Poem of the Week: ‘Got a Job Yet?’ by Anthony Keers

3rd Place

Daniel Pearce
‘Bad Influence’

A cigarette – I can’t remember which-
But it wasn’t my first
Set me alight
With the haze of the night
Coming into focus
And the lights –they were bright-
promising and new
but familiar to you.

I mourned for your innocence
While you mocked mine
Engraved on my face
With awe and surprise
I’d follow this person –In time-
To the debauched depths of society
And thank them for their guidance
With ritual anarchy.

Later…when we’re coming down
And destruction feels like a chore
Even to the self
I go for another smoke
Craving like before
I pull a carton from your bag
Filled only with ash
It’s not from a cigarette
Just what’s left of your past.

BIO: My name is Daniel Pearce I am an English Lit graduate from Liverpool John Moores University with a penchant for old world romanticism and a passion for reading, writing and poetry. My greatest ambition is to feel comfortable enough to refer to myself as a writer without passers-by choking on their disbelief.

2nd Place

Matt Rouse
’32˚ Fahrenheit’

I walk carefully barefoot
With these loud noises in my brain
I am not sorry we woke you
Their argument wasn’t over

I reach out with long arms
And clenched fists
I cannot make any sense of it
The cold has made me numb

I dig with both hands
Into hard grey cement
I am not worried about the thieves around me
I have nothing left to take

I push the green button
That ends the phone call
I am bruised but not bleeding
Your thorns are blunt from overuse

I take a drive along the beach
Down a narrow ill-lighted road
I hold no grudges in the aftermath
The fog here is so thick

BIO: Matt Rouse lives and writes in Orange County California where he practiced controlled burns at local poetry readings and is a founding member of the Black Napkin Poetry Circle. He was the Co-Champion of the 2015 Pond Water Holiday Mess.

1st Place

Anthony Keers
‘Got a Job Yet?’

Worried faces aged in youth.
Victims of economic eccentrics,
fugitive financial criminals who hold the prison key
and politicians with two blind eyes.

Their prospects lie like forgotten tools
in the depths of a disused gold mine,
their opportunity is grasped by their gassy hands,
slipping away into the handshake of someone
they needed to know.

Nothing but sad statistics to society,
disposable fillers of part time contracts,
concerns for weary parents.

When doing more often leaves
you nailed to the starting line,

What else can you do
except smile through the
rain clouds.

And wait for the rainbow to
show its colours.

BIO: Anthony Keers lives in the city of Manchester, England. He has recently graduated with a degree in Business Management and his passion is for environmental sustainability and exploring new ways in which humanity can promote an environmentally healthier lifestyle. Anthony writes poetry and short stories in his spare time.

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