Lyric Contest Winners: January/February 2017


1st Place
“Language Of The Broken-Hearted”
by Mike Guiney
Gananoque, Ontario, Canada

Cardboard covers his broken window pane
But it’s to block the sun and not the rain
Lost contact with everyone
Since the whole world went insane
Hard to say when he started sinking
But he’ll finish what he began
rarely speaks, but when he does
the broken-hearted understand
rarely speaks, but when he does
the broken-hearted understand

Always talks of where he’s been
And never where he’s goin’
Quotes Hank Williams Sr.
And sometimes Leonard Cohen
Speaks of old lovers
Like they’re in the promised land
Using the kind of words
the broken-hearted understand
Using the kind of words
The broken-hearted understand

He says the high stakers and chaos makers
make the rules and say who wins
the nine to fivers, the street survivors
are on the outside, looking in
And don’t try to tell him otherwise
He’ll just hold up his hand
His native tongue it is one
the broken-hearted understand
His native tongue it is one
the broken-hearted understand

2nd Place
“We Want”
by Hope Dunbar
Utica, Nebraska

The lake wants to be the sea, the sea wants to be the land.
The land wants to be the sky
and have the stars and her command.

The clouds want to be snow, snow wants to be rain,
rain just wants to run in the river some day.
And we want what we are not.
We want. And it won’t stop.

The hush wants to be a hum, the hum wants to be a scream.
The scream wants to let out the hurt it holds down deep.
And the lion wants to be a lark, the lark wants to be a ghost,
the ghost only wants flesh to cover up his naked soul.
And we want what we are not. We want and it won’t stop.

Silver wants to be gold, gold wants to be a gem,
the gem wants to shine forever in a diadem.
And I want to be a pearl, I want to be a gift.
I want to be a song you sing like this.
And I want what I am not. I want and it won’t stop.
And we want what we are not. We want and it won’t stop.

3rd Place
“Life Beneath The Rust”
by Mike Ryan
Clifton, Virginia
Wide awake at 3:00 am
Alone with all of my regrets
The old front gate rattles in the wind
And memories burn in the dark like cigarettes

These days I wake in the morning shaking
Scared of something I can’t put my finger on
And when I retrace the steps my life has taken
I wonder if the best has come and gone


Though my heart is frayed around the corners
And my soul is covered up with dust
I know there’s cracks in the brick and mortar
But there’s still life beneath the rust

I used to think the answer lied in wandering
That the road it had secrets to reveal
But after all the miles and all my late night pondering
I still feel just the way I used to feel

And despite my scars and the wages of my sins
For the life of me I cannot explain
Why I make the same mistakes time and time again
And why I never learn my lesson from the pain (Chorus)


And the engine on that old Ford it ain’t turned since ’69
It just sits out in the pasture covered up with kudzu vines
Reminding me time’s a river that flows steady everyday
And bit by bit the water’s gentle touch
Wears the canyon’s walls away (Chorus)

4th Place
“Notable Ghosts”
by Andrew Bean
Indianapolis, Indiana

Daddy he worked as a lawyer
He fucked up his way through the ’90s
He took all he could from his family
And gave to the dealers
And all the hateful dream stealers he knew

He still calls to say “happy birthday”
Or just to make sure that I voted
Between civic duty and sorry
Sorry was just too hard a word to say
But I think I’ll be okay

You’re just a notable ghost
Someone that I used to know
Flying by night from the shores of my mind
I’m all out of love
I’m all out of time
You’re just a notable ghost
I knew a girl from a village
In the sewers of North Indiana
A smile that could tear you to pieces
If she could take you
She’d break you like I-65

She still calls every now and then
Presumably far from her boyfriend
With musings of love in the abstract
You know a poetic drunk
Just sounds like a drunk to me
At least now I can sleep

She’s just a notable ghost
And I’m better off drinking alone
I’ll be just fine with my whiskey and wine
I’m all out of love
I’m all out of time
She’s just a notable ghost

Here’s to the notable ghosts
Damned to a lifetime alone
Blesséd are they who can lock them away
And keep on living their lives just the same
Not scared of notable ghosts

Cursed be my eyes if I see you tonight
I’m all out of love
I’m all out of time
You’re just notable ghosts

Honorable Mention
“What Do I Ask Of Love”
Terrence Durant
Seattle, Washington

Alice Doskocil
Crosby, Texas

“Don’t Forget To Forgive Me”
Jane Fallon
Brookline, New Hampshire

“Broken Heartland”
Bill McGinnis
Park City, Utah

“Small Town Girls”
Jessica Fox
Bakersfield, California

“Whiskey Breath”
Jamie Parsons Lesche
Malibu, California

Ron Hollomon
McKinney, Texas

“Mind To Travel”
Jackson Lucas
Washington, D.C.

“You Do You, I’ll Do Me”
John Bungard
Antioch, Tennessee

Rob Redwine
Fort Worth, Texas