•  Annual Literary Reviews 

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Winners

A Question of Happiness

 

Who is that weeping?

 

The rat

because her burrow is strewn

with bones.

 

The coyote

because she pleads with

the immutable prairie.

 

The owl

because her little ones fly alone

in the appalling glitter of stars.

 

Who does not weep?

 

The hare

because her legs carry her

over the snow, the ice.

 

The fox

because her tail sweeps memory

skyward.

 

The bear

because she comes from black concavity

into spring

 

Robyn Supraner

Robyn is a widely published poet, poetry teacher, children’s book writing teacher, award winner and author of more than 100 children’s books..

SMALL GIRL IN TREE, EARLY JUNE

 

She springs up, grasps a low branch

Of the curbside tree and swings,

A colt’s mane of brown hair, palely parted

Whips from side to side;

Bare feet pedal air.

 

A neighbor’s child

Seven, maybe eight

I do not know her name.

She hand-walks out along the branch

Back towards the trunk,

Shouts Look, Look to someone I cannot see.

 

Small knees pistoning

She does not feel my pincer gaze

Pluck her image up, drop it onto pungent cotton,

Cap the jar; does not know herself labeled

Small Girl in Tree, Early July

 

Collected none too soon-

Already gray wisps twist to a tight knot

Above her wizened nape;

Knuckles tighten, coil like dried vines;

Blue-veined feet sag groping,

Groping for the ground.

 

Jane Lawliss Murphy

Singer and published composer of five albums of songs, essayist and licensed Jin Shin Juytsu practitioner.

Harbingers

 

A movement of earth,

a tiny tilt of axis,

this little spring in February,

blustery and sometimes mild,

I must peer closely to find it.

 

Red wing blackbirds appear

and take possession

as if they never left.

A flock of early robins

finishes off red holly fruit.

 

Quince, with no regard

for proper timing

blooms pink against

gray leafless stems,

live Asian painting.

 

Red-eyed, black and white,

sleek, sinuous swimmers,

I have a rendezvous with loons

who, in the schedule of their year,

sojourn a few months on the river.

 

Better this preview,

this glimpse of harbingers

than May and April’s

full-blown message

that it cannot last.

 

Dorothy Schiff Shannon

Retired teacher and published poet.

Hospice

 

Pick of the litter of pups

At a Stanford fireman’s home,

In the span of fourteen years,

Our children had grown, left home.

 

His regal head turned gray,

Hips weakened,

Hind legs lazy,

He had become a living room rug.

 

If he’s not enjoying life,

You said we’ll put him down.

How will wee know?

He will tell us.

 

Incontinent and diapered,

His ammonia smell

Announced his presence.

Then summer came.

 

Each day diaper-free,

Dosed with steroids,

We left him on the lawn,

Immobile in his place,

 

Enjoying himself,

Until an unexpected storm

Washed away his happiness.

His fur soaked,

 

We carried him indoors

Toweled down and powdered,

Diapered for the night,

His eyes told us

 

What he could not speak.

Next day we found him,

Under his blanket,

A statue of his former self.

 

Richard Bronson

M.D., teacher and researcher,

writing poetry for 10 years

Performance Poets Association®

HAIKU MEDLEY

 

In the deep of night, without making a sound-

birds prepare their songs?

 

 

         Dew

on dove feather

   on the grass,

 

 

lady cardinal’s

orange beak takes the drab out

of a grey morning.

 

 

Must be good friends,

three sparrows gathering

     on a lilac branch,

 

 

four pitchers of water

to fill the birdbath.  Shaking

     of wings and they fly.

 

Mankh

Walter E. Harris III

Essayist, student of Kaballah, Haiku poet, epic poem  “Singing an Epic of Peace”, chapbooks,independent publisher of

AllBook-Books

         Gateway

 

I am looking for a thin place,

a small, quiet space

that leads to a threshold

between two worlds.

It is a window of opportunity

where you can stand

hands down, eyes up

and feel a spot of grace

like a thin clear stream

of solitude set free from the fret,

and hear the wind in the reeds

play the pipes of the soul.

There you can suspend disbelief,

and listen to a small voice

that whispers from a weir

of absolute silence.

 

Carol A. McCarthy

Prize winner, English teacher, poetry workshop leader, and widely published poet