Without salt

by Mandy Pannett
The Write Idea
Third Place, October 2009
Judged by Majid Naficy


It’s about waking up
to the sound of a bird,
a bird for all birds
in the tree outside,
with snow on the sill,
an air that is easy to breathe.

And I’m still back
in that favourite time –
that crummy old flat
in Washington Square,
squatting with poets
on cold brown steps,
bright as the stars but hungry
for syllables, words
with a passion and meat.

But it’s winter in Paris and years since that
and they’re all long gone,
those rebels are dead.
I’m missing the salt,
need words that are tough,
am tired of courage,
go on.


This poem rests on memory. The bird that awakes the poet brings back the memory of the poet's youth, hanging out with fellow poets in Washington Square. I think the poem does not need the last stanza and should end with the line "with a passion and meat". --Majid Naficy

  • 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