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

  • 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