Song for Picnic Ants

by Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum
First Place, June 2019
Judged by Melissa Studdard


I can’t believe in many things that others marvel at.
I can’t say which ones are which.
The selfish catfish isn’t a bottom feeder, but prefers the deep.
Put that in your bosom and inflate it.

We will survive through the era of non-survival at last.
I can’t say when anything is over.
The generous kangaroo that asks for food will get it quickly.
Your mask is falling into mine.

Check everything, even this poem, which lies low.
I can’t begin to fact check imagination.
The narcotic breath of the inchworm has been known to paralyze.
Your blessed approach cheers the patients.

When the day has gone, the night will go as well.
There is a rolling rhythm to endlessness.
Everything will end someday. You won’t be there with luck.
The journey to safety has killed more than you believe.


In what initially appears to be a string of non sequiturs, “Song for Picnic Ants” offers a fascinating look at relationships among knowledge, understanding, and belief. The irreverent tone (“Put that in your bosom and inflate it”) further skillfully disrupts the already shaky ground of what we think we know, supplanting it instead with unanswered questions and the uncomfortable wisdom of reckoning. The last line, especially, pierced me. --Melissa Studdard

  • 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

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block