In a City Made of Seaweed

by Dave Rowley
Desert Moon Review
Third Place, May 2007
Judged by Bryan Appleyard


Double Sonnenizio on Two Lines by Ilya Kaminsky*

In a city made of seaweed we danced on a rooftop, my hands
were slippery dancers, your body a love-flung shorebreak

arched at the hips. Now a city of sand slips beneath us too, castle
rooftops battered by the tide’s foamy tentacles: such trembly aggressors,

such lurchers of reclamation. We scrawl our story in lines
of seaweed cursive. One lover is a dollop of oyster, the other

a mother-of-pearl cradle, we cling tight as the dance-floor shifts.
Such stubbornness flings us through a city of kelp; it’s complicated

among the olive pods. Stubborn love is like a leatherjacket, that tough city
swaggerer, or a porcupine fish filled with air–you suck up what the ocean hands

you, whether krill, or squid’s black ink. The seabed is a rooftop, our story
made for flight: streaming from our gills in stubborn recklessness

these words of love are little bubbles, dancing, rising on a dare.
Such is the story made of stubbornness and a little air.

*First and last lines are by Ilya Kaminsky.


Luscious and dense language used to entangle imagery and associations. The poem creates a dazed hallucinated atmosphere. --Bryan Appleyard

  • March 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Cuttlefish
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Wings
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      gutterball
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells