Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Senior Poetry Prize 2023

Congratulations to Isabella Treacy, who wins the Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry for the second year, and to Yilong She, who receives a Commendation. First, some of Isabella's winning portfolio.

A Funeral for your Lies 

and an Exhumation of my Truths


You could call this a funeral

for your Lies,

and an exhumation 

of my Truths.


I was buried next to this unseemly secret

six feet deep with the roots.

Lord knows I should still be

pushing daisies.


You took my life 

but it's not the end.


I was put in the ground

and now I'm back from the dead.

You should have known 

that something which was never living

can never really die.


I’m getting tired of crawling all the way.

I've had enough!

Isn’t it obvious?

Holding the pain like I’m holding my breath

Now that I’m on trial.


I won’t be beaten by this,

Not yet.


And it’s my whole heart

Being tried and tested,

But it’s mine!

I won’t be buried or burned this time.


Who’s the equivocator now?

Keres, help me not to forget,

While I’m on trial,

Wait until the beast comes out.


Oh you fool, there are rules,

I’m coming for you.

You can try to outrun this scourger

 but you can’t escape.


Holy water cannot save you now.

Now your reckoning begins

and La Pelona will lead you 

to your yawning grave.

I took a journey to the unknown

And I came back changed, 

I can feel it in my bones.

It feels like I've been away for an era

but nothing changed at all.


Say goodbye to who I was.


You told me to calm down

and asked why my heart had turned rotten?

It still gets my blood boiling.

And now I look at you 

through crimson tinted glasses

 while I stay stuck in the crossfire 

of my own thoughts.


La Pelona and I walk side by side

over your spoiled, evil spirit.

You left a deep scar

which I still try to bleach out.


I’ll dig a grave for your lies

with a beating heart of stone,

and I’ll never spare 

my sympathy

for someone like you.

Kitchen floors and

 Saints at doors


How could I have known

what I was about to trade. 


All I knew was that I saw a way

and you saw the worst in me.


As I reached for the clouds 

you made sure that I 

would return

to your weightless embrace.


I still search for a reason

not to end up in denial,

like those long summer nights

stolen away as the moon falls.


Despite the lies you bound to me

                                                          I still love you.

But, I won't wait anymore,

for the parts of you

that are never on show.


Yet, my heart yearns 

to lay on the kitchen floor

under you’re unfeeling gaze

as moonlight paints your face.


And every morning 

when you wake,

I'll still love those 

mangled bits of you.

Mine Forever


I was there,

When you fell from the clouds.


When I found you,

 I saw a place like paradise in your eyes,

then I knew that my end would come soon.


Those modest saying that meant so much to you,

with me they’ve never quite got through.

I’ve always needed bigger words.


I was so full of love that I could hardly breathe.

There isn’t a language for the things I feel.


It was such a relief and a horror

To be known so perfectly,

So completely. 


You were the one who made me believe,

that I could fly again.


Now we’re a story that I don’t want to read.


Loving you was easy when I balanced on a knife's edge.

Now your spirit follows me wherever I go,

and I still hear your melody from those days
as you haunt me in the night.


When the sun comes up and I go blind,

For a moment, I can blot out the memory of your face

and forget every line, every wrinkle.


But, if forever gets too lonely

I’ll meet you where our souls

Meet our bones,

Because in my mind

You’re mine forever.

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