Midway

by Billy Howell-Sinnard
The Writer's Block
First Place, October 2014
Judged by Philip Belcher


Swinging in a gondola
at the very top
I feel like the hands
of a clock stopped
while the roar
of the fair goers below
continues madly on
without me.


The eight lines of this compact poem show the merits of compression and attention to sound. The title itself carries weight, with its double meaning of midpoint and a fair’s central pathway. The alternating rhythms of the lines suggest a rocking motion to match that of the fair ride being described by the speaker, and the internal and end rhymes hold the brief narrative together. This is a terrific example of a poet’s close attention to language and meaning and how they can reinforce each other. --Philip Belcher

  • 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