. a wilderness challenge .

Thanks to St Edmund Hall Oxford for both the challenge and the judgement. ( i won!)




“The one that resonates with me most strongly is Sonja’s wilderness, few words but every one of them hitting its mark. So, well done, Sonja, this week’s challenge winner.


Sonja’s ‘wilderness’ expresses the tiredness at being witness to so much pain with the
powerful phrase ‘will the sky at last explode’ and the widely spaced lines accentuate the
desolation of a man-made wilderness.




Sonja’s ‘bad night dreaming’ creates what would be a terrible wilderness were it not actually a dream. Is it the dream of the sprawled doll or is the doll a dreamed victim of the wilderness? As ever, the poem is enigmatic.

Sonja’s ‘during dinner and later’ has word play on lent and deftly links giving up (or not)
chocolate and bread with jesus in the wilderness and the feeding of the five thousand.”

. wilderness- wilderness.

adrift, will the sky at last explode, or will this hate

continue pointlessly, for thousand thousands years.

numbers that cannot describe each particle of pain.

each bloody bomb that kills yet again.

it has left us tired, yet we are alive to witness.

yet again.





.bad night dreaming.

dreamed of devastation, flew miles low

over concrete . skeletons, bones of the thing.

all is dust, as dust we have become. slow.

grey. nothing moves here no more. no sighs.

they have forgotten us. we have forgotten them.

are we now the bones of what we were?

bad night dreaming.




. during dinner and later.



she gave up bread and chocolate, told us many times.

ate ryvita smuggled it in, softer by the third day. lent

me ideas for writing.

told me it was for forty days, i asked why. she said it

was for lent.

i wondered if it was to do with jesus in the wilderness?

she said she did not know.

she explained.

it is just for lent,

bread and chocolate.

i wondered silently if he gave up chocolate too

in that wilderness.

during dinnner i pondered loaves and fishes, kept

my thoughts to myself.

the dessert was chocolate. i ate it all





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