Workspace Contest

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By PoetryPlease   |   Watch
0 1 695 (1 Today)
Published: October 26, 2006
Contest Winners

1st Place - 3.  The Conservative by AriusEx
2nd Place - 8. Writing Ground by WabyBishi
3rd Place - [TIE]  2. Rum by Inallgoodtime and 9.  Breakroom by Kagey-chan

Contest Details

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write a poem about WORKSPACE. This could mean physical space or mental/emotional space, however you'd like to interpret it. The poem must be written in response to this prompt (in other words, it must not be already submitted as a deviation).

Contest Entries

1. Nine by Eleven

Left in the refraction of mislead enlightenment
the room stands still and quiet, yet unstable.
Soon the music of genius wound around nothing
fled through the cracks of learned imperfection.
An ocean of sea-foam carpet lined the back of
one pondering in an inexperienced mind until
the novel was finished.
Horses were murdered,
Slaves were murdered,
Greeks were murdered,
In this nine by eleven foot space the wars
of an entire history were rethought and relived
through a studious mind handicapped by those
who taught and those who tried to understand
just like her.

2. Quilt-Work

A handmade quilt
Nan stitched it when I was still an embryo
Swimming in my mother's womb
And now it lays threadbare over a mattress
That has suffered through all my teenage angst
And childhood substitutions for an absent trampoline
This quilt was once white
So white that it put the fresh-dropped snow to shame
Yet the years of work have not failed to take their toll
Blacks and blues of coloured-pencil shavings have left
Dusty fingerprints, stained into the ruffled texture
Splatters of red paint from vented stress and
Inked-in doodles from the calligraphy pen I bought
When I knew I had no paper at home
Metallic shavings stick into the cloth like nails
From a formidable phase of metal sketching
And bits of poetry I scribbled in the middle of the night
When all that surrounded my bed were pencils
Despite all of this mess that obscures
This beauty that I treasure so
In the middle is an embroidered sentence that remains--
To this day--as spotless as it was back then:
"To my beautiful granddaughter. Love, Nan."


3.  the conservative

i started by throwing everything
into the garbage.

they wanted a poem about my
work space and they wanted it

the Mountain Dew cans went
first. then the empty envelopes,
followed by a Styrofoam cup
filled half way with fermenting
cappuccino soft serve. beneath
it: a copy of my yearly work
schedule, which went in the
desk drawers along with a
clogged ring of car keys and
a pair of old dog tags.

change: organized
books: arranged
monitor: free of pornography

it's madness, i muttered,
scrubbing the desktop with a
damp paper towel. and really,
it was.

like a police shakedown.
like an eight-grade science

they were going to swoop down,
hard and fast and unexpected.

i tossed the Cheez-Its;
  scanned the keyboard for
semen stains;
  hid the Anarchy pamphlets,
the manifestos;
  dropped the portrait of my
  unplugged my monitor and,
with a motion great and thunderous,
hurled it from my second-story

like a prostate exam, there was
no room for error. i knew this
all too well.

so i decided to avoid the whole
individuality approach and simply
shoot for 'the conservative': the
pleasing little poet child they always
dreamed they'd have. obedient and


  took the Bible from the shelf;
  turned to Romans chapter one
verses twenty-four to twenty-
seven, and with trembling hands
  softly began to weep.


4. Working in a Box

Peeling paper of boxed-in wood
Meaningless scrabbles not understood
A voice alone in freedom’s wake
A large black picture where friends are fake

The cool black keys go click and clack
The motion of the mind gone slack  
Bright shining morning with no sun
Search for light to make the thoughts run

Inspire cold pad and pen without ink
A marking decor for pixels that shrink
The shimmering glimmer of green, blue and red
Fine lights of tomorrow, but soon all is dead

Inside of this space, no window, no door
They dance all around screaming, the whore
The mind takes a dip, for burning the light
soon in the mind you lose all the sight

This boarded up box in a corner of plum
Wine is the magic, a mysterious rum
To cry all alone with words in your brain
This boarded up box will drive you insane.


5.  Contest Entry

Workspace for the
The bubble into which I pour my
Black coffee and my
Each day.

A haven to greet the
Small hours.

Two eyes-
Tangled wires and spilled ink
On stained wood.
Lines twist and turn, grasp
Errant lines and stray scissor
Snipped sheets. Resigned and
Ready for their
Crumpled death in
Morning hands.

Papers lay together,
Intertwined and intimate-
The story of my life. By
One glance, one beam of light I
Read the words that bore me
Between lives...
And the hurried sentences that
Move others above
And beyond.

Scratched doodles in
Failing pencil lines.
Granite grey, they bite at the
Homework hidden somewhere-
Insignificantly buried
Without ceremony
Beneath it all.

Avalanches of
Notes and a million
Fingers turning quiet papers...

Coffee rings on the
Pale oak,
Plastic to measure every possible
Extent of my mind.
Dancing sweetwrappers,
Tissuepaper ideas,
Shattered ink and
Broken bottles.

All that's left of something,
Not quite right.

To sit and oversee the world
Of my workspace.
A heartbeat wouldn't surprise me here.


6.  Workplace.

There sat in the corner,
A girl is writting.
On an ink blue table,
Worn, and faded by the sun.
Carved in letters and words,
Dance up its legs.
Secrets hiden inside its draw
A broken chair,
Torn up ideas underneth it.

Inside the draw,
Letters from people , never forgotten.
Mememories she'ld like to forget.
Pens, paper, scatted across its top.
Every word she writes on the page,
A mark is made inside the table.
If the table was real,
It would probaly cry.
But its her doorway to safety .

Another idea throw away.
Like her heart, cut up,and screwed up .
She's walking away.
And as she does a slient sigh is heard.
And words are whispered.
"This is her home , her saftey ,her world"


Big Brother

He’d gotten used to his ample computer space
With all of its quiet and calm,
But life always finds a way to change pace.
Baby Tom moved in and now he was displaced
To just a desk within earshot of Mom.
He’d gotten used to his ample computer space.
Despite all his whining, trying to make his case,
Soon enough he could tune out young Tom.
But life always finds a way to change pace,
And so he was told to share is precious place.
The brief quiet he’d enjoyed turned into Vietnam:
‘He’d gotten used to his ample computer space!
He’d been patient ‘til now and maintained his grace!
There was no way he would now share with young Tom!’

But life always finds a way to change pace,
Mom relented and decided that instead they’d replace
The house they had lived at for so long.
He’d gotten used to his ample computer space,
But life always finds a way to change pace.


8.  Writing Ground

Crossed legs, and metaphors
White screen; touched with ink
As the place marks value the motive
The wrinkles protest the words

Crossed arms, and alliterations
New beginning; soiled in past
As the choices spill from the paper
The ideas start to bottle them up


9.  Break Room

Cold garlic bread and computer keys
Nasty habits and crinkled sleeves
There’s a mash of words
Like cheap refrigerator magnets
They stand as people with problems often do
Off to the side and slightly askew

Blame ran rampant between their eyes
Avoidance screamed louder
Then lipstick on his collar
Spinning accusations in the microwave
While water cooler bubbles
Whisper their tidbits
And the red light on the coffee maker
She tears him with teeth sharpened on
Boardroom meetings
And he stabs stabstabs with his pointer finger

Nothing works in the break room
But the refrigerator
And from it, a perky secretary
Ate the clearly labeled man
But left the Tupperware in the sink
For Miss CEO to clean.
She’s yelling, he’s yelling
YELL-ing quietly
Because this is a business
Relation Ship
Which always had a bad return


10.  Contest Entry

I run my hands over the smooth wood
Each tiny indentation new and unique to me,
The blood stained keys echo truth,
The gentle noise punching through the air.
The mess of a thousand hours,
The life lived through the visible components,
Littering the desk like buried treasure,
Spilling the inner secrets.

The area below my feet is rough,
Soaked with a million tears.
The yells of those lucky teenagers,
Telling of how life is unfair,
While they live their dreams.
Screaming into the microphone,
Each vowel screeching out of the speakers
Angry with the world which carries them.

I allow my hands to fall,
In awe of the small space,
Which encompasses my entire life,
Each gentle shock, each secret lie,
Hanging on the wall, the memoirs of childhood
Which I shall soon leave behind,
And continue forward, using the desk,
Using the lifejacket it provides to stop me sinking.

This workplace, my sanctuary.
My escape from the arguments,
The things which my weary mind cant cope with.
A collection of the things I want to forget,
And get lost in the writing, which makes me.
And I’m taken away from this workplace,
And set free.


11.  In   My   Room

Really, I don't need anything
           what are they for?
           just that sheet and this pen
then lock myself in...

where the walls stare at me coldly
and the floor rubs me frigidly
the only light is my vision
the only sound is my breathing

that emptiness is fulfilling.

for there I see the face life hides in the open
and there I hear music no one has ever played
sure in the dark, the light seems brighter
and in silence, the sound rings  louder

so that sometimes my breathing is almost a noise
and my vision almost real
my sheet of paper would be the lone witness
my pen to give the testimonies...

that this emptiness reveals.


12.  Writing Process

My cat is talking to me again.
She does so every Sunday,
after five pm and before nine,
she stretches, fur saw-edged
and tells me stories. I always forget
to write them down.

Papers fall from the desk
like scraps of dry skin.
My thoughts crouch over a burning manuscript
like kink-spined men under a bridge
or paste-faced ladies
drawn to the fire like clicking,
high-heeled insects.

Words and phrases are sprinkled like ash
over the dusty shelves, to be lapped
with fleshy tongues, coveted
like pomegranate juice
dripping from guilty fingers.


13.  Contest Entry

cracked bone poker yes or no

P. liked to compose in negatives
carve white spaces out
of voids

        scratched out
wounds of silver
and of crystal pretty things

        he tied her down he...

F. tore at hidden meanings
under flesh
excavated cartilage conjunctions -
tenuous connections -
scabrous with effortless

        scored through blackness
with an ivory hand
marking his own
thoughts scarring into skin

S. kept sheaves
specially ordered ebonies
inked india dark the slate
a fitting bed - arched
irony frame - for the ravaging
of purity

snap breaking echoes

        unmaking a whisper

in nomine...
                  non creatus erit


14.  The Mission Field and the Flock

Sometimes, on summer Sunday afternoons
when the dog-collar moistens round my neck,
I watch the parish and vicarage
fold away
like pop-ups into paper,
and see the Field laden with fat ripe sheep.
They bleat rhubarb and gossip
but a whistle in the wind sends me
on a round-trip run to scoop
them from sin, steer the flock onto
straight narrow pathways.
The stragglers are nudged and
herded with the throng
that mills its way towards the sheep-pen's spire.
Breezes stroke my hair as I
obey the quiet prompts in the air
and round my charges into their
fenced-off home.
The Shepherd shuts the gate...

which folds out into double iron doors;
fences turn to stone around me.
My sleepy congregation concertinas into view.
Worn hymns yawn stale air in my face,

but the Shepherd's hand on my neck
tells a different story
© 2006 - 2019 PoetryPlease
This contest is complete and closed. Thank you to all who participated.
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Bloodchild77's avatar
... for a second I thought it was all one poem... then Revelation.