Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Poetry Marathon

I am pleased to present the wonderful poets who successfully wrote 24 poems in 24 hours, a truly remarkable achievement.

The poets are not listed in any particular order, but they are all particularly impressive for the incredible feat of endurance and creativity they completed. Also, keep in mind that the counting may not be perfect. If I missed someone, please let me know by emailing poets@thepoetrymarathon.com

Included here are also those wonderful poets who successfully challenged themselves to write 12 poems in 12 hours; giving themselves a full day of creative endeavoring.

24 Hour Poetry Marathoners 12 Hour Poetry Marathoners
bjsteinshouer
willjxn
BlueMuse
waldomaui
TobeTT
Shirl
Sunraypeak
plath2.0
TorriMBrown
dextajean
Kristynateach
InkSpiller
Simona
KGBusch04
Kim Smart
KerryValkyrieBaldockKelly
Jill1980
MarkLucker
KofiAcquah1
MHickok
rranson@02
PropagandaPoet
dwong
BhashaDwivedi
RarzackOlaegbe
SarahJ
Santosha
katiedunne
JaneAndFriends
janis
Susmita
reenadoss
novamarie
Jess
AnjanaSen
jvstanley
Baaaaa
jarrodfouts
Caitlin Thomson
Impowerwriter
Anne McMaster
MelNeet
poeticus
SilverQuiver
earth2joy
SaraAnderson
LaurieMcK
obidity
MaritzaM.Mejia
BrettDyer
RamonaElke
vijaya
NancyPagh
AmiO
factorjosh
TeriHarroun
akilday
Elsalovesbooks
megsat
D2MOTIVATE
AaronConklin
dngai70
AngieMountain
varenyas
AceShannon36
Tessellation
rainmaker
sjduncan
cynderh
cinwhit
AndaM
lyajoy
DSCoremans
LinsT
Wormy76
mavschick41
DocB
jgershon1213
JLNash
AutumnsOnlyone
BloomingFire
Sandraj631968
efellows
LuvMiFreely
JRTurek
ChristinaSng
Ivan
Aygaius
gmazul
ofuma
erinemerick45
KendraReynolds
SandyLender
prachishah
Jazzgreensuds
margpeg73
TheBootlegBodhisattva
jonesy1922
PhilosophyMom
blissfilledislandlife
Enscriptor
Ipsita
PhilipV.Coombs
HiralBagadia
tarinprn
OhulanCutash
13-Shenanigans
Foxling
KikaMan
thryaksha
MagSatPhD
williamtatro
Nandiya
RajaniNair
Valley2
amlcrabtree
yeetthesystem
mrsdkrebs
Koso
CoffeyWrites
allisonshoe
kimsmartauthor
Cinzia
joshidivyesh99
ErmelindaMakkimane
bennerad
alexaimeekist
themorningreads
wordsofbee
virginiastark
afeathers
Roxann
Rebeli007
VidyaShankar
Renae Ogle
DPuterbaugh

MarinaZerdali
mmesomafrancis
justlei
ChelleA
poet556
RobbieWest
Britton
SundarWalker
Amana
Danielle Martin
GitaBharath
Melissa
Linda Hallstrom
77poetess and Mitch
JoyceB
jnslwkshp
sharonedge

rheakumar11
KJR-Kidder
Stef
Dvnmskm
SolapeAdeyemi
BritS
mildandred
CarolProst
KathyPon
PursuingPerfection
AprilZoe
Jacob
Michellia
jennifervera
Harvey Schwartz
itexner
Laurak
jwalker15
pgerber
shloks89
EllaWagemakers
meka
jsweeder
SheilaS
SJHAWLEY
naidanepascuasupnet
leximagines
storts
denisehill
dohamonde
psarvasy
kevinjoconner
JadeIguana
JaneR
Kaili
Aisha154
Friowords
AnwarSuleman
AlenaCasey
EvelynElaineSmith
jemarek
ColleenSchwartz
CristyWatson
SmileyOne
treal1971
Richardosler
JohnnyG
SarahW
canyonwriter
willowriver44
adriana.c.grant
AnshuSikchi
Annej
supertina19
HuffPunkMatron
TammiBelko
JanaBrooke1987
kriscleage
claycrane
merryafoot
authorHJ
rachelmarcohavens
@voldecurt
jdgbp
DesertDiane
MrsLibertyRock
jilowill
Karen
Rootedphoenix
BarzeusMolen
afarmer
shivee41
MaryEugeneP.Flores
kateadams
mahimagiri
Skay
BlueHeronWrites
JoaquinCapehart88
S.Azule
VidhiAshar
hundhg
NgoziAndrew
miggy
najain
Shjava
sdhpdx
AnanyaPanwar
SabinahAdewole
denisiarocks
BrendaDeHaan
BrianHasson
Aishwarya13
debrathewriter
RebeccaResinski
christinatangbernas
KarenMandell
Nasiha.S
weliveaswedream
Meganwrites
YuLan
Nevermore74
maskofpoetry
farahkaltz@gmail.com
JoPangolin
irislevin
natarajng
Raquel7
DaveHirsh
Riley.Mcilveen
oxmtch11
hgb123
Double-AA-battery
katighe
AlivePoetsSociety
ManoshiBose
MaxineWiseWrites
TinaBlondino@gmail.com
CWasemScott
peaflowertea
Mbsmitty75
bwayne
elorandos
Wilddog
Bavishya
dantighe
KatrinaM
Jareljennings
mlougheed
GentlemanBrute
damoore943
punkhippypoet
HannahGrace
MWW522
THOMAS
Farzana
featherstonej
Aishatonu

 

The following poets fell just short of 24 poems in 24 hours. Though they didn’t quite finish the full marathon, they deserve special recognition for more than completing the half, and coming so close to finishing the full marathon. (And if I somehow missed one of your poems, in my counting, please let me know!!!)

rachelmarcohavens
@voldecurt
jdgbp

Sinterklaas and the black Piets

I left my house at 5:00am. Trying to pretend it was a day just like any other, I held my stride in check. But soon my legs overrode my brain and I ran to the train station. The cold, misty, wintry air on that fifth of December burned my lungs like Dante’s inferno. When I arrived at the train station, an earlier train to Amsterdam had just pulled up to the platform. I took it. This train should have been faster than usual, not being weighed down by a lot of excess human baggage, but it was even slower. The constant screeching of the wheels on the track jangled my already raw nerves. Rich was coming! I had been waiting  for months to see him. Now the day had finally arrived.

The airport was half empty. Some noise to my right made me look down one of the corridors. It was Sinterklaas followed by two black Piets. As they about to pass by, one of the black Piets smiled at me, squeezed my hand and gave me a small packet of candy. No matter what anyone else said, the black Piets were the best part of Sinterklaas.

A dusting of snow lay on the ground, but it was harmless. It would never prevent an airplane from flying in from the United Arab Emirates. Would it? My heart skipped a beat. There was no snow in the UAE. What if their pilot didn’t know how to land in snow. Could they be sent to another place, leaving their passengers to find their own way back by bus? If that happened, I may never find Rich at all. I was so worried, I held my breath.

At exactly 7:18am, KLM announced the landing of flight 1503 out of Dubai. I ran to the gate after apologizing to an elderly man I nearly knocked down in my haste. The last fifteen minutes were excruciating. How can anyone take so long to deplane and come out? At last, the familar head full of tight black curls emerged in the doorway. Losing all control, I threw myself into his arms with such abandon, I nearly knocked him down. Rich’s slow grin spread over his face as he gave me a hug and asked where we could have breakfast. I thought it best to take him into town and eat there. It was only two subway stops away.

At 8:05, we got out of the subway and walked down the lively streets of Amsterdam. It was still pitch dark, with no sign of sunrise. Rich asked me what time it got light here, but instead of answering, I just shoved my hand deeper inside of his coat pocket. I had forgotten to bring my gloves with me. At last, we arrived at a small café with quaint wooden tables. We took a seat at a table overlooking one of the dozens of canals stretched in a network throughout the city. After breakfast, it started to get light, the kind of muffled twilight that spread over northern Europe in winter. Rich pointed at a store window and asked what something he saw there was. I was ashamed to tell him about black Piet, thinking it was in fact rather racist. Rich rolled his eyes but did not seem to be offended.

We took a boattour through the harbor. There was only one other person on the boat besides us and the tourguide. December was not the best time of the year for tourism. Rich didn’t care. Neither did I. We could have looked at  wooden blocks in shoeboxes for all I cared, as long as I was next to him.

Someone must have fastforwarded the clock – I suspect it was black Piet – because it was suddenly 12:30. We ordered some soup and a sandwich in another small, charming café in the middle of Amsterdam. At 14:00 we had to go back to the airport so that Rich could get on his plane to America. His entire European excursion was a seven-hour layover at Schiphol, nothing more. I was not allowed to go with him to the gate, of course, so we had to say good-bye in front of the security check. I was barely managing to cap a rising need to scream, when Rich suddenly pulled me into his arms in a rare display of real emotion. His heart pounded against mine. And then we had to part. After he disappeared through the security check, there was no reason for me to stay at the airport.

Swaying past the shops and fast-food restaurants, I felt as if I had been runover by a semi. The train home was much more crowded now than it had been in the morning. At one stop, the door opened and a black Piet came in. He looked tired from a long day of dealing with kids of all ages. I went over and sat down next to him. Then I reached into my pocket and pulled out the packet of candy the black Piet had given me in the airport. Just before we reached Zwolle, I pressed the packet in his hand and thanked him for his wonderful present.

 

“I have lived too long in foreign parts!” – from Daisy Miller by Henry James

“I have lived too long in foreign parts.”

I have become foreign to myself, made up of bits and pieces like a Frankenstein turned inside out. The scars are there, only they are on the inside where no one can see them.

Nor can anyone see me. Or rather they do see me, but only recognize the parts that are familiar to them. But seeing half of me is seeing nothing at all.

Blessed are those who, like my sister, have lived on the same street their whole life. Maggie is sure of herself, she has never questioned her marriage, her religion, her culture or her taste.

I question everything. Some people say my personality changes with my language. In Germany, a few who can judge, say they see a German Robbie and an American Robbie. But still, they have never seen the Chinese or the Paraguayan Robbie.

Some days, I just want to go home – if I could find it.

For “I have lived too long in foreign parts.” (Henry James, Daisy Miller)

Jungle Tour

He moves with angelic grace and devilish stealth.

His shoulders roll with each padded step.

Silently, not to alarm his prey.

Camouflaged, his black stripes imitate the jungle shadows.

Hiding not in fear but in power and control, he reigns supreme.

Exuding awe he inspires us as he glides through his jungle home.

Until he exposes his plan.

With a leaping jolt, he crashes through his protective screen, squelching a young mother with two babies,

We look away in disgust-

The Shaman

Spiritual need

takes an unusual turn

for this Sioux Shaman.

 

For he is the last

of his kind,

a remnant of strength.

 

Even a remnant

voices his regrets and fears

even the last one left.

 

Inspired by the book “Shaman” by Noal Gordon

 

 

The Bake-Off

Whoever said men cannot bake

A chocolate-covered birthday cake

Or crusty bread from sourdough

With luscious spreads atop to go?

“Forest Ranger Elmer Kraut

Will want to get his mixer out,”

Says Jerry Jenkins with a grin,

Absolutely sure he’ll win

Any bake-off with this foe,

Who doesn’t even seem to know

That puce and brown and periwinkle

Are not the proper shades to sprinkle

Cakes with the very lofty purpose

To entice us and divert us.

The storefront of Bob Chitlin’s shop

Provides the space to mix and chop.

Both men want very much to win.

The prize: a pint of finest gin.

With aprons on, they take their places

And bake the goods of baking races.

Now Bob, he is the best of judges

And never takes sides or begrudges

The rightful winner of the match

To whom he gives his treasured cache.

This time though, it went too far

When both men emptied Bob’s own bar

When Elmer Kraut had finished making

The cake, now in the oven baking,

He sat down on a rattan chair

And Jerry Jenkins joined him there.

They sipped the last of Chitlin’s wine

Not asking Chitlin, bear in mind.

And when the baking cakes were done,

Did all the neighbors have their fun.

Kraut’s angelfood looks like a spare

Tire gone flat from lack of air.

Jerry Jenkins’ laughs at that

Until he sees his own so flat.

Bob Chitlin laughs sardonically

And grabs the pint ironically.

When neither Bob or Jerry wins,

Then old Bob Chitlin claims the gin.

So that’s the tale of two men baking –

A sad but humorous undertaking.