The Tuning Fork’s Addiction

by Lois P. Jones
PenShells
Third Place, April 2014
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


for Rainer Maria Rilke

I am the node – the point of no vibration
at the base of you. Strike me against

your surface and I will echo
like a wave rushing toward you

until I know the eroded curves,
your loose pebbles separated from stone.

Strike, until I see past this human carnival
and its masquerade – the Dionysian mask

with its black moon eyes. See beyond your birth
in fire and wine to the faceless flower,

the slender calyx that holds corolla in lavender.
Your scent dissolves my name;

nameless I change to the sage I crush
on my tongue and remember bitterness.

I know the landscape of your country,
forests where light bends through the leaves

to emptiness – what’s there? a drizzle
of your honeyed tongue. I can still feel

the strike of the owl’s wing against your cheek
as you lay in your crater watching the moon

rise over the Sphinx. Your pulse the strike never heard,
but finds my longing place and holds it there.


When critics speak about the music and color of a piece, what they’re commenting on is the elegant matching of word choice and tone to subject matter. Paramount in poetry, it’s most important in a shorter work. The Tuning Fork’s Addiction has a driving rhythm filled with wonderful imagery ("See beyond your birth/in fire and wine to the faceless flower…"). --R.T. Castleberry

  • December 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Tires
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Scouring Pots While the World Ends
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Poetry in the Cultural Revolution
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

  • November 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Radium Girls
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      The Unreliable Narrator
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Birds 2
      by JJ Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      Too Late
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Waters