How the Wind Works

by Alison Armstrong-Webber
The Waters
First Place, January 2019
Judged by Ruth Bavetta


Young boys in Maiduguri often test
how the wind works
by blowing themselves to pieces.

Aremu Adams Adebisi

*

And when they get to where they are going, the boys
bursting forth from within their own chests like flurries
of torn paper, or collapsible flowers – if the wind is
with them – does a lion lie down in the heart, then,
with a lamb? Is there time, for that emptiness

to shine wholly in splotches ripe as real berries
and for part of a shoe to be wet with something
like the wondrous, yearned-for rain? Can they see,
through the whisk of the wind’s borrowed trillion

eyes, how the universe was formed out of a perennial
blossom of light and an infinite mote of supreme
black,— how it all fits back together, red-black,
the pearl of splintered bone, the puzzle
of matter, and no matter.


I hardly know where to begin discussing this forcible poem. Tragedy with music. Surrealism that is realism. Beautiful images describing indescribable horror. A universe that sucks us in and repels us simultaneously. A song of beauty and wonder and death. --Ruth Bavetta

  • 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