One Belongs to Giving

by Susan Katz
conjunction
First Place, December 2011
Judged by Nathalie Handal


I have gazed my life away.
                    —Ono no Komachi

Often, I lost strings
in the labyrinth.

I had tried holding onto them,
like a mango’s pulp in my hand—

They would loosen,
wait for release.

Until once, I thought the daisy,
the violet had the same scent—

But I learned to tell the difference
between the pale and the stain of love.


This poem takes us to the pale stains that invent a heart. It’s soft tune dares us to gaze at what belongs, what gives, and utlimately, what takes. Each line, a whisper weaving a universe. I keep returning to “often, I lost strings in the labyrinth” – to where the poet creates a maze with one line. This poem keeps giving. Stunning. --Nathalie Handal

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block