Gulf Coast Poets Chapter
Poetry Competitions
2008 Winners

Page updated 1/6/2009




2007 Winners have been moved to a separate page.

Month/Year:  November 2008

Contest:  Home in a Cardboard Box
Winner:  Richard Peake

Contest Sponsor:  R. J. Clarken


Contemplating Restoration


Children find cardboard boxes tempting toys

whose potent charms enchant both girls and boys.

So, aged and homeless, men and women find

cardboard boxes give warmth and peace of mind

enabling them to face their daily trials,

allowing them to think their lives have style

recalling a time of life much simpler.

Looking at our house gutted to avid

the sodden, moldy walls that Ike destroyed,

I think that a cardboard box can deter

the loss of goods and anguish felt as costs

we must bear as we contemplate our loss.

Furniture, wallboard, and panels tossed out,

our box shows us what we can do without.


© 2008 Richard Peake




Month/Year:  November 2008

Contest:   Ancient Things
Winner:  Carol Dee Meeks

Contest Sponsor:  Richard Peake


Zeus’ Zone


Did nature’s force destroy the sturdy walls

of Zeus’ new home when moved like ships’ raze,

and placed inside a mundane site of hails

where Doric style or temples needed glee?

Did gods form Greece whose statue, sprouts like spire

in gold and dentine stones and precious gems?

His throne of legs wore sphinxes and winged attire

as golden robe and sandals show his stems.

But czars regaled and sought the times of land

‘cause where they lived wore roots—Olympic games.

The wars would stop.  The sports of brands were grand.

To win the prize in Zeus’ right hand made names.


His might was vast and why he sat in chairs

and all compare these facts to jaunt like fares.


© 2008 Carol Dee Meeks




Month/Year:  November 2008

Member Contest
Winner:  Richard Peake


Goodbye Ike


Wither wind?—gone, hurricane, gone

with water surge; dank dawn leaves on

boulevard life’s wreckage littering

with useless goods, discovers

no more electric lights yet on.

With mosquito bites, we suffer

flotsam, jetsam, toys left in scorn

by our tike, Ike, child no tougher

than nineteen hundred surge waters—

they washed East End to new quarters,

houses built on sand.  Don’t build

there.  Heed biblical injunctions:

sand houses fall, hurricanes kill

brave doubters without compunction.

Ask Crystal Beach and dead Gilchrist

what the hurricane had to say

when they accepted its wind’s tryst

when little Ike came here to play.

Winds form Africa, blow winds blow—

we watch and fear where you may go.


© 2008 Richard Peake





Month/Year:  October 2008

Contest:   Mountains in the Distance
Winner:  Von S. Bourland

Contest Sponsor:  Mary Ann Goodwin & Richard Peake


North of Capitan


Upended stump on a hillside

statuesque amid wild grasses

cedar trees



Bark Curls

like taupe,

tangled strands of hair.


Clay silt


to barren roots.


Blood-red Paintbrush blooms


in the shade

in the crook

of cradled limbs.


Twisted branches


to distant mountain peaks—

a good afternoon salute.


© 2008 Von S. Bourland




Month/Year:  October 2008

Contest:  War:  Give us our Daily Dead
Winner:  Richard Peake

Contest Sponsor:  Mary Margaret Carlisle



American Graveyard in Manila


We climb to the cemetery

where traffic sounds seem worlds away

as we enter through iron gates

from the grime of the city’s streets

to a green world with white crosses

set carefully in tended laws.

under leafed trees where small birds sing

songs lost in chimes of carillon

inviting our gaze at war maps

and words describing the battles

that grew the many markers here.

As the chimes cease and silence comes

to match our thoughts’ solemnity,

we honor our too-silent hosts.

I recall newsreels of tired troops

in their retreat tending their wounds

and eating their meager rations,

but films that Hollywood produced

to honor warriors’ valor

have not prepared me for the beauty

and quietness where doves and white-eyes

fly gracefully among the dead

to keep watch on white stone crosses

standing in solemn attention

at readiness for visitors

who gawk and talk, but leave in awe.


© 2008 Richard Peake




Month/Year:  October 2008

Member Contest
Winner:  Richard Peake


Norfolk’s East Main Street, 1948


Seagulls scavenge the harbor at sunset

behind the buildings of East Main Street moving

to night while the waterfront crowd forgets

sunlight and welcomes flashy neon kings.


Sarcastic brilliant candescence displays

beer and burlesque and tattoo parlor signs

playing of the feet of the sailors away

from their ships for night of women and wine.


People hurry, hurry, as car horns shout

and trolleys clang as the street races on

until the mists of muddy morning rout

humanity, whose hopes have proved still born.


© 2008 Richard Peake




Month/Year:  September 2008

Contest:  Strong Light Casts Dark Shadows
Winner:  Richard Peake

Contest Sponsor: Diana Dettling Buckley


Lighting Up with Flash


A blinding light changes dark to daylight

for brief, very transitory moment—

like battlefields at night lit up by shells

exploding, or lightning flash in night storm.

Photographs taken with a flash bulb

throw brightness on a subject in dim light

but leave the background in dark shadow.

I have a picture taken with photoflash

of me with a ring-tailed lemur wrapped around

my neck at a place called Ifaty

on Madagascar.  It is hard to tell

which of us is flashing the widest grin;

we star out from the photo happily

ignoring the deep shadow of background

squalor.  The lemur was a pet, not wild,

and did not know the beauty of threes

in which his relative still roamed free.

He dwelled in an unnatural atmosphere

as dark as the shadows in our photo

where he will live as a prized negative.


© 2008 Richard Peake



Month/Year:  September 2008

Member Contest
Winner:  Richard Peake


Bound by Time




He told her she looked

younger than her published age—

she did not forget;


she can remember

lost of things form long ago—

new things she forgets.


She remembered that

compliment for many days—

mostly she forgets.




Deceitful mental

tricks baffle her and others

who will not believe


that age has withered

her ability to hold

new memories fast.




Rememb’ring the past,

but enjoying the moment

could bring happiness


if only present

time might be maintained outside

a time-bound context.


© 2008 Richard Peake



Month/Year:  August 2008

Contest:  Butterflies or Iris
Winner:  Mona Follis

Contest Sponsor: Richard Peake


Cold Snap


Frost sparkles on dead grass,

undulates across roof tops.

A few stubborn leaves still cling

to their mother trees.  In the protected

flowerbeds the Mexican milkweed offers

stripped spires to the cold air while a few

elongated leaves hear the base

of the plant, unaffected

by the sudden overnight Norther,

are consumed by the ravenous jaws

of the fat, striped Monarch caterpillar.

Soon, maybe today, he will climb

his last journey to an enunciated eave,

wrap himself in Death’s shroud

and wait for the transformation

to freedom’s flight.


© 2008 Mona Follis





Month/Year:  August 2008

Contest:  Giving Something Back
Winner:  Jeanette Oestermyer

Contest Sponsors: Richard Peake & Anonymous Poet


The Artist Remembers


What course will I take today

in my search for inspiration

to find subjects bold, some old?

Each one an artist’s dream, a scheme

remnants left to stand alone, tried by time,

chunks of a whole once served a purpose.

Wire fences ahe stood through years

to keep creatures in or out.

Now, in this wintry scene, they stand

in snow piled high on battered posts,

lean from the weight and wind.


Lowly country fences marked boundaries,

a mere part of what was left alone

to look across the white expanse beyond

as it stretches forever.  No house, life nil.

Distant  gnarled leafless tree bends

in submission to the elements.


Years have left this unique scene of simple

beauty, rare humility, for one artist

to resurrect on canvas.


© 2008 Jeanette Oestermyer





Month/Year:  August 2008

Member Contest
Winner:  Richard Peake


I’m Dying to Know


When I have thoughts that I must cease to be

and leave the part I’ve played in time’s fast flow,

where I stand in God’s great plan baffles me.

Life’s grand web will continue when I go

to join other flesh enriching earth.

Trilobites and dinosaurs preceded me,

followed by mice and mammals of great girth

long before my primate forebears forsook trees.

The myriad forms of genetic code

show something rich and strange beyond pure chance,

and science unravels Nature’s complex ode,

but folks that don’t fancy gross primate king

fear evolutionary thoughts enchant

science, creating an unholy din.

They grow daft when faced with scientific chants

and DNA.  Some wise men claim to know

how the designs of God must surely go;

they’ve seen the plan and curse anyone who can’t,

pride or hubris names the sin their words descant.

To the grim revelry of grave I’ll go

to fulfill my little part.  Then I’ll know.


 © 2008 Richard Peake






Month/Year:  July 2008

Contest:  Barbeque
Winner:  RJ Clarken

Contest Sponsor: Oscar Peña


Guess who gets the Credit?


She cooks up potato salad, hot wings, beans

slices the onion, lettuce, tomato and

in advance, buys glow sticks for friends of her teens,

cleans house, buys soda, makes fruit cobbler by hand.

Encourage by beer, he hands out in the sun

with all of the guys.  He is having such fun.

Casually, he flips the burgers, as someone toasts,

“For all his hard work! To our host – well done!”


© 2008 RJ Clarken





Month/Year:  July 2008

Contest:  Fireworks
Winner:  Mona Follis

Contest Sponsor: Oscar Peña


Meteor Watch


In high country where the flat,

plowed earth was overwhelmed

by the sky we lay on our backs

in the soft summer grass

long past midnight

waiting and watching,

wanting to be the first

to spot a falling star,

believing we would be granted

our most fantastic wish.


With our sons we sat

on the house roof, 

feet propped at an angle,

reclining into the night,

defining the earth’s rotation

by noted constellations

as we waited for the

expected Leonid shower.

We counted out loud

during the streaming burns,

willing them to last,

awed at their magnificence,

and our own insignificance, the display

more exciting than any

on the Fourth of July.


So quick and sure were they

we appointed our sons

to do the sighting,

we’d already had our wishes,

unaware our time

as a family of four

was burning as fast

as a random chunk of rock

entering an unfamiliar

atmosphere, its path unavoidable.


© 2008 Mona Follis





Month/Year:  July 2008

Contest:  Evergreen
Winner:  Mary Ann Goodwin

Contest Sponsor: Anonymous Poet


Pecan Years


The two pecan trees wave at me

through the upstairs study window.

Their leaves flitter hunter’s green and chartreuse,

teasing sunlight stealing past cumulus clouds.


Whether they will bear this year, I cannot tell.

Three successive years they have been barren.

But, oh, how fervently they conceived

in that chosen year of fecundity.


Worn and weary form bending and stooping

we left generous gleaning for the squirrels.

They scavenged, sacrificing their show-off play

of tree-limb acrobatics and electric line high-wire acts.


In the following years, the trees gave

no outward sign of exhaustion.

In seeming revenge for their arduous labor,

they simply refused to bear.


Have they had enough of their ill-humored retaliation?

Will they give again?

The squirrels and I want to know.


© 2008 Mary Ann Goodwin





Month/Year:  July 2008

Contest:  Wisdom of Friendship
Winner:  Carol Dee Meeks

Contest Sponsor: Anonymous Poet


Together we Travel the Same Path


Touched by a mental power,

I recognize your good practical judgment,

your knowledge,

your friendly feelings—

and for forty-four years

I’ve accepted your fine wine.


Some think you disrespect me,

dominate me.  Truth is,

we are a couple—

still individuals.

Been friends so long

we think, feel, and say

the same things.  thus—

two cups of fine wine.


Lovers, friends

a holy union,

joy shared

grief divided

on the path we travel together.


© 2008 Carol Dee Meeks





Month/Year:  July 2008

Member Contest
Winner:  Richard Peake


Needle Point


Some folk seek the peak

of pink, red, and yellow leaves—

they think it seasonal.


Leaf fall depends on

the species these leaves adorn,

and when they sport the green.


Maples, beech and oak,

deciduous, are not green

during winter scenes.


Spruces, firs and pines,

evergreens, display their sheen

throughout the winter.


A heavy leaf fall

depends on deciduous

trees that shed at once


when cold nights arrive.

Evergreens shed slowly, free

to form needle duff.


So evergreen trees

don’t thrill those who seek the peak

and flee steady state.


But bright bloom and fruit

come form plants that change color

to display their wares.


What flowered beauty

we would lose if deciduous

trees failed bloom this spring.


 © 2008 Richard Peake






Month/Year:  June 2008

Contest:  Raven’s Wing
Winner:  Richard Peake

Contest Sponsor:  Ivy Kaminsky


Aerial Acrobats


A guttural call above alerts me

so I look up just in time to see

the diamond tail, the heavy beak, black wings

of the raven acrobatics overhead.

Birds of mystery, tricks, and arcane things

in human lore, harbingers of the dead

flew northern battlefields where warriors bled

before the Valkyries rode down to seize

them to bask in warmth of Valhalla’s light.

But I think longer of wings in the breeze

as raven pairs create acrobatic tease

to show their joy in exuberance of flight.

For safety, they rest on high, rocky cliffs

and test their wings in airy hieroglyphs.


© 2008 Richard Peake




Month/Year:  June 2008

Contest:  Compassion/Justice
Winner:  Kay Cox

Contest Sponsor:  Ivy Kaminsky


Deductible not Met


All I wanted was a postcard, not a drama

I’m in it now, reluctant player

waiting for my turn to pay.


“$362.43,” speaks the pharmacist from behind the counter

Tremors run through the tiny wrinkled body standing in front of me

as she struggles with her wallet in a worn and ancient bag.

“Before I only paid $20.00”

“Deductible not met,” replies a firm authority.

“That can’t be true,” she says. 

           “Give me back my paper.  I’ll take it someplace else.”

“Sorry, can’t do that,” he says.

           “It’s in our system now, can’t be removed.”

Filled with empathy and anger

I want to jump up on the counter

scream and holler, call it wrong, wrong, wrong

then pay her crazy bill.

But I don’t.

I don’t have that much money, I need the medicine today,” she says.

           “Just give me back my prescription.”

He shakes a no, looks beyond her shrinking form.

“Next, please,”

Her hand falls limply to her side, she turns and walks away.

“Don’t make a scene, don’t interfere,         

           not much time to stay, really not my business,”  I tell myself.

Hell’s bells,” says the other voice.

           “Someone needs to speak, to stand against injustice.”

The tourist self takes over, wrapped in a cloak of guilt.

I walk toward my family waiting in the car

but I never, ever forget this old woman.


© 2008 Kay Cox




Month/Year:  June 2008

Contest:  Running on Empty
Winner:  Mona Follis

Contest Sponsor:  Ivy Kaminsky


Night Light


Yesterday I thought I still had a lot to do.

Energy waning, needle near empty, yet I dreamed on –

artist endeavors, filing away intricate

designs in my mind, like a writer

with an agenda, contracts in the drawer,

or notebooks full of self-indulgent

scribbling.  Everything was important

yesterday.  I look again at the paper

in my hand.  Nothing’s changed;

everything’s changed.  The night

is short, I must check my future.

Dreams have disappeared

like the dark.  I walk outside to glimpse

the first light of day.


© 2008 Mona Follis




Month/Year:  June 2008

Contest:  Horses on the Ridge
Winner:  Ivy Kaminsky

Contest Sponsor:  Sol Magazine Projects


Chincoteague Island


Silhouetted at sunset

Wild ponies in the swamp

Stamping, restless, tense

They know we are watching


They aim to keep it that way

Instinct informs their animal brains

that we are danger

Seeking to chase them down

Kill them

Prey on them

Savor their bloody flesh

Instinct rules their conditioned reflexes

To flee, to fight, to rebel

to resist the saddle, the bit, the reins

Yet in time, they will learn what horses have learned

Down through the ages

That we worship them

Their strength, their grace, their beauty

We long to run as swiftly as they do

And we ride them so we can join them in flight


© 2008 Ivy Kaminsky





Month/Year:  May 2008

Contest:  Support your Local Poets
Winner:  Mary Ann Goodwin

Contest Sponsor: Lynne Streeter




Unearthing a poem disturbs the psyche—

traversing treacherous trails

hacking through underbrush

pitching head first into pits

stumbling on steep mountains

groping fool’s gold

ignoring the mother lode


Scavenging the poem roller-coasts emotions—

shock stalking the unforeseen

frustration following misdirection

self-doubt annotating failures

satisfaction revenging absurdity

awe rewarding revelation

humility embracing survival


Exhibiting the poem acknowledges hope—

expectation extinguishing exasperation

understanding annihilating antagonism

beauty trouncing brutality

perseverance chastising chaos

compassion engendering healing

heart touching heart


© 2008 Mary Ann Goodwin




Month/Year:  May 2008

Contest:  Ode to the Housecat

Winner:  Denise Amodeo Miller

Contest Sponsor:  None



Vittles and Tea


feline creature of habit

russet striped and spotted white

with emotion

social above all

but you say

no cuddling for you

since you are

too confident in your fur

of days knowing warmth and

an incessant rumbling


run to get your snack


treading upon ceramic tiles

in your loving home

only because I entered the room

you think it time to dine

and so I give in

and watch you as you

shake off that sticky morsel

that doesn’t sit quite right on your tongue


we both listen as it falls on the floor

with a  tap  tap   tap

you glance at it with golden eyes

and decide it is now somehow tainted

so just continue within your feastbowls

of vittles and tea


© 2008  Denise Amodeo Miller





Month/Year:  May 2008

Contest:  It’s Not the Thought that Counts
Winner:  Ivy Kaminsky

Contest Sponsor: Becky Ellisor


Idiotic Idioms


If you give a mouse a cookie, you’ll wind up with a whole lot of baby mice

On the other hand, if you give a dog a cookie, you’ll end up with a friend for life

If you give a cat a cookie, he’ll just look at you like you’re crazy

You can give a cat a bath but your tongue will get awfully furry

Words speak louder than actions

Words can break bones

A sleeping stone gathers much moss

It’s easier to get the hairspray out of the can than to get it back in

If bees made money instead of honey then money might grow on trees

The truth is like shooting skeet, a moving target

One man’s funny is another man’s pain

It only hurts if you can’t laugh at yourself

You are the only person who truly appreciates your sense of humor


© 2008 Ivy Kaminsky





Month/Year:  April 2008

Contest: Singing Your Name
Winner:  Mary Ann Goodwin

Contest Sponsor: Adriana and Luis Vázquez


Here - There



deep inside the innermost, interior part

of primordial life, where human forms constantly dart

and dodge; frantically seeking an anchor to grasp, to hold,

to steady; where cathartic motions, by cold

harsh winds, cease, settle to nothingness

and drop grotesquely in stupefying numbness,

I am.



far away, eons away; galaxies, universes away;

away, away, away, somewhere in a kind of endless day,

sans time, sans limitations, sans uncertainty,

a fully healed being, soul and spirit relieved of pain, hurt, anxiety

pure and loving beyond reproach, beautiful beyond recognition

wise and knowing, smiling at my condition,

you are.


© 2008 Mary Ann Goodwin





Month/Year:  April 2008

Contest: Hold on for One More Day
Winner:  Margo Davis

Contest Sponsor: Adriana and Luis Vázquez


Thin Vision


My chin rests in the crook of Mother’s elbow

until she panics, too, mule-kicking the back of my knee,

forcing me to sink into a fetal curl.


With that third, that final

plunge, as big toe reaches sandy bottom and caws rise

above the whoosh and a slap of churning waters,

my sister coaxes, shake free, swim straight to me.


Is my slender sister frightened?  Or is laughter


drowned out by pounding eardrums, my wild heart?

My palms —braceleted baby-fat— scoop water,

breaking loose of Mother’s grasp and aim.  I gulp

not fluid but rarified air, flip over


onto my back, stretch out long and wide

as if supported, and float-

no, I back stroke

toward light.


© 2008 Margo Davis





Month/Year:  March 2008

Contest: Member Contest
Winner:  Mary Ann Goodwin

Contest Sponsor:  None




This is my room. My room.
Everything in it belongs to me, matters to me.
No one else is inside. Only me.
The door's locked.
There's only one key. My key.

Do you want in?
Have a good reason.
If I agree, I'll check your credentials.
If you qualify, getting in won't be easy.
You may decide it's not worth the effort.

Will I ever come out, you ask? Doubtful.
If you want in or I want out, I must unlock the door.
And someone must break though all that ice outside.
That's a lot of work. Too much for me.
Unless you're willing to help.


© 2008 Mary Ann Goodwin





Month/Year:  March 2008

Contest: Walking With the Wind
Winner:  Rebecca Hatcher Travis

Contest Sponsor:  William Turner


Whisper in the Dark


the dead of night

carries her scent

wafting strange dreams

in the rustle of decaying leaves

untamed with her soil laden smells

and the peculiar taste of fear

she rushes quickly through silent streets

a different creature here

this dark wind

strange and changed after nightfall


feel her shift in the lamplight

fade away in unlit places

grow almost calm

then surprise you with a cool brisk chill

around certain corners

hear her whisper in the dark


ever cautious

walking with her

often requires nerve

or a bold display of disregard


© 2008 Rebecca Hatcher Travis





Month/Year:  March 2008

Contest: Ever Yours
Winner:  Sandi Stromberg

Contest Sponsor:  William Turner


Love, Janis

           response to a musical on the life of Janis Joplin


A certain envy invades me

as your life unfolds on the stage.

Not for your companion,

old Southern Comfort, or your home

in heroin.  But even in death, you raise

the everlasting question:  And had I done

the same?  Listened to my inner self

instead of buying conventions:  husband

and mortgage, children and job.


A graying chorus belts out “Mercedes Benz”

our voices raucous as yours,

the 60’s pulsing through our veins.

You speak to the twenty-something selves

we left behind as we grew old,

locked in ways you would never choose.

We forget your drive to self-destruct

and think only how it might feel to be

a shooting star across the bright night sky.


© 2008 Sandi Stromberg





Month/Year:  February 2008

Contest: Stand Up, Speak Out
Winner:  Debi Fairchild, Pasadena, Texas

Contest Sponsor: Becky Ellisor




Here I sit

 on my little island,



for somebody.

Anybody, please,

contact me.

Tell me I‘m needed.

The beep sounds,

but the voice doesn’t speak.

I’m so lonely.


“Talk to me.

I need the warmth of your sound.”

But they hang up

once again.


© 2008 Debi Fairchild





Month/Year:  February 2008

Contest: Lucky Thirteen
Winner:  Katherine Sanger, Dickinson, Texas

Contest Sponsor: Becky Ellisor


dying the day before Valentine’s Day


           the facts of the case:

           cancer, terminal

           hospice, pain management

           death rattle, began


since September

we’d been watching and holding our breaths each holiday, hoping

like a Christmas episode of MASH

moving the clock ahead so that the soldier won’t die on Christmas


but now Christmas and New Year’s Day were past

what was left to hang on for?


better to have a holiday that’s untainted

that doesn’t remind us of death


so we waited,

not lucky enough to have Alan Alda at home for caretaking

but lucky enough to not have to equal love and death

as she slipped away in the middle of the night


dying the day before Valentine’s Day



© 2008 Katherine Sanger





Month/Year:  February 2008

Contest: Between Myth and Reality
Winner:  Ivy Kaminsky, Houston, Texas

Contest Sponsor: Becky Ellisor


Between Myth and Reality


Is a whole lot of why,

Questions, superstition, unexplained phenomena, religion,

Metaphors and even some poetry

The sun marches across the heavens

Someone thinks of a horse drawn chariot

The moon rises in the night time

Someone sees hoe and a beautiful young maiden

A person dies and goes to the afterlife

Someone thinks of a boat trip across a river

Flowers bloom in the spring

Someone thinks of rebirth

Leaves drop from the trees in autumn

Someone thinks of dying

Snow falls from the sky

The gods have dandruff, why not?

Nothing in our world can be left unaccounted for

Stories spring up to answer the unanswerable

A child asks “why”

A mother tells a tale she learned when she was young

A grown man asks “why”

The king, or the pharaoh or the emperor,

Or the emir must have a response

So he turns to his religious ministers,

Or priests or rabbis or imams

They have all the answers

In their little “black” books

No leader can sit on his or her throne

Of gold and most precious stone

And admit that he, or she, doesn’t know the answer

Like a father spinning a bedtime story,

The kin is the father of the people

The wisest, omniscient

Even the mysteries of the gods are known to him

For unlike all the other creatures of the earth,

Humans are the most curious,

The most curious creatures in the universe

So far


© 2008 Ivy Kaminsky




Month/Year:  January 2008
Contest:  Bird on a Wire
Contest Sponsor:  Lulynne Streeter
Winner:  Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, New Mexico

Wires Slow Their Lives as They Soar

A weather vane plays host to barnyards’ owl
as silvered feathers flash disk-streak caught light
His deafness shuns the squalls on heat-veiled plains;
he oversees the yodel crowded stage.
In hoots, he flaunts his curved-nail protein claws,
conductor like, he keeps his notes in time.
His saucer-shaped eyeballs patrol the miles
and spots a mouse evade a cat’s closed eyes.
An owlet couples mothers’ space on rods
like misers’ pad, the space a skin-tight fit.
They soar to oaks where blossoms hang on lobes
and perch like statues, watch some catnap work.

©  2008 Carol Dee Meeks


Month/Year:  January 2008
Contest:  River and Streams
Contest Sponsor:  Lulynne Streeter
Winner:  Ivy Kaminsky, Houston, Texas

To the Ocean

Streams whisper along
barely covering their rock-lined bottoms
beginning and ending with the rains
leaving tiny smooth stones to mark the trail for their return
Rivers claim wide avenues across continents
through farmland, forest, desert
adorning themselves with boas of pine tree and deciduous oak
snaking through valleys where they temporarily
conceal themselves from the heat of the sun
Rivers shape their worlds
taking bits of earth with them wherever they travel
pounding the ground until it moves before them
In Alaska river calls itself "glacier"
ripping through rocky mountains
forever sculpting them    remolding them    breaking them down
picking up and pushing great boulders along
on a journey to the final destination --
great watery rendezvous known as "sea"
releasing themselves    reuniting with long lost friends
sharing adventures, recounting past exploits,

mixing and mingling
Ocean welcomes them all
happily    sucking in their energies united
saving it for a day when she feels feisty
or in the mood for a Caribbean vacation
Maybe even a jaunt to the Texas Gulf Coast
Then she gathers her hair into a whirling homage to Medusa
heads for landfall
seeking people and buildings to play with
Sea is only toying with us    she means no harm
she just doesn't know her own strength

© 2008 Ivy Kaminsky


Month/Year:  January 2008
Contest:  Now
Contest Sponsor:  Lulynne Streeter
Winner:  Penelope L. McFadin, Clear Lake Shores, Texas

What is Now?

That moment in time which all perception springs
Where my awareness rides the crest of the wave of experience
After which is forever memory and history
Before only speculation and dream of the possible or...
Physically preordained by the laws of probability
Does Time have structure, shape
Is it molded by our experience
Or Gravity
Does duration have breadth as well as length
Are we floating on a flowing river
Or resting on an ocean
With depth and volume
Is Now a moment unique to myself
Or is it common to all of us
Are we surfing the wave front of Time
With no way off
Am I a fish on my own journey
Or a cork bobbing up and down with the waves
What is Now?

© 2008 Penelope L. McFadin



Link for 2007 Winners' List