tower

by Dale McLain
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, March 2014
Judged by Robert Lee Brewer


I am pared down to river and light,
a remembrance of pine, coin pearls scattered
like fallen moons, the scent of almonds.
Here is the inevitable open hand,

rose petal stained, white as snow
shrugged from the shoulders of slighter gods.
Joy is a stone bruise. I feel it
when I move. Even the needled path

is a sonnet, every metered step,
a strophe. Breath is all that matters now.
Who thinks of me when all is quiet?
Not even I. Not even I.


So much I love about this poem: the repetitive final line, making the abstract concrete ("joy is a stone bruise"), the meditative tone of the whole piece--that still feels very immediate, which is the trick, right? I think the opening line explains why this poem is so strong: "I am pared down to river and light..." But the poem is wrong in one respect; I will think of it when all is quiet. --Robert Lee Brewer

  • March 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Cuttlefish
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Wings
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      gutterball
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells