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Our Free Poetry Contest #3

Results of contest #2
Results of contest #1

You Be the Judge (3 prizes)

Utmost Christian Writers is the home of contests for Christian poets—and poetry contests require judging.

We're giving you a chance to be a poetry judge! We've provided three poems below—this time they are all rhyming poems—and we want you to choose the winning entry. These three poems are not part of any current poetry contest—they're each available in our Gallery—but if you are chosen as one of our best three poetry judges you will be the winner! We'll send you a free poetry book.

The winners of this contest will be chosen on the basis of the explanations given in the judgement. Simply state which poem you think is the winner and tell us why. The "why" is crucial!

After December 31, 2010, we'll choose at least three winners and send free books. The winners will be announced right here!

Here are the contestants

(a link for sending your judgement is at the bottom of this page)

Entry #1

Evening Prayer

The bell rings, and the charming ivy climbs
About the walls of that old chapel, where
I spent so many wonder-studded hours,
And yet I will not join my fellows there.

I dreamed I saw a corpse behind the pews
Ignored and stinking. Eucharist went on
And then I saw another, and I knew
They knew, and it was God they had undone.

And they have found me out in every place
Where I could rest a while, and I was weary
Of the whole tale, and climbed into a cave
Where there was much of me I could not carry.

And yet I stand, and wish I could go in
And kneel amid the symbols as before
And hear the music unbefouled by sin
And have the skin, and not betray the core.

Copyright ©2009 by B. E. Stock

Entry #2

Museum of Miracles

Behold the mystery, look, but do not touch

Miracles locked, preserved in glass cases
on display to muse, astonish faces
Behold to your right, four thousand are fed,
to your left, Lazarus raised from the dead

Come closer, is that a question I see?
No, this power is not for you or me
Flash your cameras, marvel at the sign,
this one reads: Water transformed into wine

Behold the mystery, look, but do not touch

Religion guards and circles through the night
recording miracles by width and height
Excavate etymology in Greek—
categorize, philosophize, critique

Behold the mystery, look, but do not touch

Gather children, hold them close to your side
cup your palms to mask their curious eyes.
Here is a provoking anomaly:
Peter trusts Jesus to walk on the sea

But from the boxed crowd laced with composure
a boy ducks the velvet-roped enclosure
His innocence paints a smudge on the glass
diverting some stares from the captive class

He whispers a sound, touching heaven's ear
tilting the tourist guide's smile to austere—
whipping through air like ribbons in the wind—
shattering glass from beginning to end

Plucking a splinter from the pile of glass
the guard stands baffled how it came to pass
The laws of physics can never explain
a whisper grinding glass down to a grain—

Behold the mystery, there's power in The Name.

Copyright ©2009 by Jennifer Galey

Entry #3

The Bonfire

The storm encased the woods in ice and forest floors were limbed
when trees disguised as armored knights crossed swords in winter wind
to splinter sores with bleeding sap… we saw their wounds but waited
till one spring night to cremate limbs the combat amputated
then gathered antlers shed from trees, and piled the bones to burn…
a match was like a tiny wand that took one touch to turn
the dark into a magic light that licked the limbs to chars
exploding sparks to decorate the sullen sky with stars.

Beyond the circle of the light and midnight's mystic mask
where fallen saplings slept like logs the owl was sounding taps.
All else was silent save the bonfire cackling like a witch
digesting wasted woodland with a hyper-active twitch.
Akin to night is mystic life where curious minds will prowl
like probing through the darkness by the intellectual owl,
and was his woodland hunting haunt beyond the ring of light
enticing us to help explore the mysteries of the night?

I see God's mind in facts we find, but answers found in history
are also lights that shine to show a greater mask of mystery,
like fuel to flame pushed back the black expanding midday arc
while wider learning light becomes a wider rink of dark.
Do transpiration and osmosis explain why maples grow?
Do microscopes and telescopes enable us to know
all mysteries of the universe, or does that tiny spark
that blooms into a bonfire bring a wider ring of dark?

The cave man saw those very stars, he heard the Thor of thunder,
Neanderthal and scientist both watched the world with wonder,
for every answer sparked a question to make a man so smart
he built a bigger bonfire with a wider ring of dark.

Primordial man as protozoa came oozing through the sod
then learned to light his feeble fires to probe the mind of God…
enlarging light with telescopes to let his mind embark
and see the sun and sister stars still circled by the dark.

Copyright ©2009 by Richard B. Mowry

I've read the three poems and chosen a winner. Here is my choice, and the specific reasons for my choice. Email your decision!