Anonymous March Challenge: "Long Shadows"


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Thread: Anonymous March Challenge: "Long Shadows"

  1. #1

    Anonymous March Challenge: "Long Shadows"

    As previously announced by Gumby, we've updated the challenge rules. Henceforth, all submissions will be anonymous.

    Please remember that in submitting an entry you are obligated to cast at least one vote in the poll. Failure to do so will result in your entry being disqualified.

    The prompt for this month's anonymous challenge as chose by TL Murphy is: Long Shadows

    You are free to interpret the prompt in any way you wish, though of course, site rules apply. If you are unsure of the challenge rules please read the 'stickies' at the top of the board.

    Your entry must be submitted anonymously and therefore should be PMed to me, Chester's Daughter,so that I may post it for you. Please be sure to indicate in your PM on which board you prefer your work posted, PUBLIC or SECURE. I am responsible for linking all entries posted on the secure board to public board.

    ***VERY IMPORTANT*** Kindly make sure your entry is properly formatted and error free before you PM it to me as you will be unable to edit your work once I have posted it. If your work requires a disclaimer, please inform me in your submission PM.

    PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT ANY ENTRY POSTED DIRECTLY TO EITHER BOARD WILL RESULT IN THAT PARTICULAR WORK BEING DISQUALIFIED, BUT YOU WILL BE PERMITTED TO SELECT ANOTHER WORK TO ENTER ANONYMOUSLY THROUGH THE REQUIRED CHANNELS.

    If your entry receives critique at any point in the process, kindly wait until after our winner has been announced to respond to it as responding before then will reveal your identity and disqualify your entry.

    Do not post comments in this thread. Any discussion related to the challenge can take place in the Bards' Bistro.


    This challenge will close on the 15th of March at 7pm EST.


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  4. #4

    Words are pegs for the lines

    The dog lies on top
    of the long shadows, knows if he moves
    darkness will engulf the food
    I haven’t yet delivered.

    His jaws rest on large paws,
    his moonful eyes reproachful –
    how could I, hasn’t he given me
    the best years of his life,
    chased sticks and balls and howled
    loud enough for morning to come back?

    I use words he cannot comprehend
    to explain I have bigger fish to fry
    than fill that metal pan
    and the dog hates it anyway —
    he is the only dog I know
    who eats with dainty teeth
    as if those canines could never rend or rip.

    My words, like his teeth,
    offer a pretence — the way a Venus flytrap
    seduces the fly with a stench
    so true it must be a lie.

    My words are false,
    strung up as they are like lights
    to be read then think meaning is made
    within their vowels and pauses –

    into the night we head, blank page as bright
    as any midnight — the loss of thoughts
    leaving lines empty, the screen
    gasping for something new, the dog sits still,
    stares at the metal bowl, his cocked ears
    full of words that could tell the truth
    if only I could understand.


  5. #5

    Daddy (Mature Content/Language)

    Even in his absence
    he casts a long shadow
    as viscous as cold petroleum
    that suffocates the innocents
    he leaves behind
    on his vile isle
    light years from the norm.

    They’re accustomed to its weight
    forcing them ever closer to the floor -
    exactly where he wants them -
    and where they have a daily date
    once he rejoins his projection
    and flesh offers substance
    to shaded suggestion.

    It’s an anomaly,
    that shadow,
    its existence depends upon dark
    making it allergic to light
    and pity the fool
    who attempts to shed some
    by imploring
    anyone
    anywhere
    at any time
    to help make things right.

    It comes equipped
    with the latest, greatest GPS
    to better tail them
    to school, the market, the doctor, church,
    and at one time, the homes of family
    and friends,
    but all of those relationships
    eventually met their end
    thanks to a fistful of subtle persuasion.

    It rules a roost
    that has no phone
    but boasts casements
    secured by coffin nails
    and magic doors
    that fail
    to open
    thanks to disappearing keys
    that only materialize
    when the magician has his fill
    of pleas from a chorus line
    of crying robots
    draped with frill.


    But once its master’s bulk
    darkens the front doorway,
    it takes its rightful place behind him
    as he makes his day
    by creeping up on his prey

    but today

    the hungry hunter finds
    his personal grounds barren.

    The offspring, sheltered
    in the recesses of the cellar,
    shudder at his enraged roar
    as does Mommy, secreted
    behind the kitchen door
    and clutching freshly honed
    liberation.

    Last night’s run to the ER,
    the third in a year
    but two months old,
    was finally one time too many
    waking Mother from a decade
    of compliant coma.

    Daddy grins when he sees her,
    taking off his jacket to keep it free
    from those pesky stains,
    and as he goes to grab her hair
    to keep her where
    his arm need not strain,
    she gains
    the upper-hand
    with an upper-cut
    that opens up
    both voice box and vessels.

    His eyes,
    wide with surprise
    begin to cry
    and his roar, now lame,
    can only gurgle her name.

    Her hawk-like gaze —
    who’s the hunter now, bitch—
    never wavers as his pulse
    paints the cellar door,
    each beat of his pump
    adding to the puddle on the floor

    and as she backs away
    to keep it from her slippers
    she finds her step lighter and quicker

    and realizes both he
    and that fucking phantasm of his
    were finally no more.

    Scooting ‘round a red river,
    she grabs his jacket
    and extracts from the pocket
    the last bit of magic
    needed to exact their release.
    Such a sweet serenade
    is the jingle of keys.

    She collects her kids
    and ushers them out
    the back basement door

    then up the concrete stairs
    to the waiting sun
    where their five shadows become one
    gratis of a group hug

    each relieved to their core
    at deliverance

    from the evil that kept them
    ever tethered
    to its noxious shores
    and its shadowy sentry
    that in Daddy’s absence
    enforced his lurid lore

    both now obliterated
    as Mommy last night swore.


  6. #6

    The Abandoned Well

    Dark escapes light.
    Shadows form bleak armies
    leap edge to sky,
    to pin scraps of the sun
    against the distant hills.

    Old man dwells between cardboard walls , a desert, inside an echo
    of someone once named Sam.

    Here,
    where tribes deserted long ago,
    angled deep into earth’s soul,
    the moon forgets to shine
    across the gape.

    A coyote falls through,
    breaks its bones and sinks midway
    in muddy stench.
    Days and days and nights howl
    inside a hole,
    to last,
    below a star’s eye.

    Magic worms
    from a moments pocket
    appear,
    weave labryinths inside soft parts,
    glow phosphorescence,
    then blink out.

    Old man's hands reach, as he spills through coils of crumbling walls
    toward light he can not grasp. Reflexive tears illume his face.

    Shadows rail downward.
    Soft flutter, the crows
    with their eyes cocked, pull seeds
    from the ragweed,
    while a skull and claw moor
    against the heart
    of an irresponsible moon.

    Old man remembers his blanket is warm and wraps himself inside
    because he remembers his blanket is warm.
    Last edited by Chesters Daughter; March 9th, 2019 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Gremlins attacked format


  7. #7

    Lux et umbra

    The shadows were long within her eyes
    from leafless treetops against the skies.
    Morning had brought a grey half-light
    smouldering at the edge of the dying night.
    Should I indeed allow myself to love
    this beautiful innocent and fragile dove
    lost in a wilderness of tangled winds,
    of bright beginnings and bitter ends,
    of embattled hopes amid great fears
    and joyful tidings after many tears?
    She smiled to herself, then looked at me;
    the shadows were gone, from what I could see.
    She took my hand and we faced the light
    which now filled the world, serene and bright.
    Last edited by Chesters Daughter; March 12th, 2019 at 04:13 AM. Reason: I made a typo in title.


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