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

  • November 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Rapture
      by JJ Wiliamson
      Babilu

      Second Place (tie)

      Red Spider Lilies
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place (tie)

      The Big House At Mambalam
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place (tie)

      What Have I Done to Thee O Muse
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place (tie)

      World Affairs
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Morning
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      A Can of Grandma Figlioto’s Pasta Sauce
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

  • October 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      We Could Use an American
      by Mignon Ariel King
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Dante’s Outer Circles
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Time of Move
      by RC James
      Babilu