25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2016-2017 competition.

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By Tess Gallagher

The sleep of this night deepens
because I have walked coatless from the house
carrying the white envelope. ...

By Marsha De La O

Not rain, but fine mist
falls from my lemon tree,
a balm of droplets in green shadow....

By David Bottoms

We have all seen them circling pastures,
have looked up from the mouth of a barn, a pine clearing,   
the fences of our own backyards, and have stood   ...

By Taylor Mali

A grand piano wrapped in quilted pads by movers, tied up
with canvas straps—like classical music’s birthday gift
to the criminally insane—is gently nudged without its legs...

By Ruby Robinson

There is an ash tree behind this house. You
can see it from our bedroom window.
If you stare at it for long enough, you’ll see...

By Russell Edson

After a series of indiscretions a man stumbled homeward, thinking, now that I am going down from my misbehavior I am to be forgiven, because how I acted was not the true self, which I am now returning to. And...

By Mark Jarman

Dear God, Our Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord,
Mother Love and Maker, Light Divine,
Atomic Fingertip, Cosmic Design, ...

By Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? ...

What People are Saying

"With a $20,000 prize, I never imagined POL being this much fun. The competitions were more about meeting and talking with the other competitors, having a great time and enjoying the poetry. I also never knew I could find so much in myself just from reciting poems."
Elliot Davidson
2015 PA POL Champion