Father

by Brian Lowry
criticalpoet.org
Honorable Mention, June 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


He taught me to spell grasshopper,
“g-r-a-double s-hippitty hop, flippitty flop,
don’t stop ‘til you get to the top-e-r, grasshopper.

And Constantinople was, “Catcha-key, catcha-kye,
catcha-constantinye, catch an ople, catch a poeple,
catch a Constantinople.”

In his time there were no cell phones,
no digital technologies, no personal
computers. Blackberries, he walked miles for,

picked and ate with the pleasure
of childhood. His countenance was
an oil-filled lantern.

This morning’s mizzle, the predawn
darkness, the animals’ slow stirring
when I fed, brought his light to my head.

And the cricketsong, which had gone
unnoticed, underscored the rhythm
of heaven and earth as one.


Charming and well-chosen instances. And I like the gathering rhyme towards the last couplet. Just a tiny bit conservative, in both diction (“Blackberries, he walked miles for”) and message. --Fiona Sampson

  • December 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Tires
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Scouring Pots While the World Ends
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Poetry in the Cultural Revolution
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

  • November 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Radium Girls
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      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      The Unreliable Narrator
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Birds 2
      by JJ Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      Too Late
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Waters