create | encounter

winning submissions & honorable mention pieces

1st Place: Inside the Beast

October 13, 2018

When others drove with their headlights on

and tied yellow ribbons onto trees

we wore black and walked to school.

When torches lit, and oil fields burned

when flames rose into Iraqi skies

we came together, voices shouting

“No bombs, no blood for oil!”

In 1990 war was easy to oppose.

 

We knew they burned cities into skeletons.

left human bodies black and charred

Broken-backed buildings, seared hot as the sun

Hurricane winds stole breath.

When the bombs thundered down  

louder than all reason,

they left streets like tombs, covered in ash.

What monsters they, we said.

 

The day was warm,

the grass was innocent green.

Clear skies turned black and white with smoke

Planes became guided missiles, bringing death.

The news showed tumbling bodies

Blood on the pavement in our shining city.

Darkness spread across the earth as the towers fell.

 

A nation cried out for revenge

A million throats screamed raw

Blood for blood, death for death

Good people threw down banners and enlisted

Kings and princes stoked the flames of war.

And the smoke got in our eyes, we could not see.

A carnivorous beast had swallowed us whole

We were consumed.

 

A long time later

The shame of our hate would haunt us.

War left us bereft, we saw too late.

There was blood on our hands.

We came to know this, to understand

after the hundred thousandth drop of rain

soaked the soil of our victims’ graves.

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When others drove with their headlights on

and tied yellow ribbons onto trees

we wore black and walked to school.

When torches lit, and oil fields bur...

1st Place: Inside the Beast

October 13, 2018

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October 13, 2018

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@2017 by Aimee Murphy and Encounter Youniverse project collaborators.