Learning to See

by Terry Ofner
The Waters
Second Place, March 2015
Judged by Ned Balbo


The dove said dove all day.
               —Theodore Roethke

The willow says willow,
dawn says dawn.
Each drop of dew is a sun
birthing its own blade
of grass.

The orchard of memory
is overgrown with weeds,
raspberries gone rogue.
I’m the biggest green thing
in the green apple tree.

Thrasher is secret
to the suckered pear.
Mama turns my head,
teaches me to see.


In spare, simple lines, the world opens up its bounty, defying language yet connected to it, too. Beyond reason’s limitations nature beckons, and we respond—if we know how to do so. --Ned Balbo

  • 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