Sister Valeria

by Siva Ramanathan
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, June 2018
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


And so she made me stay with her
for two years, teaching me how to look at
and for objects —
the hastily perceived precision
like the focusing of a lens;
wavering lights became static
liquids solid.

Valeria was my looking glass,
my pair of German lenses,
both convex and concave;
she showed me depth of a field;
I saw the Grotto Mary plus
the Infant.

Then Valeria, Valeria, Valeria.

She made me do Satan
elevating my acting prowess.
My friends called her Valerika,
meaning cucumber.

Divide with a bread knife,
give away a bite of chocolate
to the sweeper woman’s daughter.
I learnt to keep a pocket note book
for variant spellings, and a small box for
eating Threptin biscuits.

In short she made the Angels
of the Holy Angels come true.
She made me forgive Adelaide
and Berthela Sisters who always
wanted to see my Appa.



  • 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