25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2018-2019 competition.

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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 Adrian Matejka

The first space shuttle launch got delayed until
Sunday, so we had to watch the shuttle’s return
to Earth in class instead—PS113’s paunchy black...

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

"Though I have always had an immense love and appreciation for poetry, particularly spoken word poetry, it was not until I was given the opportunity to go on stage and actually deliver the words of others that I was able to comprehend the real impact of this art."
Iman Dancy
2017 NC POL Champion