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> IBPC WINNING POEMS in 2007, Congratulations!
AMETHYST
post Jan 2 07, 21:19
Post #1


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



IBPC WINNING POEMS FOR DECEMBER 2006
Judge David Kirby


First Place:

A Poem That Thinks It Has Joined a Circus
by Liz Gallagher
Inside the Writer's Studio


A handkerchief is not an emotional hold-all.
A cup of tea does not eradicate all-smothering sensations.
A hands-on approach is not the same as a hand-on-a-shoulder
willing a chin to lift and an upper lip to stiffen.
A forehead resting on fingers does not imply that the grains
of sand in an hourglass have filtered through.
A set of eyes staring into space is not an indictment that the sun
came crashing down in the middle of the night.
A sigh that causes trembling and wobbly knees should be
henceforth and without warning trapped in a bell jar and retrained
to come out tinkling ivories with every gasp.
A poem trying to turn a sad feeling on its head does not constitute
a real poem, it is a can-can poem dancing on a pin-head
and walking a tight-rope with arms pressed tightly by its sides.



Judges Comments:

While some critics will tell you that movies about movies or plays about plays are self-involved and decadent, sometimes I feel as though poems about poems are the only ones worth writing. Why? Because, at the moment of "getting it," and this applies to the moment of reading the poem as well as writing it, there is no more electric charge than that which comes with seeing a poem strut its stuff. Of course, part of the poem's and the poet's and the reader's achievement is that none of these three essential elements of the artistic experience knows exactly how that experience works. Just as the tightrope walker has to wobble on the wire, so the poem has to shake and tremble in order to startle and amaze as much as this one does. --David Kirby




Second Place:


There Once Was a Daughter Who Lived in His Shoe
by Laurel K. Dodge
The Writer's Block


In the unmade bed, she had no legs.
The fruit that her mouth coveted

was bruised, the milk in the dark
refrigerator, watery and blue,

the bowl in the barren cupboard, cracked
and empty. Her legs were watery

and blue, her mouth unmade and bruised.
She was dark and cracked and empty.

She was covetous and blue.
She was barren. She had no fruit.

She was a cupboard, a bowl,
a refrigerator that could not be filled.

She was a bed no body slept in.
The leash waited, coiled in the dim hall.

The dog was dead, the birches, bark peeling,
bent; the hill she once scaled, slippery.

She was the dimness, the coil, the wait.
She was the peeling and the impossible

ascent. The dog was dad; she had no legs.
The dad was dead. She was unmade.



Judges Comments:

Is there anyone breathing who does not love fairy tales? The poet Miller Williams says that you ought to be able to explain any poem to a six year-old, and fairy tales do that for you. There's the surface story for the child in us all, but for you adult readers out there, there are elements reminding you that life is not all beautiful princesses and knights in shining armor. There are depths in this poem, disturbing ones: we look closely, we turn away for fear of seeing too much, and then, because of the poet's power to mesmerize, we find that we can't help looking again. --David Kirby


Third Place:

Escorting a Child Offender to a Wake
by Derek Spanfelner
The Critical Poet


Her body is crumpled plastic laid flat,
complexion waxy. Crow's feet mark
the tendencies of her nature. Her grandson,
my ward, tells me of milk and cookies,
the simple tenets she upheld, unquestioned kindnesses.
He wrote a poem about it Mom will read in eulogy.

We meet the rest outside, who greet each other
(hard-shelled and sentimental alike)
in the camaraderie of grief. This child,
who has shown younger cousins who is boss
by stripping their underwear and ignoring their pleas,
is a puffy-eyed prize in the open arms of his mother.
"My oldest (of eight)," she beams to obscure relatives.

The uncle auctions salvaged cars. Knuckles having
earned their gold, he asks questions as one acquainted
with the ease of plain answers. He offers money because
"he's a good kid at heart, always the first to help out."

I can't tell him how the boy put his hands around
their necks and threatened to kill them if they told.
Instead, I note more auspicious behavior, for the man
expects to run the value of therapy
through his calloused fingers and know
the knot will hold. I cannot tell him

that no boy is a convertible. That if a dent
could be smoothed, another is bound to surface;
that where I work, no one is ever fixed.



Judges Comments:

I'll add this poem to my list as I complete my stint as judge by saying that it, like so many others, could have easily been my first choice. This is a poem that I don't understand, though I offer my lack of comprehension as a supreme compliment. What I want to say is that this poem, like a lot of the many I have read during my time as judge, has what I call a meaningful ambiguity to it, a scary, hypnotic power which lets me know instantly that I'll be reading it again and again and getting more out of it each time. A thriller only works if the audience is slightly behind the detective's perceptions; if you know who done it from the beginning or if you never find out, you'll be disappointed, but if you're poised to shout "Aha!" a few seconds after the mystery's revealed, well, that's art, folks. I'm confident that that's what this poem is doing and will continue to do for me. That's how poetry works. --David Kirby





Honorable Mentions:

Beans (Curgina)
by Denise Ward
Lit With Kick!


September came like winter's
ailing child but
left us
viewing Valparaiso's pride. Your face was
always saddest when you smiled. You smiled as every
doctored moment lied. You lie with
orphans' parents, long
reviled.

As close as coppers, yellow beans still
line Mapocho's banks. It
leads them to the sea;
entwined on rocks and saplings, each
new vine recalls that
dawn in 1973 when
every choking, bastard weed grew wild.




Solitude
by Cherryl E. Garner
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


There is small art in solitude.
It shakes sometimes like random shock,

as though one spot explains the arc
or one fine point defines the line.

There is no talk when none's received,
when simple converse meets no mark,

as though the circle rolls the ball,
as though the line supports the box.

There is no black like night assigned
to pounding chest and clenched, cold heart,

as though the sphere explains the sky,
as though void space can break the fall,

when locking shut in one timeframe,
some voodoo shimmies out one name.




Beach
by Millard R. Howington
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


I liked to jog to
the pier my one day off and have
breakfast, gazing at an ocean
through salt stained windows.
There was a bar nearby, mainly
deserted in the off season and
I'd stop in, enjoy a brewski, flirt
a little with the waitress there;
she loved to draw my attention
to the rare big busted patron and
ask me if I knew how they got
that way. On the slow walk back
to my summer rate motel, I skirted
water's edge and wondered just
how long that little sandpiper
with the one leg was going to last.


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Jan 30 07, 16:02
Post #2


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for January 2007
Judge Pascale Petit


First Place

Wolf Dreams
by Laurie Bryo
Desert Moon Review


I wasn't sure what he wanted of me; the ice
in winter birches had made the forest slouch
into spring. All that winter I peeled

and sucked papery bark for the sweet taste.
I recognized him from his red tongue,
the furtive runs when I entered his dream

and we crawled along the forest floor, repenting
the dark. I had nothing to bargain with,
no deal to make him human. The night

was filled with briars and salt. In the summer
the air became thick with honeysuckle, slick
with mating. Beetles droned in messy beds

of clover. We slunk along, weeds stroking
my belly. I hadn't yet decided which life
was better. Grass combed the plume of my tail.

The nights were crystal sharp. I waggled
my slit high, what was left of my breasts pushed
into a pile of decaying leaves. Who cared

how many and how often, I was not entirely his.
Eyes of owls glittered in the sleep of trees, tree frogs
sang in a green-robed choir. The moon clamped

its yellow tooth into my shoulder. I took the whole
night inside. What was to become of us I had
packed away my white Juliet cap and veil for just

such an occasion. I held him like a warm
peach in my palm, longed for his juice to run
down my chin. Most nights I didn't care about

the names they gave me. I held my fingers
out to him, felt the tug as my ring fell off, carried
my limbs down to the entrance of his den,

planted a birch just outside his home
as a token of my loyalty. I was free
of the chains of consequence. I gave birth

to his amber-eyed bastard who without hesitation
he devoured. When he becomes old and says
he always dreams of me, I shall make myself

a meal of him, savor his voluptuous tongue,
and suck all the bitterness from his bones.
He will not make such promises again.

JUDGE'S COMMENTS:

First Place
Wolf Dreams
by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review

This poem creates its own world. It made a deep impression on me from the first reading. It's utterly magical yet I am convinced of its reality, that something important is being vividly communicated. All the senses are employed to persuade me that the emotional heart is true. I can smell and taste it, hear the poem's heartbeat. It's hard to write well about sex but this accomplished, elemental fairytale has a considerable erotic charge. The surprise ending adds an extra edge to the intense love affair and mention of a white Juliet cap and veil keep us anchored in the human despite the wolf persona. The language is taut, lush and has a consistent, lulling rhythm. I love "the sleep of trees" and "The moon clamped // its yellow tooth into my shoulder. I took the whole / night inside" which draw me even further under the poem's spell. --Pascale Petit



Second Place

Brrmm
by AnnMarie Eldon
MiPo


He drove his engine into me. The fuel was humus, jasmine
juice and lapis pigment. My aorta the combustion
chamber. His piston upstroke was practised not in the
street outside because each time I made him up in a dress
and rouge with Rage Red lipstick around his nipples. He
therefore had taken it apart and put it together again and
again behind closed curtains but with due regard for oil
and grease stains. In the confined space his exhaust spin
gases were risen in the massed morning when rooks should
have been. He prises something jelly-like between thumb
and forefinger. Switches on. Leaves one open kiss to balm
my bitten bloodying auricular helix. Burns fuel-air iron.
One closed kiss to damn revolutions amongst tics who knew
vibrations when they fouled the thudderless earth. And
hackles trumpet bell-shaped valves. And camshaft a poison
promise creeping its oval protrusions. Cam rotors careless
as a strumpet's petticoats. Labia red ramsails in a
rotational sunset. Talked me up crankshaft cranky. Valve
springs snapped into the open position. All position. All
pushrod hierarchy. And intermittent male logic which paled
the toothed gear phenomena. Afterwards there would be
empty rocker arms, the oscillating parts a'fire and a too
obvious cylinder head. My ghostpenis on my timing belt his
intake legacy. The colliding masses a droolseep upon carpet
become road. The internal a sprainblue bruise. Would display
mileage despondency. Would walk away. He drove his engine
into me. It is still. Still here today.


JUDGE'S COMMENTS:

Second Place
Brrmm
by AnnMarie Eldon
MiPo

"Brrmm" reminds me of Marcel Duchamp's "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even." In this experimental prose poem a partner is encountered as an engine. The couple become a human/machine hybrid. The language used to describe this metamorphosis is so dense and baroque that the paragraph resembles an assemblage sculpture, all mechanical parts, jasmine juice and lapis pigment. This piece, with its playful agglomeration of textures, like Duchamp's "Large Glass," is both a love machine and a machine of suffering. Despite the surreal construct I believe that I'm reading about real people and real experience. It is indeed "the unexpected meeting, on a dissection table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella," the tender, brutal meeting of one human with another. --Pascale Petit




Third Place

untitled
by Steve Parker
The Critical Poet



I had this meet, see,
with Sam Beckett's ghost,
I was trying very hard
to survive,
to make something work,
trying to be well.

The river sent telegraphs,
black things that fizzed at nightfall,
that sat outside
sparking.

(They were going to kill me:
that was all pretty obvious.)

That turkey with no head
rode out across the clifftops
towards Dun Laoghaire,
but we paid him no attention.
All day we shuffled
on the Liffy bridges
looking keen,
grunting through our cans.
Nightfall we drifted
down the antique hoardings,
feeling the gut
welling in our barrels,
doing the tour -
the poets, the Provos,
Easter 1916, a gun cache
in a wardrobe...

me invisible to myself,
Sam a gaunt hawk
like some other
Max Ernst-birdhead-Loplop,
as though
to remind all people
of the violation of childhood,
make them look,
make them look away.

That tower out there
past the bay (a Joyce-dish
filled with foam)
collapsed into the sea,
and we both went running
after John stuck on the train
his face full of alarm
waving under the bridges.

I was trying to ask the right questions
very carefully and slowly,
see past it all, what it was really.
Trying to stand alone
in the dark
with my omens,
with my stuff.

No one got a light?
No one?
Fucking disaster
of a place.

JUDGE'S COMMENTS:


Third Place
untitled
by Steve Parker
The Critical Poet

The voice in "untitled" pulled me in straightaway. I empathised with the main character and his or her struggle to survive, to be well. That authentic voice is further reinforced by the questing tone of "I was trying to ask the right questions / very carefully and slowly, / see past it all, what it was really." This poem is attempting to get to the nub of what it's like to be alive in a bleak emotional landscape in Dublin, "black things that fizzed." The lean freeform stanzas add to the desolate atmosphere conjured by the sinuous language. The gritty realism subtly shifts into surrealism through images of urban disintegration. Max Ernst's Loplop even puts in an appearance as Samuel Beckett. --Pascale Petit




HONORABLE MENTIONS

Honorable Mention
Stone Soup
by Allen M. Weber
Desert Moon Review

Honorable Mention
Flint Michigan
by Stevie Jean Reed
Blueline

Honorable Mention
Elders: Vincent and Prudence
by Adam Elgar
The Writer's Block


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Feb 23 07, 09:45
Post #3


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for February 2007
Judge Pascale Petit





on an autumn evening, i
by Eric Hohenstein
The Critical Poet



wander the north end of harnett's farm.
his man is wrestling a tractor home across the field:
imperfect turnings, mechanical churn.
it's as if the wheels would like to come out from under it,
do their own bit of digging,
as if they cared less about the world.

discover the carcass of a buck crumpled in an irrigation ditch.
there are two vacancies:
where its antlers were,
where its eyes have turned to jelly.
death has pressed a winter skin upon him:
frost-whitened flanks, a draft of dead air rushing in. . .

mutter something about a body's atoms and the liver of life and god being a drunkard.
trucks downshift in the distance.

know the deer's jaw is a busted hinge.
still,
he is saying this:
salt me.
stuff me into a dead sheep's gut.
smoke us back into life.
he does not ask me to listen.
it's post-harvest and the pumpkins left behind huff out like deflating balloons;
what's left but to marvel at the hunger of the world?

recall a night:
a field-romp,
an autumn love,
a blanket tossed down.
we draw together like bank tellers transacting:
intimately callous.

do none of this,
only dream it,
wake in spring beneath a loose blanket of un-grasped straw.

shake the blood back into a sleeping hand,
the death of it neither worked out nor stored--
simply there and gone,
so much smoke.

imagine a fish preparing to groan itself out of some ancient shallow--
thinking lung,
thinking leg--
then dropping like a plumb to measure the loss of beauty in knowing.

gather spilled seed from where it lays scattered,
cracked like witches' teeth.

look into the wind,
await the cold-burning;
my eyelids are corn husks crushed into tinder.

watch the sun fall like a deer plowing into its eternal ditch,
but only like it;
it appears to bruise into red-anger,
to catch on stronger fire.

smell the hope-scent which festers around slit ground--
wherever it is broken.
my bones ache against the twilight;
my boots don't make the sound i hear as the sod plugs and unplugs beneath them,
are not saying,
listen,
listen.


JUDGE'S COMMENTS:

First Place
on an autumn evening, i
by Eric Hohenstein
The Critical Poet

This poem slows me to its meditative pace. I like the way the familiar but estranging field gradually reveals its layers. I'm drawn underground through that haunting image of the buck crumpled in a ditch, and further down and back in time to the evolution of fish, into a chthonic realm where seed is "cracked like witches' teeth." The jagged stanzas are built like strata, each containing either a vivid image and/or a precise observation: the couple in a field-romp are "intimately callous." When the sun ploughs into its own ditch, that image of the deer falling gains even more weight, acquiring a mythic power. It reminds me of the Hungarian poet Ferenc Juhász's miraculous stag from folklore with the sun in its antlers. I admire this work for its depth and ambition, and the care the poet has taken to make fresh and memorable impressions of life at "the north end of harnett's farm." --Pascale Petit






Boundaryless in Bedlam
by AnnMarie Eldon
The Writer's Block


I discover, tripping over in the night, my skin upon the floor.
It has covered me for you for many years but a little stink of
lymph drew me up. There is carpet stain, I think, amidst
capillaries. This the token of the affair. How subcutaneous
the arousal was. Your chiffoned penis head outlined against
the grasp attempts, its drool a pearl in pasty splatter. My sole
encounters artery and extraneous andipose like the dreadful
waking of erectile knowledge. Sweat glands worm their way
up my legs to familiar haunts. There are green centipedes
in a constant dreamline wending their way upstairs who would
eat this mess. If waking from it were an option. We made an
arrogance of lovemaking. A career. And now the basals crunching
beneath a sleepwalk. I keep my blood in by uncertain denial.
As if in facto esse could save me. Yet not subject to the free
will of the individuals my skin has fallen off in the first attempt.
My maker squeezes a corpuscule. There is a scent of sebum
and lilies. The scavengers slither to a horde over boards to the
rug's edge and the truth is out. This is the lore of realization.
Horny and squamous I can hold together no more. I lay me down.
Each pore a former glory.


JUDGE'S COMMENTS:


Second Place
Boundaryless in Bedlam
by AnnMarie Eldon
The Writer's Block

My attention was instantly caught by the first line of this poem, which sets up the surreal conceit of a person discovering their skin by their bedside. The form itself, with its single prose-like block, looks like a cross-section through layers of skin under an electron microscope. In it we encounter sebum and corpuscules. The biological terms are embedded in the context of an erotic relationship, with all its luridly visceral manifestations. Thrown in to the mix is also the bedlam aspect of the title, allowing this poem the licence to bulge with irrational secretions. It's difficult to write this kind of overripe montage, but the poet gets away with it. --Pascale Petit






The crying girl
by Jude Goodwin
The Writer's Block




There's someone crying,
a girl in an open window.
Sunlight pulls at her hair.
Behind her, shadows
ignore things. The girl
lifts one bare foot onto the sill,
then another. She holds
the window frame
like a painting, carries it
forward into the gallery of summer
where other girls sleep
on the beach, eat hard cheese
and learn chords. The major sevenths
sound like doorways. In her bag
is a pair of bellbottoms. In her ovaries
an egg named Harmony. The crying girl
sits in an idling Chevy, listens to Elvis
with reverb, her arms are covered
with spray-on velvet, the windows
are rolled up tight. She was there
last night, I could hear her muffled
mandolin as I locked our slider
and carried the cat
upstairs to bed.


JUDGE'S COMMENT:

Third Place
The crying girl
by Jude Goodwin
The Writer's Block

At the heart of this poem is a luminous kinaesthetic image. That crying girl carrying the window forward into the "gallery of summer" lifts this poem onto another plane. It's a movement out of the poem's confines, into the open and future. Like the "egg named Harmony" in her ovaries, it's as if, at the core of the distress, there's also the possibility for transformation. This powerful image, coupled with the synaesthetic language of "the major sevenths / sound like doorways," made me go back and reread the poem many times for sheer pleasure. I enjoyed this poet's concentrated use of language and evocative image-making. --Pascale Petit


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

the demolition kid
by Andrew Pike
SplashHall Poetry & Art

stars dip their heads
in and out of the atmosphere.
the pet shop boys announce - go west...
my father veers his truck
between pre-dawn buses,

landing alongside a mcdonald
sign on paramatta road.
today, apartments grow there,
but fifteen years ago bloomed
a golden M, thirty feet high.
i smile out my window.
father, glum at the prospect
of taxis and glowing pale yellow
from the dashboard gauges, he
turns to me and asks; son,
are you hungry?

-

to work, in an alley off george street.
sunlight leaks down the western walls;
down the rear porches of first floor lofts,
smeared in peeled apricots.

first things first...

son, let's learn to tie a sheepshank.
afterwards, bring down the jackhammer, the grinder
and the wheelbarrow,

and try not to make so much noise;
this is residential.

can you handle this?

of course.

i prove to co-workers how many bricks
i can wield in a wheelbarrow,
up a flexi-board mountain.
sixteen was my record at age eleven...

... the boss's son.
gasps all 'round.

-

the rich man's restaurant; a mesh of gyprock, studs and brick.

the centrepoint tower; a black prong in an amorphic skyline.
the harbour bridge; half a web over a buzzing river...

out back, the one way traffic
and a white truck, etched in silver scars,
leaning from the sidewalk
into bitumen.

-

the stench of grease from central station
outflanks the aroma of coffee beans
being cracked open in michel's cafe.

nevertheless,
by ten a.m. i become the caffeine boy.

a notepad in hand,
my writing is uncursed and primitive;

2 s m, X 5.
and for henry - an egg and bakan roll.

a fifty crumples in my fist
and i scamper through the metal nest.

-

the red afternoon tucks itself into a corner
pocket of the earth. white ball, sinking colour
into the landscape as i linger outside the ettamogah.

it is one of those night jobs
i conceal from mother.


Bees in Thin Hours
by Nanette Rayman River
The Critical Poet

The ache will find me near white flowers, yes, white and magenta
in the projects

I find bees gunning down the humble Silent Ladies Tresses
displaced here among

a thousand brides in water, seven thousand in cement - kneeling
beside me.

We lie like an argument against the pavement, listen to the bees'
decrescendo,

how they bear witness against a life soured, doors firmly closed
to any light

I could turn to. How it evaporates quickly in this oven of shadows,
news to broadcast

that won't be heard. Who to cry to and how to cry? The blackflies
are biting

your soft under-bicep, honey, and the clouds are singing. Our
vast deaf ears

lay ringing beside dead brides. These are thin hours when bees buzz
in the outskirts

of lives never meant to happen-- like this. A sudden hush catches us
off guard,

makes mephitic fervor of the night, without whiff of why. We curl useless
legs around

poor sky. Our last magenta inhalation. There are no words.


The Rival
by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review

Long afterwards I knew she had entered
my house, not as a scavenger,
a buzzard or a gull, but as a wagtail.
She cocked her head and studied me

as I hung blue sheets on the line. The silence
and fluttering I'd loved as a child had polished her
a lustrous yellow. Lot's wife could be dissolved
into a night of salty stars but what to do

with her? In feverish August I willed snowflakes
on my skin to ease the summer heat. I warned
her to leave us for exotic Africa, chanted

your name as idle sunshine buttered
her wings. I preened myself to prepare
for my late migration from jealousy to song.


Voice-In-Law
by C. King
Blueline

I know her voice, too soft for understanding
but with alarming sibilants, like rust.
The worry of the decades moves her mouth
and throat to make the indistinct more harrowed.
I lose the nuance. And, again, I lose it.

My wife, of course, can hear the tiny vowels
and doesn't mind how half the consonants
are shouted while the other half are missing.
She hears anxiety as kiln-fired love
and slight approval as confetti rainbows.

I wonder, now, how my own mother sounds
without the filter of my understanding,
the singsong tones, the braced sincerity
that I know as the cautious woman's care
for those sewn on her tapestry of life.


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Mar 30 07, 23:57
Post #4


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for March 2007
Judge Pascale Petit




The Bird Artists
by Laurie Byro
About Poetry Forum


When my skin no longer fits, I carry a bag of bones
to the edge of the ocean. I steal the breath from a gull.
On the beach a mother bends to help a young boy
bundle up a baby cormorant. I watch as they cradle it,

hold a wing into the air and fling it eastward.
I thought you could teach me how to fly. I made you
out of sand dunes and red clay. My husband sleeps.
I conjure up you, Merwin, and you, Merlin.

Palm trees and ancient words, a black cauldron
of seawater and fire. You spread the fan of the cormorant's
wing and arrange your pigments and brushes, stroke

each feather with woodland brown or green.
I feel my skin begin to loosen. I pick away the lice,
curl back the sclerotic welt of paint.



First Place Judge's Commentary
The Bird Artists
by Laurie Byro
About Poetry Forum

"The Bird Artists" is poetry as spell or charm, as container and transformer. It begins and ends with a skin: "when my skin no longer fits" to "I feel my skin begin to loosen... curl back the sclerotic welt of paint." In between there's a body that I can't quite pin down: a bag of bones, a baby cormorant, a gull's breath, sand dunes and red clay, seawater and fire, pigments and brushes are gathered as ingredients for the "black cauldron" of the poem. Merwin is conjured to work magic for it, (which brings to my mind W.S. Merwin), and Merlin the wizard. By the last line human skin has become painted feathers. Every line is weighted with a surprising image or action. Even though the effect is mythic, there's a precise highly wrought feel to this poem. Not a word or space is wasted. Vulnerable, visceral and ethereal, it lingers in the imagination and draws me back to marvel at its compact power. --Pascale Petit


Second Place
Omen
by Dave Rowley
Inside the Writer's Studio



This morning an omen: the blue jay's stiffening
legs receive an open sky. Sad, like a blue flame
cradling a teaspoon, or the tap-tap-tapping
on a tenuous vein in a break-down motel.
Even the wallpaper peels away
from the cloying stories that stink this room
like rats who've crawled between the walls
and died. Now it's summer and their ghosts
thicken and swell in your throat. The sting of steel
is mirror-flashed and plunging, close your eyes
to hear its sinuous song. Close your humming eyes
and wait, it's close and warm, like morning singing
and the walls become blue-feather filled
quilts as your legs fall away and up into the sky.



Second Place Judge's Commentary
Omen
by Dave Rowley
Inside the Writer's Studio

Second place goes to another fine "bird" poem, also tautly constructed and packed with organic, chiming imagery. A blue jay's legs embracing the sky metamorphose into blue flames around a teaspoon, then into a room with blue-feather quilted walls. The images vibrate against each other; the language is trance-like, allowing the blue images to burgeon and transmute in semi-abstract motion. Synaesthetic phrases such as "their ghosts / thicken and swell in your throat," "close your humming eyes" and "it's close and warm, like morning singing" have a hypnotic effect, lulling the reader over the transitions and merging the triple image of blue jay/ blue flame/ quilt walls seamlessly. --Pascale Petit


Third Place
Show but Never Tell
by Brenda Levy Tate
Pen Shells



In the Guller house, terrible things
were done to all the children.
I once lived around the corner, down
a mud road where the youngest
son sometimes walked. His name
was Charlie and I knew something
had to be wrong with his brain.
Nice ponies, he'd tell me, staring
past the edge of his own boyhood.
Ay-uh, them's real nice. He'd grin
so wide I could count every one
of his tumbledown grey teeth.
He was eleven then, and growing.

In the Guller house, brothers, cousins
and uncles didn't wait for the girls
to get their periods. None of them
stayed virgins much past five or six.
Except for the cripple, who had stumps
for legs and arms. They used to park
her on the step just to get some sun,
like a plant kept too long in shadows.
Neighbors said she didn't mind, she was
a vegetable. I had no opinion on that.

In the Guller house, they ate cow-corn
stolen from a field across the highway.
The farmer hooted and slapped
his knee, because they were filching
his cattle-food and he figured it
was funny. I never saw any garden
in their scraped-raw yard. Battered
cars buried the lawn, and junk trucks
made fences. But the social services
and public health station wagons shone
in the dust. So did the small daughters.

In the Guller house, a nurse hesitated
at the threshold with her medicine kit,
while Charlie's father was breeding one
of his nieces on the kitchen floor. Hold on;
I ain't done yet! he grunted, and finished.
The nurse told everybody, but this was
the 1970s. Incest was just a family affair,
except for the babies. Every once in awhile,
they got taken away. Charlie became
a man--with two kids by his sister--
before a Guller finally screamed, loud
enough to disturb the sweet community.
She was thirteen. They tried to shut her up.
By then I'd moved to another county.

In the Guller house, two hundred years
lie black as a dirty stove. The rape-
room is gone: part of a chicken coop.
I suppose the cripple died; Charlie
and his kin should still be in prison,
although probably they're not.
The laughing farmer's dead, too. Lost
children drift in the convenient dark,
names without faces, because it's easier
for the rest of us. Good people still
drive past the ruin, shop and work
and age. Harsh January air cuts
across the South Mountain and sandblasts
an empty driveway--the same wind
that abrades me now. But I've never
been hard-blown open, a broken door,
a Guller child.



Third Place Judge's Commentary
Show but Never Tell
by Brenda Levy Tate
Pen Shells

This is more than a narrative poem telling us a shocking family tale. It's hard to write convincingly about child abuse especially from an outsider's perspective, but the narrator's tone here is just right, a tactful observer who ends by describing him or herself through images, as someone who's "never / been hard-blown open, a broken door." It's this ending that enriches the poem, so that the final draught blows back up through the whole story like the wind in Munch's The Scream. The language is low-key and evenly paced in its steady recounting of the horrors of the Guller house. Simple, stark statements such as "two hundred years / lie black as a dirty stove" and "battered /cars buried the lawn" paint a vivid picture of the place. What shocks is the calm way we're shown how commonplace the sexual abuse was, so much so that visiting nurses would stumble upon it as they went about their work. The narrator is abraded by the sandblasting wind of memory and what has been witnessed but does not over-dramatise the facts. --Pascale Petit


Honorable Mentions


Caisa Thorbjornsdotter
by Jana Bouma
Wild Poetry Forum

I've known the small red farmhouse,
the dear blue curtains and the white china,
the husband behind the oxen on the rocky hillside,
the patch of oats beside the tall pines.
I've known the forest alive with skogsra and wight,
trolls and huldre-folk, the hymns in the small church.
I've known the wash day and the birthing day,
the son gone off to the city, the iron crosses,
each with its name, beside the small mounds.
I've known the long journey, sick with fever,
the crowded passage, the strange new city,
the setting out by lake and river and wagon,
arriving at this place that stretches on forever,
a land of nothing, no tomte or myling
to murmur in the night, no neighbor, no fencepost.
This land did not turn easy to the plow,
but I planted myself here among the tall grasses.
The grasses' deep roots, they welcomed me.

*skogsra, wight, trolls, huldre-folk, tomte, myling: creatures in
Scandinavian folklore
Thorbjornsdotter: daughter of Thorbjorn


Venetian Notes
by Adam Elgar
Inside the Writer's Studio

Cannaregio

It's this way in, an umbilicus through a living monument
to everything that long ago mislaid its century, and stands
now on the sufferance of time, a backdrop to the boat's
raucous trance, its grunt and shudder as it strikes the Campo
wall, our shock in finding that the tunnelled waterways
and pox-peeled facades are not illusions after all. This
is the unmoving dance of brick and stone on ether.

Santa Croce

This is the capital of claustrophobia
where liquid alleyways drown light
in pungent green, steep furtive passages
conspire along their dark cammin, and slip us
through the city's corseted heart.
One humpy bridge will take us only to the next,
our dread and fascination mounting
till the pesceria like a sudden tide
grants us the gift of openness,
the sea in boxes on an ice-slicked floor,
fish gilded, rosy, silver, veined with blue,
beside a flaunt of sucking discs in stars
and jointed creatures trying not to die.
Our hearts' tides make no sense of this.

Dorsoduro

Our eyes stream at the dazzle on the Zattere.
Here the world's light tightens to a smack,
there's no escape from blue except returning
through the narrow calli where the shadows
sulk in loyalty to winter.
This taut geometry discharges us at last
to lunch in kinder light subdued by stone.
The weary curve of Campo Santa Margherita
drinks, as we do our Friuli, the declining sun.


The Box Which is Myth
by S. Jason Fraley
Inside the Writer's Studio
For each brother, the box contains Agamemnon's skull, a collection
of precious stones, and Dad's old Playboys, respectively. All their stories: how each made love for the first time while it was in the room, how it survived as their parent's house burned. The slight indention where a thief's head landed when clubbed with a trophy. Not a mildew stain. No, a glow.

* * *

They arrive at Dad's birthday party. In the corner--the box covered with a decorative table cloth. Someone puts a red plastic cup on it. When the two oldest brothers go outside to bring in extra bags of ice, the youngest takes the box, sneaks into the laundry room. He slices it open with his pocket knife. An explosion of flannel shirts.

* * *

The box is meticulously taped. The lead detective stretches latex gloves over his hands, drops the knife into a plastic bag. Fingerprint dust floats. Handcuffed to chairs, the brothers share stories. One insists he stole the box from behind the museum when a Greek exhibit traveled through town. The other says that when it is time to retire, he will live as he has always dreamed.


Takes your breath
by Kathleen Vibbert
Pen Shells

We settle in close like apples in a round bowl,
while the moon brushes off bits of light as awkward;
you remove the white shirt with button down collar.

And in between split spheres,
the hairs on your neck become soft-wheat.
You find your way through my breasts.
Hands separate dusks from the corners
of our mouths-
some colors enter and never leave - -
the world knows how to cool and warm,
which scars never sleep and which voices say yes.

The world knows when and how to dress a peach--
and how the thistle slowly takes away your breath.


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Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Apr 29 07, 09:54
Post #5


Mosaic Master
Group Icon

Group: Administrator
Posts: 18,891
Joined: 1-August 03
From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Winning Poems for April 2007
Judge Bryan Appleyard




Winterset
by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block



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.



First Place Judge's Commentary
Winterset
by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block

"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



Second Place
Mary Lincoln Communes with the Dead
by Ellen Kombiyil
BlueLine



Is that you, Willie? You sound muffled,
like you're tangled in the bedclothes.
You must come closer and whisper.
Father tells me I've already wept
too much; if he catches us he'll send me
to the asylum. But tell me,
how should I mourn you? I still glimpse you
in the sun's glint on the brass knocker.
The oak tree creaks in wind--your boots
on the porch floor, coming in
from the river, home for supper.
It's not you, only the whisper of you,
like the quietness of books. I envy
your Father the preoccupation of work.
I know you visit him. He calls them "dreams"
when you sit beside him on the train
clasp his hand in the theatre.
I've kept the flowers from your coffin
pressed in our Bible. Come here, closer
to the light, let me see once more
your sweet face. I won't ask to hold you,
I know I can't, won't ask you what it's like,
can't bear the immensity. My grief,
will it be eternal? You smile.
I know you can't stay. Look at you!
Exactly as I remember, your face
like a saint. Tomorrow I'll light dusk's
candle again, William, William.



Second Place Judge's Commentary
Mary Lincoln Communes with the Dead
by Ellen Kombiyil
BlueLine

"This a triumph of tone and rhythm that easily survives multiple readings. The poem sustains the drama of its opening question well, shifting confidently between narrative and detail. It is a touch more perfect than "Winterset," but came second only because it didn't have the same poetic originality." --Bryan Appleyard


Third Place
Bird Caller
by Daniel Barlow
The Maelstrom



By twenty-eight I'd moved to Idaho
from Auckland, got the girl, the job, the car.
My Mum came once, but said it was too far
and never made the trip again. I know
she would have loved the way the sycamore
transforms the yard and those on either side
with autumn drifts. When Luke was born I cried
to know she wouldn't be there any more.

Yet sometimes, through the kitchen window, dawn
bears rising sounds that call the winter brave.
I hear the furtive trilling of the birds
and catch the gentle timbre of her words,
her tutelage that lives beyond the grave,
reminding me to go and rake the lawn.



Third Place Judge's Commentary
Bird Caller
by Daniel Barlow
The Maelstrom

"This poet set himself a difficult task--writing a strict sonnet in a relaxed, conversational style. He pulls it off by sneaking a strong but easy rhythm into the lines. The poem doesn't fall from its own fiction into excessive directness, a common crime with naive sonnet attempts. It is, simply, very complete and lovely. --Bryan Appleyard


Honorable Mentions


Blas Rivas
by Sally Arango Renata
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


Blas Rivas wanted to die on Socialist soil.

I heard him say it twice, once on a bus to Cienfuegos
and again days later as he lay dying from a blood clot
exploding in his brain.

I say nothing. It is a quiet pronouncement, an inward ken
requiring not even a delayed response.

Humidity veils the window, blurring shades of red, blue,
hues of skin with the green of sugar cane.

Workers turn to wave and smile, an interlude necesario,
the essence of custom and fecundity in Cuba

the island that rests like a smiling dragon
just beyond the chalice of Miami.


Judge Bryan Appleyard’s comments: “A really excellent piece of writing that leads you into a mysterious drama of the imagination. But, somehow, it didn’t quite do enough for me. I don’t doubt, however, that this is a poet.”



Drought
by Jan Iwaszkiewicz
Mosaic Musings cloud9.gif CONGRATS!


I

We sink the corner posts first, as each defines a neighbour.
It is here where the bottom six inches are the most important.
It is here where the strength is muscled into the fence.

The heart of a fence lies in its foot.
I tamp until the bar sings of possession,
the bar bounces and writhes.

We snug the stays and tighten the wire,
each barbed note is tensioned into voice
the division sings a warning.


II

The fence cannot hold back the drought.
The sky aches blue and the sun eats green;
the earth coughs dust as rich as blood.

My bones hunker down beside the rock.
Eagles hang; wings wound into the wire,
heads nailed down by the sun.

Ribs rack a heaving fleece.
I watch my image fade
from the eye of a lamb.


Judge Bryan Appleyard’s comments: “Could have been a winner easily; it displays a really passionate sense of detail and sinewy effort. I think, however, this poet needs to develop a little more.”



For PMD
by Mitchell Geller
Desert Moon Review


Normally this week I'd gather together
the ingredients for your special birthday cake:
a rather grandiose Victoria Sandwich.
Two layers of orange Genoise
filled with lemon curd and frosted
with an orange buttercream,
and decorated with candied orange peel from Provence.
One year I made the lemon curd from scratch,
using, you said, every goddamn pan in the house,
and please, for Christ's sake next year buy a jar!
My gift to you would usually be something blue:
that aquamarine stickpin I designed
when you turned 47, your birthstone's
limpid beryl beauty so much like your eyes,
or that Lorenzini shirt, the shade of
a Tuscan sky, with every buttonhole
stitched in a different whimsical colour.
You adored that shirt, and wore it constantly,
the pumice of your two o'clock shadow
abrading its collar to shreds.
Some years a book -- "The King Of Instruments"
still sits on the glass coffee table;
or a recherche CD, or a Novello edition
of a Bach transcription.

Last year I was stupefied with gin
and stayed in bed the whole day,
occasionally listlessly getting up
and picking out the anthem
from the 4th Saint-Saens concerto
with one finger on the dusty Steinway grand,
with truly voluptuous masochism,
crying until the skin around my eyes was raw.

This year, as sober as the mohel at a bris,
(and quite liking the way it feels)
I will go to hear a poet read at Harvard Books,
and eat a caesar salad. I've nearly lost a stone
of what I'd gained -- for a while there some of
your things fit me, and I felt like you.
It wouldn't have surprised me,
if, shaving one day, I found that my eyes were blue,
and my nose smaller and elegantly perfect,
and that my chin had developed a deep round cleft,
sexy, but quite hard to shave.

Oh my love please be assured
that I would most certainly still need you,
and deem it an honour supreme to feed you,
had you awakened this March 22nd,
and turned 64.


Judge Bryan Appleyard’s comments: “I really wanted this to win as I love the way it kind of sneaks its way into poetry. At first you think the lines could be prose, but, on second reading, their gentle, insistent rhythm asserts itself. It was going fine until the line ‘with truly voluptuous masochism’ which is self-consciously ‘poetic’ in the way the rest of the poem is not. And then the ending simply doesn’t work.”



Masked Artwork
by Elizabeth DiBenedetto
Mosaic Musings cloud9.gif CONGRATS!


With artist's palette, brush and hues in hand
she decorates the drabness of the day -
thin dabs of sanguine on an ashen land,
soft strokes conceal what she will not betray.

The doctors canvassed charts, discussing test
results; a darkish blot had showed when scanned,
a teardrop shape - and still she paints her best
with artist palette, brush and hues in hand.

She hides discolorations of her life
by touching up the downs, a bit of spray,
then casting shadows with a shaping knife.
She decorates the drabness of the day

to filter out the fading tints of sin
in youthful days. A woman in command,
when strength and courage were immersed within-
thin dabs of sanguine on an ashen land.

Her gallery is now a storage shed
of artwork which will never be displayed -
each dappled bloom now lives among the dead;
soft strokes conceal what she will not betray.


Judge Bryan Appleyard’s comments: “Brilliant use of a tricky form and very refined, silvery language. It doesn’t quite carry me through and there are occasional lapses – ‘A woman in command’ and ‘filter out’ feel wrong. But very fine writing.”


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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Jun 3 07, 17:53
Post #6


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for May 2007
Judge Bryan Appleyard





FIRST PLACE:


Refugee sproutings across the Continental
by Mike Keo
MiPo


Brother,

let us find refuge in
unabashed love;

the crescent blade
tucked against your waist
held like an organ for self flight;

my sac of collected mango pits
I planted for redemption but never sprout
fruits in this land of many winters;

let us pawn them all in for;

tears and honey,
hummingbirds and misfortune,
naga and lock gates,

so we may one day burrow our hands so
deep into a furious hive of dashes and discomfort

that we are fortunate enough
to understand what hold

the spirit is not war and calls to home,

but a monsoon of poetry & weeps
that fastens the mouth

sweet like a Mekong vernacular
sticky with the weight of America's

orange blossom.



First Place - Commentary
Refugee sproutings across the Continental
by Mike Keo
MiPok


"A poem with genuine originality that seems at ease with itself - it is not straining for expression. The rhythm insinuates itself into your mind and the imagery is cleverly restrained." --Bryan Appleyard






SECOND PLACE:

The Sandwich Hour
by Yoly Calderon
New Cafe


Eyes draw a horizon on mine.

There's a hint of sweet tobacco

breaking away from his aftershave,

scurrying down the nook of my nose.

"Mind if I join you?"

Do I mind?

I do and don't.

But how do I explain with one

hour for bellies to restock?

"Let's go."

We head out of the office

onto a sunlit runner.

All the while we're touching

on summer camp for the kids

and European cruises versus

cleaning gutters on vacation.

There's an unoccupied table

under the pink crown of a redbud

tree. We sit. I cross my legs.

Topics are sustained with mid

drone voices: the dream of being

invisible; how he almost became

a vegan; why people marry,

(I uncross my legs) and divorce.

It is moments away until

the hour- One round hour,

like a corkscrew begins to top the wine.

I finish my soft drink- let ice chips

skate down my throat. We get up

to leave when he reaches over to me,

but pulls back as if I'm a stove

whose burners are turned to high.

"You have an eyelash on your cheek."

Fig. There's fig in his aftershave.




Second Place Commentary

The Sandwich Hour
by Yoly Calderon
New Cafe


"A very simple idea very well executed. This is a narrative poem, a story turned into verse with the lightest of touches, a delicacy that reflects the tentative anxieties of the encounter." --Bryan Appleyard




THIRD PLACE:

In a City Made of Seaweed
by Dave Rowley
Desert Moon Review

Double Sonnenizio on Two Lines by Ilya Kaminsky*

In a city made of seaweed we danced on a rooftop, my hands
were slippery dancers, your body a love-flung shorebreak

arched at the hips. Now a city of sand slips beneath us too, castle
rooftops battered by the tide's foamy tentacles: such trembly aggressors,

such lurchers of reclamation. We scrawl our story in lines
of seaweed cursive. One lover is a dollop of oyster, the other

a mother-of-pearl cradle, we cling tight as the dance-floor shifts.
Such stubbornness flings us through a city of kelp; it's complicated

among the olive pods. Stubborn love is like a leatherjacket, that tough city
swaggerer, or a porcupine fish filled with air--you suck up what the ocean hands

you, whether krill, or squid's black ink. The seabed is a rooftop, our story
made for flight: streaming from our gills in stubborn recklessness

these words of love are little bubbles, dancing, rising on a dare.
Such is the story made of stubbornness and a little air.

*First and last lines are by Ilya Kaminsky.


Third Place Commentary
In a City Made of Seaweed
by Dave Rowley
Desert Moon Review


"Luscious and dense language used to entangle imagery and associations. The poem creates a dazed hallucinated atmosphere." --Bryan Appleyard



HONORABLE MENTIONS:




It
by Carla Conley
The Critical Poet


"Life begins unless you interrupt it,"
the old man said and what, inside a womb,
is any kind of isn't? There's no room
for nothingness, not anything on earth
is nothing: only tiny, timid, not
ready yet, but moving. Whether want
attends it, still it is: it makes no matter
until the metal sharpens, comes to scatter...
then, the remnants leave because there is no room
for lifelessness inside a mother's womb.
It wasn't: I was disposed to disagree
but then it was, though maybe it would be
a cunning seahorse? Next time that we met,
it had gained a head and stunted limbs and yet
it maybe wasn't - somehow, I supposed
I'd love it if it were. They found its nose
and something pulsing: heart. I started looking
for missing parts, each little finger crooking;
each foot unfurling. What a dreadful eye -
like a raisin, baked - are we sure that it's alive?
It tested waters just as I would do,
pushing boundaries - now it was a "you"
to whom I crooned as it paddled around the place:
here be monsters. Soon there was a face -
Are we sure that it's alive? When did desire,
all by itself, create? When did despair,
all by itself, destroy? I tell you never:
life/death, plus or minus, the endeavor
needs a being. We are sure it is alive
but life is a pinpoint, not sure to survive.
and soon there was a need to hurry out
of the straitened quarters. Both of us grew stout.
This small world couldn't hold him, mama's girth
stretched tight, horizons cracking. This is birth:
what starts as frail as smoke attains a crown -
his head, his little body cloaked in down -
triumphant as a king. His little hand
finds my fingers finally.
I finally understand.

Honorable Mention
It
by Carla Conley
The Critical Poet


"A dramatic meditation in being, this holds the reader with a serious of gentle surprises." --Bryan Appleyard





First Date
by Sally Arango Renata
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


As I turn towards the lake
I feel his glacial blue eyes
sizing me up from behind.

It's not hubris, it's a knowing,
an itch at the back of my brain.

He's not my type.

So why the flounce,
the undulation?

My hips feel the freedom
to be rounder, my legs longer.
I stride aware of how the peach
on my toes contrast
with cerulean sandals.

My body is talking to me
and to him, in a swill
of invisible words
that will never be
mentioned

unless he is the one
to make the first move.



Honorable Mention
First Date
by Sally Arango Renata
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


"Like The Sandwich Hour, a narrative poem of great delicacy and precision." --Bryan Appleyard






Jaycee Beach
by Millard R Howington
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


If I didn't jog north to the Dania
Beach pier then I'd thread the sand
dunes south to Jaycee Beach. The
dune grass whipped at my legs as
I pushed myself in sprints through
the loose sand, then a veer over to
the wetter stuff near the gentle surf
and those clouds rising up like mighty
white towers guarding the ocean, and
tinged pink for the sunrise. I went
for the coffee from an ancient canteen
truck parked there under the swaying
palms, and the lovely blonde lady
who leaned well over to serve.


Honorable Mention
Jaycee Beach
by Millard R. Howington
South Carolina Writer's Workshop


"A moment captured with something of the insouciance of Frank O'Hara." --Bryan Appleyard


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

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AMETHYST
post Jul 4 07, 00:35
Post #7


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for June 2007
Judge Bryan Appleyard



Bad Weather
by Dale McLain
Wild Poetry Forum


You can grow accustomed to storms.
Every night they shake our sheetrock,
set the bricks trembling. Mortar remembers
it is only sand. Our jaunty roof begs
to be doffed. And I huddle within my frame
with dread and an awful wish that the past proves
its redundancies, that miles away the twister
will drop- not here, not now when I have just
remembered my own name.

When the windows bow like Galileo's glass
I begin to pray to deities yet unnamed,
beseech the clever stars that hide
behind the churning ceiling. I confess
that peace is not my plea. Instead I ask
for more colors and a measure of strength
to face the wind. The red oak fusses
at my window, whines and scratches to come in.

But it holds, this vine-covered house,
stands on its wide flat bottom, a prairie boat
anchored fast in hard white clay and history.
Within I slip off my shoes. Tonight is not the night
that I will walk on broken glass and wear the unmistakable
face of disbelief. The thunder's growl begins to lose
step with the lightning. In the attic rafters sigh
and creak like scrawny old men. I lay my head
on the last damp cloud where dreams of whirlwinds
and flying shingles wait. I sleep
like a town wiped off the map.


First Place
Bad Weather
by Dale McLain
Wild Poetry Forum


"A simple idea very well executed. Weather is a perennial subject for poetry. Here it is evoked almost as a conversation - both with the poet and with his house. The house 'remembers' and 'begs' while the poet is driven to introspection and prayer by the storm. Rhymically controlled and very firm in its imagery, this is a satisfying poem." --Bryan Appleyard


The Daughter of Antiochus
by Adam Elgar
Writer's Block



I am no viper, yet I feed
on mother's flesh that did me breed. (Pericles, Prince of Tyre I i 65-6)

No point dividing day
from night since both
are empty. I decline
on sofas and chaises--
longues, hollow with age
and boredom like a skin
shedding its snake.

These days I'm harmless, and my memory
crusts over like my sight. But he's still sharp,
his nose too long, his accent crude, his stink
of the sea. The only one I really wanted.
He saw me as I was, as Daddy made me,
as Daddy had been making me for years.

I heard someone name 'Tyre' the other day.
There were drums and fanfares, so I wondered,
was it him? Had he escaped my father's rage
and come in his nineties to visit me and gloat
with some ex-beauty tottering on his arm?
I must have wished it. A relief from other thoughts.

Even to the most, let's say, adoring fathers
daughters lose their glow, and since I had a sister
Daddy farmed me out once she had reached
the age he liked. Some 'farm' -- this dusty nowhere,
a decrepit king who couldn't till my bed.
Which satisfied Daddy. What was my fertility to him?

The story goes that I was burned up too
when fire bombed from the sky to punish him.
The woman sitting by his side, like him
reduced to charcoal, was my sister. Daddy
taught me flesh is foul. Correction. Showed.
Correction. All the space there might have been

in me for love, hunger, or
tenderness was filled with him.
Poisons are subtle here,
blades fine, plagues frequent.
I forget which nephew's
nephew grabbed the throne
last time the music stopped.


Second Place
The Daughter of Antiochus
by Adam Elgar
Writer's Block


"This is a dramatic monologue, a difficult form that requires restraint - otherwise the tone of voice and the character collapses. Here the tone of well preserved and we get a real sense of the woman's bitterness and disappointment. There are several wonderful effects - 'like a skin/shedding its snake' and I lie the 'ex-beauty tottering on his arm'." --Bryan Appleyard


Jackie

by Kathy Earsman
Mosaic Musings


That little fellow, Jack, can hardly wait
to walk with us to school; he'll soon be five.
Each day he waits alone, "See ya!" he says
and waves, he lifts his brows and tilts his head
in Polynesian style. He's just so sweet!

Jackie little Jackie-down-the-street.

The men are in the river side by side,
their bodies bright with sparkles as they wade
a long slow march, the ripples dance and shine,
and no-one speaks... I watch the shadows grow
until they reach like fingers that would hide

down inside the river by the pipe.

There's an awful cry, the postman stoops
and snatches, boiling up the water where
a child comes swinging out in fountain gouts
that stream in rivers down his little arms
spread out like Jesus' arms upon the cross.

Jackie, little Jackie-down-the-street.

Then suddenly the air is full of sound;
the women on the bridge let out a wail
that's crying on and on and I can see
the shape of it go spreading like a stain,
I see it beating like a wounded gull
flying up the river past the pipe.

Now Jackie's on the claypan by the bank,
his father sucks his mouth and spits a flood.
We stand and watch him press on Jackie's chest
and darkness grows around, we breathe the cold,
but Jackie doesn't breathe, he doesn't move.

Jackie little Jackie-down-the-street.

Doc Tommo's car spins arcing in a skid;
he runs and kneels, he fingers Jackie's throat
and looks into his eyes. "It's way too late,"
the Doctor says, "Give up, it's over Sid,
give up I said ! He's dead! He's bloody dead!"

Jackie little Jackie-down-the-street.

His father picks him up in his big arms
and holds him close against him wordlessly.
We watch him trudging slowly up the hill
and Jackie's mother follows heavily,
and everything is still now as I sit

down above the river on the pipe
where Jackie fell and hit his head. He sank.
But no-one said a thing. They ran away
because they got a fright. Oh how I wish
we never took him with us after school
to fish, and play the way he did today

half across the river on the pipe.




Third Place
Jackie
by Kathy Earsman
Mosaic Musings


"Normally I'm allergic to this kind of crisis/reportage poetry, but I know this is my failing. In this case, the narrative is well handled and the tension and horror build inexorably. The danger with this kind of subject matter is that it can turn into just a kind of scream. Much more effective is to contain the feeling within the structure of the poem, exactly what the poet achieves here." --Bryan Appleyard



~Honorable Mentions~





Rhythmically Inapposite
by Michael McRandall
Pen Shells



Lana rides a pony in the
cellar
unmindful of the children
who dance circles at the
door --
she wonders if the apathy
is terminal,
or merely, chronic,
but decides it doesn't matter
since the colors fade
regardless of the
song.

Neighbors stand in line to borrow
vapors
which serve to cover shadows
that have melted on the
floor --
plant roses in her window-box
and water them with undiluted
inference,
Then watch through shuttered
windows
as she finger-paints a
mourning on the
sky.

Lana makes an early trip to
vacant --
where every mother Mary
emulates their father's
whore --
and withers at the
elementary portrait that is
drowning in the rearview,
as crack-pipes play
a reverential etude to a
fractured morning
buzz.


Rapunzel at 49 Learns to Dance the Tarantella
by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review


Because she was awkward,
the opposite of a spun-sugar baby, a black
widow in his glittering
web, because
she never understood about Dylan
and Baez and how she stood out like the purple eye
in the delicacy of his Queen Anne's Lace
chords, he the pearl shell, the mother
of the luminous lake pearl
and because she thought his book was Tarantella,
never ever understood-

pushed up against it like a train heading
into snowy Hibbing with those Russian wolves
howling outside her window
and she breathing the blast
of coal smoke and exhaling strings
of sweet gas, the floss of cotton candy,
she rubs against his arm like a spotting
cat, noticing the dark whorls of hair, the eight-legged
slip into tyranny.

Her taut, tight controlled body
just the way he likes it, zippered inside
itself, a dance towards his white light, a six pointed
star, not cocaine white or holy but because
he was the teacher and she the pupil
and because she slips inside
his skin, minds the illumination
of his ghost preacher
in and out and in
and out and through his incarnations
and because
her skin has begun to peel, to shed off
into a pile of sawdust
he blows her onto the floor where she becomes
the grit under all the fancy soles.


56 and Sunny
by Mitchell Geller
About Poetry Forum


I concentrated far too much on death,
and somehow missed the violet and the crocus,
and sharp green shoots that sucked the sun like breath.
I concentrated far too much on death;
ignored the rose, or some such shibboleth --
let pure, prismatic joy escape my focus.
I concentrated far too much on death,
and somehow missed the violet and the crocus.


Songs from Stephen King's Knapsack III: Insomnia
by Gary Blankenship
Blue Line


Trees don't sleep, although some sit up in bed
and pretend. They might even nod off
for a cat-nap, but you never catch them
in the depths of REM sleep where dreams come from.

Some undress preferring to spend the long night
nude, nothing between them and the damp fog
but some ragged shreds of moss and lichen.
Others stay clothed as they watch the moon change

from sickle to an old man eye winking.
Come day, they yawn and nests fall from great heights.


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Aug 5 07, 09:40
Post #8


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for July 2007
Judge Maurya Simon




First Place



His Jacket
by Witt Wittman
SplashHall


Early mornings when the whippoorwills
have hushed their racket,
you stoop in the garden, pulling weeds,
always in your tan jacket,
checkerboarded with cigarette burns,
the pockets slick with grime
from years of nesting collected eggs,
the frayed knitted cuffs
hang like dried tassels on ready corn.

I was afraid if I washed it,
it would fall into shreds
and disappear down the drain,
to find a home with all your
lost dress socks,
(no matter; you never wore
anything but boot socks anyway).

Arms loaded with squash
and knotty tomatoes,
pockets filled with chicken eggs--
never eggplant,
you tossed that jacket on the
same ear of the same kitchen chair
for so many years that it is worn down
and shorter than the others.

I should throw the nasty thing away,
but your ruggedness still clings.
I need to wrap myself in it
like a photographer
under the black drape,
perhaps to capture you
one more spring,
stooping in your garden.

This poem enacts, with deft economy of language and emotional restraint, a morning gardening ritual that becomes an elegiac homage to someone beloved. The description of "his jacket" is tinged with humor and pathos, and it vividly provides insights into the man's character and habits. The last stanza's turn is both surprising and satisfying: the speaker wrestles with an urge to "throw the nasty thing away," but the man's "ruggedness still clings" to the jacket, causing the speaker to want to be "like a photographer," wrapped in "the black drape,/ perhaps to capture you/ one more spring"-- Brilliantly and subtly, the poet enters the void and freezes time, for a bittersweet moment, to savor again the beloved's imagined presence. --Maurya Simon


Second Place

The Man Next Door According to His Pockets
by Adam Elgar
Writer's Block


He's losing faith in us.
We feel him check and re-
check that we have his keys
and wallet, and the talismanic
letter from his daughter,
wherever she may be.

He slouches down the same
streets to the same work,
mistrust a whisper that aspires
to clamour. Which of us
is guilty of the hole
that everything slips through?

Some conjuror has swapped
his life for one where wives'
eyes redden and accuse,
obsessed sons slur and darken,
daughters abandon him
for intolerable lovers.

Our forebears knew his children
when they were little more
than half our height, those soft
fists reaching up to tug out treasures,
his reward to let his pockets
haemorrhage for those he loved.

What a delightful and unlikely dramatic persona this poem creates: its speaker is a man's trouser's pockets, and they are steady witnesses to the familial and personal trials of the "man next door" (an Everyman). The poem's first line--"He's losing faith in us"-- provides its dominant theme of loss, which the poet skillfully develops and enlarges as the poem proceeds. The man has alienated his wives, and lost his "daughters [who] abandon him/ for intolerable lovers," while his sons "slur and darken," suggesting an emotional distancing between them, as well. The poem's ending poignantly evokes an earlier time when the man's children reached up with "soft fists...to tug out treasures" from his pockets--and its final lines ("his reward to let his pockets/ haemorrhage for those he loved") suggest his former pleasure in freely giving his love to them, even as these lines hint back to and underscore his present desolation. --Maurya Simon


Third Place

During an Epileptic Fit, Ida Saxton McKinley
has a Premonition of her Husband's Assassination

by Ellen Kombiyil
Blueline


Just now I have seen it, fluttering,
William's handkerchief, sailing towards my face
to conceal my expression -- (Oh, I know
what I must look like, my rolling eyes, my spit) --
But it couldn't have been -- William has gone
to the Exhibition. The white handkerchief
wasn't his at all; it was rimmed with blue lilies.
Goodbye, it said, a ghost hand waving
from the bow of a ship. That sound!
A horn-blast, a shot from a gun,
an air-organ's fanfare: Bach's concerto
had begun. The moment was eternal,
the handkerchief falling, falling, never
landing, on fire and floating as it fell,
the flap of doves. Be quick! Send word --
he has gone to the Reception. I fear
the President has set sail for the far shore
and we shall find him already fallen.

This dramatic monologue assumes the voice of Ida McKinley, wife to our 25th President, William McKinley, as she experiences a moment of deja vu, precipitated by an epileptic seizure. Ida's premonition of her husband's assassination is compelling and persuasive because the poet reveals the character's altered consciousness as it amplifies the sensual events Ida's experiencing: a hallucination of a "white handkerchief" saying " Goodbye," heightened aural effects ("A horn-blast, a shot from a gun,/ an air-organ's fanfare"), and the sense that time is slowing to eternalize this horrifying moment. The handkerchief is emblematic of McKinley's death and spiritual deliverance: "the cloth on fire and floating as it fell/ like the flap of doves," and the poem fittingly ends with a denouement that returns Ida to normal consciousness and a call to action, though she knows that "we shall find him already fallen. --Maurya Simon


Honorable Mentions

Insatiable
by Laurel K Dodge
MiPo


The mackerel are as charred and flat
as the tomatoes are red and round.

There is magic in random numbers,
a message in the three dead fish

and the five fruit, ripe and grotesque.
A trinity of skeletons, and an uneven

yield, a harvest that keeps everything
off balance. The green tomato waiting

on the sill will not make a whole.
Even if you put a hand clear through,

you would not believe you'd seen the holy
ghost. Fork and knife suspended above

the heaping plateful of food; your belly
growls, but you cannot move. Later,

you'll remember how the eyes stared
at you like god. How, in the distance,

the apocalypse burned. This is how
Lot's wife felt just before she turned

around. Soles too blistered, too tired
to move the body forward. And a hunger

despite the plenty; an empty stomach,
a bereft vessel. A hole that could not be filled.



Cherry Grove
by Elodie Ackerman
The Writer's Circle


All around the old place,
the dead visit. The
day he opened up the trunk
of that sweetgum tree,
and before we saw the
horseshoe hanging inside,
something brushed against
my face. I heard a nickering
far away, and the smell of oiled
leather and candlewax.

A few days later Lloyd
found an anvil half
inside an oak tree, back
by the old barn. It was ten
feet off the ground, and
the color of storm clouds
when the air smells like metal
and electricity breaks
it right in two. They say
a shipwright lived
there once. I know.
I've heard him hammering.

That was before the rumor
of the slave revolt across
the road. Nineteen men killed,
tortured, all for the sake
of a child's tale. A child
named Obey. No excuses.

The crape myrtle we cleared from
the back forty bled claret-
colored sap, and stuck inside
one old, stubborn knot
was a skeleton key.

The silver lying all around,
tarnished forks and bone-
china plates. Daddy said
she burned that house a'purpose,
took the tram to the train
and left town. Nobody
Ever saw her again.
But to be frank, I don't
believe it.

I saw her walking in the fog
one morning, early. Picking bones,
rearranging bricks,
breaking twigs over and over.
She saw me too.
We've been talking
back and forth, she and I,
between the branches.



Haul
by Brandon
The Maelstrom


The last brown box and bulging plastic bag's
been thrown inside the truck. A vacuum screams
through empty rooms while morning dawns and drags.

The past is bundled up, we'll follow dreams
of wealth and newness in another town,
a neighborhood with winding streets, shade trees
and parks. Escape's the road we're driving down,
scrambling to find those blasted keys
and turn the locks. Before the front door shuts
for good, a glance around the house reveals
familiar ways and that our lives had ruts:

the dingy pathways on the carpet show
high-traffic routes, that we just spin our wheels,
because we're there no matter where we go.



Sparrow
by Bernard Henrie
Writer's Block



6:30. The radio just lighting up. November
in corridors, faint yellow bulbs turning on.

Men take down their trousers, lazy at last;
butter placed on the table, fresh meat cut
on heavy bread, almost eaten.

Utensils burnt underneath with electric heat,
men beside dishes in the sink, women released
from shops asleep on davenports, a soiled potato
in a pail; once vivid folds of hair pinned back.

There are men who look out between the blinds
and darken as the light falls dark, grow still
in rooms that grow quieter still.

Not morning time, not afternoon, time written
down but not addressed, thin painted palm trees
on fields of long faded green, a souvenir cup
holding a tooth brush, a cloth your scent;
lumps of hydrogen stars, clouds of meteor gas
and fumes of futile ascent.

I have held a mask across my face,
stayed alone longer than I should want,
become fossil bone and broken shell.
Almost partners with the migratory birds
fallen on thermal air and comic suspense.


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Sep 2 07, 09:38
Post #9


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Winning Poems for August 2007
Judge Deborah Bogen





FIRST PLACE

After Howl III -- Rockin' the Ages

by Gary Blankenship
Wild Poetry Forum



who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were
visionary indian angels
--Allen Ginsberg, Howl

east of boise they find a cultist who prepared kool-aid for a jim jones
when sister Sylvia saw the Virgin Mary in the pond behind the hen house no one paid
any attention to her
south of soshone they locate a survivalist who sells cranberries in a fruit stand on
highway 93
when mama saw Mother Mary in grandpa's fried egg, they turned the kitchen into a shrine
ketchum is all weed dealers who tithe to a clapboard church in mountain home
Uncle John is still in the attic
they leave orofino where every man woman child stray goat is his her its own prophet
Christ walked across Lake Coeur d'Alene the day of the parade in honor of President
Reagan and no one noticed
in the lewiston they come across the holy slots sacred decks hallowed bones mammon's
offering to the state
the picture of the Garden behind Grandma's bed only cost her $125 in 1973
in soda springs they hit upon a two dollar gal who nightly prays to baby jesus at least
twice an hour in an alley behind the suds and pack
when the tent revival came to town everyone was there, two members of the cheer squad
were visiting relatives the next fall
the idaho falls temple is being repainted in a new shade of temple white
I dream my guardian angel is on strike
the buddhist gate is locked
on cable Italian suits beg
moloch sings when the roll is called up yonder

To invoke the ghost of Ginsberg is to invite a perilous comparison, but this poem manages that difficulty by giving us a series of wild but believable observations that carry the poem's commentary with a cool energy, and make an off-kilter but undeniable kind of sense. The pictures painted here are intense, and build so dramatically upon each other, that even a phrase as short as "Uncle John is still in the attic" becomes a mental vignette, a miniature morality play that the poem asks us to write for ourselves. Thus the poet is both author and instigator -- very Ginsbergesque. --Deborah Bogen


SECOND PLACE
I See God Standing in Stout Grove

by Larina Warnock
poets.org



Here, Heaven appears in bursts of broken sunlight
between treetops swaying with the weight of words;
supplication spirals up from bodies unbent, unkneeling.

Here, faces appear carved in soft red bark, and limbs
stretch earthward as invitations for embrace; gnarled
branches curl like arthritic hands without pain.

Here, seedlings appear along the frames of the fallen;
new trunks rise beside fern and moss over logs lying
prone; roots curl over ancient stumps and both survive.

Here, redwoods appear in clusters; gods grow upon gods,
between gods, within gods--relics of old religions twisting
together in perpetual union, continuous creation.

Beneath these branches, I know why ancients worshipped
trees, why they sought solace in these groves
and found them filled with spirit-tinged whispers.

I remember you from my youth, Lord.
I remember you from a childlike dream.

A poem explaining what Heaven (with a capital H) is that uses a decidedly pagan imagery many would think is opposed to heavenly values is immediately interesting—the poet has something he or she is really thinking about. And this poem makes its inquiry via complicated linguistic turns that add to its complexity, e.g., "Here, redwoods appear in clusters; gods grow upon gods,/ between gods, within gods..." This profusion of little-g gods whose referent is clearly vegetative growth tempts us then to re-read the poem as more pagan. But the poet does not allow this simplification closing with "I remember you from my youth, Lord./ I remember you from a childlike dream." --Deborah Bogen



THIRD PLACE
fulton street hustlers

by Allen Itz
Blueline



it's eleven
in the morning
and you can tell
the drinkers,
the
down-
but-not-
outers,
squinting
in the mid-
day sun
as they cross
fulton street,
leaving their
$40-a-week
motel room,
heading for
breakfast
at one of
the dozen
taco shops
in the neigh
borhood,
chorizo and
eggs with
a side of
re-fried
beans, two
flour tortillas
black sludge
coffee and
six aspirin
for the head
that won't stop
aching until
they get their
first beer,
their scrambled
eggs chaser
that officially
starts the day

mostly men,
careful with
appearances,
fresh shined
boots, sharp
creased jeans
and starched
long-sleeve
cowboy shirts
with fake pearl
snaps,
pool shooters,
dart throwers,
penny tossers,
pinball wizards,
and hustlers of
most every kind,
living on the edge
always, on the edge
of losing usually,
they live on alcohol
and beer nuts,
cheap
meals at flytrap
eateries and
dark places where
the truth is only
what you can see
in a smoked bar
mirror, where pre-
tending is easier
than not

This poem breaks a lot of rules and it knows what it's doing when it does. That's a good thing because you better be on your game when you decide to dispense with capitalization and periods, and when you write in lines so short that one is "the" and another is "down-". But as soon as you start reading "fulton street hustlers" you understand that you are on a fast train meant to knock you off your reading feet, that the poem's rhythm is as purposefully offbeat as the lifestyle of the hustlers it describes with its marvelous eye for the right detail and its fluid command of the line. --Deborah Bogen


HONORABLE MENTIONS



immeasurableby Dale McLain
Wild Poetry Forum


In the year that caught me in its rusty snare,
cornered me, rolled me like a bum,
I grew an inch. Impossible, you might say.
Middle-aged ladies do not grow taller,
only wider, sadder, greyer. But it's the truth.
I felt every millimeter in my bones.
The October sky was closer than it had ever been.

From my new perspective I could see
things that I'd forgotten. A footstep
was a mile. Each heartbeat claimed an hour.
So odd, that I was tighter bound
than a spool of coarse thread, but felt
as if my arms were feathered things
unfurled against a coastal wind.

In the year when I was laid open
by a silvery blade, cut from scalp to toe,
I was contained within folded petals
a blossom, cotton white and ready
for spring's kiss. I bled with joy,
a narrow river that went before me
as a thin rouged trail I knew was mine.

I learned to live unforgiven, came to own
a sorrow as deep as a December night
and a gladness that danced like stars
upon the sea. Things begin so slyly, steal
upon us like a summer twilight. I stand
altered, a tower dedicated to the next breath
drawn. Nothing fits me anymore.



Super Nova
by Brenda Nixon Cook
Pen Shells


Axl Rose screams, I'm Going To Make You Bleed. Speakers forward,
audio gain and bass on eleven. The car shakes. Her energy seeps
violet from every pore. She knows there is no containment
possible. Maximum overdrive. She longs for everything to
stop. For the question that tumbles around in her noisy
mind to take a needed rest. She longs for the benefit
of sex, hot and hard or a good cry. Her soul wants
to crawl from her body and leave. Bags bagged,
a one way ticket to somewhere quiet. There
are days the question that flies around her
brain reminds her of a photograph of a
tree in Greece . A tuning fork near the
sea, two limbs barren from ocean
spray. Growing vines cling to
its split trunk, act as foliage
and form the question that
haunts her. That simple
answer is but another
question to tumble
into nothingness.
She hums along
Welcome
To the
Jungle.




BARREN
by Mitchell Geller
About Poetry Forum


I built my own constricting carapace
from chemicals ingested lavishly,
and wished, with fervor, merely to be numb.
Insensible, I watched myself become
a grim, distorted pasquinade of me,
devoid of kindness, sympathy and grace.

Insomnia, anxiety and grief
have made me recreant, bitter with fear.
I know, my love, that you'd be horrified
at my behavior since the day you died --
not, as you chaffed, in love within the year,
but still marooned on this spiritless reef.

Forgive, my love, the arid waste you've seen --
a year from now my garden will be green.



Fall Day in the Park
by Esther Greenleaf Murer
poets.org



In the lapidary light
of the sea, I am a flatfish
prostrate on the floor
of a cathedral, the eyes
on my back attuned
to the coruscation
of corals, polyps, bryozoa
swaying in the current's sunlit blue.

Now on dancing eddies
I levitate in celebration,
vault and sweep and skew,
pitch and bank and camber
a hymn to overarching glory.
Then I sink again, canting
like a falling leaf, and rest

in the mud, where one day soon
my center eye will contemplate
the bare ruined reef while the other,
the wandering one, keeps watch
for green ghosts hovering
amid the welter of weeds.


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Sep 2 07, 09:43
Post #10


Mosaic Master
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Posts: 18,891
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From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Hey - congrats Brenda (bbnixon) for your HM placement for Super Nova in August! cheer.gif

A great and fascinating piece! Artist.gif

Bravo!
~Cleo sun.gif


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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bbnixon
post Sep 4 07, 05:51
Post #11


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Posts: 88
Joined: 7-March 07
From: United States
Member No.: 409
Real Name: Brenda Nixon Cook
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Sampo



Lori,

Thank you for the big congrats! I was happily surprised!

Wishing you a wonderful day

:) brenda


·······IPB·······

MM Award Winner
 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Sep 29 07, 08:53
Post #12


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Real Name: Lori Kanter
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Referred By:Imhotep



Winning Poems for September 2007
Judge Deborah Bogen



First Place
Beached
by Laura Polley

Desert Moon Review


I have put on a dress,
salted at the hemline

where the little waves
tug my ankles and run.

I can see the twitching
of the boardwalk from here.

Seagulls and tourists:
all bark and push.

Wind arranges everything.

A mime shouts opinions
from his personal cage.

I admire his courage.

There is melody in silence.
There's an instinct of trees

nestled sad as a woodlouse
in those boardwalk veins.

I have put on a dress.

I am walking a coastline
between earth and invitation,

where strange heavy birds
carry human sounds away.

This poem takes description to the level of invocation as it creates a serious need in the reader to know the import of "I have put on a dress", a simple phrase now heavy with something we can neither name, nor turn away from. The poet's sure touch when portraying tourist and seagulls as "all bark and push" and the mime as shouting from "his personal cage" lull us into a calm which becomes oddly ominous as the poem closes with "I am walking a coastline/ between earth and invitation//where strange heavy bird/carry human sounds away." --Deborah Bogan


Second Place
Ghazal of the Honed Knife
by Sarah Sloat

Desert Moon Review


Undeceived, the body knows the gloom of her.

Right hand the usher, left hand the groom of her.

The fragrance of seasonings enfolds the house

but flesh stays attuned to the perfume of her.

Chair, sink and tablecloth compose a kitchen.

Knuckles, grip and thumb make a room of her.

Switchblade and jack, bread, bowie and pocket--

Christian names will ease into the loom of her.

Pale is the butter, soft ivory the brie;

but yielding knows how bright is the bloom of her.

Thanks to Agha Shahid Ali, the ghazal has entered American poetry's blood stream and this poem showcases the strength of the form. The poem's description of a knife engages us by providing the simple kitchen tool with a presence that is potent and palpable that can be read straightforwardly or as a metaphor. Both the title and ghazal's traditional focus on lost love incline me to the metaphoric reading, but either way, the poet's ease in handling the ghazal form (especially since it is done with a simple lexicon--no fancy "poetic" words here) is a delight. The last line satisfies our desire for the pleasure of both surprise and recognition. --Deborah Bogen


Third Place
Prohibited Disorder Kids
by Bill Brando

About Poetry Forum


the prohibited disorder kids
slide greasy
down the street
with their Kool-Aid hair and
black leather jangle
past buildings
with beerbreath doorways,
missing teeth,
staggering like old bums
pissing on yesterday's news...
pitter patter patter
"dudn't fuckin' mattah, man,"
the motto when you're beat--
cigarette burn chancres,
banana bruise knuckles
tenderizing vacant meat,
crunching scattered glass stars
under jackboot feet
beneath the switchblade moon--
"the world's a fucking tomb, man..."
see the prohibited disorder kids
tromping rusted punk rock paradisio
corrosive soundtrack fast,
snuffed out slow
with no god but
white noise.

Making street-talk work in poems is an art, and this poet uses fantastic inner sound effects to do that, keeping the slangy phrases from becoming a prosey recitation. Take a look at "pitter patter patter/"didn't fuckin mattah, man,"" with its play on the pitter-patter of little feet, and "beneath the switchblade moon--the world's a fucking tomb, man.." followed closely by "tromping rusted punk rock...". The poem wisely interrupts what could be too much hip-hop sing-song with sections of free verse that call to mind what we've all seen, but not described quite so well, e.g., "the prohibited disorder kids/slide greasy/down the street". --Deborah Bogen



Honorable Mention
Bronx Swans
by Bernard Henrie

The Writer's Block


I have forgotten nothing: A sack lunch
and dried bread for the aging swan;
the underside stained burlap the color
of a Bronx pond; the anonymous traffic
on Canal street, the concrete bench
and park attendant clearing trash.

A woman who visited the shell basin
of our meeting place; a monotone
in the summer afternoon of gaps and sighs;
the azure turn of sky; the park slowed
to the barely visible gesture of the swan;
the brackish waft of wings and khaki feathers;

glazed beak stamped into dower mud
and soured water. The swan left out all night
alone as a man who fears an illness,
a porch light left burning with no one to see.


Honorable Mention
Indian Grass
by Rich Stewart

The Town


Night full of frog-song and stars.
Late summer moon slow to rise.
Indian grass whispers
like bamboo in the lonesome wind ...
The deep midnight wind has a bite,
but baby, I could walk all night,
Lost darlin'. I could walk all night.

Loose gravel by the road,
some creature's little pointed jaw,
fallen dogwood petals
glitter in such light
I could read if I wanted to;
there's nothing that I want to read
nothing that I want to hear
this night.

Just old humaway songs
of lonesome whistle blow
and trucks on a distant highway
and of how
you might have picked me.

Now it's just
white moonlight, flat on this flexed gravel road
and this weight in the crook of my arm
and an empty bedroom a mile behind
waiting for me to return.

If I did it tonight
the old people over the hollow
might stir in their big sagging bed.
Might say, that there was a shotgun.
Might say, there's one old coon gone.
Might roll back into dreams.

If I walked back
far enough into the hills
how long might I lie
left alone?
Not long enough, I guess,
for my bones to rise out clean
and bleach white with the possums and deer.


Honorable Mention
Once Upon a Time
by Eric Linden

Mosaic Musings cheer.gif


A herd of cows with calves in tow
now graze this meadow, where,
not many years ago
the two of us wandered,
looking for elusive four-leafed clover
to bring us luck.

The golden balsamroot of early spring

had burst in bright abandon
like stardust
sprinkled by wee forest folk
who rule the mystic woodlands.

Then later on, roses, wildwood roses
graced our much loved hills
where we would stroll,
enjoying sunshine days
in nature's freedom.

Aspen leaves turned gold,

grasses withered,
autumn winds brought frosty nights,
and rose hips blushed in scarlet.

Along their dusty trails

where once we sought
four-leafed clover,
cows now wander.


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Sep 29 07, 08:55
Post #13


Mosaic Master
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 18,891
Joined: 1-August 03
From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Congrats Eric!

(And you thought you weren't VERSED in fv! Ha!) magc.gif

Well done! bowdown.gif

~Cleo : margarita.gif


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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Judi
post Sep 29 07, 09:17
Post #14


Creative Chieftain
***

Group: Bronze Member
Posts: 544
Joined: 3-May 07
From: Central Florida
Member No.: 427
Real Name: Judith Labriola
Writer of: Poetry



Congratulations Eric...

You truly deserve this, and with one of your first ventures into FV...Way to go my friend. Judi


·······IPB·······

 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Nov 10 07, 10:14
Post #15


Mosaic Master
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Posts: 18,891
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From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Winning Poems for October 2007
Judge E. Ethelbert Miller




FIRST PLACE

Afterglow

by Elodie Ackerman
The Town



We crossed the country
bathed in beatitudes
the transmission leaking oil
clear across the country
toward the Orange glow hovering
on the Western horizon,
waiting to eat us alive.

My bridal veil flowed
out the window,
my virginity the hood ornament
on the old blue Mercury
as we tried marriage
on for size, rolling
the flavor on our tongues
like SweetTarts,
cheap but tasty.

As quickly as we rushed
into that foul folly,
we hesitated
to bring it to a close.

Eventually, you collapsed
Under the weight of it all,
and I, hardened by your
rage and drama, signed the papers
as quickly as I did the parchment
that got us into this mess
in the first place.

It's time to leave
the Golden Promise, retrace
that oily trail to its start,
where trees still stand after
three-hundred years and family
welcomes you home, no matter what
you've done or where you've gone
or who you've become.

But it's never quite behind you,
that Orange glow. No matter
what comes next,
it's always there, waiting
to remind you that no matter
how wise they think you are,
how worldly or sophisticated,
you're still a damned fool. Just old now,
and not so pretty anymore.


I like how innocence is thrown against the landscape in "Afterglow." So much said in the third line-- "the transmission leaking oil." Already we known this marriage can't go far. The reference to "Sweet Tarts" seems to capture the tension and arguments within the relationship. When was the last time you saw a reference to Sweet Tarts in a poem. I think I was addicted to them when I was young. I remember I didn't want to share... Even "beauty" disappears by the end of "Afterglow." It's a reminder of what you can't escape and perhaps an indication of the weight of it all. --E. Ethelbert Miller


SECOND PLACE
A Woman of Summer

by Nochipa
Pen Shells



Tell me what is more beautiful
than strength of a life
well-lived.

My hands, lean and firm,
are scarred by
youthful poverty.

while my sculpted arms,
sinewy and brown,
were chiseled by a farmer's hoe.

and these legs, are solid
and shapely, strong
as trees grown from hill-treading

My wit is sharp
as tobacco spears
from traps of star-dream slayers

while my heart beats steady
for hundreds of children
who listened to my song.

So, now that you know
I am not a T.V. woman-child,
am I less lovely?


"A Woman of Summer" celebrates the female body as well as work. It embraces the strength of masculinity by "claiming" it and challenging stereotypes. Women can be beautiful and hard too. The tercets create their own column of power and resemble a tree trunk. This poem will not disappear until one answers the question raised in its last stanza. Although the title of the poem makes a reference to summer, the woman described here is one for all seasons. --E. Ethelbert Miller



THIRD PLACE
A Good Day to Die

by Tim J. Brennan
About Poetry Forum



(i)

September in Wisconsin

is like spent wood

burning; living near

the Chippewa river

where final letters are written,

hunger is fed its last supper

and breezes cross river water

as softly as a woman's failing breath

at the bottom of her hour


(ii)

by Friday I want her

kneaded into rye,

set on a warm window sill

covered with a damp towel,

allowing her to rise

by morning


(iii)

by Sunday she couldn't see

me anymore; it was raining

and I watched my words,

pale as newsprint,

running together;

being no longer useful,

I threw them away


(iv)

a blue carnation,

white chrysanthemums;

all relative, withering

in lieu of last rites

I love the language of the first section of "A Good Day To Die." I kept saying Chippewa river and wondering what it looked like in September. The four sections of this poem capture the passing of time very well. There is an Eastern sentiment hidden in each part; it seems to embrace the visual beauty echoed by the white space between lines. Why must flowers die? --E. Ethelbert Miller


HONORABLE MENTIONS



The Last Bus Home
by Judith Anne Labriola cheer.gif Yay Judi! thumbsup.gif
Mosaic Musings



Each day at two, I read to her, she sits
there with her thinning hair in wisps around
a wrinkled face. Old age has trapped her in
this place; she cries at night and thinks no one
can hear. A picture taken long ago
is on her stand, I wonder if it's wise
to focus on the ravages of age.
I see her gaze at it, then look away.

At three I bring her tea and Lorna Doones,
She drinks, then pats my hand and says "I love
you nurse, now get my coat and purse for I
must go -- the last bus home is leaving soon
and there's no time to stay here in this room!"



Millstone
by Kathleen Vibbert
Pen Shells



On the steps of St. James,
I'm a millstone.
A love poem. A Quaker lady.

Rare birds all around:
tails float toward the sun
with an ease that makes me envious.

I leave my idols
outside as Mass begins.
Smell the incense; resist
the urge to taste holy water

take my rosary from its convenient pocket
hammer down prayers from between my knuckles.
Communion cuts my tongue with its straight razor.

Stained glass swabs my spirit like rubbing
alcohol.
I leave my sins inside, emerge like oil
from an olive sack.

The street is dark.
My bones catch on my clothes.
A night heron waits.

In heels, I hadn't counted on the cobblestone:
The radiant sections of motor oil and rain
shapes into the heads of saints.
How can I walk over them once more?



Exchange
by DJ Vorreyer
The Town


Strolling a silent beach, air sharp
with smell of salt and fish, I stop
to uncover a hidden stone from beneath

still sand and whispering surf. I turn
the treasure over and over in my hand,
both worn, eroded by time and weather.

Green veins wind across its ochre face
like meridians on a miniature globe.
This moment is the whole world, flawed

and stunning, cold and warm, still
yet churning. Although the stone
reminds me, soothes me, I toss it

back with a flip of the wrist, watch
it skip then sink into undulating
waves of black. One may never know

the trials that etch a surface, which
rough edges worn smooth, which tumbling
journeys now calmed, which longings

brimmed to the lips then receded
unspoken, washed clean like the stone,
the heart, back into the waiting sea.



Ungodly Apartment Building
by Teresa White
Wild Poetry Forum



I wait on the stoop of a Sunday morning
and never once seen nobody slicked up
like Uncle Jake used to be
or any lady all fancy with a hat.

Why I couldn't count one cherry nor bird to eat it
just these woolies come down
over their prissy pink ears
and my guess is not a one was headed
up to the Baptists nor the Catholics neither.

Lil' Tim had a whistle
and sometimes he'd join me and give 'er a blow
when the rouged-up frillies from Apartment 2-B
come draggin' out 'bout ten.
Mama wouldn't say but I knew
they weren't telling nursery rhymes
to rich Mr. Black.

That Tim, even he didn't believe in Jesus
so at night 'fore I settled right fine in bed,
I prayed hard that those fancy ladies would see the light
and now I had to add Tim too.


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Nov 10 07, 10:16
Post #16


Mosaic Master
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 18,891
Joined: 1-August 03
From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Congratulations Judi on your HM!

~Cleo pharoah2.gif


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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AMETHYST
post Nov 10 07, 11:50
Post #17


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Congratulations Judi - Congratulations on a Well Deserved Honor



I knew that poem would get acknowledged - It is a very powerful poem!

Hugs, and Good Luck with Future Nominations ...

Liz


·······IPB·······

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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Judi
post Nov 10 07, 13:31
Post #18


Creative Chieftain
***

Group: Bronze Member
Posts: 544
Joined: 3-May 07
From: Central Florida
Member No.: 427
Real Name: Judith Labriola
Writer of: Poetry



I would like to thank everyone who helped with suggestions on this poem.

Posting in a workshop is a very helpful resource to achieving the best version
of our work. It is our poem seen through other's eyes, and that is what we want to
achieve.

Thanks All,
((((hugs))) Judi


·······IPB·······

 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Dec 29 07, 19:30
Post #19


Mosaic Master
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 18,891
Joined: 1-August 03
From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



There was no November Comp...

FYI


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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Cleo_Serapis
post Dec 29 07, 19:45
Post #20


Mosaic Master
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 18,891
Joined: 1-August 03
From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Winning Poems for December 2007
Judge E. Ethelbert Miller




FIRST PLACE
Ruth in Ward 3A Imagines Herself as a Tree

by Brenda Levy Tate
Pen Shells



Before first light, I slip into a spruce --
its roots (and mine) old ropes that tie the clay
to bind me gently, while the stars infuse
me with a balm of resin, salt and spray.

My blood is balsam now, and moves as slow
as sunrise. With a prickling in my chest,
the alto sap upwells and spreads; its low
ring-singing stirs the shorebirds from their rest.

Below me wheel the herring gulls and hawks
that drift toward my cliff. A willet cries
above the pearling tide, and on the rocks
a stranger's cat holds morning in her eyes.

I shed my bark as dawn releases me.
Tomorrow, I shall dream myself the sea.


I like the title of this poem and how it works with the sonnet structure. One is pulled into the world of mental illness and it's the world of nature as well as imagination. This is a poem of transformation and a rejection of restrictions. Ruth is able to escape the hospital ward. The closing couplet makes this poem a winner. I want Ruth to believe she is the sea tomorrow. --E. Ethelbert Miller


SECOND PLACE
Northland Solstice

by Eric Linden cheer.gif Yay Eric! thumbsup.gif
Mosaic Musings



Snow lay deep that cold December
on my Dawson City home,
shrouding mountains, lakes and rivers
far and wide, including Nome.

Not much moved; our world was frozen
from Old Crow to Watson Lake.
Even ravens had forsaken
this harsh land, for pity's sake.

Darkness dwelled; it stopped and dallied,
swallowed up the midnight sun.
How I cursed this devil northland
and its grip I couldn't shun.

Came the day I went out walking;
all was quiet, skies pale blue;
in the woods, those white-clad pine trees
sparkled like old Manitou.

Could it be that I heard carols
coming from those soundless hills?
Solstice in this frigid northland
spells more, brighter winter chills.


"What would Jack London think of this poem? Here is the Yukon. Dawson City a place where people went looking for gold? This poem however captures the moment more than history. One is a witness to the landscape and seeing its beauty through the eyes of a poet. Nothing moves -- except the language. What lies beyond the cold and darkness? What brighter winter chills? I like the question this poem asks -- "Could it be that I heard carols/coming from those soundless hills?" --E. Ethelbert Miller


THIRD PLACE
Crossing at Night

by Maryann Corbett
The Waters



The rain-slick road
that multiplied
the rush of light.
The striding void,
man-shaped, vague
as something sighed,
suggestive, rogue.
So nearly nothing.
Does even he
believe his own
solidity,
ghosting across
the dark ahead?
Closer. Close.
The grip, the gasping
cry brake skid
the pounding chest
aware, aware
in an emptiness
of something there.


I found this poem haunting in a mystical sense. Since I don't know how to drive, I've never experienced that need to avoid something on a rain-slick road. Still, I like how this poem is almost crafted to resemble a road. Lines seem to collapse on each other. The words "void," "vague," "nothing" and "emptiness" increase the blackness of the night. What is the shape of things unseen? What do we fear at the crossing? --E. Ethelbert Miller


HONORABLE MENTIONS



My Mother's Bones
by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review



When I crawled through my mother's bones
I'd like to say, they were bent over me

like birches, that the tips of her pelvis-march
scraped against me in that narrow place.

But babies aren't made this way. Beauty is messy;
the dark box I return to just before I wake

is a field with a thatched cupboard, every kind of leaf
as if she collected me among these pressed wax

paper plates. I'd seen tall, holy trees in Muir Forest
and me on my swaying stem, a Lady's orchid,

her newest treasure, swaddled and given
up to her in a room with open windows. Crushed

yellow and scarlet autumn hands reached in
and settled on our laboring bed. Rust ripped the sheets,

they'd call me an autumn flower. Candles sputtered
and grew down, white and pure and healing.

Each relative and ghost was there. She cradles me.
She holds my soul over a flame. This life is messy,

Mother. I carry your bones in a paper sack
like a picnic lunch. When I release us

to the air we tumble like acrobats, blister
the hardened earth with our fall.



Mersey Mersey Me
by Christopher T. George
Desert Moon Review



Mum, you have asked that I cast
your ashes in the River Mersey,
the muddy Mersey I see broil
behind as you stand windblown
on the Pier Head landing stage,
Seacombe ferry surging to nudge
giant tires with a rubbery kiss
as sailors tie the ferry up,
the muddy Mersey that flowed
down the bottom of our road,
at Otterspool prom: expanse
of sun-glinting gooey flats
at low tide decorated with
ditched pram, kiddie's bike:
scene I painted in the Sixties,
that hung in your living room, til
I gave it to grass-high friends.
Mersey Mersey me, I think of
you as I attend a Ripper event
in a big white marquee beside
the Liverpool Cricket Club:
rain clouds sweeping in from
the distant Welsh hills, over
the Mersey's whitecapped waves,
past the benign cream stucco
walls of Battlecrease House,
where lived James Maybrick,
who may have been the Ripper,
Mersey Mersey me, I think of
you as I scatter your ashes.



Time Gone Cold
by Linda Balboni cheer.gif Yay Lindi! thumbsup.gif
Mosaic Musings



The time has gone, my heart's grown cold,
I miss your love and stories told,
your smiling face, like golden dawn,
my heart's grown cold, the time has gone.

Our talks at night, your gentle voice
to spill my soul, your ears, my choice,
dear dad, your laughter made things right,
your gentle voice, our talks at night.

How deep the ache through tearful eyes,
to know you've left, can't share our ties,
a plan from God, your soul to take,
through tearful eyes, how deep the ache..

For all my life, I will believe
your presence guides me, yet I grieve
for you to be here; end my strife,
I will believe, for all my life.


·······IPB·······

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

MM Award Winner
 
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