Sparrow

by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review
Second Place, January 2017
Judged by Sara Clancy


Living is a horizontal fall.      Jean Cocteau

Confession: I preferred the dark mystery
of a man’s body. The ox-horn, the bamboo, the phallic burn,

the saddle, the tamp of the mix. The jade of the fix, the heady inhale,
the sweet cloying scent, almost armpit, almost oozing rapture.

But it was a return to the rose that flattened me,
pricked my balls, it was a return to the stone bridge,

the herb garden, the cuckoo forest that finished me.
I never wanted to end. Each night like air, I denied the lavender

and sage, marjoram, saffron. I could resist all the temptation
sans amour dans sa vie, the slap of the dying rose. Wherever

she’s disappeared to I shall be that province’s bird.
The obvious blur of song that remains after she’s gone.


Beautiful, sensual and tactile, these images works on all the senses. I love beginning the poem with a confession and how the poem pivots from masculine to feminine at the herb garden, the reluctant voice following along to that perfectly realized and lovely ending. --Sara Clancy

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block