Bird-dog, Bird-dog

by Margaret Hemme
The Waters
Honorable Mention, September 2009
Judged by George Szirtes


he’s a god
fur flapping
racing frantic
circles
leaping earth
green and gravel
fringed
by wired walls

he hears
the blackbirds
inky
digging dots
coating oaks
fluttering far
no fences
free, and one

has landed
startles
rises
from his lawn
too late

the rubber ball
is black now
bouncing
and he’s trained
to grab it
from the sky

bird-dog, bird-dog
good catch, but
I’d rather
watch it fly


It's the writing rather than the whole shape here that seems particularly good, the second verse with those inky blackbirds. I think the last verse thins the poem a little, the tone maybe a touch flip. It is the observation that is the strongest element of the poem. --George Szirtes

  • 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

  • June 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Poem in Exile in the Style of Neruda
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Either February or March
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Accidental Writer
      by Bernard Hamel
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Mouse in April’s Winter
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Sister Valeria
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      My Trip: The Last Siona Dream
      by Don Schaeffer
      Babilu