Hawaii Forgiveness Project

Poetry of Forgiveness Awards
Winning Entries, 2008

presented at
International Forgiveness Day in Hawai'i
August 3, 2008

Gold Medal:

Steven Rosenthal
graphic poem


I have no explanation for the poem or its subject. It speaks to the underlying emotional and psychological conditions that lead to conflict and the inherent contradiction of "war".

The construction mirrors the conundrum of the subject in that the lines may be read in different orders, none of which come to resolution.

The alternative title of the piece is "DON'T".

Steve Rosenthal

Silver Medal:

degree eternal
Erica Rainhart
free verse

ethereal air
invisible place
constantly unseen
animating entering exiting believing being knowing
separate until
I am


A quickly readable script note to pay attention to the speed life lives us!

Our vast plane of Universal constancy is Creativity on uncountable levels manifesting Itself and destroying Itself... my awareness stanchions a grip on incomprehensible magic,
ever guided simply by feeling sweetness I am no longer separate from!

Erica Rainhart

Bronze Medal:

I Kept the Violin
David Cornwell
free verse

When she was gone I kept
The violin I’d play.
The music
Filled her empty places
Where the two of us would stay.

The music brought her into pictures
And I could place her
Here and there,
She was translucent
But I felt it was perhaps
More lovely
To see her partly here and there;
As I began to see myself.

I’ll admit I have gone
Quite to pieces, with a few
Not to spare.
At times I’d visit
Her transparency
And in reverie I would always
Collect some of my broken pieces
And listen to my music here and


I don't know "what" it is....a song of the spirit....= yes. We must forgive ourselves and not bury the hurt that has come to us because we cared....perhaps to much.

David Cornwell

Honorable Mention:

Jack Randall
Deep Listening
free verse

When you deeply listen to me –

I move toward you unconsciously;

A pathway between our unspoken glances

Begins to vibrate softly,

The words fade out and inner feelings rise

Up to meet the harmony of connections never before noticed -

Sweet songs you bring to me, symphonies in fact

Playing out forgotten melodies

Calling for forgiveness.


This came about as a result of participating in a poetry workshop with James Fox. It came spontaneously out of my consciousness as we focused on a poetry writing exercise. I believe that all have the potential to experience a pathway to forgiveness through "Deep Listening."

Jack Randall


© copyright 2008, Hawai'i Forgiveness Project
and by each individual artist