Aja Monet Reads at the Washington Women’s March

by RC James
Babilu
Honorable Mention, February 2017
Judged by Sara Clancy


In a midnight voice, arms extended,
she read blues that laid the soul to dust.

She gave us her mother, standing in the ruins,
holding a bouquet of bloody music and a spear
she’d carved out of her lover’s bones.

A white woman in the audience, hands extended upwards,
moved her fingers, called the sky to hold these words.

Slashing, sinewy phrases testified to the stamina
of the first activists; her mother fought with the strength
that came from shotgun houses next to the picking fields,
grace earned through knowledge and the mission at hand.

Her poem was a freight train of rapid fire explosive words.
Intellect the weapon, unconcealed now, quashed the howling
and leers from whiskey veined faces in tobacco spit-stained t-shirts,
arms lagged leisurely over benches on small town median strips.

She testified to the cruelty, the barbarity, and every day battles
fought by her family, whose matriarch carried hurricane force.



  • 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
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      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

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