free spirit

by Billy Howell-Sinnard
The Writer's Block
Third Place, July 2021
Judged by Bruce McRae


that’s what he called me
both of us bouncing in the bed
of an old pickup
the smell of manure
swirling around us

hitchhikers
friends for a mile or so

i grinned but didn’t show it
he was young
didn’t know the difference
between a free spirit
and a lost soul

i guess i didn’t either
that was the beauty of it
not knowing


A pithy poem. Short and to the point, without any wasted verbiage. Almost-but-not-quite glib. A few deft lines and we're back in time, reliving a moment gone forever. We're in another place, the shared summers of youth. You can hear the writer's emotional frisson, their upbeat if not a little world-weary sigh. It's tricky eschewing punctuation in writing but this poem accomplishes that easily. --Bruce McRae

  • November 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Cycling Across t’Bridge
      by Ieaun ap Hywel
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Now Hear the Word of the Lord
      by Jim Zola
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Opening the Letter
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Help Wanted
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Ode to a Hummingbird
      by RC James
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      Sizing Up
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

  • October 2021 Winners

    • First Place (Tie)

      Anna and the Scourge
      by RC James
      Babilu

      First Place (Tie)

      Mother Banana
      by Christina Vanthul
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Neighbors
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum