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Winners

FOOTSTEPS

           for Cuddy

 

We take these so for granted,

disregard for the music

of the pounding of a heel,

the sultry sucking sound of the skin

of a bare foot falling on the floor,

slapping the ceramic face of cool tile.

 

We take these so for granted—

the clunk of a clog or a platform boot heel

as it beats the blacktop of city streets,

the static slide of a child’s sleepy foot

as it fumbles, finding its way in the dark,

gliding along the shaggy surface

of a carpeted room.

 

We take these so for granted.

 

 

Yolanda Coulaz

Photographer, publisher, many awards won and publishing credits, her 2nd book is forthcoming

POEM FROM A SLAT-RAILED PORCH

 

The porch at Meadowcroft

provides a gap-toothed smile of welcome

invites visitors to a place

where fashionable ladies

in bombazine and silk

once sipped lemonade

sorted yarn for crewel-work

watched little boys pretending

to be tumbleweeds

while girls in dimity wove chains

of blossoms plucked from grass

in the field below.

 

A garrison of geese in full dress uniform

now shuffle there, veterans

with sore and swollen feet

march in disorderly drill across the lawn-

edge closer with each pass, rubbernecking

while feigning haughtiness

 

pose as critics of the group upon the porch

where casual-clad poets drink spring water

nestle in rocking chairs, captivated

by the carillon from a nearby chapel-

bask in cut-clover air

while stitching together a comforter of words.

 

Joan Higuchi

Formalist poet, many awards won and publishing credits, workshops her poems on a regular basis

 

THE CONDUCTOR

(to Sylvia who signs)

 

She lives in a womb of silence

never heard her mother’s cooing

best friends never cupped

her ear, tickled it with secrets

or whispered forbidden thoughts.

Love’s words never coiled

through ear canals resonating

with desire.

 

But today, like Toscanini

her signing hands fly up

conduct an inner music

tell of swimming in the ocean

her hands flit like sea sparrows

or sand pipers surfing waves

they soar and dip on lacey crests.

As she conducts The Rites of Spring

waves rise and rear like wild stallions

white manes shiver in wind

collide and crash on the beach.

Then hands like loons, swoop down

and glide to Water Music.

 

Even at rest fingers quiver

tips pulse like robin's hearts

their rhythms, her breath.

 

 

Muriel Harris Weinstein

Many publishing credits and awards won, retired teacher, psychotherapist textbook collaborator, a children’s picture book is forthcoming

The end of the Green Line

 

Dachau is all rocks now

An iron gate with German words

Acts as an entrance for tourists

Who take pictures of what once was.

 

Dachau is mementos made of rocks now:

Three religious tributes of stone,

An iron sculpture of twisted stickfigures

And a granite sign in three languages.

 

Dachau is vacant, save all the rocks now.

Only tour groups tromp along paths,

Kicking up dust where wheelbarrows rolled,

Walking at their own pace, no guns to prod them.

 

Dachau is sunny now, all rocks under the sun now.

Hot. The still standing barracks are musty,

Incinerator rooms bright, coal mouths wide and dull

Bricks still sooty but intact.

 

Dachau is all rocks now.

Narrow rows of raised flower beds in

Lumber frames filled with gray dirt and stone

Instead where buildings once stood, bodies once slept.

 

Dachau is all built up rocks now, torn apart rocks now,

More buildings of worship made of stone

More rubble of buildings eroded and razed

Dusty tourist tracks that hide wheel ruts once carved.

 

Dachau is all rocks now.

Pictures and timeliness remain

To trace a past, remember where and what

Went wrong, a giant tombstone for

The emaciated and enthralled

 

 

Christina M. Rau

Founder of the Poets In Nassau poetry group, many publishing credits, college English teacher

Trying to Rise

 

A nearly deflated

Silver novelty balloon

skips along

the glittering

main street of town

like the toes of a ghost

brushing gently

against the floor.

 

As it begins

to pull weakly away

from the earth

like a tottering

silver coin

falling uneasily upward.

 

a car comes along

to knock it down,

sending it end over end

like a shopping bag

in a swirling wind

 

where gravity catches it

and pulls it back down

 

to be hit again

and again

by every passing car

 

until the helium is gone

and it stops dreaming of the sky

 

like so many of us do.

 

 

Thomas Frederick Mattson

Previously unpublished poet, PPA featured poet, a fresh new talent who will go far.

The Reason

 

You loved me with a man’s love

took the days and bent them

backwards till they flowed

into a maze of your own contriving.

 

I planted small green gardens there,

walked in them at sunset,

buried my face in lilac,

kept my secrets.

 

I loved you with a woman’s love,

allowing you illusion.

 

You gave me love at the mouth,

love in the hand,

love that shakes the hidden rivers,

but a woman wants small love, too,

 

words to finger like amulets

in fragile hours,

words like little candles

to light against the dark.

 

 

Rosemary Walsh

Published short story writer and poet, award-winning retired English teacher

Performance Poets Association®