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

  • 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