This was the hardest contest I have ever judged. All the entries were outstanding. I read, re-read, re-read again and had them read to me while I closed my eyes and let the images enthrall me. Every poem submitted was a gem...a treasure, so making a decision was incredibly difficult. My thanks to all of you for the enjoyable reading - every piece inspired me. I am pleased to announce the winners:
1st place: Color Wheel: One by
Color Song: RedRed
Comes in waves, like heat,
like the word "Thermopylae",
reminding of the battle that was there
and Spartan war flags. Cherries
preserved on a winter day, the jar
hanging right on the edge of a windowsill
framing the descent of snow
on an otherwise
mugged up windows
of a drunk, bleary soul
as he staggers past
a toy barn house,
slips on a sock,
obnoxious with color,
and cracks open
like a bleeding drum
beat, beat, beating
the heart still bleeding.
Red, the color of pain.
Drunk man, now sober,
in a white-bed hospital room,
white lilies on display, his wife's
as smooth clam shells.
A calendar like freshly laundered sheets
two weeks after that little incident.
He imagines the rose, just one,
tossed into the open grave.
Grey sky, blue air,
the green cemetery
all around him.
In his mind, he switches to thermal vision
imagines the lack of red. Realizes
the bloodless self lying under black earth.
2nd place: The Other Girl's Eyes by
3rd Place: other shades by
other shadesi want to write the grey things--
the underneath of bridges
and floors of public bathrooms,
nightmistakes hanging on
fingering through dull hair
and resting in wasted breaths,
spilling from streets, greeting
clenched teeth and cold hands
and numb feet--
the hollow taste of the next
morning--the ashes you swallowed
to look glamorous, and the hair of everyone
in every photograph before 1840--
the smell of buses pulling passengers
to more promising places--
faded faces turned restless
toward the flat-rain sky,
spaces between the railroad ties,
and dusty dreams
SupernovaIt was a '67 orange Chevrolet
Tinted windows, spattered paint
And the smell of hot sauce that never quite left
Leather kept the warmth of better summers
Dancing shoes and faded denim
Gas like Heaven on these city streets.
And wherever they went they took fireworks with them
Bursts of colour in the blackened sky
Just like popping paint balls against the drop sheets
Making love when there were backs to break and wars to see
No different than
A chugging engine, sand and burning feet.
Years later it still ran smooth like memories
Of slapping wasps and tipsy victories
Giving freely of their speckled innocence
And gaining something bittersweet.
Court Martial of Grey by
A Cavalcade of Gold by
A Cavalcade of GoldA cavalcade of golden horse
Alights from out the maples' grove -
Abreast the unsown eastern fields,
They march a subtle, rising slope;
They share in banter at the square,
And ask the baker for a taste
Of breads and sweets all freshly pinched
And cooling on a window-pane;
They greet the maidens tending yards
Along the velvet uptown rows -
As if to beg a favor, knelt,
With tresses tied in buns and bows -
And press on further, slow and sure,
A touch of leisure in their gait:
Their laughter calling mockingbirds,
Their easy songs delighting jays,
But where they near, I turn them out -
I close my blinds and beg their leave -
Their banners tailored much too bright
On eyes just roused from heavy sleep.
ChartreuseChartreuse, the awakening of spring at the pond
with life floating by,
and the explosion of sweet upon Eve's first bite.
It's Mona Lisa's smile
tipping back a glass while outside
the ivy creeps and the neon bats it's eyes.
Meet me midway, between the buttercups
and grass anew, where it all began in Eden.