Winterset

by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block
First Place, April 2007
Judged by Bryan Appleyard


Your dwarf Tangelo
is frostbitten,
rigor brittles the pulp;
a re-planted Nagami
kumquat lumbers
in a terracotta pot.

Myrtle shrivels
beyond the porch
and the birdbath
is still iced;
Spring empty handed
and brown.

I pull on heavy gloves
and clear debris;
Later, we begin a card game,
we discuss a travel book
but break off and then stop.
Someone telephones.

The aimless evening
falls on the house
and like widow weave
folds along the chair
stopping at the lamp.

When did I cross
an invisible line
and never
find my way back?
A palsied old man
tapping the steep stair.


The first stanza is a showstopper. The first two lines signal at once that this writer feels poetry. I'm not sure about the one line short fourth stanza--though I can see why it is lopped. This poem does much with little. --Bryan Appleyard

  • October 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      The Day of a Girl
      by John Riley
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Night Thoughts of a Mottled Songbird
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      The Art of Not Being Descartes
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • September 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Rodent Ulcer
      by Jude Goodwin
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Wild Beasts
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      The Two Windows of My Room
      by Sivakami Velliangiri
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Giving Thanks
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum