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

  • September 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Houses
      by Ken Ashworh
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Algernon Charles Swinburne
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Arbeit Macht Frei Inc.
      by Jim Fowler
      Babilu

  • August 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Chanticleer
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Last Game of the Season
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      The Fine Print of Rescue
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum