Winning Poems for September 2015

Judged by C. Wade Bentley

First Place

Why I can’t stop myself being in love with staying up so late

by Alison Armstrong-Webber
The Waters

I can see in the straight-sided lawn laid out, late in the late night,
sprinklers freshening boxwood, the edged grounds bird-silent, nothing
in the sky that was not there a million years past, what so much life
might make for itself, that it gives up, lays down, like a small fortune.

So spare, yet still able to perfectly capture the pensiveness and disquiet of the late-night mind—a perspective, a world that most of us sleep through. --C. Wade Bentley

Second Place

Thunderstorm Grass

by Helm Filipowitsch

Subdivision sunset/roses fade/maple lurks
and the sky bleeds from blue to black.
The child within/the child who never sleeps/
the child who ran the backyard fences
and thunderstorm grass/the child who explored
the basement caves of a thousand musty houses/
the child who slid into home plate
on every ball diamond in the city/that child
recreates each moment on the ashes of the last.
There is no dam to hold back time/there is
no time which contains the child.
Child and time/time and child through
the swirling atoms which have for a moment
settled and become this image already gone.

I enjoyed the way the partitioned phrases of this poem built on and played off of each other like waves coming into shore and then receding at the last. --C. Wade Bentley

Third Place

Overgrown Road

by Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum

It is summer in a hazy past,
insects drunk on animal blood
land lazily on bare arms, take
more than they need, breed, die.

Heat makes crazy, looks for
shade, knits a sweat sheen
out of pure air, pond glare throws
a knife into an unprotected eye.

Children kill each other, mock
war, mimic, enemies easy enough
to hate, strong enough to surrender,
sigh and say, where’s the lemonade?

Somewhere down an overgrown
road, where we leave our young
senses, spent shell casings shine,
shots fired in panic, self defenses

Lovely internal rhymes, palpable nostalgia, and a spot-on, fresh metaphor: “knits a sweat sheen.” --C. Wade Bentley

Honorable Mention

Baskets of Severed Hands

by Christopher T. George
Desert Moon Review

When the white-skinned visitors arrived,
the Capucho offered no helping hand.
Cardinal Rosario, garlic-breathed and plump
with satisfaction, offered them the comfort
of the flesh and blood of Jesus, yet
they liked better their jade gods
and the promise of eternal sunrises.
General Francisco came in search of gold,
having heard the legends that had filtered
even across the ocean: idols of burnished gold
with irises of sapphire, navels of emerald.
So it was just a question of who would disclose
the secret first. The General prided himself
a student of men. He knew there is always
a way to make men speak. He sucked his teeth,
“Cardinal, every hombre has a breaking point.”
So his minions prepared the raffia baskets,
the keenest Toledo blades.

  • November 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Radium Girls
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      The Unreliable Narrator
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Birds 2
      by JJ Williamson

      Honorable Mention

      Too Late
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Waters

  • October 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The Emails Go Unanswered
      by Lois P. Jones

      Second Place

      Hidden Room
      by F.H. Lee
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      The Penitent
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      You Can Call Me a Tough Cookie, But It Really Doesn’t Matter
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum