the urgency

    recall the yearning, soft caress

    upon the breast of our sweet sorrow

    the dead man often says it best

    leave the worry for tomorrow

    in morning light I’ll know my part

    take up the staff and follow

    wither take me foolish heart
    to innocence, or sorrow?

    On this the equation turns. Our knowing often brings a greater anguish, though cool libations might be bought with but a trinket. Warm, wet circles pockmark the bar, those archetypes of misfortune and enigma demanding perquisite for their tender.
    Yet, the coin of the realm too often trades in torrid ignorance with a penchant for rapine, leaving the innocent darling of such altruistic pride bitterly ravished, trailing bile upon those wide, gilded lanes: their signets Sloth and Greed stamped between the hedges. And the knowledge forsaken becomes the swill and effluent we think better to divest from such Kingdoms that might approximate a more perfect penetration, as union is now considered mere epithet!

    Indeed, can we tease a brief respite from such dapper, churlish fellows? Is it within our ken to call to dowsing fluids deep and recondite laid with pointed trowel in our nether antiquities?
    Sweet lips oft conceal the steely poniard poised to tear at tender virtues, while deceitful charmers pipe merciful dirges teasing briny tears from a misplaced childhood. The midwife held the pedigree, the mother has left the building.

    From a juxtaposition we see through this grand epistemology an intractable misconception leading to a breached birth. If we could only see the love upon which we strike the bead, shall we find instead a homicide forsaken? Perhaps this species might arrange the parts to better gestate more mature, resplendent destinies — laughing Dante left mistaken?

    Or, perhaps, we dance again.

    If, perchance, we reach yet further to partake of placid vistas, that reckless man will put aside his quiver. With cadence-mustered never-mores and ne’er do wells, an offish sultan may hold the title to some picturesque province that better suits such rabble clothed in their bold torpor; where doleful creatures screech in twilight, calling to their flagitious brethren. For even they are sure of that needful thing in the depths of remorse and bane.
    Lacking chivalry, they bewail their plight and lick their sores in vain.

    Shall we turn instead, fetch a compass, and point the brow toward some hospitable shire where the story meets a surer fortuity; to court a promise yet fulfilled?

    Or, perhaps, we dance again.

    Oh! The sordid rhapsodies that rack within my cortex, discordant voices raise a tension as the strings sag ever lower. Those bespoke gardens waft through balmy visions of school yard cronies steeped in Poe and Kipling; they have left a festering marrow that yet yearns for that sweet vermilion of yesteryear. The chalk mark hearts on playground steps remain my veiled affliction.

    I raise my staff to trellised florets smirking, by the river wayside, provoking images of sepulchers, in summer sunshine splendor, the sprays forever blind to that sardonic beauty.

    I see the roses she demurred beaten senseless on the pickets! Stained with tinctures of their crowns, the wage of innocence – ever cruel – betray not genteel coquettes. The recompense due abject eidolons of unrequited idyll is oft paid in a most shameful specie of currency.

    The mask tossed on the cobbles. The thespian has left the stage…

    The midday sun streams down upon the hedges, the coins remain casting back their bitter plight. Of innocence infused with passioned, pleading prose! Of knowledge left reposed! The blind eye turning cannot refuse the light.

    In that stark reflection we find that cynic! That feckless specter proudly indifferent to more affable natures ever our importunate companion. We fail to grasp those tendrils of a deeper empathy, which might articulate a placid actuality, raised up on summer breezes, where we may esteem the wonder of greater serendipities.

    Perchance to dream.
    Perchance to let the tendrils soak beneath that azure sky, where we might finally awaken from our golden slumbers.

    Or, shall we dance again…

    The St. Vitus.

  16. Frank Mangum

    Stories they do tell,
    of times true and fell.
    Brave patriots do stand
    in defense of their homeland.
    ‘Gainst betrayers who lie,
    hanging soldiers out to die.
    We read of systems failed,
    or that right it did prevail;
    of times that change,
    leaving no remains
    of that we once knew
    to be good, holy, and true.
    Asking, “What can I do?”
    We read through it all
    with amaze and appall;
    Day after day,
    Page after page.
    Are we the slob?
    Just a part of the mob?
    We have no power,
    ‘cept to vote or glower!
    Thumbs raised up or down,
    maybe the one-fingered clown…
    This we can do,
    So Whatfinger will you use?

  17. Stanley

    The last sunrise

    I Jumped out of bed this morning, as chipper as could be,
    turned around and found myself, looking back at me!
    “Oh my, how can this be?”
    Moseyed into the kitchen, to make a cup of tea, before returning again to check on me.
    And There I lay, as peaceful as could be.
    I wandered to the patio to watch the sunrise,
    Maybe I should go back and check on me?
    No, enjoy the pastel sky,
    let it be.

  18. C.B. Anderson

    This might be a bit strong, Mike, but here it is anyway:

    The Point

    Thumbs up, thumbs down —
    We’re just expressing our opinion,
    Detached from Government dominion
    In this old town.

    I like the truth
    Served raw, without incessant cooking
    The Leftists try when we’re not looking.
    I like a sleuth

    Who never shies
    From tracking down a malefactor
    Or anyone who might have backed her
    Most blatant lies.

    There’s Hillary
    And also Darth Pelosi; foreign
    To me is that Senator Warren.
    A pillory

    Out in the sun
    Would suit all three, where we might linger
    To point them out. With what finger?
    The middle one!

    • C.B. Anderson

      The indentations for the short lines (the first and fourth of each stanza) were not preserved, Mike. I’ve forgotten the tag that makes this happen in the translation from one formatting program to another.

  19. Kenneth L. Horne

    Please replace my original submission with this corrected copy.

    Thank you.

    Have I Got News for You

    If you’re obsessed with news my friend
    If you seek truth and that’s your end
    Then look no further than this page
    For I shall guide you to my sage

    A sage that truth will surely speak
    Ensuring that the news won’t reek
    Of bias and of censorship
    Or false and vile news that is hip

    The news as sent by print and wire
    Should really set your hair on fire
    And if you turn to keyboard, well
    That’s even worse or so they tell

    This sage you see will tell the truth
    It never will be called uncouth
    As others shift both left and right
    The truthful news is its sole sight

    How does it manage such a task
    I’m very glad that you have asked
    Well common sense it is its guide
    The truth foremost it will not hide

    At last to you I shall reveal
    This sage of truth with whom I deal
    “Whatfinger News” does make my day
    With sources from so far away

    It gathers truth from all around
    The news that’s always hale and sound
    I hope that you might try it soon
    “Whatfinger News” will make you swoon

  20. Sally Cook

    An Interlude

    Dedicated To Whatfinger

    He was the stream and she the underbrush;
    The rain that fell upon his upturned face.
    She was the shadowed glade in evening’s hush
    That memorized the sun, received its grace.
    She was the sea, and he the wavering shore;
    Sometimes she was a fragile bit of lace,
    He was the harvest moon above her door,
    Creating out of shadows an embrace.

    But then, shadows of their closeness clashed—
    For beauteous as they were they could not stand—
    Once all poetic similes had smashed
    He shouted; she withdrew, crawled up the sand.
    The moon went dark, winds rose, high waves were lashed
    Against their crystal edifice, which crashed.

  21. Scott Roach

    Inkling (dedicated to Whatfinger)

    Life on a page,
    in 2-D,
    drawn without input
    from the image to be.
    Given direction
    from the stroke of a pen,
    the lines a lure,
    to draw the viewer in.
    So much is said
    with the toons that are fed
    through drums of what’s read.
    Inklings of opinion
    of mind and to minion,
    to discern
    a truth.

  22. Mike Bryant

    You can correct it Mia… just post again and I will delete the old…

  23. Mia

    Dear Mike, thank you so much.
    This is the new much corrected version
    Hopefully there aren’t quite so many errors left now!


    My precious child as you set off for Ithaca
    Take these, hold them fast, let them be your
    Guiding hand relating to the one true path,
    They will help avoid mishaps, treacherous
    Quick-sand and a myriad of veritable death traps.

    Remember to be always on guard and to beware
    Of all beguiling falsehoods especially the one that
    You will manifest only all the good that you hold
    In your heart. Close your ears to that siren song,
    For you must be as cunning as a serpent my dove!

    My brave child clasp the map, the shield, the bow
    Close to your heart and tend the lamp for you
    Will need them in the dark. Know that the sad truth
    Is that the purest hearts are the best delicacies
    For half-blind Cyclops, evil Medusas and Minotaurs.

    I will pray that on your journey you will remain
    Unharmed for your travail may be long and far
    From home where you belong. Tread without fear
    Where heroes trod to banish evil from their midst
    And know you will need the strength of Hercules.

    My child do not neglect to choose your companions
    With much care for they may be the means to your
    Salvation or demise; know true friendship’s rare,
    Although ’tis true, Odysseus was by his companions
    Saved from the sirens’ song the mighty Sampson

    Was defeated, from the betrayal of one who should
    Not have had his trust, and so was lost. He sadly
    Succumbed to idle ease forgetting that the map was
    Drawn by those of old, who travelled far through
    Babylon to bring the guiding light that never fails

    Therefore pray that you will merit a steadfast mate
    Who’ll share your toil and aid in remaining loyal
    To this Quest for the path to Ithaca is not strewn with
    Rose petals but with thorns, A Trojan horse, Assassins
    Of the soul, but it is the surest way to grow in strength,

    You have the shield, it will deflect all ill intent and so
    I will say farewell and God Bless; Go in peace and sing
    Your song with joy then you will arrive victorious if you
    Remain within Truth’s grasp, sheltered by the wings of love
    You’ll soar above the lies where evil dies and truth prevails.

  24. Hicham El Qendouci

    Love River Forever
    (dedicated to Whatfinger)

    Where do I start?
    From any wound among thousands
    of them,
    From the beginning of the tough
    Three months ago…
    I suffer from pain and disease, sick
    with a virus
    Lurking like fire beneath my skin,
    a hidden danger waiting in ambush.
    I suffer within my wounds.
    And even my weapon betrays me!
    I’m still looking for a safety, but it is
    safe to stay here
    Sick, homeless, hunted and
    Even our brothers drink our blood
    and eat our bones.
    Darkness goes on in my eyes.
    And the speech shall die in my
    Until I stop asking for silence.
    Even if morning comes I can do
    About leaving, except to cry.
    Where do I start?
    All our streets are closed,
    And our tongues have become
    And our borders gallows.
    My yellow face hates to invade the
    Only nights of lamentations come,
    And the same old funerals and
    My heart shakes as a dead body or a
    massacre echoes,
    Full of flashes, colors, and sorrows,
    Waiting until a favorable star enters
    The orbit of death or the homeland
    of losers.
    I head to the river, a beautiful river
    Reflecting in its flowing the mixture
    above me
    Of planets, stars, and enormous
    galaxies filling the universe.
    I walk slowly, through tears, seeing
    clouds and stars,
    While my ears hear explosions and
    my hands touch flowers of light.
    I long to go to a distant planet where
    there is no disease.
    Because I want to live in peace away
    from Earth.
    I feel my body trembling;
    Each organ vibrates with limitless
    Sometimes I think I see my love, a
    red flower above the beautiful river,
    And whisper gently, Sarah, my love, I
    love you!
    I write my love lovely poetry
    To open wondrous horizons.
    Oh, what limitless love!!
    Our days might be wine,
    But our lives are silent graveyards
    Into which our eyes stare.
    Where do I start?
    Is it useful to start
    In the time of the end?
    How can I enter
    Where there is no longer a door for
    Except the death door?
    Oh, Homeland,
    You no longer give me even a
    And I keep screaming in madness.
    Earth does not hear or care about
    Nor does death.
    From tent to tent
    And from place to place
    My heart is full of pain and sorrow.
    I stay awake all day and treat my
    burning heart alone.
    I do not see the face of anyone who
    cares about my voice or suffering.
    I have a sticky sickness in my gut,
    So I can’t eat, only take water, but,
    thank God, whose mercy is
    That I still live, breathe, feel…and
    I know my life seems limited,
    A small light hanging in space.
    I feel like a dead planet
    Just like the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter.
    I should stop circling the Sun under
    which I was born
    And take the first spaceship
    To another planet in a distant
    Away from this place of virus and
    Where life may continue,
    And love flourish forever.

  25. Stevo

    So, once again I’m talking with my wife
    And she says “Did you hear about….can you believe it?”
    Once again I say “Yeah, I heard about that 6 months ago.”
    “How in the world do you have your finger on all this stuff?” she asked
    I just couldn’t resist
    “Whatfinger?” I said

      • Stevo

        Mike, as a published poet – this is one – while many write with pen or keyboard, I write mine with a sledgehammer

  26. Stevo

    Here’s one from 2016

    I’m reading a book about the history and future of genetics

    I’ve made progress but not yet reached the central plates de rigueur

    The kind of book a dilettante reads in order to be one

    And the author has explained that most genes don’t do just one thing

    but many, at different times in different combinations, cascades

    genes manipulating proteins manipulating genes manipulating proteins

    And since I know, dear reader, that you’ve studied my other work

    it’s no surprise to you that this, to me, might be another proof of God

    that I am explaining to my wife and she says

    “Then you live in a snowglobe.”

    Which reminded me of a short story by Philip K. Dick

    and It’s probably not anything like this but here’s how I remember it:

    The fifth grade project was to make a universe and the boy was real proud of his, it was beautiful and whimsical, the peoples peaceful and happy. He took it to school but it didn’t fit the political agenda – the teachers chastised and belittled him and the kids jeered. On the way home, the other boys and a girl made fun of him some more and made him cry and, all alone, he smashed his universe on the sidewalk.

    And I wonder:

    Would I do that?

    Would He?

  27. Mike Trauffer

    We are the race called man
    We boast of our purpose at hand
    The good we do for a brother
    The deed we do for the other
    The pains we take to right a mistake
    When indeed we are making another

  28. Vance M Gilbreath

    Tarnished Star

    The Outlaws They Rode into Town
    and Shot the Sheriff Down
    A Stray Bullet did Mark a Pretty Young Heart
    and now She lay Dead on the Ground
    His one true Love is no More
    for She Died by the Hands of the Men that he Searched for
    and his Heart that was Filled with Love
    is Now Driven by the Hate for the Man with the Gun in his Hand

    There’s a Man with a Gun in his Hand
    and He Rides the Deserts of the Western Bad Lands
    Riding the Outlaw Trail
    to Find these Badmen and Send’em to Hell

    In the Desert He found a Man
    Half Buried in the Sand
    and There Upon his Chest
    a Tarnished Starr was Pinned to his Vest
    and He realized with Shame
    That him and the Outlaws were one and the Same
    and Wished that He was Through
    with what he Had to Do

    There’s a Man with a Gun in his Hand
    and He Rides the Deserts of the Western Bad Lands
    Riding the Outlaw Trail
    to Find these Badmen and Send’em to Hell

    He found them on that night
    and the moon was shinning bright
    He drew his 44 and told them they would kill no more.
    He heard the shotgun blast
    and knew he breathed his last
    My love i’ll see you soon
    and died by the light of the moon.

    and the man with the gun in his hand
    let the tarnish star slip from his hand

    Vance M. Gilbreath

  29. Susan

    My son broke his neck when he was 16 and wrote the following poem after he came home from the hospital 6 months later, pretty good for a 16 year old that is a qaud:
    By Adrian West, 1993
    They screw it in, I scream and shout,
    I’m in pain without a doubt.
    Cuss and swear but cannot fight,
    It is for my own good,
    To a Halo what a fool.
    Cannot move accept my eyes,
    Doctor, please tell no lies.
    No more Halo, it has been taken off,
    Nothing man can do is enough.
    Full of pain without a doubt,
    Have become spiritual and more devout.
    The natural body full of strife,
    The spiritual body is eternal life.
    For my good and in my fear,
    A spiritual Halo given me this year.
    No more faking, no more games,
    Beginning to focus and use my brains.
    All I see, unseen before,
    That invisible force no longer a chore.
    My heart, my love so deep within,
    Has conquered the physical of Adam’s sin.

  30. Steve

    Skate Lives

    A young boarder is angry
    With his local skate scene
    Always chased by security
    They’re always so mean
    What did I do?
    Why do I run?
    Just trying to have
    Some boarding fun
    Never occurring was the thought
    That I’m not in my place
    Maybe that’s why security
    Is all up in my face
    Grinding the mall fountain
    Keeps bringing the heat
    Day after angry day
    Grind, run, repeat
    Knowing not what to do
    Because he’s just a young man
    Skate Lives on the concrete
    With an angry spray can
    I am tired of running
    I just want to ride
    These words that I wrote
    Will restore my pride

    After this first public sign
    The old boarders unite
    All boarders have stories
    This just isn’t right
    The boarders decide
    To clean up the blight
    And then they go do
    What we all know is right
    They find the young boarder
    To make it well known
    Put down the spray can
    We take care of our own
    If you’re looking to fight me
    My fists make me clear!
    Whoa bro, go slow
    That’s not why we’re here
    We’ll show you what it means
    To be who you are
    You’re a boarder, be proud
    Boards can carry you far
    Just free your mind
    We’ll do all the rest
    We want you to meet
    Who you are at your best

    Come out on my boat
    Said the boarder from wake
    Bring all the skills
    That you learn when you skate
    Bring switch for blind landings
    And landing with speed
    What to do with the handle
    Is all that you’ll need
    Whirlybirds and back rolls
    Let’s get productive
    Out here your tantrums
    Are much less destructive
    When you get bored with your inverts
    I’ll teach you some grabs
    Wake wipeouts hurt much less
    No road rash or scabs
    Our boats are filled
    With friend after new friend
    We will wake surf the river
    From end to end
    And when we are done
    With our day full of laughing
    The tricks that we stuck
    And ones we went crashing
    You will leave my wake scene
    With your eyes open wide
    To what being a boarder means
    Deep down inside
    Now go ride

    Come up to the slopes
    Said the boarder from snow
    Powder days are here
    So get ready to go
    Up here we all share
    As we ride up the chair
    Both skiers and boarders
    And others who care
    At the top we part ways
    With new skiers we found
    As they head for their moguls
    To bump their way down
    He looked at his board
    The lesson was plain
    I’m not built to follow them
    Not without considerable pain
    I’m a boarder I see
    The path I’m to ride
    I’ll meet my new skier friends
    After I slide
    We teach all young boarders
    Who think only one board can matter
    Strap your feet into my bindings
    And that idea will shatter
    Ride a day in my terrain park
    Huge launch ramps we own
    And our railslides are faster
    Than any you’ve known
    Steep drops and back bowls
    And overnight snow drifts
    Waist deep, can’t sleep
    Right back to the chair lift
    As a boarder my job
    Is to help riders who fall
    And sometimes help youngsters
    Who think they know it all
    Strap on your brain bucket
    Let’s get out and about
    Hitting the pow pow
    Before it all gets tracked out
    Try not to rag doll
    On your way down
    Yard sales on YouTube
    Make you look like a clown
    Rodeos and Mistys
    All fully tweaked
    McTwists and Shiftys
    Adrenaline peaked
    And when we are done
    With our day full of laughing
    The tricks that we stuck
    And ones we went crashing
    You will leave my snow scene
    With your eyes open wide
    To what being a boarder means
    Deep down inside
    Now go ride

    Come out to the beach
    Said the boarder from kite
    I’ll show you a way
    For you to fly right
    The wind is kicking up
    We are gonna fly high
    Today you will learn how to
    Ride your board in the sky
    These boards are longer
    Than the longest board you ride
    But don’t be afraid
    I’ll be right by your side
    Send it into the power zone
    Edge as fast as you might
    Then flick your board back
    When you boost your kite
    With your board on your feet
    Up up and away
    Believe you can fly
    It’s the only way
    And when we are done
    With our day full of laughing
    The tricks that we stuck
    And ones we went crashing
    You will leave my kite scene
    With your eyes open wide
    To what being a boarder means
    Deep down inside
    Now go ride

    All these boarders
    made their point
    Said the old surfer
    smoking a joint
    For one final lesson
    Come out to the surf break
    Reset your priorities
    And peace you shall make
    Out here we respect
    Our ocean and tide
    Our planet, our world
    For our children to ride
    If you question the wisdom
    Of this crusty old boarder
    Watch as I show you
    Life’s pecking order
    On a way outside roller
    The longboarder rode proud
    He had toes on his nose
    Before he even got to the crowd
    As he shot through the young bucks
    None even dared
    To drop in on this master
    They just sat still and stared
    A cross stepping boss
    He rode his own way
    Tucked into the barrel
    He did not come to play
    He owned that ride
    And the whole crowd too
    He was a proud old boarder
    Through and through
    Respect in this world
    Is only commanded
    Respect is not something
    That can be demanded
    So when you decide
    You have something to say
    Make the world hear you scream
    By the course that you stay
    Speak with your actions
    Not only your words
    And just like my barrel
    Your voice will be heard
    And when we are done
    With our day full of laughing
    The tricks that we stuck
    And ones we went crashing
    You will leave my surf scene
    With your eyes open wide
    To what being a boarder means
    Deep down inside

    Now go ride with pride

  31. David Dowse

    A Knock at the Door

    Some bright day, when I have gone,
    Perhaps you’ll think and speak of me with
    Sadness on the tongue,
    Trying to picture the man who wasn’t your pick.

    But truly – it was just too late and too young,
    All in all,
    And foolish of us to take on chores of Spring
    In the thick of the Fall.

    But what of these two, fine children, you say –
    And how do they measure ‘gainst the order of the day?
    And how will they make our sad excuse
    For what’s been and been elusive, after all?

    Some dark night, thirty years on, when you are feeling old,
    When you’re tired and your children are grown,
    You’ll hear someone calling at the door as you retire,
    Interrupting the corrupted song.

    You will answer the door, sure that he is there.
    But he will be gone.

    And one can’t retrieve what one’s flung casually to the stars,
    Nor can love be had for even a montain of gold.

  32. Portly Bard

    On Whatfinger and America

    Truth unfolds where circumspectly
    evidence is viewed directly.
    Thus Whatfinger rose to being
    certain wisdom came from seeing

    but for earnest aggregation
    “news” becomes indoctrination
    blatant as intimidation
    — blazing hell of conflagration —

    melting down our nation’s treasure,
    liberty in lawful measure,
    precious by articulation
    progress knows as innovation

    springing from so well respected
    moral courage resurrected
    liffted from its cemeteries
    where the prayerful conscience tarries

    holding sacred what is hallowed —
    truths eternal never fallowed.

  33. Portly Bard

    Mike —

    If you leave this up, please remove the period after “seeing” in L4.



  34. Anmol Dubey

    Echoes of a Lost Companion

    In a land of weary beasts, on a day most ill-fated,
    Sat I by the ebbing embers, whilst singing a song ill-stated
    As the gloaming, most maleficent, chased away the meridian hours,
    A mutation indolent crept in, of which to thee I impart
    Akin to one of a werewolf exposed to the lunar powers

    Autumnal leaves fall to the earth,
    A chill doth breeze, a mournful mirth.
    The setting sun casts its final rays,
    As the night descends, my heart doth stray
    To memories of yore, a life now confined

    In the dim light, I spy my companion’s visage,
    A reminder of a life now lost to ravage.
    I take a needle from my hand, marred by sores
    And use a magical potion, to keep him nigh, though far
    I converse with him, but the memories are obscure

    We discourse of days long passed, of joy and woes,
    Of the camaraderie we shared, that naught could oppose.
    We reminisce of our youth, and the torment we bore,
    And how we turned to magic, to flee and find a new shore
    But as the effects wane, my companion vanishes, my eyes turning sore

    I reach for more, to keep him by my side,
    To keep the memories alive, to keep the pain aside.
    But as I take more, my mind becomes hazy,
    And I’m lost in the oblivion, my mind becomes lazy.

    I query my companion, why he leaves me every morn,
    And only returns when the night is born.
    But he doesn’t answer, he just smiles and fades,
    Leaving me alone, in a daze.

    I strive to hold on, but my wits can’t bear the weight,
    And I slip into unconsciousness, my mind sealed in a state.
    In the morn I wake, with a head full of pain,
    And the memories of my companion, driving me insane.

    But forsooth, I’ll keep speaking with thee, as I age.
    As the night falls once more, I grasp for the magic powder
    Hoping to gaze upon thee again, despite the tragic end
    But I know deep within, this is not the path,
    To mend my shattered heart, or bring thee back from death’s wrath.

    But forsooth, I’ll keep searching for thee, in my mind,
    Hoping that one day, I’ll leave this cycle behind.
    The memories fade, but my heart still aches
    And I’ll keep taking the enchanted concoctions, for my mind’s sake
    But the memory of the cold room, and the silence that ensued, forever will remain
    But I know, deep down, this is not the way,
    To mend my broken heart and find a new day.
    I’ll break this cycle, and seek a new path,
    To move on from the past, and find a brighter aftermath.
    And though I’ll never forget the tragic end,
    I’ll find solace in knowing we’ll meet again

  35. George Gorman

    The Door of Time


    Carry the weight of time
    Like a sleepy child in arms
    Too strong for such a priceless gram of gold.

    Bend the verge of desire
    Around the place you are,
    Until you stir the flower in its fold.

    Flush the quail of thought
    Out of the bushy brain.
    Aim for what real nourishment is there.

    Bare the trembling wick
    Of what would burn in you,
    As long as there is flesh to feed the fire.

    Give your face away
    To another’s eyes,
    And let the ghost within you dance above.

    Talk to who you will be
    When the world is gone,
    And all that you can keep is how you love.


    There is a dark, dark doorway,
    A cave within the sun,
    Through which the ancient builders,
    Returning one by one,
    Have left a trail behind them,
    An alphabet of weeds
    Besieging mental sidewalks
    With artillery of seeds.

    Hear the forest laughter
    Dancing in the gloom.
    Hear the brilliant moments
    Sing a childlike tune.
    Read the deftly curling
    Writing on the wall:
    “Those who would go with the seed
    Must let the flower fall.”

    See the pitch black doorway
    Open in the brain.
    Step into electric
    Storms of spirit rain.
    Curl into magnetic
    Lines of serpent power.
    Feel the slivered second
    Strike the rounded hour.

    After grace and breakfast,
    Begins the work again.
    After death and taxes,
    What is left at hand?
    Alphabets of fire?
    Artillery of clay?
    And the dark, dark door of time
    Through which the lovers play.


    In summer when the moon is full
    She teaches me to love again.
    She is the spirit of the corn.
    Of gentle rain and soothing wind.

    In winter when the moon is new,
    Beneath the quilt of snow and dark,
    She teaches me to penetrate
    Her delicate and wondrous art.

    She revives my heart with love,
    Then thrills my soul with mystery.
    Doubly she confounds me, for
    Each half of her has history.

    Her summer half, so sweet and warm,
    Is sometimes lotus, sometimes rose,
    The Virgin first, then Magdalene,
    Agape dancing with eros.

    First, she is a lotus flower,
    A Kwan Yin of inclusive grace,
    As I am one with all that lives
    When I behold her soothing face.

    But then she slips her other mien
    Of wild, rapturous ecstasy
    Into my heart, and I’m a man
    Brimful of pride and certainty.

    Thus she becomes my fearless guide
    To all the arts of love’s embrace.
    Our bodies fuse in joyous warmth
    When I behold her ardent face.

    Then her winter half provides relief
    From kinds of love that haven’t been defined.
    But this is no vacation for, as she
    Awakens me, she blows my gobsmacked mind!

    As muse, she’s always happy to impart
    Her experience of fulfilling goals.
    As sweet reason’s germ of science and art,
    She comes with dreams and is, through dreams, made whole.

    For it was she that men claimed as their own,
    Then burned her at the stake to hide the deed.
    They made a world of marvels from her bones.
    A sterile world, alas, without her seed.

    Still she engenders life and gauges well.
    She has no care for triumph or revenge.
    She is the gyroscopic hub of truth
    That shows how every excess countertends.

    So as she leads me stepwise through the spheres,
    While orchestrating countless harmonies,
    Her cunning face assures me of my part
    Among the tiny, vital subtleties.

    Then, as I finally somewhat comprehend
    The intricate demonstrations of her thought,
    She turns her staggering depths on me again,
    And all my proud philosophy comes to naught,
    When I behold her mystic face.

  36. Nick Prima

    Hello, I know I passed the due date, but I would still like to support this contest and so here are my few lines:

    The American ideal of freedom they caught,
    As Whatfinger let people discern dark from light,
    To let people know the truth would be good, they thought.

    Both sides listened to, the true story they got,
    Since freedom of speech is the American’s right,
    The American ideal of freedom they caught.

    Criticism with the blade of a pen they fought,
    Amidst this, they did not disdain to show their might.
    To let people know the truth would be good, they thought.

    Unlike the others, not by China where they bought,
    Supported by those who they helped through the dark night,
    The American ideal of freedom they caught.

    To get to the bottom of things, they work a lot,
    But they do it with the ease of flying a kite.
    To let people know the truth would be good, they thought.

    Important it is, to have truth in every jot,
    May those who support truth no longer need to fight.
    The American ideal of freedom they caught.
    To let people know the truth would be good, they thought.


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