Poem of the Week: ‘Karma Cycles’ by Sophie Taylor

3rd Place
‘A Heart Full of Pearls’ by Charles Joseph

When it comes to death, I have learned to react,
like an oyster with a parasite lodged inside it’s shell.

So although I may appear numb to it (Death that is),
I’m as human as any Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane, Jen or Jill.

But inside of this seemingly impenetrable sooner or later to be corpse,
there is still a tad of soft moist flesh in there that is easily irritated.

So I coat the memories of those I have loved, lost, still love, and will always love
in the tears that fail to flow from my forlorn eyes until a pearl forms in my heart.

Sadly, what began with one pure iridescent stone
has now developed into quite a collection of morbid gems.

But what does one do with a heart full of pearls,
that are at times too fragile to broach, but too priceless to discard?

Except to protect and carry the weight of them with me
till death do us part.

BIO: Charles Joseph lives and writes in Montclair, NJ. He is the author of three poetry chapbooks that people seem to really like, and No Outlet (a novel) that he’s currently shopping to agents. His new chapbook Fireball (12 quasi-epic poems of cheerful doom and gloom) will be released before the end of 2015.

2nd Place
‘A Cedar Prison’ by Levi Jiorle

He is woken by the sunrise
piercing through the glass window,
the delicate rays hold his face,
as if his skin felt more pure than
fountain water. He rubs the grease
off his forehead, tries to shake himself
awake from the slumber he was
trapped in.

He starts to feel sick at the
sight of four cedar walls. It feels like
a prison with no bars, and no air.
The clock ticks to the rhythm of his
breath, an exhale as cold as the
morning dew. As he lays his head
back down, he starts to shiver at the
sight of the ceiling.

And there she is, laying beside him.
Just last night, his fingers ran over her
bones, like a blind man running his
fingers over brail, moving so carefully
as to not miss a word. With an
unconscious mind, she wondered
if his voice would wander through her ears,
be the key to her bad dreams, letting her
pour out her troubles and fears. She may
not wake until this happens.

He looks at her sleeping, and thinks
about their past with contempt. The
memories are brought to his mind, like
a screen unfolding before his eyes. She is
the projectionist playing the film, watching him
sink to the blurred visions.

Like all men, his skin is tough, but
his gut is weak.
He can’t take it anymore.

He walks out the door to the
stone porch, lets his feet glide silently.
He puts a cigarette between his
loveless lips, lets the smoke bruise his
throat. As he watches the trees dance
with the wind, he wonders if he’ll ever
feel anything new again.

BIO: Levi Jiorle is a 24 year old poet from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He has only started taking writing seriously since the beginning of 2015. What he loves most about writing is how it reveals your emotional state, which allows you to connect with people who would otherwise seem unfamiliar. Besides being a poet, he is also a bassist, craft beer enthusiast, and a college student majoring in English education. He has also been previously published by Lehigh Valley Vanguard.

1st Place
‘Karma Cycles’ by Sophie Taylor

The bracken breaks under my feet
The crisp sounds echo
Pulsating greyed senses
I walk with intention
Unperturbed by the shrubs scratching
At my face
I feel, home

Yesterday, with its descending smog
Gifting pollution
That choked and writhed
Eating vibrancy and hosting confusion
Has now departed for other lands
Ensuring death to the mind-set
Ensuring death to the deceptive skies
So I am open, at liberty

BIO: I have been writing for a number of years as an enjoyable hobby, enjoying only English Literature and Language at school, college and university. I am a keen reader and often have my head in a book! Recently I have been entering competitions and had some success. I have had poems read out on Wandsworth radio and currently writing a play for London theatres and have teamed up with a theatre group with exciting promise!

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