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message 1: by Amy (last edited Oct 30, 2013 07:06PM) (new)

Amy (AmyKing) | 567 comments Mod

The Catalog

If I buy these clothes,
will someone invite me
to sit in an Adirondack chair
overlooking the lake
in the late afternoon sun?

In my faux shearling jacket
will we laugh over coffee
at our earlier misadventures
in the canoe
and listen
to the sounds of the loon?

Am I the only one
who wants to climb
inside this new fall catalog
to join these happy handsome people
frozen in time?

Look for me under the tree (page 86)
casually dressed
sable corduroy barn coat
a smile on my face
hint of a secret
in my eyes.

--Joyce Huyett Turner


Lullaby on a Winter Evening

Lie down and let me tell you about snow
about geometry and silence
two parts cold to one part marvel
let me tell you of the twofold
mystery of its nature
how a single flake
dissolves at once
how two flakes linger
when they gather
whitely on the ground

Lie down and give your face to snow
drifting down like petals
taste it on your tongue
a fleeting kiss of ice

Lie down and listen to the wind
wind through the apple trees
twisting the bare twigs
into complex runes
against a curtained sky
spelling out a recipe
for snow

--Sally Zakariya



Channel a body
whether belled or billowing
in which the limb is a line composed
in longhand.

Oblige the shrug and bend.
Intimate corridor, at once
a floor, walls
and roof that glance against

their denizen,
house the guessed-at silhouette
made flesh

where a cuff may pucker
and a hand fan out -

a wheel with spokes,
a star, come shooting.

--S. Jane Sloat


Discovery of Roentgen Rays

Anna Bertha Ludwig first saw Roentgen
when he strode into The Green Glass,
her parents’ café. He ordered a cup of coffee
Viennese style. While she turned the handle
of the Biedermayer grinder, he explained to her
in detail how the percolator worked.

She was six years older than he.
His parents thought her beneath him.
He saw through that. Loved the statuesque
beauty at first glimpse. Took
her away from their parents
to the University at Würzburg.

The day he pulled her into
his laboratory, placed her palm
on the film, she indulged him.
He made her stand fifteen minutes,
watching the image of her hand’s bones
emerge, the shadow of her wedding ring.

He grabbed her around the waist,
danced her around the lab.
The world had just changed forever.
He would win the Nobel Prize for X-rays,
but she had seen her own death,
nothing left of her but that ring.

--Jan Steckel


This is the Way Fishing is Like a Poem

You walk down to the lake with your fishing pole over your shoulder, feeling like Huck Finn.

The lake is actually a reservoir, but everyone calls it a lake, and it looks like a lake, reeds and blackberry brambles on the shore,
and the word is the brambles are where the trout are hiding.

You cast your weighted bobber into the water.
You aren’t quite ready to commit to a hook. The weighted bobber is a decent stand-in until you’re ready to consider the implications of a hook.

The lakewater is murky, greeny-brown, with leaves floating on the surface, red and yellow leaves, and you can’t think of a decent descriptive word for autumn leaves if your life depends on it.

Think, think. Leaves, red and yellow, and some long weedy things, some floating something, but actually they look slimy, which is not a word that belongs in a poem,
and all you can think of is this lake is going to be a hell of a mess in another couple of weeks.

The Canadian geese are holding a meeting on the outdoor deck of that high-dollar bar and grill across the way, speaking of hell-of-messes.

One of the ducks comes swimming over to check you out.
He has spotted your weighted bobber, which is the color of a Cheeto.
Is someone feeding ducks Cheetos? That can’t be healthy.

Huck Finn should be coming along any time now, paddling his raft. It’s late afternoon, and the boy is probably hungry.

That stiff shoulder is warming up. It’s all in the rhythm, fishing: cast, plop, reel it in.
Cast, plop, reel it in. Fishing-rhythm. No poems yet, but your head feels good.

You aim your weighted bobber for a leaf, a duck, a patch of sunshine. You can’t think a single poetical thought. So you say screw it, and wonder what it is about fishing that makes a person want to drink beer.

The sun is warm, the breeze is cool, the lake is murky, and your weighted bobber is flying out over the water like a magical Cheeto.

You know there must be better ways of saying all this. But it’s October and you’re fishing.

--Sarah Black


The Space Between the Words

Now you have gone into that space
Beyond language

You have gone into the pauses in our conversation
The time beyond time and time within time

You are in those moments when we sit in the audience
Waiting for the curtain to rise

And the end when the curtain has closed
And the actors have taken their bows

You are within the pauses of the bird’s song
When we strain to hear the next note

In the water between the fish
In the traveler’s silence within a foreign language

You are in the air that fills the sky
In the moments after the sunset

You are between night and day
Spirit next to soul

You are in the space between the words
The moment before the artist picks up her brush

--Vicky Lettmann


Honorable Mentions

"A Bag Lady’s Body in the Financial District" by Arthur

"Discover of Roentgen Rays" by Jan

"Querencia" by Diana

"Sea Fireflies of Mindoro" by Jim Pascual Agustin

message 2: by Ajay (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 225 comments This is the Way Fishing is Like a Poem by Sarah Black!

message 3: by Christina (new)

Christina  (ChristinaWoDonnelly) | 262 comments At last, our finalists! Congratulations to all, as well as the honorable mentions, and good luck.

message 4: by James (new)

James Amoateng (goodreadscomjamesamoateng) | 62 comments Lullaby on a winter evening

message 5: by Dachuma (new)

Dachuma Achile | 3 comments the space between the word

message 6: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Watkins (AnthonyUplandpoetWatkins) | 795 comments Omg, if I had six votes, I think I would have to give one vote to each! They are all great! Not good, but great!
As I only have one, in spite of the fact that I generally dislike poems about writing poetry: This is the Way Fishing is Like a Poem, but Catalog and Lullaby, and Roentgen Rays, and The Space between the Words would have been pics i could have been happy with if the fishing poem had not been submitted, and even though i liked Sleeve a little less than the others, it is still a beautiful piece of writing! They all make me jealous! Congrats!

message 7: by Nilesite (new)

Nilesite The Catalog. Well done all.

message 8: by Sally Boots (new)

Sally Boots (Sally-boots) | 760 comments Please please please let us vote for all six! We could put them all in the newsletter and leave out that other gunk that no one ever reads anyway.

message 9: by Deepika (new)

Deepika (Deepamal) | 6 comments the space between the words

message 10: by Natalie (new)

Natalie McCollum | 9 comments "the limb is a line composed / in longhand."

I love that line in "Sleeve" by S. Jane Sloat. A good poem makes you think about something in a different way, and the sustained metaphor in this poem is unique, a fresh angle I've never seen on the subject. It's enhanced by the subtle yet distinct language; an awareness of what it's describing creeps up on you until it's enveloped you by the time it becomes conscious.

message 11: by Jan (new)

Jan (JanSteckel) | 377 comments I'm so honored that my poem's a finalist with these other poems! I can't be objective, of course, but I'm partial to S. Jane Sloat's poem "Sleeve."

message 12: by Joan (new)

Joan Colby (joancolby) | 789 comments A really stellar selection. After a lot of consideration, my vote goes to Discovery of Roentgen Rays for its narrative line (too rarely seen in poems) and the pathos of its ending.

message 13: by S. (new)

S. (SarahJ) Very honored to be among the finalists.

message 14: by Steven (new)

Steven Gadberry | 7 comments Great selections, again, for this months finalists! Always love to read them and see what the judges like. Still hasn't helped me reach the finals, though. Guess I have to work harder!

message 15: by Diana (new)

Diana Anhalt | 5 comments Was absolutely delighted, considering the high level of the finalists, that Querencia received an honorable mention. Diana Anhalt

message 16: by Michelle (new)

Michelle The Catalog

message 17: by John (new)

John Farley (justfarley) | 1 comments Such a delightful quandary! Would that my voting more often allowed a perusal of candidates as well qualified for the office.
Congratulations all.

message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim "The Space Between the Words" gets my vote. But I liked "The Catalogue" too!

message 19: by Lauraadriana (new)

Lauraadriana This is the Way Fishing is Like a Poem by Sarah Black

message 20: by Sararoberts (new)

Sararoberts | 43 comments I vote for Lullaby on a Winter Evening. I like The Catalog too, though! Well done everyone!

message 21: by Sararoberts (new)

Sararoberts | 43 comments Could Joyce Huyett Turner, Sally Zakariya and S. Jane Sloat please contact me (Sara Roberts)? I help run a blog, Cafe Aphra, and we may be interested in posting your poems on our blog as part of our Monday Poems series.... You can email: cafeaphra@yahoo.com Thanks!

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