My Neighbor, Only a Name On a Mailbox

by Bernard Henrie
The Waters
Highly Commended, April 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


Margaret Yamasaki dyed her hair seaweed color.
In the right light and a few miles an hour of wind
she appears to swim toward me, to come landward,
a water postman, eerie mop of hair waving
in semaphore code.

I imagine sea water beaded in her eyelashes
as she effortlessly swims the Pacific breakers.

Later, she leaves the beach and turns to look
at an old man, a silver porpoise almost metallic
with a backstroke.

At that distance she cannot see my smile
or that I am busy at invisible controls, a pilot
in a cockpit I hope to avert any disaster
she might encounter and to fix all bets
for happiness in her favor.


Highly commended for a great image – “In the right light and a few miles an hour of wind / she appears to swim towards me” – and for the interesting idea, in the last stanza, that the observer is at the controls. --Fiona Sampson

  • June 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Escape at the Speed of Transience
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Palace Hotel
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      Camping
      by Mike LaForge
      The Waters

  • May 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum