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Best Poems Written by Jack Webster

Below are the all-time best Jack Webster poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Wild poetry contest
Sponsor Anthony Slausin

The collared dog awaits his master’s love
and laps and licks the blessed hand above,

while the wolf, ephemeral shaddow of the unbiddable wild
drinks from the crystal streams descending the mountain.
(He drinks from the palm of creation.)

Obedient pets sit, with poise, awaiting treats,
or scratch the door, the scent of cedars sweet,
but too far,

while the wolf runs through the bright brush at the bull elk, those bellowing lungs a trumpet
announcing to the deeps the shadows of the forest live.

The Good await the chance to thrust their nose
into the rushing wind as Civics go,

while the wolf encircles the dust to lay and lick
all the delectable scents of the wind in his fur.

Faithfully the pet lays, alone on the steel table
wondering where his master is, the scent of the vet
surrounds him like wolves
that eat the walls of the room
until he is free.

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2020

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Last Train to Auschwitz Contest

Ashes to Ashes

rises in the distance.

The boxcar
are placed along the ties.
Were they placed by Chance
or left 
as gently as Kaddish.
I lift my hands in the darkness;
the light of the knothole 
lights the tips of my fingers like Shabbat candles,
and I cover my eyes.

I can smell them,

the names 
put in the furnace.

Silence screams out of the smoke stacks
as vowels burn away
as consonants try to escape the fire, flee
up the concrete throat and out
into the sky

escaping the camp disguised in grey coats of ash,
at last,

as winter covers the mirrors 
of the lakes with ice.

Contest: Last Train to Auschwitz
Sponsor: Kai Michael Neumann

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2021

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Coronavirus COVID 19

I’ve had enough of chicken soup,
it always tastes the same;
as COVID-19 sweeps the world 
and leaves our loved ones lame,
Poetrysoup is just the thing
to ease away the pain. 
Just today, in Italy, 
I read that neighbors sing,
through open windows across the streets
while kept in quarantine. 
Here, we neighbors of the world
now open up our screens,
and gather up our thoughts and words
and let our heartstrings sing. 
The music of our keyboards carries far,
more quickly than a sneeze, 
to make our fellow human beings
feel much more at ease. 
Nearly neighbor, unseen friend,
let us share our songs,
across the streets of data bits,
no matter what the wrong. 

March 13, 2020
Coronavirus Covid 19 contest
Sponsored by Team PoetrySoup

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2020

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Scientists open many bodies
to please the skeptics, like fathers proving
there are no monsters hidden beneath
the heart's sticky bed. No soul. No ghost. Just 
organs in metal pans.

Serial killers open many bodies
to please themselves, like sadists proving
it is not flesh that screams, but the heart, 
the soul, the ghost. 
Not the organs in metal pans.
Have you lost your mind? 
Can even you find your mind?
How can something unfindable die?
Ghosts are no more real than mind
and linger behind it in the same void.

Ghosts open many bodies.

Ghosthunters and Spiritualists Contest, hosted by Kevin Shaw

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2018

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An android phone, put simply, is death.
Its blue light reveals corpses in faces
as viruses and viral videos spread uncontained contagion.
Men walk dead, necks broken, hungry for brains.
someone else's thoughts distract them from the pain
of their silent, rotting faces. 
strangers are comfort food, as their skin
stretches tighter and tighter on their bones. 


Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2018

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There are no Sons of Eden

There are no sons of Eden
only descendants of The Fruit.
They do their best with what they can
as Able still lies blue.
Long cast out of Paradise
they till the worldly soil
and blame the Lord for all their pains
and all their sinful toil.
Some give thanks for what they've sewn,
conceited, humble-proud,
thinking they're the chosen ones
as Hell still overcrowds.
The Lord made do with what Cain left.
(beggars can't be choosers).
With sword held high they judge by The Fruit
that made each one a loser.

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2019

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Psalm contest

Psalm of the Heretics Saved

Oh, God!
You’ve taken my hands;
the blood spills onto the heathen soil of my birth!
The jaguar cannot help me.
The mighty pyramid rising past the trees
is a pride you’ve turned to shame.
You sent your messengers on canvass wings 
and they descended from the firmament 
as white as eyeless stars
and crossed the primordial water
to break my sinful ways. 
Oh, God!
I did not know you loved me so,
enough to take my hands.
You took my hands!
Your angels have taken my hands with their swords. 
Ropes could have been undone,
but this bondage is for all time. 
Lord, you have taken my hands
so I may never raise them against you,
nor adore the gods the forests gave my mother. 
I dare not raise my tongue against you
lest you take it too!
Glory be to God!
Glory be to God!
Glory be to God in the highest;
I will sing your psalms.

Oh, God!
You’ve made of me a Salem lamb;
you’ve shorn my locks,
prepared me for the fire. 
My fat is crackling on my skin
as the smoke and flames of forgiveness rise.
Your faithful stand near, side by side and cheer.
I am not a witch; just a woman.
But I confess; I confess; as I try to break the ropes;
I confess both being a woman, and a witch.
I scream your praise with the scalding air that peels lungs.
as the smoke and flames of your forgiveness purify.
Oh, God!
I will not live long enough to escape your love;
this bondage is for all time.
There is no freedom from your salvation.
Lord, you have made me a lamb,
bleating and tender,
given to the shepherd, bloodied on his cross.
And for him I bleat!
Glory be to God!
Glory be to God!
Glory be to God in the highest;
I will sing your psalms.

Oh, God!
I taught in the bushes like a bird,
as my people raised a circle of stones to join the sun and moon,
but I will not join the Sidhe when I die,
nor linger in the oaks as a light as light as the leaves.
My freedom was coiled within me 
like a snake with no cause to strike,
breathing clean air,
letting light fill my skin;
you came to claim my soul,
drive out the snake in me
that knew the valleys and emerald hills as well as if it had made them on its belly. 
No more white robes. 
No gold. No branches of yew. 
Urine filled ghettos of brick and wash and hunger.
Old memories ferment inside
like ouisce in amber bottles. 
Oh, God! 
This bottle is forever;
escape my mouth,
but I will 
your praises.
Glory be God!
Glory to be God!
To be Glory, God highness,
and I will sing you salmons.

sponsor: Regina Riddle

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2019

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Flower in the crannied wall

It’s just like an intellectuallist
to tear creation from its little nest of stone,
thinking only if it rests in his hand,
if he can see all its white veins
will he grasp its mysteries. 

Maybe this is why he knows
so well,
and God so little. 

Who, wanting a lover, seizes it out of life,
and lays its corpse in a tender repose,
trying to fathom the truth of what it means to smile?
The smile the autopsy leaves is no mystery. 

A flower in a crannied wall
is a mystery 
no more for the taking
than laughter. 

Posted March 4, 2020
For Craig’s Flower in the Crannied Wall contest

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2020

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Shutter Speed contest

Next Stop F-stop 2.8

Got to get out of the city,
if you want to see the galaxy.
(Be sure to grab your camera on your way out the door,
cause there’s no turning back).

Must escape man’s brilliance,
man’s electric-mind;
street lamps with flesh-light, blue-light, and corpse-light, 
lights that hum, 
lights that pop, 
lights with no eyes,
lamps that hang their heads above the road,
resigned to line and light the asphalt and gutters.
Man’s light pollutes the night,
hides the way out of the city,
that milky way up and out through the sky.
I’ve got to get out of the city.

Shut up behind night's shutters,
you have to leave
if you want to see, what possibilities are left in creation.

Drive hours in the dark,
just to see how far infinity goes,
dust as big as planets
leaving a star-crumb trail
back to the beginning,
before city lights,
before corpse-light,
before man light,
all the way back to that One light
that lit the world with a bang. 

Be sure to set your shutter as wide as your eyes,
ready to make room for starlight,
your camera the only passenger.
Leave the city;
no road;
no map;
next stop f-stop 2.8.

Draft 2 May 15, 2020
Shutter Speed Contest
Sponsor Kai Michael Neumann

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2020

Details | Jack Webster Poem

Wild Country Contest

I parked along the side of the road
where the shoulder turned to gravel.
I left my cardoor open, thinking I’d only be a moment.
Into the golden weeds I trudged
to find my favorite flower.
Bull thistle bloomed
jewels aloft on green scepters,
as rich as Sappho’s hair,
as rare as royal Phoenecian robes dyed with conch,
long stems twinkling with acid, as green as the intellect.
I will have a garden of thistles,
a court of purple pixies, prickly sprites that know all the names of the wind.
They will surround artichokes that bloom,
great aubergine tassels
that hold back the great curtain of soil.
I continued through the grass,
burs clinging to my pants like dreams,
the musical warning of the open door 
fading in the distance. 

March 20, 2020
Wild Country Contest
Sponsored by Julia Ward

Copyright © Jack Webster | Year Posted 2020