Poem of the Week: ‘Heart’ by Olivia Williams

Poem of the Week

3rd Place
‘What Came Out of the Fire’ by L.T. Garvin

What came out of the fire
was at first surprise, disbelief
and a mad scramble to retrieve
the material items
lost dreams
a bit of hope from a small canister

digging among the ashes
sharp shock strong enough to cut bone
hatred and betrayal enlivened by the flames
the aide of a close friend who tried

as the flames climbed
echoes of souls burning
although the faithful watched silently
severed ties, broken family
the mourning of a heartless mother

through the smoke
a bland day made its mark
karma smote material greed
the mirrors, although charred, reflected toil
dark never ending heartbreak

smoke…ash….water…mud sludge
as sacred water ruined the leftovers
abandoned animals crouched – no good home here

flames engulfed that house
burned through memories
bad memories too
the sting of abuse
the cycle of crazy

there was no smoke
dense enough
to cover
the rot of self-esteem
the emptiness of tomorrow, a molten mess

broken banner boy
you’ve been alone
stuff your raggedly things
in plastic bags
take your damaged self from here

the belligerent bloated one dismisses those below him
with his evil scowl
he remains full of hate
his damage is done

the wayward boy walks
everywhere he goes
ashes fall from him
the smell of smoke permeates
all he has left

What came out of the fire was this:
anguish, bitter, deep hurt – it burned
golden trinkets destroyed – the playing field leveled
homeless aching pain – in flames
incendiary fear – a burnished sun bleeds

BIO: L.T. Garvin is the pen name of Lana Broussard who writes fiction, poetry, essays, humor, and maintains a WordPress Blog. Lana has previously published short stories available in Texas Writers Journal, and will be publishing a children’s book, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete with Crystal Publishing. In real life, she is a substitute teacher and works to help kids master the literacy skills they need to succeed and hopefully grow up to make the world a better place. Lana is also an avid reader and truly appreciates literature and the work of fellow writers.

2nd Place
‘Smoking Kiss’ by Niharika Pandey

“Have you ever felt that addiction, that craving in your very veins for something forbidden? A tiny cigarette change you as a person, kick you down, break your will and draw you in until until you can protest no more.”
Desperate to still her quaking fingers,
she draws in an unsteady breath.
Her gaze lingers on passing smokers,
and she craves that magnetic, sooty death.
She grinds her teeth in silent frustration,
trying to douse a raging fire,
she steels herself away from passion,
vexed by her unrelenting desire.
Alas, prudence gives in to desire,
craving obliterates her resolve,
a smoky haze envelops her,
inducing a trance, ethereal and dire.
Guilt is lost in a mirage of bliss,
Concern flies out of the proverbial window,
Hungering for this smoky kiss,
She embraces her old foe.
The miracle fades, leaving behind guilt,
She cowers from the accusing glares,
She ponders over right and wrong,
To have an epiphany, she dares.
Drowned in the tides of coercion,
She sets her cigarette down,
Having heard it called diabolic,
She succumbs with a frown.

1st Place
‘Heart’ by Olivia Williams

A change of heart, a change of mind.

Beat, beat, beat. A pounding against a chest, against a swollen stomach,
weak and feeble, but beating nonetheless.
Skin and fingers scraping against the sac, retreating into itself,
and then kicking out, reaching forward.
Beat, beat, beat. “Mother I’m here, speak to me.”
Blood flows through now, slowly and smoothly,
no lungs to push through oxygen,
mouth open silently, exclaiming and taking in the world.

Beat, beat, beat. A pounding against a chest, against a swollen stomach,
stronger and clearer, chest rising in a poor imitation of breath.
Limbs spread out long and wide, stretching boundaries and walls,
lips and hands spread out across the small world.
Eyes open to a blank slate, new world, new life,
first smiles and frowns and shock, invisible to our eyes,
deep channels pressing out to hear the music of life,
a mother’s voice, a mother’s voice for the first and last time.

Beat, beat. Silence.
A change of heart, a change of mind.
A change of one heart can be fatal to another.

BIO: My name is Olivia Williams and I am an amateur poet. As well as poetry, my interests include baking, and reading. I am currently in my second year of a levels at edgbarrow school, taking creative writing, English literature, and psychology. I hope to one day publish a book of my own poetry on the subject of change. The poems I have submitted are some of the poems that I intend to include in it.

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