tetelestai

by Michael Virga
The Writer's Block
Highly Commended, April 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


It has been
polished off
completely

by the greatest
of artists:

“Mother, see
how I make all things
new again.”

The last time
like the first

the first
not unlike the last.

Drifted in on wood
(infant imprint in the hay)
stayed with the wood
working it for sustenance
(the name “Jesus of Nazareth” & the date
carved in the lid of an oaken chest)
then sustained the wood
a larger-than-life easel displayed
the abstracted remains.

The unveiling
reveals it is
without a doubt
a commission
perfectedly
accomplished
in full.

See now how He renders
the tomb vacant as the manger.
His way with light
makes the definition of space

no longer an open & closed form
framed as drafted bookendings
to encompass the stories
bound from flesh into stone.

It is the tree
that is finished
from the root up.


Highly commended for its lineation which perfectly catches a certain speech-rhythm; and for the clean, contemporary diction with which it re-articulates, in a totally fresh way, Christian mysticism. --Fiona Sampson

  • June 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Escape at the Speed of Transience
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Palace Hotel
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      Camping
      by Mike LaForge
      The Waters

  • May 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum