by Ken Ashworth
The Writer's Block
Third Place, August 2021
Judged by

Show me how it all ends with
match-stick sailors in paper
boats on an origami sea.

Christ tamed a tempest
and danced upon the waves.
It is not the deep I fear.

It’s pissing myself at 4 AM,
clicking the morphine button
and coming up empty, watching

them take my toes, one-by-one.
I want to believe in miracles.
I want a fat- bottomed nurse

who calls me Sugar makes
a sign of the cross on the
keel of my brow, tells me

“No more water. Ice chips.
Float with me now, Sugar.
Ain’t got time for this.”

A down to earth and humourous poem, this writer asks some big questions that we all should be universally considering – what will the end be like? The Christian motifs it employs are counterbalanced by some sharp-tongued and streetwise images while entertaining the issue of human mortality, and all in 18 compressed lines. --Bruce McRae