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Small particles flow like water
Life, drips of sand pass from hand to hand
Over top his shovel
Under her pail
Laughing, like they do, with specks of sand
Filling the air with a downpour
That settles in their hair
Three castles, a moat
A small forest of grass poking up
In the corner of the sandbox
Summer days bump into another
Blurring one moment from the next.

And it lands in the moment after
The moment before
A burst of light sends unnatural clouds
Billowing mushroom
Up and into the sun
Brother reaches to take sisterís
Their skin grazes
Fuses together
As the sand does below
And it burns in a flash of light.

Radiance subsides
Pervasive silence
Under a volcanic cloud of black
Still standing upright
Like porcelain playing
Brother and sister holding hands
Their lifeless fingers touching
Mouths still craving that one, final
Moment, a final whisper
Tiny lungs stripped of breath
As the crust of a scorched beetle
Lifted, overturned and taken
Up from a mound of soot

A blackened chariot riding noxious flames
Strikes the delicate dust figures
Shattered, crumbling and falling like specks of
Gray cinnamon, flesh to ash
Sprinkles onto transparency
Smearing a lost heartbeat
Ever so gently
Over a city of glass.

"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen... there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change."

From his Last Will & Testament, Marquis de Sade


The following comments are for "Sandboxes"
by strangedaze

Brittle Porcelain, Cinnamon Sand
I really like where you went with this -- a gentle, nostalgic moment turns into an apocolyptic one, freezing in horror, shattering in distress.

There is something a little cheesey, contrived in your ending. In the event of a nucluear blast the human body does not turn into ceramics -- it evaporates leaving only an imprint of carbon like a shadow on the nearest impermeable surface. The sand would have turned to glass recieving that imprint like a passing signature, a dim smudge like an oil slick over ice.

Still, that is a technical glitch and does not fully detract from your poems impact. Your free-verse measures out some haunting beauty in it's assesment of the fragility of this everyday life.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: March 15, 2004 )

very pretty
I like the way you started this alot. It got more depressing tho and left me feeling bad at the end so I am picking the other one because I like the way it made me feel and it had a good ending. I know they are real different so its hard to compare the two.

( Posted by: simone183 [Member] On: March 15, 2004 )

That is a great poem! best of luck

( Posted by: Maestroe [Member] On: March 15, 2004 )

I sea that's life..

( Posted by: Judi1 [Member] On: March 15, 2004 )

good job
Powerful writing, Strangedaze. My favorite line is "And it lands in the moment after
The moment before" - beautiful. Good luck!

( Posted by: blightedstar [Member] On: March 16, 2004 )

This both rocks and rolls. It's about horror, about death, about destruction, about the overall lousiness of everything! Everyone: write a poem about people dying, and I'll love it.

However, while I loved your subject matter (muahahahahaha), it didn't flow quite as well as it might have. The third verse was fine, but the second verse just doesn't quite do it for me. That one line, Hand, just seems to be hanging's just little things like that. Plus, I hate free verse anyway, so I'm biased :P

Fabulous. Write more stuff about people being sad.

( Posted by: evil_bacteria [Member] On: March 16, 2004 )

This is so tough
Each of you have written such wonderful poems filled with great imagery and yours stirs up such haunted emotions. I'm giving the edge to your opponent, however, because of the sheer abundance of beauty. This was a neck and neck race between two very talented writers.

( Posted by: amethyst [Member] On: March 16, 2004 )


A very beautiful powerful piece of work you have here. I enjoyed every written line. It's as if I could hear you reciting them right now.



( Posted by: JEANNIE45 [Member] On: March 18, 2004 )

Responses to write-off
Jeez, thanks a lot for all the comments! This is my first write-off, and I am elated with the response thus far. I just wanted to express my gratitude for all those who've commented thus far, and to say thanks in advance for all those who are going to comment and rate in the future. Thanks guy and gals, and everone in between! I'll post my final comments Sunday.


( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: March 19, 2004 )

late to the polls
Sorry this is late in the day, but I thought I should make an appearance.

For me, this poem is the better of the two in this write off. I was left with images in my mind of the petrified city of Pompeii, and also of the playground scene from Terminator II.

At first, I didn't really like the first verse, but after reading the whole thing a few times, I think it actually works quite well - it helps build the picture before the disaster strikes.

Well done. Scores an 8 from me.

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: March 19, 2004 )

minority opinion
Like Spudley, I am apparently in the minority this time around. I loved this piece. I got instant pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the beauty of the setup contrasted with the horror of the final outcome worked beautifully. Excellent job SD, I hope to see you compete again.


( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: March 20, 2004 )

comments and such
Okay, since the chips seem to have been played and the votes all cast, I'd like to take this opportunity to (once again) thank everyone. This was a grand time!

Claire, it was fun, and I hope to do it again sometime.

Hazel, thanks for debunking the "Terminator" myth ;)

Pen, your respect means a great deal to me, and you certainly have mine.

Simone, Jud1 and Maestroe, thanks for taking the time to read, vote, and comment.

B-star and EB, I'm glad you both liked it. Maybe next time I'll make it a poem about bunnies mating, just to make Evil grimace ;)

Bob, you've been on longer than I have, and I've come to accept you as a venerable presence here. Thanks for the kind words.

Amethyst, thanks. I agree: Claire's poem was amazing, and I'm glad to share the stage with her.

Jeannie, your words are inspiring and always appreciated.

Spud, better late than never. Thanks for being part of that minority ;)

Bart, you run one hell of a show. Thanks for reading, and, even though I'm not fond of making writing a competition, I'll probably compete again in the future.

To all those who voted, thanks! Your input makes the world go round.


( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: March 20, 2004 )

I didn't realize, when I read this, that it was part of a Write Off, and was certain that it was about Pompeii, or some other volcanic event. No matter the impetus, it's a wonderful poem and you deserve all the kudos. Sorry I was late joining in.

( Posted by: cybele [Member] On: March 23, 2004 )

Life, drips of sand
Wow. Just wow. This piece is stunning. The imagery is haunting, the point clear and the thought horrifying. I am curious, however, as to why you chose to use the 'city of glass' image. Because of the molten sand? The sand, dust, ash image was working so well for you, drifting, settling upon the reader...

( Posted by: SkyTigress [Member] On: June 21, 2004 )

You have great things to look at in this poem. I just came off reading about lopped fingers and the like, so I was not expecting anything quite so delicate and transcendental. It makes me want to say things like "delicate, transcendental, and imagery", but I held off on 'imagery' and used 'things to look at' instead. Clever, eh?

( Posted by: GibsonGirl [Member] On: October 21, 2004 )

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