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The First Poetry Prize Winner - Winter 2011 - 2012

is Claire Chen of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA



“When the First Love Ends”

One day, while dreaming,

I grew up suddenly

as reality flitted through the haze

of my imaginings,

and pried my eyes open

to teach me how to see.


One day, while blinded,

I let myself float away,

losing touch with planet Earth,

higher and higher until

upon waking, I fell.


One day, while hurting,

I learned about the world

and logic and truth and why

we must clip the wings of foolish dreamers

to save them from themselves.


One day, while grounded,

I thought about what it

means to fall--to wake and see the world

covered in ugly scars,

trying to see what Icarus saw—why he flew

even as the sun melted his wings.


One day, while living

I smiled at the sun

and stood on tiptoes to kiss the stars,

felt the ground beneath my feet

and the rain against my skin.

Then, I waited for my wings to grow

so that I may fly


About the poet: My name is Claire, which means, "clear and bright" in French. This is perhaps the greatest misnomer in the known universe. I have spent sixteen years as more or less of a whirlwind of chaos, and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. I enjoy paradoxes, logical fallacies, and British dramas. Day-dreaming is my natural state of being, and I would very much like to permanently reside in my backyard on a bright Sunday in May, sipping milk tea and zoning out while staring at the clouds.