You read that right, folks! I, Natasha Penn, have entered a poetry contest for the first time!
To be completely honest, while I’ve entered writing competitions before, they’ve always centered around either fictional short stories or personal tales. I’ve never submitted any of my poems to a Vocal contest before last weekend, and I wasn’t even sure if I should. I’m confident in my world-building and story-telling, but not my rhymes. I’m a baby poet, an absolute novice when it comes to poetry, even though I’ve dabbled in it since I first learned about it in grade school.
There are several reasons for this: for one, my poems tend to be short pieces, and the minimum word count for a poem on Vocal is a hundred words. Thanks to this limit, I’ve had to post multiple Sisters of the Shadows poems/entries in the same post to avoid them being shot down, and I didn’t think it would be fair if I submitted entries that had anything other than poetry. Another reason is that all the poems I’d previously posted were sad or angry–none of them fit the theme, which was to describe a “love at first sight” scenario.
So… After careful consideration and random bursts of inspiration, I wrote
four FIVE love poems on this topic last weekend, and I’ve submitted all of them to the “From Across The Room” challenge on Vocal!
Now, just so you’re aware, Vocal moderators need to review and approve each story before they can go live on the platform, so while I’ve written and submitted four separate poems, only one of them is currently available for you to read. The others will go up soon, and I’ll be updating this post with their links once they do.
I’ll find you someday.
A poem inspired by a recurring dream I have. Of my four submissions, it’s probably the one with the most hopeful ending–if only because of its open-ended nature. It was also my first attempt at writing a poem for this contest, and I have to admit that as little confidence as I had in my poems, I believe that each of these pieces is better than the one that came before it. So what I’m saying is: if you enjoy this one, then you’ll probably like the next three even more.
It’s either you or me.
An unrequited take on the “love at first sight” concept. This is the second poem I wrote for this contest, and like the first, the story it tells and its meaning should be easy to interpret upon your first read. I took baby steps with these first two, testing the waters as I eased back into poetry. I was more daring with the next two.
♡ Lucia & Leonardo ♡
A short poem inspired by my original characters from Aquarius: Book One of Saturn Rising. They have a very complex relationship, so I was hoping to shed a bit of light on their first night together as well as try out another love poem idea I had been thinking about. Of all the characters I’ve created, they’re two of my favorites, so their interactions are very precious to me. It’s a short read with some lofty lore implications, so I hope fans of TCoLD enjoy it.
In my opinion, this is the best poem I wrote for the challenge, and the one I think will make it as a finalist. The image above is one I found while writing the first poem on this page; I liked the photo so much that I knew I wanted to include it in a story or poem. Once I submitted the first three I returned to Unsplash and just stared at that picture with the words “twinkling stars” in mind. The rest is history.
A poem for lost souls and wandering nyctophiles.
When I completed Twinkling Eyes, I knew I wanted to try my hand at more poetry–especially poems that don’t adhere to a strict rhyming scheme–but I had hit a block, so I put it on the back burner. I never expected to look up at the night sky last weekend and suddenly be struck with inspiration. Then again, I’ve always had an affinity for the moon, the stars, and dark nights. The moon on this night, in particular, was a crescent cradled on its curve, reminding me of the smile on the Cheshire cat. I was spurred on by the sight and thought up a singular phrase: “beneath the Cheshire moon.” A few days of ruminating later, and voila! I submitted the best poem I’ve ever written to the challenge.
As I mentioned in my last blog about Vocal contests, the amount of likes and reads a submission has can help the judges decide which piece should win. Engagement is important, especially for small creators, so I really hope you’ll help my poems get noticed! Feel free to simply click on the button above and read the poem–or, if you have or are willing to sign up for a free Vocal account, you can help further by liking the poem and subscribing to me on Vocal!
Remember to bookmark this blog and check it out over this week, as I’ll be updating it with links to the new poems. Share this with your friends who enjoy reading or writing, or even just supporting small creators. Thank you so very much, and I hope you enjoy my work.
Natty P. 💙