Winning Poems for April 2017
Judged by R.T. Castleberry
FIRST PLACEby Marilyn Francis
The Write Idea
Why, on the hottest day of the year,
would you roast a chicken?
Maybe somewhere some memory
stirred the thread of a tradition
murmuring it must be done.
Was it those apocryphal fried eggs on the pavement?
The Oh What A Scorcher headlines?
Did they remind you?
And it wasn’t even Sunday
and you’d laid the table,
cloth, crockery, and cutlery.
You’d kept the greasy pinny on
while you stirred the gravy
and sang along to the radio.
The stirring and singing
were in full swing as we arrived
all salt and sweat from the beach
to the Amazon Basin kitchen
brimming with Sunday.
Too many for your small table,
we sat elbow-close, and the children
were piglets under our feet.
‘I’ve made a roast’ you said
‘and apple pie’.
You hadn’t cooked
A tightly written, lightly humorous and completely charming slice of life. --R.T. Castleberry
SECOND PLACEby Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum
All day I have been rearranging my body
to fit the world. It’s hopeless. I can’t leave
anything behind. I drag all memories
after, a kite’s tail in a blue-grey sky.
Flying, I can see fields below, fields where
I once played, had my first kiss. There
is the young girl I taught to be cruel when
I was so cruel to her. I sigh. She laughs.
All my former selves live together in
a small house frozen in that one moment
when you think nobody is looking. They
argue about everything, forever.
We forget goodness, are famished
for kindness, nothing is enough. Nothing
except sorrow. The sorrow of hearts spills
into all souls. Nowhere else to keep it.
Precise, unsentimental writing with some fine surrealistic touches. The opening line immediately grabs the reader's attention. And other great lines follow: There/is the young girl I taught to be cruel when/I was so cruel to her; We forget goodness, are famished/for kindness, nothing is enough. --R.T. Castleberry
THIRD PLACEby E. Russell Smith
The Write Idea
It gets no darker than this.
We will celebrate if you wish,
the essential sunrise, not to
regret the failings of a day
now past and locked away.
Flowers in bud at evening
will open at dawn, a daybreak
of pigment and incense.
Even now the scent of
possesses God’s acre, narcotic
relief from idle despair.
Step to the measure of old stars
dropping into the night, the lyric
of night birds sure of their title.
Read the rhythm of waves on rocks
and match your steps and fancies
to their elemental rehearsal.
A lovely, atmospheric evocation of night's promises, with some gorgeous lines: the essential sunrise; not to/regret the failings of a day...; the lyric/of night birds sure of their title. --R.T. Castleberry
HONORABLE MENTIONby Laurie Byro
After Alexander Calder’s Silver Bed Head
Silver veil of hair, an aged mermaid, waterfall
of fish and plant, make me a headboard
that summons dreams. Fashion a water globe hookah
that percolates over us– pumping, pulsing vaporous
thoughts escaping into ecstatic lake weed. When our
footprints dissolve into froth and sand, bubble
into the corners of a witch’s brew mouth, then
we will know the truth of it. People love filth.
Bread and sex: my sins are common ones.
Lift my imagination into the wild air,
never shackle me into the harness of a messy
bed. My headboard breathes and silvery
fish carry me down stream. I used them all,
sad darlings, as I conjured a scurrilous trance.
We are moths in the moonlight. Into each drifter’s
arms, let us begin the dance.
HONORABLE MENTIONby Dorothy Doyle Mienko
My hair falls
into the wastebasket
like a death
How can I explain
this letting go
shall I mention
The word fistful
of long strands
loud as weeping
Here is a smoky dream
and I am in it
I shall slide
down this long night
of black stars
to meet myself
of blue leaves
how I am fog
it directs with a fist