I just want my bike

“Daddy, I just want my bike.” she cried,
as the tyrants laughed.

“Why can’t I have my bike?”

Darling child… beautiful child…
How it breaks my heart to know.

Evil people exist because they
lost their hearts.

Somehow, that very normal
part of us all fell away from them.

They kept your bike, and your clothes,
and all your property from you

because that piece of them that should
care about you is gone.

But, like dropping an empty bottle
into the ditch, their emptiness was filled

with ugly, dirty, filthy junk, and
nothing we do to them can clean them up.

They have to clean themselves up.

They have to choose to love again.

They have to cry simply because you cried.

I cry because you cried.

Everyone cried because you cried.

Maybe if we cry because they can’t cry,
it will send some love soap for their souls.



Just saw it…
the proof.

Not that I didn’t already know.

But, OH how my heart breaks.
These tears, right behind my eyes.

Spoiled children at the helm
who never found adultness.

Oh, you!

As if the shame you already bear
isn’t enough.

It wasn’t enough. It’s never
enough for you…


Narcissistic brats in suits,
ties, dresses, and heels.

Not “satanists” any more than
the bible you thump

as you spit forth
faux “thoughts and prayers”

in cover of your crimes.

Sorry I couldn’t make your winter
party three years ago.

I don’t like crowds.

And, I don’t like you.

Real children, little ones
with smiling faces…

innocent ones who would
wonder why you don’t play fair…

They are so much better
than you.

What happened to you?

What tragedy of your youth
took away your adult soul?

I’d so like to feel sorry for you,
but, I don’t. I don’t. I can’t.

Sharing a Submission Opportunity

Amanda Potter, an active and long term Poetry Marathon participant has put out the following call: If you have any questions please send her a message at the below address;
“I am pleased to announce a special call for submissions for our first volume of Prompted Poetry, coming out the second quarter of 2024. At Prompted Poetry Publications we hope to encourage more people to read and write prompted poetry. Please find all the requirements below.
When: Submissions open 11/15/2023 and will close 12/1/2023
With Subject line “Poetry Marathon Submission”
In the body of your email please include your name, location, and the WordPress link to each of the poems you are submitting. You can include a short 5 to 7 line Bio and website.
Please attach each poem separately as a google doc or Word doc in Verdana 12pt font for body, 14pt for “Title”, 9pt for author Name under title. Singled Spaced and Center aligned.
What: Poems written during the 9/2/2023 Marathon, poems should’ve been specifically written to the prompts for the following hours: Hour 7, Hour 13, Hour 14, Hour 15, and Hour 22.
Please be sure that your poems are fully edited. Feel free to submit for each of the requested hours.
NOTE: Submission does NOT guarantee acceptance. There is NO payment if you are chosen for publication.”

The Online Anthology is Open to Submissions!

The online anthology is open for submissions! Please send your two favorite poems written during the Poetry Marathon via email by October 21st to the Online Anthology email: poetrymarathononline@gmail.com
Submissions should include: Your Name, Location, and Hour written. If formatting is important, you can attach your poem in a separate document.

Please edit your poems for punctuation, spelling and grammar before sending. Do not send any poems that contain racist or vulgar themes, or contain profanity. If you do, we’ll be unable to include your work in the online anthology.

P.S. The Poetry Marathon organizers are very excited about this anthology, but we are not directly involved in it. Erin Lorandos is organizing it!


I sent my submissions but my second one wasnt quite right so I resent because it looked great finally But it looks all wrong, I dont know what it looks like on their end but it was great before I hit send but when I looked its not, I’m sorry.

Prompt 24 Hope

Waiting at the expense of yourself

harboring a desire for love

holding resentment towards it

when it always keeps you

hanging on to words

that abandon and disown

at the slightest inconvenience

Patience is a practiced virtue

that guarantees nothing

when hope keeps you dreaming

while falling apart

Submissions to the 2023 Poetry Marathon Anthology Are Open

Submissions to the 2023 Print Poetry Marathon Anthology are open now and will stay open through the 30th of September. For the first time the anthology will only contain curated submissions. That is to say, this year’s editor,  will only be choosing between 80-100 poems to include in the anthology.

We understand that this is a real shift, and we ourselves have lots of doubts about it, but the growing length of the anthology was causing serious logistical issues every year. This is the last year the marathon founders, Caitlin and Jacob, plan to host the anthology, although we hope there continues to be some version of it going forward.

This year, there will also be an electronic anthology that still accepts all submissions. Erin Lorandos, a long time marathoner and compelling poet (you can read one of her poems here), is putting together that anthology and will consider submissions between the 7th and 21st of October.

We are very excited to have Blessing Omeiza Ojo as our print anthology editor this year. He is the Deputy Editor of Litvo Magazine and the Chairman of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Abuja. His works have been translated into several languages including Yoruba, French and Italian. His poetry has received nominations for Best of the Net, Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize, Creators of Justice Awards, Castello di Duino International Poetry and Theatre Competition, Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest and the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize. His literary awards include the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize (Ambassador Special Prize 2019), the 2020 Artslounge Literature Teacher of the Year Award, the 2021 Words Rhymes & Rhythm Nigerian Teacher’s Award, 2022 & 2023 Maryam Aliyu Award for Best Teacher (Male) and the 2023 Nigeria Prize for Indigenous Languages (Yoruba). Omeiza is a Creative Writing Mentor with progenies already prize winners and slam champs.

The anthology is only possible if people follow the guidelines, so please follow them.

All poems submitted must be written during the 2023 Marathon, and the writer must have completed the full marathon or half marathon in 2023.

All poems should be completely edited and as much as possible contain no major grammatical errors. Revisions are allowed and encouraged before submitting. Please check your punctuation. All poems should be single spaced. Any extra space will probably be interpreted as a stanza break. The first word of every line should not have a capitalization unless it is intentional.

When you submit you must include in the email the following:

  1. The subject line should read “2023 Marathon Submissions”.
  2. The body of the email should make it clear if you are a half or full marathoner.
  3. You should then state your location (e.g Nigeria, Abuja).
  4. It should also include the hour of the marathon the poem was written in.
  5. As well as a link to your poetry marathon page. If your poetry marathon name is different than your name, include both and make it clear which name you want to appear in the anthology.
  6. Two poems pasted into the body of the email. All submissions must include two poems, no more, no less.

Please follow all these guidelines. Use the above list as a checklist for your email submission and only press send once you’ve reviewed it twice.

All marathon submissions must be made via this email address: poetrymarathonsubmissions@gmail.com

DO NOT email us at the email address we use for all other communications.

Due to issues that happened in the past, no one is allowed to announce that their poem has been accepted for publication till November 15th, unless notified otherwise. Announcements made on the marathon groups before November 15th, will be deleted.  Please do not query about the status of your submission via email or the FB page till after November 15th.

Thank you for following the guidelines! I know they might seem strict but they make it possible to put together an anthology in a few months.

After the poems are published in the anthology all rights return to you.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any participant in the marathon, even those not included in the anthology. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from selling the anthology will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

You Chose This

“In some past life, in some other galaxy, some other dimension
you chose your own fate with all its everything.”

Ok… Really?

“Yes, it’s because your soul needs to work out some kind of karmic
debt so that you can ascend to the next level – the 5th dimension.”


“It’s all part of a grand scheme of things to help the world ascend
to a higher vibration in which people will behave better.”

I see…

So, that must mean that the former President of the US who, with his brothers,
committed some horrible crimes did so in order to prove it.

“Prove what?”

That the American Government is … ok, I take that back… the US Government
isn’t an actual government anymore, and hasn’t been for a very long time.

“How so?”

Well, if we had a government, I can think of at least four Presidents since 1963
who should have died in prison, but instead were given a free pass.


Yes, really. Probably more, but I can only think of four off the top of my head;
which means that we don’t have a government at all – we have a monarchy.

“C’mon, Joy”

It’s true. We have a King and/or Queen Somebody, but they stay hidden out of fear
that Americans might get just a little too upset about being serfs.


And, according to your theory, they, too, chose their fates for a greater purpose, so that
the world could ascend into a higher consciousness. Very heroic of them to be criminals.

“Yes, isn’t it!”

Yea… and chances are, the King and Queen of America are really Reptilian aliens who
shape shift between human and dragon whenever they feel like it, just to scare Congress.

“No joke?”

Right… and I should forgive all the horrible things, because some dragon lady somewhere
deserves my compassion in order to release my soul’s karmic debt.

“Makes sense”

Yea… except why are they sentencing protesters of the last stolen election to decades in prison?
Shouldn’t they, too, forgive and forget in order to allow the soul of America it’s own ascension…

from hell?

“Uh… you’re not quite understanding the concept of forgiveness, I think. It’s not about them or
their souls… it’s about you and your choice to ascend to a higher consciousness.”

That so?

“Just forget about all of it and move on, Joy. Move forward into a better life. If you forget about it
they might finally leave you alone because you won’t be drawing in their matching energy.

You chose this.”

Yea… ok, well, I can’t help but wonder why any soul would choose any of this. I had no control
over the behaviors of grown men in 1962, or of the women who rallied them on. I need another word for


Today’s Realization

Another poem to be written
Another poem about….

Gosh, what’s another word for bullshit?

I realized today how much happier I was
in my naivete…

back when I didn’t understand why
my faux “sisty” behaved so strangely,
demanding that I marry so that she could
“be rich”.

I wrote it off to her lack of an education.

… back when I wasn’t afraid to be myself
because I didn’t actually know who I was
to begin with…

And by “begin with”, I mean my birth.

“The Hunt”… it’s a good movie…
one I relate to in a big way,
having been hunted myself.

I’m tired. No, really, tired… I need to go to bed.

I also need to get this out…
I’m tired – like the beautiful blonde
fighting the crazy rich chick in the movie.

What a great monologue about the jack rabbit
and the box turtle.

I am so f-ing tired! I want to point my finger
at a few entitled perverts and shout
“Straighten up!”

But that’s not my job, is it. Not my job!

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know the things I know.
Most of the time I wonder how human beings can
be so entirely inhumane.

I’m just so tired. Going to bed now. Too tired of it all.
This poem sucks, and I am too tired to care.
I’m supposed to be “forgiving” while believing the strangest things…

Like “reptilian aliens are the root of the world’s problems.”

I am so f-ing tired, that I just can’t think of another word for it…

Good night.

On Rejection

This one is a work in progress, because I think it is a very important topic to cover for the human condition. Rejection hurts! Especially when we want something SO badly that we feel our very existence depends upon it. Our ego needs this THING or PERSON or EVENT so much that it becomes part of our soul somehow. This is my own prompt, so to speak, and I invite other poets to write about it as well.

To me, rejection is a sign post – a signal that, of all the diverging paths before me, that was not the right one. Then, it becomes a matter of whether or not I still want that thing (job, role in a play, etc.), person (love interest, business relationship), or event (film or music festival, poetry marathon).

Next, there’s the why… why do I want this thing so badly that the thought of being rejected is an obstacle. Then, it becomes the question of want vs need. I want to be an artist full time, but I need a steady cash flow. I want a good lifestyle AND I need a steady cash flow to make that happen. Therefore, I need to work as a data scientist more than I need to pursue a career in the arts.

I want a long term relationship with a man, but I need to be his one and only, and I need to feel that love vibe, and I need some time alone for my creativity. I could go on and on with all those needs and wants.

Rejection, therefore, is a necessary function of reaching all those needs and wants at some point in time. I still wonder if I will ever get there.

Poem to come when I have more time to create it.