Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011


by Avner Kornblum

The fire of hate that burned in my breast
has dulled and become embers of pain.
I can even forgive those who take from the rest,
who resist the life-force of giving again.
What’s happened to the venom that I heaped on the enemy
when the enemy was anyone who didn’t go along with me?
What has happened to my bitterness, the brittle littleness
that whittled away my every opportunity?
What has happened to my grief, that unshakable belief
in loss and lack and failure
and in always being the chief victim of the bully and the thief?
What has happened to my viciousness,
that rank and frank suspiciousness,
those dark and brooding wishes for doom and calamity?
It’s easy now I see
that wasn’t me.
The fire of hate has been finally quenched
by the river of love that flows through my veins.
That fist, once through anger and anguish tight-clenched,
now releases the dove that bids farewell to the reins.
I don’t care to know where is the fear that confronted me  --
it’s gone and can’t bind me, cannot even find me,
the hurt that so lined me.
Where once there was acid my attitude’s placid
so seek not to remind me how I railed ‘gainst the vapid,
the brutal, the vulgar and the twee.
I dismiss, but resist not, the hisses, the artifices, the kisses of the vipers,
the risible and visible superficiality.
I know I am still trusting, but now also forward thrusting,
bursting outward, onward, upward,
surging, questing, lusting for the Truth that sets me free.
It’s easy now I see
God as me.

Added: 25.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


has to be a performance poem, so much energy so well controlled.