First Frost

by Christopher T. George
FreeWrights Peer Review
Second Place, January 2009
Judged by Elena Karina Byrne


A last ochre magnolia leaf twitches
like the index finger of a dying man;

under the ginkgo, yellow leaves spread
& all the birds are in motion, swooping,

diving: robins, starlings, cardinals,
a brace of cheeky blue jays—o one vaults

into the magnolia like a trapeze
artiste and devours a bud.


"First Frost" is a Buddhist-like, automatopoetic polaroid view of nature, targeting our vulnerability of perennial-impermanence where a magnolia leaf "twitches like the index finger of a dying man." The use of assonance and subtle end rhyme keep the poem beautifully close-fisted, bud-like, ready to be devoured. --Elena Karina Byrne

  • August 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Time Portal At Fenchurch St. Station
      by Ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Still Life With Woodpecker
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Hospice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

  • July 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      The Three Fates
      by Laurie Byro
      The Waters

      Second Place

      If I Needed Someone
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      free spirit
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block