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.



  • August 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The World Is Moist in the Morning
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Epitaph
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      I kissed a tree
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

  • July 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The First Time I Drank With My Father
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Bicycle
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      J. Alfred Prufrock Searches for Mrs. Right
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu