No One Here Is Dreaming

by John Riley
The Waters
First Place, May 2017
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


There should be a window and an ocean
with arch-fingered waves.
A cold fireplace drawing no shadows on the ceiling.
Lying on your back carves a vision of the stone—
a continent of letters and numbers moves closer.
You fold the image in half to toss on the fire,
remember there are no flames.

The pillow is wet. You turn your head to a new resting place
on the edge of a lake.
Water the color of lodestone laps your face.
At the top of your vision is an island.
Three deer eat the low-hanging leaves.
The birds have moved on.
You try to determine the season but deliberation topples.
A gray sky begins to sink.
The deer, the island, the lake, become fog.


Regret and sleeplessness deliver a beautifully surreal movie. --R.T. Castleberry

  • July 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      The Three Fates
      by Laurie Byro
      The Waters

      Second Place

      If I Needed Someone
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      free spirit
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block

  • June 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Longfellow’s Wife
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      A Windy Walk
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea