Ars Poetica #7

by Tim Blighton
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, February 2010
Judged by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar


The unraveling is slow: under red cellophane, black
birds weave around themselves; punctuation
strung together without words; the patterns

dissolve into street lamps and bug zappers,
stuttering and angry ghosts
trapped in their own vaults. Dusk,

a deep sealing breath, brings a bouquet
of bubbles, stars and debris to the surface. Because,
poetry is any quiet night

translated by those who have only hammers and bells:
every firefly strung through the dandelion seed
like fallen Christmas lights; every sparrow dissolved

into a bat, like a bicycler signaling; every cicada
returning from the industry of mating to lay
its labor inside thinly-cut wood: over

and over, the batches will nestle in the ink of sleep, until
years later—after each creator is consumed,
perhaps, by a bird made flesh from the night—small

tunnels will burst open, nymphs rise
out, crawl into undergrowth whose roots
they’ve fed upon for years, and molt into song.



  • 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