"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A letter from America

Dear Sonneteer (don't you love that title, imagine putting that down on the Census form as your occupation)
Thank you for entering the Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest.
The winners are:
1st A Thousand Scarlet Tulips by Judith Krum, Deland, FL
2nd Building Blocks of the Future? by Peter Goulding, Dublin, Ireland
3rd Joyful Dreamer by Maureen Lavender, Fayetteville, AR

+ 3 honourable mentions, and three special recognitions (all U.S)

This was a free to enter sonnet contest run by the Chicago Poets Society. I had actually previously entered the poem in another contest which asked the poet to consider an update of Ozymandias by Shelley. Shamefully, I'd never heard of it but looked it up and entered. And it came nowhere.
So when they were looking for a Petrarchan or Shakespearean sonnet (again, I had to look them up) I tinkered about with Building Blocks and submitted again.

As its a winner and I have no further need of it, I believe I can post it up here.

Building block of the future
after Ozymandias

Disjointed pictures from a hand-held phone
convey with earnest words, the late-loosed hate
that one mad oligarch can generate.
With ropes and many hands, the hand-hewn stone
is toppled from its plinth; his day is flown
and spittle-firing jackals cheer his fate,
while photographs in Newsweek illustrate
the storms to which the desert king is prone.

But now that breathless messengers have left
and old men squabble in the market place,
where does the toppled tyrant incubate?
Dragged into the desert, now bereft
of hawkish features, its sand-blasted face
contemplates the past and lies in wait.

Oh and the prize? $35, I believe. Who says there's no money in poetry?


  1. Wowee Brilliant news Peter - what a lovely email to get

  2. Put a big smile on my face to see your name in that list, Peter. Well done! (And what a fantastic piece it is too.)
    It's never the money; it's the satisfaction.


  3. Great piece, Peter. And congratulations.

  4. Yes congratulations. Sonnet a word that as peformer and also an aspireing wirter has always put the fear of god in me.

  5. Thank everybody, secretly quite pleased actually.

    Kat - no, its the money.