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December IBPC Results



December IBPC Results
By Scout on 01/08/2009
Viewed: 273
Reviews: 0
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Winning Poems for December 2008

Judges Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald


First Place
Milk Noodle
by Greta Bolger
The Waters

We liked the imagery of this poem, its simplicity and intimacy. The poet captured a vivid memory and successfully shared it with us, as if we were there. --Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald

Second Place
Aftermath
by S. Shademan
poets.org

What makes this poem really interesting and stand out is its use of heightened language, especially the poignant last three stanzas. It reels you in with very poetic lines. It feels like a crescendo, each stanza a powerful beat, and has a very strong ending. --Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald

Third Place
Momento Mori
by Brenda Levy Tate
Pen Shells

This poem flows with a wonderful rhythm. Great use of language for a story that is both personal and universal. --Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald

Honorable Mention
Evening Prayer
by Emily Brink
The Writer''s Block

Winning Poems


Milk Noodle

by Greta Bolger
The Waters

Warmed whole milk with a pat
of butter the broth, skinny
noodles the substance.

Our favorite lunch, made by
a nearly blind grandfather
for shy Heidi and bold Greta.

He sat alongside us with old
coffee, a heel of bread and a
slice of salami, chewing softly.

I can still hear him humming
hymns as he washed up,
hear him calling us in from play.

Herein! Zeit, um zu essen!
Sie Kinder haben Hunger!
And it''s true, we did hunger

for a father more sober than
his only son, for words we
could easily understand, for

foods we could easily digest,
milk noodle, oatmeal; for his
calloused hand smoothing our

silky blonde heads, warm
as the strange soup we slurped,
foreign, yet familiar as sun.


Aftermath
by S. Shademan
poets.org

Yesterday, my blue fingers
opened petal by petal.
I lost my grip on the trapeze.
My heart remained
white squeezed, buried
in the shirt drawer of a passed lover.

Today, the scent of wet leaves
pulled me out to the night''s air.
I watched a silver coin
trapped in the black net of bare branches.
A smile started like a fountain
somewhere behind my eyes, trickled
down my cheeks, spread to my lips
engulfing my face.

Death, who has been calling me
for years, from that open space
between my ribs,
whose soft whispers I hear,
whose curled fingers I see
behind my eyes
luring me in, doesn''t know

the day before I die
I will skip through the house
wearing my flannel pajamas
with my dangling gold earrings.

I will love every wrinkle:
on my father''s cheeks
on my pregnancy plans
and those on my lover''s shirt.


Momento Mori
by Brenda Levy Tate
Pen Shells

Hold it to your ear and listen, my father said.
You''ll hear the sea. He offered the conch
- one of a pair on the Florida souvenir counter -

and I lifted it against my never-cut curls.
The ocean spoke then (it must have been so,
for who would doubt the word of a navy man?).

Shoal-dance: hiss and boom and mutter.
We claimed both pink-throated ornaments,
set them beside our fireplace, where smoke

bit into their soft bosses. My father dusted
them often at first, then less and less.
He died on a May morning. I wasn''t there.

Today I am in the family room, clearing my half-
life rubble, those trinkets never fully paid for.
My lost sailor rises from his water rest,

a bubble seeking light. Hold it to your ear,
he murmurs. I study the remaining shell,
pitted with ash acid, patterned with worm

burrows among its turrets. It looks starved.
I raise it to a lobe; my gold stud presses
where neck and jaw collide. Skull tectonics.

What sea still moves over these old reefs
and reaches? Just the eddy of my own
blood - personal undertow that sluices bone -

salt and iron doomed as any rotten vessel.
Heaven forgive my unbelief. I strain to resurrect
a single current here, flood and pull now silent

beneath a nacre sunset. Invented waves dry
in ruined chambers. My father retreats, a tide
ebbing through his deaf labyrinth. I cannot call

after him, nor even wring a prayer to wash
my aragonite dead.


Evening Prayer
by Emily Brink
The Writer''s Block

For years I''ve tackled your mountain
hoping to find some bristle of truth.
A crevice warm as a puppy''s slick tongue.
Your peak promises glory; delivers injury.
I''ve subsisted too long on your snowmelt
and yak butter diet. I have woven
a coat from the strands of your hatred
and the seams of your wit.
Down in the village they''ve d
clocks useless and started evening prayer.
Tibetan flags flutter in the wind
like paper lamps in Santa Fe or quilts
hanging on lines in a Midwestern town:
it''s like being everywhere at once
until the prayers are done,
candles snuffed. I''m just a bird
changing direction, alone in mid-air.



{Moderator}


© By Scout On 1/8/2009 12:44:15 AM
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