Runner Up Poem

26-Nov-2019


Autumn Poetry Competition 2019

Runner Up Poem

Elena Scialtiel for 'Across the Date Line'

Across the date line
I'm yours, you're mine.
To Samoa from Tonga,
I beat the time-monger:

Twenty-four hours I shall borrow

For here's yesterday, there's tomorrow.

Across the date line

I can freeze our time.
From Fiji to Tahiti
You'll be forever pretty:

Youth and beauty won't decay

For here's tomorrow, there's yesterday.

Hopping east to west
Love stands the test.
Hopping west to east. ..
We can kill the beast.

Across the line, time is standing still

In a geographic paradox of human will.

Across the date line

We drift beyond time.

From Kiribati to Hawaii,
We make eternity nigh.
Goodbye we shall never say

For here's tomorrow, there's yesterday.

Across the date line

You'll be forever mine.

To Alaska from Siberia,
Entwined like wisteria,
We'll shed our grisly sorrow

For here's yesterday, there's tomorrow.

Day in, day out:

No doubt, no fallout.

Cheat Hell- nice'n'steady -
We're in Paradise already!

Across the line, time is standing still

In a geographic paradox of human will. 



Judge Charlie Durante's Comments:


"This subtle, dynamic poem with its magical line, ‘For here’s yesterday, there’s tomorrow’ is a challenge to the concept of time.  For the ancients, time was ‘edax rerum’, the eater of things, and the poem is an attempt to frustrate this constant gnawing.  The date line enables you to inhabit two time zones almost simultaneously and the trick consists of never abiding in the present.  This is a modern version of taking time by the forelock.  The speaker is confident she can conquer time, that elusive, puzzling reality (Augustine admitted he was stumped when someone asked him what time was).  But the wonderful paradox at the heart of this thoroughly enjoyable poem is its lilting rhythm, the way the reader is carried, almost borne aloft, along the snappy verses, defying time but making its effect in the time it takes to read the poem.  The thrust behind the poem is obviously love, a love which will endure if it overcomes ravenous time.  We are also transported to different parts of the compass, so that we travel effortlessly to faraway places with love as the enveloping reality.  This is a clever,  challenging, pulsating poem.  Well done!"