On the ILA Magazine Facebook Group, "After Nightfall" was a prompt challenge given by one of our contributing editors, Mr. Bur Han. It was required for poets to begin and end their poem with the prompt themed line, "After Nightfall", expressing agony of rape victim teens who feel suffocated by this horrendous atrocity. Their poems also had to contain a minimum of 5 lines and a maximum of 10. Mr. Bur Han chose 5 poets and their poems, and we are publishing in the order of rank.
After nightfall, silent screams and tears on her pillow you'll find, Engulfed in total darkness, she had become a dying star losing its light. She's no longer herself the moment everything fell apart, Torn and afraid, trauma etched deep in her once cheerful heart.
In this society where her voice felt suppressed and unheard, A victim, trapped and shackled in a cage like a bird. Nothing but her silent tears and screams always going unheard, As she reaches out and wished for her voice to be finally heard. Asking if people will lend their ear, rekindle her light, and lift her from her fall, Open their hearts and prevent other teens from becoming victims after nightfall.
© Rhoanne Lampacan Boado
After night fall, her essence fell, Like a concrete building demolished by vigorous authority. The thuds being only audible to her, She screams from beneath the debris of her being, Her agony intermingles with the dark of the night, Yes, the night also cries with her, She seeks the angel of death to fly her beyond the pain she goes through, Yes, she wants an escape from this pain...after Nightfall. © Binte Ayesha Wani
After nightfall, her wish has now granted To be with this man enjoying overnight Stars in the sky are brightly dancing In the midst of night all birds are singing. No one has to blame the intimate moment But the love of young heart so dearly given the sixteen ager lass gave love to a married man That he bid goodbye, her innocent tears fell, after nightfall.
© Siervo Aries Catarman, Northern Samar, Philippines
"A Wounded Butterfly"
After the nightfall Breaking soul or falling apart itself sighs will never heal Dry tears will always scream no mercy, can be seen in the mirror. The night gone by, flooded the morning bliss a whirlwind of thorns clashed with the soft wind They drank dew like evening wine Milk soul is venom, mirror on the wall A wounded butterfly after nightfall.
© Farhan Anjum Pakistan
After nightfall owls hoot And cicadas burst into song, The leaves rustle along. But the teen's bruised heart beats To the threnody of that atrocity Committed long back Now returning to her as nightmares Night after night after night. She flails her limbs, screams her guts out Shuddering at that brutality after nightfall.
© Santosh Bakaya