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

  • December 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Tires
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Scouring Pots While the World Ends
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Poetry in the Cultural Revolution
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

  • November 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Radium Girls
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      The Unreliable Narrator
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Birds 2
      by JJ Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      Too Late
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Waters