ROUND TWO: 10-tourniquet vs. 2-plaster


Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you’d like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


10-tourniquet what does it mean?
Stop the Bleeding!
By Colleen Owen Murphy

Alas! I need a tourniquet to wrap around my heart!
It’s gushing like a fountain since my girl tore it apart.
She left me for an older guy (I think he’s in fifth grade).
If only I had grown an inch, perhaps she would have stayed.

My mother says, “I know it’s hard, but son you’ll be okay.”
“I’ll never ever be the same; she threw my love away!
We used to laugh and talk at lunch, but now we barely speak.”
My brother says, “Get over it. You dated her a week.”



2-plaster what does it mean?
By Ryan Stockton

A bully who was taunting me and always there a-haunting me
Was only ever wanting me to hit or shout right back
I knew that wouldn’t work and so I’d simply give a smirk
Which would drive the guy berserk till I could parry his attack
Retaliation masters told me how to end it faster
By encasing him in plaster right up to his knobby nose
It sounded kinda drastic but I thought it was fantastic
I was so enthusiastic but my no-fun mom said “No.”


Public Vote (10-tourniquet vs. 2-plaster)
Final Results:
10-tourniquet vs. 2-plaster

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
10-tourniquet vs. 2-plaster
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
10-tourniquet vs. 2-plaster

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  • Josh Close

    And I thought the LAST matchup was tough… nicely done, both of you.

    • Ryan

      Thanks Josh! Means a lot coming from you! :-)

    • Colleen Murphy

      Thanks Josh!

  • Ryan

    Colleen, great poem!

    • Colleen Murphy

      Thanks Ryan! You did a great job as well!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Love the last line in “Stop the Bleeding”–thanks for the chuckle.

    • Colleen Murphy

      You are welcome! It is my aim to make people laugh, smile, think or any combination of the above.

  • Tee

    Oh, excellent effort from both. These are hard.

  • Ryan

    I couldn’t decide which poem to really work on and finally submit, so here’s the other one I was debating. Just for the fun of it…

    Two sculptors were shaping and scraping their work
    Each thought that the other was stuck up, a jerk
    To settle their squabbles, a match would begin
    The first one to finish their sculpture would win
    Plaster was flying and fingers were racing
    On outlines and features the sculptors were tracing
    At last at the end with the room a disaster
    The first one was crowned: Faster Master of Plaster

    • Linda H

      I love this one.

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    So both kid-friendly and fun.

  • Maureen Lynas

    Super poems with great punchlines. Difficult decision but one made me laugh out loud so it had to be that one.

  • Jackie


  • Randi

    Wow! This one is a very tough call! Excellent use of the word and spot-on meter and rhyme in both. Good luck!

    • Colleen Murphy

      Thanks! I am nervous about the results!!

  • Damon Dean

    My first thought, Colleen, was ‘this lady knows boys.’ Then I looked at your bionote, and see with three girls—you REALLY know boys! Great work!
    Ryan, I could feel the desperation! Loved this emotion stopped dead in it’s tracks.

    • Colleen Murphy

      Ha ha! Thanks!

  • Ryan

    I had a feeling the vote was going Colleen’s way! Congratulations Colleen on a great poem and emphatic win. Best of luck in the future rounds!

    • Colleen Murphy

      I wasn’t so sure Ryan. I thought your rhyme scheme and subject could beat me out. Thanks for the good wishes!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Congrats, Colleen! Looking forward to battling it out with you in the next round! Or maybe just writing a couple of good poems and letting the chips fall where they may. :D

    • Colleen Murphy

      Same Renee! Congratulations to you; I know this will be a good battle.