November’s Window

by Brenda Levy Tate
PenShells
Third Place, December 2015
Judged by Barbara Siegel Carlson


Not for me the crisp lace,
sheers afloat on fall air,
pale drapes full of cool drafts.
My view is naked and open;
I need fear no evil beyond
these frames that raindamp
rinses clear.

I hang no curtains over glass –
nothing to mute sunrise,
noon, the awe-full flare
aiming in. Beams burn my prayer
plant, stigmatize its folded
leaves. Truth scars what it
touches.

Sparrows and jays debate;
I lipread through the panes.
Feathers catch in hedge webs –
ivory, buff, charcoal, cobalt.
Squirrels and canny starlings
peruse each other, songbirds,
and me.

Muntin shadows reach out,
lay crosses on my arms.
Thorny limbs wear barberries
bright as lovers’ wounds.
Birches unroll bark in strips
like bandages. I can hear
the world bleeding.


Fresh, sensual language brings out a sharpened and deepened view of the natural world through the un-curtained window. The arc goes from inside to out as well as from physical to divine further sensitizing us to the world’s beauty and pain that is its reality. --Barbara Siegel Carlson

  • January 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      How the Wind Works
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Sleep Walker
      by Brenda Levy Tate
      PenShells

      Third Place

      The Woman Who Grew up in My House Finds Me on Facebook and Comes to Take a Look Around
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters

  • 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