Winning Poems for November 2010

Judged by Paul Lisicky

First Place

Hush

by Jude Goodwin
The Waters

When the rains come
there’ll be pumpkins
rotting in the garden
and bargain store spider webs
heavy on the leafless sumac
and when the darkness humps the grasses,
clumps along the concrete walk
there’ll be poppies
bleeding onto stone,
there’ll be old voices
reading the names.
When the cold grows bold
there’ll be death
in every window box –

and love strokes me,
love says shush.
When the supper’s done
there’ll be a fireside
and strings drawn
from a wooden box,
and love
says hush.


The music, the line breaks, the evocative description: everything in sync here. --Paul Lisicky

Second Place

Doors Beneath Their Signs

by Larry Jordan
PoetryCircle

The price for knowing God, is an apple,
she said with a line drawn by her foot,
over which she dared anyone to cross.
In the halls of distracted men, she raised
her voice, learned to pose as if her toe
was inches from a stream.

For which should we care first,
our body or our soul,
she’d ask the ladies
in the vestibule, making coffee, cutting cake,
teaching children to say Raphael, just in case.

It seems we quit after landing on the moon,
she mused, exploring her closets, drawers,
and chests, grabbing her purse and keys.
What a day, she thought, walking into Macy’s.


The thinking is inventive from image to image; so much breadth suggested by compression. --Paul Lisicky

Third Place

I Could Cry But I Don’t

by Billy Howell-Sinnard
The Writer's Block

The things I work with are sharp,
made to reach inside, measure
what shouldn’t be: histories

of kin and accident, want of life
no matter what the consequences.
Their excuses can’t delay the decay.

I dress them in gowns, delight
them with warmed blankets. Now,
pain fills their days like God.


An elliptical and rich poem, energized by patterns of contrast. ----Paul Lisicky


  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block