the necromancer

by Milner Place
PoetryCircle
Third Place, February 2011
Judged by Kwame Dawes


he promenades the hours
of night

hearing
all animals around
grunts scuttlings
curses outside a closing bar
woosh of wings
squeak of bat
spit and screech
of lusting cat

he weaves
the secrets of the dark

summons
a swift horse
mounts to ride
through fields that spring
invested in
and dew
has roosted
on the grass

conjures a sun

gallops beneath
the lime of new-born leaves
to a sea that argues
with a brittle shore

where ships
are busy and the whales
pipe
through their vents
outrageous songs

back
to his loom
he starts
afresh

again

again

and yet again


“Roosted” has to be the wrong verb for what dew does on grass, but this turns out to be one small hiccup in a fine balancing act of rhythm playfulness, rhyme and the necessary weightiness of fable. The leaps are appropriately surreal, and the poet somehow manages to keep us enthralled by the idea of some kind of nocturnal creature—easily an artist—who finds the subjects for his weaving in the happenings of the night. There is, though, very little at stake, no apparent risk for the necromancer, which deprives the poem of urgency, but what it loses there, it makes up for in craft—the managing of rhythm and the use of repetition. It is musical in as much as poetry does achieve music, and the management of the elements that create this music is nothing to sniff at. --Kwame Dawes

  • December 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      By Waterloo Station
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      Patagonia Lost
      by Sylvia Evelyn
      Babilu

      Third Place

      I just wanna come home dad
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      The War Bride
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Beethoven Dying
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      Ain’t Got Time To Die
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

  • 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