Nebraska, Summer

by Greta Bolger
The Waters
First Place, February 2018
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


Like tar, she softens in the heat,
a would-be hazard elsewhere.
Her father, careless sentry

stays hidden under the truck
that’s never not in need of fixing,
soles of his beat-up boots

keeping watch. Not many lunatics
this far out anyway, no cars, nights so dark
every star can be seen and counted.

Listen. Soft radio clear as glass
all the way from Lincoln, love songs
rhythmic as she rocks, wood kissing wood.


I love the way the feel of the poem is as languid as a summer day, one line slipping easily into the next, alliteration and assonance doing their job but without bravado. The last stanza, in particular, commands that we listen, and then doesn’t miss a note. --C. Wade Bentley

  • November 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Rapture
      by JJ Wiliamson
      Babilu

      Second Place (tie)

      Red Spider Lilies
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place (tie)

      The Big House At Mambalam
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place (tie)

      What Have I Done to Thee O Muse
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place (tie)

      World Affairs
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Morning
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      A Can of Grandma Figlioto’s Pasta Sauce
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

  • October 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      We Could Use an American
      by Mignon Ariel King
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Dante’s Outer Circles
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Time of Move
      by RC James
      Babilu