This year, to prep for SilverArts season, Senior Services held their first Poetry Contest. There were several entries, and Senior Services is so glad that we had participation! This year’s winner was A Cacophony of Noise written by Julie Cartner.
Here is her winning poem:
A Cacophony of Noise
When I’m alone, when silence fills the air and emptiness fills the room,
That’s when the uninvited voices fill my head, vying for my heart, my soul, my being.
That’s when the fears come. That’s when the tears come.
You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough.
I fill the canvas of my life. Bright, bold colors, pictures from my heart.
Lakes and ponds, oceans and sounds, waterfalls with opalescent shimmers of water and air
Coalesce to form frothy streams of gushing torrents, foaming bubbles, magic.
Frantically I cover the canvas with my heart, my soul, my angst.
Then, letting it dry, I hide it away in a room where nobody goes.
I walk through the woods absorbing the beauty of nature, my camera ready.
The tree growing through the rock, the moss, clenching tenaciously to the stump,
The creek gleefully gushing over rocks, playing hide-and-go-seek with the sandy shores,
The butterfly, delicately balancing on the flower, the sun, descending in a tsunami of colors.
I capture them with my lens and hide them in blank pages.
I open my throat and sing. Powerful notes, stretching my range, pouring out my heart.
I praise. I dance. I plead with the unvanquished lover,
I pour out my soul, crying out to all who won’t hear.
I entreat. I beg. I plead. I bare all.
Then, as the last notes echo silently in the empty room, I cry. I hang my head in despair.
I drench paper with my words, ink filling blank lines of hope and hopelessness.
I implore my characters to live for me, to reveal the words my heart holds.
I beseech my readers to hear me. Words of hope, of love. Words of despair, of betrayal.
Joy vies with pain for dominance. My words burst forth as hurricane waters overflow a dam,
Then I bury the words in my notebook, to be seen no more.
But when I’m alone, with no canvas and no pen,
When the shutter of the camera goes silent,
When I’m alone with no song,
That’s when the fears come.
That’s when the tears come.
Wars and fighting. Covid-19. Domestic violence. Hunger. Racism.
Anger. Prejudice. Homelessness. Pollution. Global Warming. Cybercrime…
Things over which I have no control,
Or so little control that my little drop pings in an empty bucket.
I worry, I stress, I fear.
When I’m alone, the voices come.
A cacophony of noise:
You’re not good enough.
You’re not smart enough.