ē† Annual Literary Reviews† ē

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Winners

Weekend Plans

 

Iíll burrow through the mud

outside his window

arc through the air

inside his room

shudder in the folds of his bed

that warmest womb (or tomb)

 

Iíll explode, unceasing

stick fast to the wall

scatter like dust

spray like aerosol

 

Iíll blend him through my body

take him in and out and in

make him my ambassador

my paramour

my twin

 

Iíll liquefy,

A puddle

Shining blue and long

Unroll at the sound

Of a drum-driven song

Iíll eat last nightís dreams

For breakfast

And a fantasy at noon

I wonít need much for dinner

(Iíll be full as the waxen moon.)

 

Adriana DiGennaro

Two books published, many publishing credits, included in four anthologies

GREEN ONIONS

 

On a slow, sunlit

leaf-burning day in October

at the annual Danbury Fair,

I hear the electronic beat

and slip away from my parents,

past poultry cages,

stalls of sleepy cows and sheep,

long table of squash, beans, cauliflower.

 

Through the dust and smoke

of the merry-go-round,

the Caterpillar, the bumper cars,

I see three fourtyish blondes

on a wooden platform

in silver sequin bathing suits

grinding to the sizzling guitar

of Booker Tís ďGreen Onions.Ē

 

The woman in the middle

has dark flabs of flesh

hanging under her arms.

Below the stomach pouches

of the others, stray pubic hairs

jut out like black beetle legs.

ďStep right up and get a gander

of the Strip Tease Queens of the East,Ē

 

Two pimply men,

smelling of whiskey,

fumble in their pockets,

follow the barker into the tent.

Sixteen, I put my head down

and hurry out of there,

guitar licks lashing me

like a cat-oí-nine-tails.

 

Gil Fagiani

Translator, essayist and short story writer. Two chapbooks published, Social Worker by profession.

Last Watch

 

The moon moves over the hill

like an upland hunter

its light infiltrates the hedgerow

and the bunker.

It comes to a point

tremoring at the scent of game.

Below a huddle of men

helmeted and steeled

press hard into the earth

silently cursing the light.

 

Further up the hill

the husk of a man

abruptly shucked by a sniperís shot

belies the stillness of the Mid-Eastern night.

Quick no more

his tongue†† his touch†† his tread

are recollections now.

A pencil line red†† oh !

an inch above the eye

bears witness to his sudden faith

in startled death.

 

Peter C. Leverich

Many publishing credits, graduate of Colgate University and the University of Missouri, founder of a L.I.-based software company

My Dad

 

I, your yearned-for firstborn

the perfect fit

for your cupped hand

and your nurturing heart

My

happy little legs

running up the driveway

to greet your outstretched arms

wrapping me safely with love

Your

silly rhymes, games, stories

and gentle intelligence

blended giggles

with wisdom

You

ran alongside and then in back

teaching me to keep my balance

over the bumps of lifeís cycles

Your

only extravagance

my exceptional schooling

generous pathmaker for others, too

in need of sustenance

You

held your head up high

knowing it was our final goodbye

the ravages of your illness had run their course

I witnessed the pride and the pain

I

stole your heart in my cradle days

You

broke mine the day you died.

 

Ursula Nouza

Taproot writing workshop member, foreign language teacher, book in progress

Burpee Big Boys

 

The words didnít really matter then.

Well, maybe just a little.

You were always there for me,

like my allowance, folded

on the edge of my dresser every Friday.

Even after I got my first job, it was always there,

your solid unspoken covenant

to another time, another place in our lives

when two dollars was too much to give.

Lately, even after all these years,

the words have begun to matter.

I know you can never say them;

chunks of stale bread,

they would get stuck in your throat.

The last time I felt brave

and hugged you too long, you blushed.

My God, Daddy, eighty, and you still blush!

So I donít do it anymore and Iím learning

to find the words in the least likely places,

if not on the tip of your tongue.

Like last week when you arrived at the house,

your eyes shining with pride

as you offered the brown paper bag

of home grown tomatoes.

Burpee Big Boys was all you said.

But the words were there, sweet and ripe,

and I paraphrased the spaces of your silence.

 

Joan Vullo Obergh

Short story writer and contest winner, many publishing credits, L.I. Writers Guild member, novel in progress

Reflections on a Swamp Maple in Early October

 

Could it be I never noticed

how her early blush is rose

shot through with ochre,

then flames

of tangerine, vermillion, scarlet

and how each serrated leaf

trembles before the winds of September

how that tight August connection

suddenly slackens

letting go in a flurry of color?

 

Is it possible that I never

sat at this window gazing

across porch and lawn, ferns and ivy

to observe the twist and spin, the float and flutter

of each leaf setting sail into the blue sky?

 

Did I never pray at this altar

where summerís curtains close

where autumnís slant light pleats

inwards as if folding a fan?

 

Now I wonder if our every move

toward darkness is as if

for the first time

driven by the need to blaze, to burn;

each motion quick

and fleeting as any gesture

made by desire.

 

Ginger Williams

Poetry teacher, member of many poetry groups, poetry conference participant, two chapbooks published

Performance Poets Associationģ

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