Here are a handful of poems which follow the 50 words or less Poetry on the Move contest requirement. These poem samples are less concerned with the theme “Invention,” but are provided chiefly to represent workable formats. Keep in mind that winning poems must fit onto standard transit car cards and be easily legible at a distance.
Please note that the first poem, “Koan,” at 21 words is almost too short for effective formatting on the car cards. Were a poem such as this chosen, it likely would be split into two stanzas that would appear side-by-side on the card.
With this in mind, traditional 3 line haiku are too brief for visual impact. A winning poem must fill the space predetermined by standard cards.
If you need a more concrete sense of working space, get thee on the light rail or county bus and take a look at the cards–chiefly advertisements–posted there.
An old man
naps in the airport;
a young pilot refuels
his plane. Who leaves
earth first? Who
follows his dreams? (21 words)
Sometimes you just get in the car
and go. You step on the gas,
the four wheels turn. That simple.
At other times you must reinvent
the wheel, a caveman, fireless,
the opposable thumb a mystery. (36 words)
Swept from Corners
Dead bees crunch underfoot like leaves or paper,
faint scent of honey. Bodies curled, their amber
darkened. Curious and wonderful
to live while others go on dying. Bees mingled
with dirt in a dust pan; I dump them out, cut
roses for the vase, write the following sentence. (48 words)
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