Orange Box Contest poetry winners!

Finally, the wait is over, and the Holiday Orange Box Contest comes to a nice finale! I’d like to take a quick moment to thank all of the people who participated, whether it be the dozens who posted comments for the drawings, the three or four who took the time to make a Photoshop, or the 20+ entries we had for the poetry portion. If it were up to me, you’d all be winners! (Okay, maybe not. Some of these poems were godawful…)

Without further ado, I’d like to present to you the two runner-ups and the official winner of the contest. I couldn’t pick on my own, so I had some input from all sectors of the GN staff, including a few REAL poets! (Of course, it would have been nice if Valve got back to me in time… cough…)

In third place, Coop’s poem, "Freeman."

Tremors rock the Citadel,
Unstable monuments fall around your safety pit
Which always opens just wide enough for you,
Gordon, stoic foil to the smile, timeless
In the worldspun vortex

Again, again
Recollection sifts slowly through your impenetrable
Personal, egocentric shield

Which I have given you.

Rocks fall to silhouette your shape,
Through – one would mistake –
Pure chance or sheer

We know the truth, though,
Don’t we doctor.

Stoic still, bravely reluctant
To adhere to your survival instinct.
Lives were lost, everywhere and here,
And you cry, loving your martyrdom
Osmosed through the screen you deny, to replicate
In the incubation cages
In the incubation cages that you left

Gordon left us, I’ve heard, I’ve heard them cry
Their spirits spoke
to me, but hush
I will never leave you. Lay
Down to sleep
That your life
And your secret, Gordon
I’ve seen it, I’ve been there, I gave it to you
And time again.
Assuring that the right man
In the wrong place
Can make all the difference
In the world.

You jolt awake, under feet of stone
Eyes filled with ash,
Blurring any sense of sun.

In second place, psyborg’s untitled poem, proving that much like Portal itself, sometimes people just love the short, funny guy.

My little, Weighted
Companion Cube
I love every little
Thing that you do

You’ve got six sides
And you’ve got six hearts
I’ve only got one
But you’ve got every part


And finally, the winner of the copy of Orange Box and the second winning poet on GamerNode (Frank wanted me to count him since he got the featured box…): disc0, with his also unnamed poem!


‘Twas nearing midnight on a cold twenty-fourth,
But I would stay up for my guest from the North.
He would come with a gift, and leave with a limp,
It’d be like pulp fiction, with the guy and that gimp;
Horrendous abuse to the jolly fat man!
But oh such a sad story led to my plan:

In Christmas ’04, I waited with glee
For that one brand new game for my high-end PC.
You all know the title, the one oft-delayed,
With crowbar and G-Man and HE Grenade.
But soon I was shouting, "Contemptible whore!
"It’s a copy of Army Men: Sarge’s War!"

In scarlet-faced fury I plotted my scheme,
My sweet revenge for this man ruining my dream;
I’ve worked for three years to perfect it all,
Tonight, my friends, old Santa will fall.
I’ve put a false bottom in my fireplace,
And ‘neath it a meat grinder to mash up his face,

But wait! And listen! A sleigh’s drawing near!
Come hither, dear Santa, you’ve nothing to fear.
A "Ho ho ho!" rings out (such language, so foul!)
And I grin as I hear next a crash and a howl,
And the grinding and spitting of bones, flesh, and steel.
I savor his cookies and milk; a great meal.

But what’s this? The toy sack! It’s there by the fire,
I shouldn’t have peeked, but I had such desire
To see what old Nick could have brought me this year;
Coal lumps, or old socks, or rotted dead deer?
But no! Something lovely, a present and a note:
"Sorry about ’04, hope you like this!" He wrote.

My stomach turned over, and paper went flying,
And oh poor Saint Nick! How long you’ve been flying!
How hard you worked just to bring me this one gift,
To make sweet amends; give my spirits a lift!
And I ruined your body and curled silver locks,
Oh Santa, I knew not of this sweet Orange Box.

So children, remember, if one holiday blows,
And you dread the year’s end and the gifts and the snows,
Don’t jump to conclusions and ruin next year;
Have faith in good Santa and all his reindeer!
Or I guess it doesn’t matter, because now he’s goo…
Whatever. I’m going to play TF2.


Once again, thanks to everyone who took the time to enter, thanks to Valve for letting me do a poetry contest and Photoshop contest instead of just random giveaways, and thanks to the last-minute judges who read through poems to help decide the winner. Unfortunately, the Weighted Companion Cube plushie was too popular to secure some for the final week’s winners. On the bright side, when you look at it you won’t be reminded of its horrible, horrible death.

(PS, did anyone else notice the two "winning" poems on GamerNode both started with ‘Twas? If there’s another poetry contest, start with "’Twas" and you’ll probably win.)


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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