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

  • May 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      No One Here Is Dreaming
      by John Riley
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Lot’s Daughters
      by Shawn Nacona Stroud
      Desert Moon Review

      Third Place

      Perhaps This
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Let No Man
      by Laura Ring
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Smiling at a Hotel Bar Window
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      Seven Years in Laredo
      by Kendall Witherspoon
      The Waters

  • April 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Roasting
      by Marilyn Francis
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      The Sorrow of Hearts
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Dancing at Midnight
      by E. Russell Smith
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      Silver Bed Head
      by Laurie Byro
      PenShells

      Honorable Mention

      The Little Loss
      by Dorothy Doyle Mienko
      PenShells