A Poem for Ash

by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, October 2016
Judged by Richard Krawiec


I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead
from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
D.H. Lawrence

Enter the poet

Just as I move from lip to urn, to coffee can for ease
in transport, the eternal butt mass produces more of us.

We imitate ghostly snakes, we writhe and grow
like a runaway dream. We are the mist off Capri,

the languid soul as it enters bergamot air, sea-salt
and goats drenching the pores on a rocky hillside.

A sooty diesel train rocks us in our death-crib then
we are spilled at the station. We are gathered

and cupped in an enemy’s hands, reviled and praised
all at the same time. One myth has us suffocated in

cement, unable to leave this place, forever bound
to all future dreamers. In truth, we are satisfied to

sleep in a bowl on a poet’s mantelpiece, a pinch
and sprinkle swimming in a Martini potion (and sometimes

morning tea), we taste like lapsang oolong. We are a last
spell as we conjure the unforgiven back to our lair.



  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block