by Anna Yin
Pen Shells
First Place, October 2009
Judged by Majid Naficy

You don’t pray for rain in mountains.
It comes and goes as if to home.
The soil is forever soft to preserve its depth.
Leaves unfold themselves to hold each drop.
Sometimes rain wanders in clouds,
others it runs into rising streams.
At the end of each cycle, you always hear it singing
all the way home, kissing leaves, tapping trees.
Still, some drops stay longer on the tall branches
until the sky clears.
All of a sudden, a wind blows,
they let go –
A light shower surprises you
sitting motionless
under a phoenix tree.

When I read this poem, I immediately knew that it would be my first choice. That's how beauty presents itself. The poem begins with a strong statement that rain frequents the mountain as if the mountain is its home, and ends with an unexpected experience caused by the rain. --Majid Naficy

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block