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

  • August 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Chanticleer
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Last Game of the Season
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      The Fine Print of Rescue
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • July 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Kingsmere
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      June 6
      by Don Schaeffer
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Shakespearean Soliloquy – Boris Johnson
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea