Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011


by David Barrera

The road stretched before us,
The sting on our tongue of cheap liquor ground us.
I can feel the pebbles of the asphalt beneath me.
Cool to the onset of the evening light.
Yes, our thoughts can wander here.
This was a desert;
it really was a wasteland of dreams.
On this lost avenue we made our nest.
You have come here and lain stagnant in the dried grass.
Glancing up at the stars you lose sight of all perspective.
Your reality isn’t yours now anymore;
It is theirs.
It is always the unnamed others.
They gaze out from porches and behind drawn curtains.
You were coerced into feeble-minded action against a system you could not understand.
Here you are now as a decadent soul.
The old bodies ride with the tide,
Their wrinkled skin water worn.
These houses line the beach with prominent stature to raise awareness for beauty.
You live in a wooden cabin casting shadows by the fire,
With stories passed down through generations.
Today, you wring your hands with antiquated metaphors.
You look over to indulge in self pity as if there were any left to dole out in the morning pill tray.
Laugh away the sunshine;
All that is left, my friend, is the marrow in your bones.

Added: 29.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


Certain lines could probably be cut - "It is theirs" and "You were coerced..." for example, but overall, good!


Some good imagery but I felt it was a succession of images without a definitive thread to hold the reader.