2012 Autumn Poetry Contest- Writing Challenge

The 2012 Autumn Poetry Contest runs from September 14 through the 17. This time, we are using the YouTube video, Autumn – Vivaldi, for inspiration. You don’t need to watch the entire piece, a minute should be enough to spark your muse.

Here are the guidelines for the 2012 Autumn Poetry Contest. Please read carefully because there have been several changes.

  1.  Adhere to the prompt- the first minute of the video
  2.  Follow The River Journal by subscription or readers
  3.  Single spaced, 12-pt. Times New Roman font, 30 lines MAX
  4.  Copy poem into the email. Do not send as attachment
  5.  Email entry to contest@theriverjournal.org  *
  6.  Subject for email- Autumn12/last name
  7.  Submit original/nonpublished poems

This is a blind contest. The winner will be selected by The River Journal Team. After the top poem is selected, I will notify the winner and then make an announcement on The River Journal Facebook page and Twitter. In the next issue, the winner will be highlighted and the poem shared. The winner also receives a free issue of Brush Strokes & Ink Spots: The First Year. Click here to view past contests.

Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


*Some entrants ran into snags with the email last time, while others had no problems at all. If you are experiencing difficulty with the email address, contest@theriverjournal.org,  ask yourself these questions:
~Am I typing in the correct email address?  Common errors include adding to contest and using (dot)com rather than (dot)org. IT’S  .org
~Am I using a mobile device?


poetry from South Africa ~ Marion Friedenthal


beyond white
tinged with grey and pink
rain-washed blue
peeks through

fresh breeze dawn
punctuated by
sporadic bird calls

unwelcome sound
of city traffic
flips my mind

to a time

of innocence
when chirruping hosts
nested in

fleeting silence
between darkness
and dawn
alive with joy

tranquil past
rarely revisited

pain of
going there
runs too deep



Marion lives in Johannesburg, Gauteng with her husband.
You can find Marion’s work at Bleeding Moon Poetry. ~

poetry from South Africa~ Martin Lochner

~~That Gleaming Rail~

i pot bellied boasting navels
shiny round ball bearing stomachs
haloing out of diesel grime
over alls and silver buttoned railway

these long waxed pig curled moustache workmen
rotated their lives between shifts of day and night
with metal lunch boxes and coffee tin flasks
strolling main road home or to that gleaming rail
that provided a town’s livelihood

my grand father worked that rail and my father too

providing me with the means
to take that broke back-heart break scenic route
out of town for good and forgetting

until now

coming back everything changed
and the fat men were now old and wiry

sitting on subsidized railway porches
looking on main road maybe thinking rail

going to that station i found it desolated
and the once shimmering humming rail all
rusted up and silent

on my knees and creasing my director slacks
i touched it and imagined the once proud spirit of it
corroding away as the blue collar folks on the porch


Martin lives in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa with his wife and daughter..
You can find Martins writings at his blog Kalahari Blues.

Edition 2 – Issue 1 ~ June 8, 2012

Welcome to our Anniversary Issue

A year has gone by since I began this endeavor with two women. An endeavor I never imagined would grow as big, especially as fast.  I watched The River grow from a paper to a journal as I worked with wonderful people from around the world. I learned an immense amount of knowledge from computer to leadership skills running the journal. I want to thank all the writers that have contributed their time and words to The River.  All creative writing and art contributors, Thank You. Continue reading

Poetry by Brigitte Goetze

The Ballad of the Damsel and the Knight

Beware the knight who goes to fight
to free the damsel from her plight.
Her plight, she openly abhors,
but secretly, she quite adores.

The knight who stabbed the dragon dead,
now takes the damsel to her bed.
Her bed, he finds, was just a board,
nor did the dragon own a hoard.

The damsel like a dove did coo,
but overnight became a shrew.
A shrew which shrilly pecks and picks
and pierces through the armor’s nicks.

The armor gleaming bright with might
is of no use against this blight.
This blight the knight just cannot best,
and thus disarms and ends his quest.

The knight, his limbs now being lithe,
delights in joking, feeling blithe,
and blithely parries every wrong
and finds—his shrew responds with song! Continue reading