Results of the Raw Poetry Contest

After two long months, the results of The Raw Poetry Contest are finally here. Yay!

You can keep those hockey sticks inside now, impatient participants.

Before we move on to the fun part, I really want all of you to know that you all did great. And I’m not just saying that for the sake of formality- I genuinely appreciated the response to the contest. At first, when I launched it, I got very few entries and I was disappointed to know that so few people could relate to the concept of raw poetry. But extending the deadline by a week was one of the best decisions I ever made because entries poured in after that. I guess y’all are just as lazy as me, huh? So, in the end, I got 19 entries, which was a pretty big deal for me considering that I hadn’t expected to get even 10.

And boy, was it a stiff competition. Even though there were three judges including me, we had a hell of a time selecting the top three. That’s why it took us two whole months to fully analyse and rate each poem.

I don’t want to be one of those annoying judges that say ‘participation is more important than winning’, because I know all too well that more than comforting, it feels like salt on a wound. So to all of you who couldn’t win this time, I will not say that. But I will be very honest with you and tell you that it takes a certain amount of faith in your work to submit it even for a small-scale contest like this one, and all of you who participated had that faith. All of you put in the effort to come up with a uniquely ‘you’ poem. And I think writing raw poetry is an achievement in itself because we’re so used to writing regular poetry. It can be difficult to remove that inherent propensity to use poetic devices and write a traditionally beautiful poem. Even if you did not win, I hope you learned something and most importantly, had fun.

Many of you still wrote regular poetry, and though you did not win a prize, I do hope you will read the winning entries and finally understand the concept. And if you do, my purpose is complete- the whole point of launching this was to familiarise you with the idea of raw poetry and encourage you to deviate from the traditional norms.

Just one last thing before I move on to the prize winners. The trophies displayed with each of the names were personally designed by me in Paint 3D (What a multitalented girl. I know, right?). All of you digital artists, don’t judge me, because it was my first time using Paint 3D. Prize winners: you can upload those trophies on your own blog and/or social media if you like.

Also, the three of us individually rated each poem out of 10 to keep track of our opinions about each one, and the average rating mentioned with the prize-winning poems are the average of those three ratings.

So, here we go:

Winner

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The winner is: NameeraHere is her poem:

Debt of a bully

I called him gay
Because he’d suggest me songs
That I did not want to listen to
And because he was annoying
So, I decided to teach him a
Lesson
Ruining someone’s self-esteem
Became a joke that still haunts
Me at night
I lay awake, counting stars that
Never end
Just like my perpetuating guilt

When I was twelve & only a
Novice at sexual terminologies
I told a girl to put some cock
In her vagina & make it bigger
Because she annoyed me
And I had to teach her a lesson

All the lessons I taught
Slowly gnaw at the edge of my conscience
As my heart begins to rot
I cry some times
When no one’s watching
I show people how tough I can be
But deep inside cowardice
Is the only truth about my life

Gay. Cock. Vagina. Bigger.
No, small; very small indeed
I wish these words would leave
My mind but they don’t
I’m stuck in a loop
Trapped between hoops
Born with a judgemental spoon
I was always the prick I hated most
The truth tastes bitter
Like medicine forced down
Your throat
I wanted control
Now my eyes only hope
To someday close
Without flashbacks of those
Who I’ve damaged before

Do you know what it’s like to be a bully?
You pay
You pay with your time and energy and mental health and happiness
You pay till the debt is paid and repaid and then start all over again
And then you pay till guilt eats you alive
You pay as you die
Every day, every fucking night

If only I thought twice, or at least once
Before letting my words strike
I didn’t
They fell like needles from my tongue
Without an ounce of emotion

The reasons that make me write
Are the hearts I broke countless times
This is an ode to someone who deserves the happiest life
An ode to someone who is a great friend
An ode to a bully
Who never found a release
Until now.

Average rating: 9.7

Now, this is exactly what I was looking for. When I received the entries, many of them were good poems but not really raw, and I began to think that maybe the participants weren’t fully able to grasp what I meant by raw poetry.

But Nameera, oh my, she has not only completely understood the concept but also mastered it with her poem. It was a unanimous decision to declare her the winner- it was one of the few poems that all three of us loved equally and there was absolutely no argument about this being the winning poem.

It takes courage to confess something as intimate as this and own up to the mistakes you’ve committed. It takes guts to apologise to the people you hurt years ago. There can be no better apology to the people who Nameera says she hurt than this poem. It was brutally honest and definitely made me uncomfortable. It is not often that you see people antagonising themselves in their own work.

If I were to give an example of raw poetry to someone, this would be it. Nameera has cleverly used both ‘inappropriate’ words and in some places, traditional poetic devices to her advantage, which do not diminish but help the rawness of the poem. Never did it feel like she was presenting a rose-tinted picture. Never was there a break in the flow.

Well deserved, Nameera. Congratulations!

Runner-up

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The runner-up is: Star NinjaHere is his poem:

How to be Raw

Decipher the code, she said to me.

And I found it came in a set of three.

A man in a glass box, an empty picture show, a lens.

I found it tricky because we think with thoughts but write with pens.

The glass box was perfectly clear. No reflections or marks. An Anti-mirror.

I saw the man shed two of his skins. But you don’t understand, it still wasn’t him.

I asked him why he’d killed the boy. He turned and spoke, empty words bereft of joy.

It’s okay, he said. That wasn’t the real me. This is the real me. I’m sincere and gay.

But it’s the same you. You haven’t changed at all, I say.

He sheds again. I’m sad and lonely, not deranged, he said.

But I can’t hear you, I reply. Defense against Change, the glass box read.

 

Unpuzzle the puzzle, she suggested next.

And determined, I dove twice as deep into the text.

The picture show was empty except it wasn’t, because I was there.

She sat alone, but apparently she didn’t care.

There was a gap in her smile, almost as big as the one in her soul.

She said it’s not that I can’t be filled, nothing fits my want to be whole.

I tried food and sex and drugs.

I tried movies and Netflix and hugs.

I know I’m not the smartest or the prettiest.

I’m definitely not the most patient or the luckiest.

But I got it where it counts. At least I’m not a child murderer.

I ask her why she’s alone. She says, the same reason you are.

I’m not alone. I have friends.

Are they real, or just means to ends?

I didn’t like that, but she didn’t see.

She pulled out a pipe that smelled vaguely of tea.

Will this get me high, I asked.

No, it’ll get you fucking high, she rasped.

 

Know thyself, her final command.

And then, only then, did I understand.

The lens is the way that I see the world.

I hungered for knowledge, for secrets unfurled.

I looked through the glass, hoping to see the universe.

Instead I found the inner stitching of my mini purse.

That’s it? This is all I can witness?

What does this say about my mental fitness?

So small, I bellowed. Why is the world so small?

Oh my dear student, you’ve learned nothing at all.

She took the lens from my hand and tsked tsked my conclusions.

She asked how exactly I’d earned these confusions.

I told her the answers seemed simple enough.

Like the man in the glass, he wasn’t too tough.

He can see out and people see in.

Yet he thinks he can hide again and again.

He represents a man with poor self-awareness.

He killed his inner child and thought we wouldn’t notice.

The picture show was harder, but I think I cracked it.

The girl all alone was a shallow meth/crack head.

Her bottomless hunger was a strangely shaped hole.

She numbed it with pleasures but it just left her cold.

The lens is what stumped me. I thought it’d reveal

The world as I saw it, but instead it stayed sealed.

 

No you fucking idiot, my instructor chided.

You got it all backwards, my teacher derided.

The riddles were clues, my Maestro invited.

That it’s not about you, my sensei confided.

 

The glass box is your identity. Paper thin, artificial and see-through.

You can’t make human connections because you’re stuck in a prison made by you.

The picture show is the story you tell yourself about yourself.

You’re the main character, everyone else are props on a shelf.

 

That’s a terrible rhyme, I said, pouting.

Shut up.

Finally, the lens is the world you see as you may.

The problem is you have it pointing the wrong way.

She flipped the lens over, and suddenly I saw

The whole world was people. Humans all.

Of course, how could I be so stupid!

I’m too self obsessed. Self absorbed. Self-

 

Stop it. Just stop, my mentor instructed.

The problem is you, but the solution is not, kid.

Don’t wallow in grief like a narcissistic douche canoe.

Stasis is death, so try something new.

 

Break through that glass and get out of that theater.

There’s people to connect to. So go forth, dear reader.

Average rating: 8.8

I know for a fact that this was Star Ninja’s first poetry contest, so double congratulations to him for not only participating but emerging as the runner-up in his maiden contest!

Star has completely utilised- nay, squeezed the juice out of- the word limit. With a mammoth 724 words, this was the longest poem I received and to be honest, was too lazy to read at first. But when I read it, I realised what a great poem I’d missed out on when I first started reading. To hold the reader’s attention for so long is in itself a herculean task.

It took all of us two reads to fully appreciate it. It was a unique narrative- deep, partly philosophical. In some places in the middle, it did loosen its grip a bit and the uniform rhyming scheme throughout the poem became slightly exhausting in some places (I liked the momentary respite from it in ‘That’s a terrible rhyme, I said, pouting./Shut up.’ though). But the way he unravelled the end was wonderful- how we wrap ourselves in façades for the sake of society and lose sight of our true selves in the process.

Aptly titled, it presented the truth of human nature in a way that was both cryptic and honest. Cryptic, because it was conveyed through the means of these interesting little puzzles (as a puzzle-lover, brownie points to Star for that). Honest, because these are things we all know in our hearts and minds somewhere but never acknowledge out loud.

Congratulations, Star!

Second Runner-up

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The second runner-up is: Malu LailaHere is her poem:

Reflections

I look in the mirror

I don’t know who I see

I once knew my reflection

now it’s no longer me.

 

She looks hollow and pale

like there’s nothing inside

Her eyes are filled with pain

which she’s failing to hide.

 

Like a dirty old sheet

which was washed too much

she looks fragile and thin

might crumble if you touch.

 

She once fought hard,

she once stood strong

but she was beaten too much

she was broken too long.

 

Now she gazes at me

with those hopeless eyes

and as I gaze back

I feel an anger rise.

 

“How could you drop the sword?

How could you dig your grave?

When did the fire die?

You once stood strong and brave!”

 

What’s life without hope?

what’s a soul without flame?

I strike the mirror in rage

and she shatters in shame.

 

From each frightened shard

stare back a thousand eyes

I scream and stamp

and my reflection dies.

 

Every mirror cracks

silently around

I watch them fall

Leave Old Me on the ground.

 

In the silent gloom,

I choke on dust and pain.

I swear I’ll never see,

myself like that again.

 

I run through the house

smash down the door

I find the sword I dropped

and I go back to war.

Average rating: 8.2

Malu Laila utilised the maximum limit on entries and entered three poems, and this was her best poem. I liked how she described chastising her old self and her desire to come out of that zone and ‘pick up the sword’. She has used imagery in a manner that doesn’t diminish the rawness of the poem, rather helps it. Even the rhyming which was consistent throughout the poem didn’t seem jarring or childish to me, but it put Sagnik off a little bit.

The ending was particularly impactful and made the poem resonate in my mind for a little while after reading. Ayushi, who’s a stickler for impactful endings, particularly loved the ending. Despite being a short poem, it was powerfully penned. Congratulations, Malu Laila!

High Commendations

The competition was so tough that sometimes it actually broke my heart to not declare some poems to be prize-winners. So, I came up with this idea of ‘High Commendations’. Although all of the poems had the potential to be winners, these poems are the ones that missed the top three places by literally a hair’s breadth. I want all of you highly commended poets to know that all three of us loved your work and you are some of the most talented people out there. In no particular order, are the high commendations below:

Bloom

Tanushka Arora   

 

Persephone was the goddess of spring

Until she died and possessed you

Honey, you are a goddess, don’t you see?

You make me bloom.

 

Most myths will tell you that she was raped

And conned into submission

But if you are going to believe myths,

Let it be the one I’m going to tell you.

 

Persephone was the daughter of Demeter

She was the happiest little child.

She was lighter than sunlight

She laughed and posies blushed.

 

One day curiosity led her down a hole

Quite literally, as she entered the Underworld

And for once in her life

She belonged.

 

She saw Hades, the king of the underworld

And told him, like she owned the place

“I’m staying”

“But sweetie you cannot”

“What if I marry you?”

He was the King of Hell

But even he had never seen toughness like hers

He fell in love, obviously.

 

When Demeter was informed

She was enraged

A tantrum like the Olympus had never seen before

She starved humanity for her hunger strike

Until Zeus had to step in.

 

“Two thirds of the year you will stay with you mother on Earth

And there will be apples and peaches in orchards

One third of the year you will spend with your beloved

And there will be winter

While you will be the queen who punishes the dead.”

 

See, it takes a special kind of soul

To look at the grimiest parts of purgatory and call it home

It takes a different kind of heart to love monsters.

 

She is the original feminist

A living oxymoron

She proved to the 12-year-old me

That there is toughness in kindness

That femininity is not silly

Frilly frocks can be worn by people in charge of death.

 

When I say God, capital G, is a woman

I am thinking of her luscious locks

Her comforting smile

I’m hearing the Ten Commandments in a voice both soft and powerful.

 

You, of course, are mortal.

But Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets to immortalise his lover.

Can you see what I’m trying to do here?

 

You don’t feel like a Greek goddess, nobody does

No, capitalism makes sure of that

But painting daffodils on your face

Is the sweetest form of rebellion I’ve ever seen.

 

There will be many Zeuses in your life

Trying to control you, tame you.

But I don’t have to tell you that

You are acquainted with patriarchy all too well.

 

But still, when you see no point

I hope you think of your patron saint

I hope you think of her locked jaw

As she challenged a god in his territory.

 

I hope when life wears you down

And you just can’t be the rose that you are

You pick up your paintbrush and freckle your nose

With the sweetest smelling ones

 

I know your eyes are tired

Physics does that to the best of us

I know your soul is tired

Let me breathe back the fire into you.

 

I hope you can see Persephone right now

How after a long day of weighing all the sides

And assigning eternal punishments to murderers

She leans back into her chair

How Hades strokes her hair

How she smiles through the fatigue

I hope you can smile through the fatigue.

 

I hope you don’t feel the pressure of being you, being a woman

I know you will but I hope

I will be there, sat next to you

Holding your hand, or maybe just breathing your presence in

Together we will increase the surface area.

 

See, I’m not a deep thinker usually

But something about your mud brown irises gaping into me

Make me want to spill my everything on this paper

 

One day, when my sister will be old enough

I will give her the greatest gift of sisterhood

I will tell her about Persephone

The Goddess of Spring and the Queen of Hell

I will tell her about you.

I hope she listens.

Habit

Manasvi Garg             (non-blogger)

i have a habit of holding onto things

as a child, i couldn’t fall asleep without clutching to my teddy in one hand

and poking my index finger out of a hole in the blue blanket that i wouldn’t let my ma get rid of.

she used to tell me endlessly about how i had outgrown it-

it barely reached up to my knees at one point

but i just wouldn’t let go of it.

letting things go feels like betraying them, somehow

as if one moment you’re waiting for someone at the station,

and the other, you get into your car and go back without them.

but ma ensures me that you can only be at the receiving end for so long-

that it’s better to go back home without them

rather than waiting for them to step out of a train that doesn’t even stop at my junction.

and maybe, it never will.

she tells me that it’s alright to get rid of the past

and move on to the next passenger who walks out.

that day, she gave my blanket away.

and now i’ve learnt to fall asleep without it.

 

i feel that we have a habit of finding a home in people

and things

that can go away easily.

burn up right in front of our eyes

until there’s only ash that’s left for us to collect.

and being people with a tendency of not letting go of things, we box these ashes in a cupboard and weep over their loss.

i feel that we have a habit of viewing ourselves as sick people

who need medicines and remedies to keep alive.

so we find our drugs in other people and inject ourselves with their love

until the day they change the platform they want to get down at

and leave us waiting for a train that might never come.

 

i have stopped going there, now.

like ma says, it’s better to go home and move on.

but there are nights when i can’t fall asleep,

feeling devoid of the soft cover that wrapped around my finger and lulled me to sleep

there are nights when i put the box inside the cupboard, on my lap

and weep over the things i had to let go of over the years.

a barbie phone that played songs.

a best friend from my hometown.

a constant home.

my first sketch of a scenery.

you.

 

they say it takes 21 days to break a habit

let this be day one of letting things go;

of letting you go.

 

maybe it’s time to get a new blanket, after all.

Instability

Rishima           (non-blogger)

I wish I could put these emotions into words,

And speak of the dullness.

I wish I could frame sentences so you could know,

Convey the way I have become

And bring me some hope.

I wish I could explain the sudden urge of growth

And how I suppress it

Before it even shows.

But then again, I can’t.

I can’t mould them into words that could

Give birth to those feelings in you.

Because they are inked on my skin

And I couldn’t remove them

Even if I wanted to.

I would love to explain that I do not like

Cutting people out of my life.

But that will be so selfish of me,

Giving an explaination to such sight.

I want to tell you

That I am weak

And still never want to be

Disguised as a sensitive leaf.

And I wish I could tell you

That I love endlessy.

I don’t like being so soft,

Fragile, disturbed and what not.

I confront this feeling everyday,

I ask myself why I am in this situation

Again and again and again.

But I can’t find an answer to it,

And it washes the life out of me

To know how complicated it is.

But I am fine, you see

As the feeling of love envelopes me

Into its fragile but thick cover

Not just making me feel loved,

but like a lover.

I wish I could change my ways of loving,

A little careless and a lot more daring.

But then again, I can’t.

I am not bad, trust me.

I don’t like ignoring situations,

But either of the responses hurts me.

Yet I am much better than before

But it was a quake I came across.

So naturally, there is so much more.

But I can never ever tell what goes inside me

For I can’t understand it myself.

I feel like a fool for feeling so much.

If only I could erase my memory.

But it’s not easy to avoid all this.

For it’s inked on my skin

Like it’s my own personal sin.

If I could wash this instability,

I would

in the blink of an eye.

But I can’t. I just can’t.

Because it envelopes me,

Like my own blue sky.

Inside it I sit,

Half perplexed, half sufficed.

But then again, I’m okay

As love envelopes me like a child.

So I can only focus on the good side

While this outer circle of instability

subsides.

 

High commendations: I can’t give you a trophy, but I do have a special certificate for you that you can upload on your blog and/or social media that I created in- you guessed it- Paint 3D. I’ve come to like that app now.

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All the other amazing poems

No participation certificates because they are insulting and condescending. And anyway, you don’t need a participation certificate to tell that these were good poems.

Again, in no particular order.

Steam Rises

A Sagittarian Seeker

I’d walk into that simple house,

knowing that you’ve been waiting for me,

for a few years now.

Last time, you couldn’t even

meet me for coffee.

He was hanging around, then,

like a fly on the wall,

and a cobra, ready to strike.

He didn’t want you;

just wanted the idea of you.

He wanted a sense of power

and control.

I just want you;

every aspect of who you are.

I send love out,

every morning,

and have all I can do

to make it through the night,

knowing you’re still out there,

in the cold, in the dark.

You, alone, would tempt me

to the limits of my vow

of chastity.

I see you,

in the photos,

playing with your dogs,

and I know what lies

beneath your clothes.

I know just how I’d love you,

completely,

for all you are,

inside and out.

Love, Poems and Accountancy

Manasvi Garg             (non-blogger)

whenever i feel like i can’t study any longer

i write a poem as an excuse to use my phone once again and cry for love

 

my accountancy teacher said to me, “it is not necessary to get a partnership deed, but it’s advisable, because of the added benefits it gets a partner”

and i can only think about how untrustworthy it must be to give somebody all of you without a record of it

as if the person is bound to draw out parts of you for his purpose and leave you hanging with a 6% interest on the heart you lended him

the next day, she tells me that in a partnership, accounting for time is what most people go wrong with

so i trade my clock with a stopwatch to tap on every second someone tries to borrow from me.

it’s been on hold ever since.

 

these days, instead of the usual veggies my mum puts in for me

my plate contains numbers and rates that i’m supposed to eat

i swallow acts and dates like pills, only they stir my madness further

these days, instead of wearing my heart out on the sleeve

i keep it parched under a document governing the terms and conditions under which it can be taken for use

the last boy who agreed to those didn’t sign it on paper, but took me out to a fancy restaurant on our second date

and asked me what i wanted to eat

i fiddled with the menu but i couldn’t see numbers written anywhere

so i snatched the nearest bill i could get and devoured the date on it. october 1.

he returned my heart, and left.

now it cries for the six months’ worth interest it lost for being used

while i write a poem about accountancy.

 

i hope you don’t ever, ever fall in love with me

because i won’t.

i eat men like i eat numbers

and then write love poems about them and the void they left within me-

girls like me, we can only cry about not finding love

because when we do,

we roll up our hearts like cigarettes, into sharp teeth

and chew the people we are in love with-

girls like me are hungry

for love

but we aren’t good at it

so we swallow the entire town down before they can see us for who we are

consuming them before they get close enough to consume us

and then

we eat the dates we lost, as supper

while writing poems as an excuse to not study any longer.

Wings

Malu Laila

Now it’s…

 

Distant like a nightmare someone told her,

all the burning pain, slowly grows colder.

 

Sunlight on her face, darkness behind her

she escaped at last, no one can find her.

 

Her lungs expel smoke, her heart beats slower

soon she’ll be reborn, no one will know her.

 

A falcon flies above, his eyes are knowing

she feels her shoulders burst, her wings are growing.

 

Bloody cuts and slashes, slowly drying

a smile on her lips, soon she’ll be flying.

 

Memories, torments, quickly shedding

sunlight on the mountains, where she’s heading.

 

100-ton chains, no longer choke her

their weight upon her soul, nearly broke her

 

so many times she fell, and lay weak, dying

in the darkest holes, silently crying.

 

just when she couldn’t rise, in darkness sleeping

out from thunder skies, the sun came creeping

 

lighting up a path, out of the lost maze

away from endless pain, away from dark days.

 

 

 

Now it’s…

 

Distant like a nightmare someone told her,

all the burning pain, slowly grows colder.

 

Torments of her past, no longer hold her

distant like a nightmare, someone told her.

 

Every Day is Grey

Malu Laila

Every day is grey

every sky is black

I won’t admit I miss you

or that I want you back.

 

Lonely streets with shadows

lost dreams in a grave

I try to fight the tears

try hard to be brave.

 

You were wrong for me

so I shut the door

wish I could reverse the clock

have you back once more.

 

I wish I could tell you

how much you mean to me.

I’m crying, dying, baby,

still love you, crazily.

 

I’m sorry that I hurt you

drowning in cold regret

you were the best person

I ever, ever met.

Without you, I’m falling

every day is grey

all of me died

the night I walked away.

 

I’m sorry I hurt you

sorry I broke your heart.

Alone in the darkness

I’m falling apart

 

apart

apar

apa

a.

.

Life

Floatinggold

Things have been tough lately.

If I was to be honest,

life’s shit.

 

I wake up every day,

and I want to scream

because I had to wake up.

I get to work,

and I want to scream

because I hate all the people there.

I come home afterwards,

and I want to scream

because I am so tired.

 

Unable to follow my passion.

Surrounded by those who do.

 

No one hears the ticking time bomb

that is me.

 

 

I Wish

Bluebell Rizzi

I wish you would make more effort

To listen to me

To not only look at me, but see me

Notice me cry

I wish you would make more effort

To love me

To say it when I can hear you

I know I’m not worth much

But surely I’m worth more than nothing?

I wish you would make more effort

To say nice things

To not make hurtful jokes

Because you’ve said so much in jest

That hurt me more than you could imagine

I wish you would make more effort

All these things

Unspoken words

Casual insults

They could have been the death of me

And they could be prevented

With just a little more care

I wish you would make more effort.

You know that feeling, right?

Aarjav Mehta (The Aar-istotle)

You know when you feel different

 

When you know something’s wrong

 

That sitting at the same place, you have been sitting for the last 3 years

 

Makes you feel restless

 

Only because you know something is wrong

 

You know something is wrong

 

When your Papa

 

Who’s been picking you up everyday,

 

Calling you to ask where am I

 

Texts on an unreliable service, to catch a ride today

 

You just know something’s wrong

 

When mom doesn’t send your sister down to you immediately

 

With something you forgot and just asked for

 

Something is sure wrong,

 

When in the same lift you see the morning sun shining bright on your way

 

You have a fear, that home would have a different mood today

 

That someone’s hurt, someway or another

 

Something’s wrong for sure

 

When you aren’t greeted by your mom on the door

 

Instead it’s the househelp, you wondering where’s mom

 

And then you walk into the room

 

Faces sulken, knees bruised

 

Padded up with too much cotton and medicine

 

Tablets lying around

 

And you knew something was wrong

 

Your sister tells you she got an injection!

 

Minor accidents are wrong

 

And you knew it

 

Knew something was wrong.

 

You knew it right?

 

Or was it just me…

 

Pool Party

Tanushka Arora

When I start feeling like I am

A cool cheery fun gal

I like to remember that I am that chick

That’s writing a poem on the poolside

Fully clothed and disrespectfully dry.

 

A man flashed me here last week

Why the hell am I back?

Well, my sister is splashing away her summer in there

And I’d like to punch every monster for her.

Not because I don’t think she can,

But because I never could.

 

So, why am I sitting in a chair

And pondering into my notebook

Like a depressed nerd?

For starters: I don’t know how to swim

Fuck you, I wasn’t born athletic or a fish

And I know I wouldn’t survive the apocalypse

Even if I did

So why bother waiting for 73 years

To find an empty changing room?

 

And also,

I’d rather be secretly proud of all the

Fat girls in their low cut costumes and the

Fat boys in their tight speedos

Jumping in the water

Causing even fatter ripples

Than to join them.

 

And it is nice

To sit by a pool

See toddlers giggle in their neon floaters

See aunties braving a dip in full sleeves

See uncles shaking their wet hair like Labradors

See the guy from my class do a breaststroke

Who I just realised is so hot

And see the girl who used to be my neighbour

Dive into the blue mass

Who I always knew was so hot

(Okay I am a pervert too. I apologize.)

 

It is also very nice

To have my innocent sister

My carefree baby sister; run up to me

Squeal about her backstroke

It is fun to see the light in her eyes change

As I kick her back into the chlorine water.

 

What is not fun, however,

Is when she comes out

And kicks me in

So now I’m that chick

Who’s still writing in her notebook by the pool

But wet.

 

Moral of the story?

Next time pack a swimming costume to the community pool

That is not a flimsy translucent white shirt.

Take that frown off, put it in your notebook

Like a bookmark,

And leave them both home.

 

 

Good Morning

Tanushka Arora

It’s 5am.

Why am I awake?

To watch you sleep, apparently.

 

I am sitting on my desk with my books open

And the lamp light bounces off

Your soft skin

Your eyes that have been wide open

And brows that furrowed

From as long as I can remember

Are serene now.

 

The hands that I romanticised as a child

And antagonised as a teen

And will miss as an adult

Are placed most delicately across the bed.

 

The legs that never tire on the record

Are curled, I know you get cold like me easily

I’ll turn off the A.C.

 

You are snoring slightly

hair spilling all over the pillow

And you’re the most beautiful woman in my world

The grace with which you shift in sleep

With which you threaten to wake up

Every time a pen is dropped

Tells the story of how raising two daughters

Turned this heavy thinker into a light sleeper

 

All I can ever ask for is your brilliant brain

All that I can hope to learn is your patience

All that I ever want to do is watch you sleep peacefully

 

Muscles untightened

Disappointments delayed

Devoid of anxious reality.

 

I almost want to wake you up

And tell you that I love you.

 

Oh

It’s 5am mummy

Yes, I have homework

Do you want some tea?

No? Okay.

Yes, I will sit straight.

Sorry for creating a ruckus early morning

Go back to sleep please.

 

I love you.

Won’t you?

Utsav Shah

 

Please help me to complete it,

Please bring me a cup of tea,

Please close the door for me,

Don’t you love me?

Won’t you do this for me?

 

Don’t you trust me,

Please keep faith in me,

I’ll never let you down,

Don’t you love me?

Won’t you do this for me?

 

I always beat you,

Please don’t beat me up,

Please forgive me if I hurt you,

Don’t you love me?

Won’t you do this for me?

 

You are the best sister,

But I don’t like a thing,

That you always live for me,

Be some of selfish nature,

Won’t you be this for me?

 

I never did anything for you,

Please never thought I don’t love you,

At every Rakshabandhan,

I promise you to protect you,

Won’t you trust your brother?

 

I always thought about you,

That how you be type of this nature,

You never let me know that,

Why you love me so much,

Won’t you tell me?

 

You always scolded me,

But why you are so anxious for me,

I should beat at my own,

I have to be stronger,

Won’t you stop this for me?

 

You promised me that,

You will never leave me apart,

But you married to a handsome guy,

After that I will be your second option,

Then why did you promise me?

 

Now I’m promising,

That you’ll be my first option,

No matter what happens,

My wife will be the second option,

Won’t you allow me to do this?

Demon rapper’s flow

ElRoy       

the devil knows his trade,

he knows—you’re God-made.

he will trick you into believing,

the world’s idols, he’s deceiving.

don’t fall for the demon rapper’s con,

all he wants—is for you to be gone.

don’t go with the demon rapper’s flow,

all he wants—is for you to blow—(it)!

you are good, you have God’s love,

that is why Jesus came from above,

to bless me, to save you,

and the children, too.

 

A Thorn in My Heart

ElRoy

I heard another knock on the door,

So I opened it again.

I was met by the icy stare of the Reaper;

So I proceeded to let him in.

 

Death took a seat next to Lucifer,

By Heartbreak and Deceit.

Now that all the demons are here,

They’re ready to compete.

 

First Heartbreak stands up,

And splits open my scars.

Then Deceit interrupts,

To remind me, how she cheats.

 

I offer up my forgiveness,

And she falls down in defeat.

Then a cloud of smoke arises,

And when it clears, they’re all gone.

 

I must now heal my wounds.

But even though,

I have won the battle for today;

I know my next one’s not far-away.

 

I just hope next time,

I’ll remember,

To look through the peep-hole,

Before opening-wide that door!

 

 

Vomitry in Motion

Chelsea Ann Owens

Here I sit in front of a keyboard

and I type on that keyboard

with my fingers but maybe also my toes

that’s so I can eat my sandwich and french fry sauce without getting it in between the keys like last time

which was messy

and bad

sorry, mum

 

And yet I think I need to write with fingers or toes

or now my tongue

it’s clean

enough

I

think

And yet I think I need to write with whatever because of the need to write which is like an open mouth that needs to vomit

Oh

 

Maybe that was from the fry sauce.


Once again, many thanks to all of you for participating and patiently waiting for the results. All of you were amazing. Thank you for making this more of a success than I had anticipated.

Sincere thanks to my friends Ayushi Sood and Sagnik Sarkar for being such sporting and professional judges, sorting out disagreements peacefully, and helping me get this done.

 

25 thoughts on “Results of the Raw Poetry Contest

  1. Okay wow I’m completely overwhelmed at this point THANK YOU SO MUCH!! And I must admit, the submissions are absolutely stunning, I can imagine how tough it must have been to decide upon one winner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You totally earned it, Nameera. Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the rawest of them all? 🙂
      Oh yes, it was quite a daunting task to decide the winner. It was such a relief when we finally did it.
      Congratulations to you once again. I hope you liked the trophy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Second! I can’t believe it! I want to thank everyone who got me here. I’ve never been a good rhymer so I’m glad my rawness was a good primer of the way I weave words together. Slimer.
    Everyone else did awesome work too! Nice job to all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not really. Many of our favourite poems did not have any cuss words at all. Frankly, we laughed the most when we read your poem, and the unanimous opinion was that if it was a Humorous Poetry Contest, you would’ve been the clear winner.

      Liked by 1 person

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