September Heat

by Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, October 2020
Judged by Jim McGarrah


I woke last night, pebbled in sweat,
a shredded dream hung
casually off a shoulder.
A bobcat’s thought: no longer young,
not old, the feel of life, yet
not life, life becoming older.

This September, warmer than before,
is based on statistics, to keep,
to have something to say, win a bet.
I’ve lost a leopard’s share of sleep
to heat, the power of regret.
Mostly to years, not having more.

The dream wilts, then returns to me
restored, speaks in stutters,
it is a curtain and it flutters
inside a wooden window frame
through which I peer desperately,
tagged with a badger’s name.

The heat, as winter quick descends,
tosses me into a civet’s dread.
I dream to keep, as this September ends,
all Septembers presently and past,
think: The cold speaks to the dead.
A warm September holds me fast.


Well done. This poem speaks to several different concepts and ideas regarding mortality, regret for things not done and the passing of time spent worrying about feeling regret, also the inability to affect time. The rhythm of the lines and the end rhymes have a subtle effect on how the poem makes a reader feel without being obtrusive. It’s a good example of the old Ezra Pound advice that form should follow substance, not replace it. The examples of different animals is interesting and works as a nuanced reminder that even animals feel a simplistic version of mortality and time. --Jim McGarrah

  • October 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Last Bus to Reno
      by RC James
      Babilu

      Second Place

      In the OR
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Third Place

      An Ancient Temple on a Leaf
      by Don Schaeffer
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Opportunities Slipped
      by Alan Jackson
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • September 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Love
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Church of the Wheelchair Ladies
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Third Place

      The Green Mirror
      by Runatyr
      Wild Poetry Forum