2015 Writing Competition – Third Place #2

The 2nd annual UBC Medicine Art As Adjuvant Writing Competition concluded this year with the reading of the winning pieces at the Coffee House on April 8.  Dr. Monica Kidd, a Calgary-based published author and doc, and Kristy Williams, UBC Med grad 2014 and co-founder of Arts As Adjuvant, took on the difficult task of selecting the winners from a pool of beautiful written pieces.  Prizes were possible due to the continuing support of the BC Medical Journal and funding from the UBC Med Wellness Initiative Network.  Arts in Medicine would like to recognize Pretty Verma for organizing such a wonderful contest.

The following piece tied in third place:


by Alexander Dodd

He seemed to find himself turning to words less those days.

I’m not sure why, but it’s like his commitment was starting to fade.

His dedication to salvation, torn out like the first page of a thrift store novel.

I’m not sure it’s ironic, but prose had always been what he’d turned to.

A stream of unconscious, enlightening him to what was really going on below;

what he was only sure existed because of his urge to clench a fist or that

depressed sigh that tried so hard to fly, but he choked at the base of his throat.

He wrote, not just to cope but to find the piece of him that was dying.

The piece of him that he used to cling to when the fear stole his breath,

squeezed his chest, and made him think that it just wasn’t a test.

The piece of him that was so damn resilient.

The piece of him that picked him back up and said again.

The piece that was filled with so much compassion,

you’d think that love didn’t know the word ration.

He turned to words because they were often a letter from his subconscious.

Often that smile from a stranger that made it impossible to blame… himself.

But those days his subconscious was loud like a full volume cracked record put

Looping the same pathological garbage until he didn’t think that the happiness he

on to spin, skipping, and resetting.

clung to so tight,

was within.

He came from a science background, a culture of hardwired backbones, and

chemical feelings, a field that dealt with concepts organic, but what he found

when he wrote was that his prose was about life. He wasn’t religious but he

swore that there is one thing below that no matter how twisted you make it, it can

hold you whole. He talked about soul.

There was a time he thought he might not make it, yet alone thrive,

then a fellow poet YELLED

It reminds us our soul is alive.

“Never stop writing”

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