Oils of Soft Fingers

by S. Thomas Summers
The Writer's Block
Highly Commended, August 2009
Judged by George Szirtes


The sofa absorbs early sun,
siphons heat. Already, its paisley
swirls brighten. Small flowers –

petal edges rise like a sylvan Braille,
fertilized by cookie crumbs, potato chip salt.
I ask some unseen vine to tighten

its itchy length around my waist, pull
me beneath the cushions where I’d lie –
a forgotten coin. One day you’ll misplace

your eyeglasses, fail to remember where you
abandoned your keys. As you rummage
through the darkness that bears these

cushions, you’ll rediscover me, polish
my ache with the oils of soft fingers.


This is a lovely vignette - that sylvan Braille is nicely found - and the warmth and sensuousness of it are beautifully conveyed. My one uncertainty is about the ending, that may be either a bit too complete or maybe not quite enough. The lost coin image is at the core of the poem. Maybe we should have a little more of the coin as coin at the end. --George Szirtes

  • July 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The First Time I Drank With My Father
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Bicycle
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      J. Alfred Prufrock Searches for Mrs. Right
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

  • June 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Poem in Exile in the Style of Neruda
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Either February or March
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Accidental Writer
      by Bernard Hamel
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Mouse in April’s Winter
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Sister Valeria
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      My Trip: The Last Siona Dream
      by Don Schaeffer
      Babilu