2021 Cerasus Poetry Olympic Biathlon

The 2021 Cerasus Poetry Olympic Biathlon comprises two separate competitions – one for poetry and one for flash fiction – that will run in parallel over 6 qualifying heats in July-August 2021.

The competitions are open to all who pay the entry fee and submit a batch of 6 poems and/or 6 pieces of flash fiction before the closing date of midnight BST at the end of 22nd July 2021.

On payment of the fee, you will be randomly allocated a country name, which will identify you during the course of the competitions.

When the competitions start, countries will be placed into random, equal sized groups. The first heat poem/flash from each country’s batch will then compete against the others in their own group.

The winners from each group will then proceed to the 2nd heat, where they will be placed into new qualifying groups. Those who did not win will be eliminated from the competitions.

The second poem/flash from each country’s batch will then compete… and so on, until the 6th and final heat.

At the end of the competitions, there will be 3 Medal Winners: the top performing poet; the top performing flash fiction writer; plus – for those entering both competitions – the top performing poetry+flash biathlete.

Each of them will be awarded a cash prize equal to 25% of the net value of entry fees received. They will also work with Cerasus to have a collection of their work published and will receive 5 complimentary copies of the ensuing book.

All published books will be made available to buy on Amazon and their authors will be able to purchase further copies at a discounted price.

Please ensure you read, understand and comply with the full rules.

2021 Cerasus Poetry Olympic Biathlon: Rules

  • Entry to the competition is secured by paying the relevant registration fee, (£5.99 for poetry, £5.99 for flash fiction, or £9.99 for both) using one of the payment buttons below.
  • Payment must be made no later than midnight BST at the end of 22nd July 2021.
  • After the closing date, payments will not be refunded.
  • We regret, there are no concessions.
  • After payment of the registration fee, you may submit your batch of 6 poems and/or 6 flash fiction pieces at any time, up to the closing date.
  • Late entries will not be included in the competition and you may forfeit your entry fee.
  • Entries must be submitted as a Word compatible document, attached to an email addressed to aviumpress@gmail.com
  • Poems can be of any length or format, while flash fiction pieces can be up to 499 words each.
  • They must be in the same order and in some way inspired by the 6 prompts given below.
  • There must be a clear page break between each poem/flash.
  • The first page of your submission must include the following details: your name, email address and the name of the country you were allocated when you registered.
  • The poems/flashes must be all your own work, to which you own full copyright and they must not defame, plagiarise, or otherwise infringe anyone else’s rights.
  • The competitions will be judged by the Editor of Cerasus Poetry, whose decision will be final.
  • The progress of the competition heats will be publicised on http://cerasuspoetry.com and individual entrants will be notified by email.
  • Winners will be announced no later than the 30th September 2021.
  • The number of groups in each heat and the cash value of prizes will be determined by the number of entrants, the details of which will be announced before the heats begin.

Heat 1

In the myth of me, I am geese
in flight, in reverse.
And I dream in portents,
that I am winter in full bloom.
Ballads of me are discordant;
they are whale song under a moon,
full at noon. There are tales of me,
where I am the hanged man,
strung upside down.
I have questions
that are clenched fists,
but the answers are just stones.
I forget my own name
in this saga of mine.
In this story, the heroine dies,
then learns to live again,
with love and pain.
Told end to start, she exists
in twilight, crown of eggshell,
magnificent and mundane.

Crown of Eggshell

Heat 2

The time, according to the dandelions,
is half past summer and my dinner waits –
sausage, mash and beans – a feast for schoolboy princes, already full of 7-Up
and sherbet dab…

… This is, of course, a scene
framed by the old gold glow of 9-carat
reminiscence. My mate Johnny stamps down
on a plank of wood and gets a rusty
nail right through his foot. Linda is knocked down
by a milk float in silent, stealth reverse.

I play hide’n’seek and take a foolish
leap into a crater full of nettles
that camouflage a nest of broken green
bottles. We still pick scabs from dirty knees.

According to the Dandelions

Heat 3

‘You had told me you planned to 
move to Lyme Regis,’ I said.
This is 33.9 million miles further,’ 
she said. ‘I checked.’
‘When you are 
plunging through space, 
what is to become of our love?’ I asked. 
‘This isn’t love,’
she replied. 
‘It is the shadow cast
by the explosive collision   
of two disparate worlds.’
‘Are you going to put that in the divorce petition?’  I asked.

33.9 Million Miles from Lyme Regis

Heat 4

He displayed her on his
bed, like a diamond in
its pouch, aroused as he
was by cold skin to the touch,

and sat in admiration
of her all-too-brief life
racing the ocean current
whilst gathering her spawn.

He caressed her now-brittle
fins and kissed her now-purple
lips, licked the tips of fingers
all a-glitter with scale.

He did all these things
and stroked her now warm
flesh, whispering: ‘My!
What a beautiful fish.’

Beautiful Fish

Heat 5

Shenrr cocks his humpback face
and shakes the rain from his listening brow.
‘Kenos is caught; I smell him dismantled.’
Temaukel huffs and puffs in the sky.
‘Quickly. Quickly.’ Rockfall of anger.
‘Light up the moon and let’s see.’
Condors and kingfishers wreathe at his black locks.

‘Gone,’ says Shenrr. Birds ride the light
down to the ranch roof. Temaukel says, ‘I know.’
They sink to the glittered grass sucked by the sea.
The Soorts come out of the spongy ground.
Kohj rides in on grey spindrift. Josh falls
in spattered flakes and sits on the fencepost caps
and the grazing rights, and the moonlit rape of trees.

The Gnawing Flood

Heat 6

I’m on my way to Lithuania tomorrow,
when the freedom fighters fall
and the cake decorators seize the city.
I expect tangy lime and cerulean zizzle
but the most unexpected arrival
will surely be the battery-acid concoction
in a shade of lemonade yellow.
It’s the secret component of the electric
covid-19-free meringues
that the decorators are most liable for.
A tax collector approached me
in a satellite-plated van and
announced his departure from God.
He had baskets upon baskets of fruit.

My Brain in all its Perfidious Beauty

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