the necromancer

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

he promenades the hours
of night

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

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
through their vents
outrageous songs

to his loom
he starts



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

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      by J.J. Williamson

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • December 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Abandoned Woman
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Taking a Tumble
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea