Tied for 3rd Place (Teen) - October 2012

Blue Sky Lurches

Scratched dirt and yellowed claws,

sunset's chokehold on the drought-laden,
weep weary hitchhiker;
A raven perches on horizon's belly,
grown cold and lost amongst its brethren,
held tightly in the wise hunter's marbled grasp.
Somehow, somewhere -
the blue sky lurches
into an angry black morning;
Somehow, somewhere -
is the fevered fumbling of a ravaged prisoner
creeping into the fingers and toes of a pale-faced infant.

A sandy haired boy

describes the howl he heard the previous night
with his haunting misted eyes; says to you
that a daunting cry,
a venomous ivory tooth
sank into his lukewarm leathered heart and
turned it into a lump of
if only for one tenth of a millisecond,
collapsed his throbbing muscle 'and
it into a vacuum stricken cavity.

A girl of seventeen nights

shakes silhouetted shadows from knotted braids
throwing saccharine lies at the bleak tiled floor;
she's got bitter eyes and starry skies,
and the cheeks of apple seed skin,
tells you you're drunk and smiles in smoke
until a plastic moon blackens, she
clenched fingers on a silver string the way a
leaves caged lungs on a hospital bed in the
cobweb seconds of morning.

Blue moon and desperate caws,

set drenching fire to a forest
path of wintery grass and forgotten travellers;
Bluebirds sway between broken firs,
pulled slow and deep into spoken fray,
drifting in a rifting saunter toward the centre of a redwood oak.
Somehow, somewhere -
under the guise of a cellophane sky,
snapped breaths like twigs tie
twisted feet and dancing deeds together and
a boy and a girl slip like a dead willow's ashes, fall
into a lovers' river.

~ Janice Lee