Black Man Carrying Alligator Briefcase

by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, February 2008
Judged by Fleda Brown


Only I know how my heart feels,
to lose from the beginning
and gain slowly, to give away
with both hands.
To enter rooms that fall silent.
The withering looks
and absentminded curiosity.
I listen, but fail to speak.

The cascading loneliness,
the deluge of expectations,
the grades and judgments
which leave me empty.

The feeling is not new,
but expressing the feeling is new;
I write more often in my diary book,
scribble to myself, gawk at myself,
fix a permanent record of what I know.

I smile like a man from the country
wearing the wrong clothes in the city.
Or when you leave work early
but miss your train and rest
on a bench in the idle station.



  • May 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      I think of the colour purple
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Swimming in Twilight
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      In another country with strangers
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

  • April 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Furiously Overcome by Stars
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Ides of March
      by Rachel Green
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      Natural History
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters