2012 Rengay Contest results (with Judge's comments)

2012 Rengay Contest

Judge:   John Steveson

 

 

First Place ($100)

 

Snapshot

 

Beverley George, Australia

David Terelinck, Australia

 

darkness

holds the laughter

of a passerby                                    Beverley

 

     we snuggle deeper

     into home-spun angora               David

 

you tell me a story

in Pooh Bear’s

mumbly voice                                  Beverley

 

     unread pages

     marked with a snapshot

     of our last trip                             David

 

never able to discard

that crazy hat you bought me          Beverley

 

     rummage sale—

     how cheaply we priced

     those memories…                       David

 

 

One thing that makes this stand out for me is the harmonious blending of voices; both poets are on key throughout and neither dominates.  There are no snags to interfere with the flow of images through the entire piece. The individual verses stand up well enough but are immensely enhanced by their surroundings. I wonder if there is an intention to give a nod to an earlier rengay with this same title, by Garry Gay and Cherie Hunter Day.

 

Second Place    

 

Second Place

 

Celluloid Moon

 

David Terelinck, Australia

Beverley George, Australia

 

midnight screening

falling asleep beneath

a celluloid moon…                             David

 

     mae it was who said, too much

     of a good thing…is wonderful       Beverley

 

lifeboat drill—

a bloody mary sunset

on foreign seas                                    David

 

     spinning globe…

     the lives and errant dreams

         of strangers                                    Beverley

 

the rightness of the voice

that says sorry, wrong number           David

 

     choices

     are what we have

     to save us from ourselves               Beverley

 

 

This collaboration travels smoothly through a land of illusions. Since so much of it either relates directly to cinema or invokes cinema and since movies are rife with their own themes, this rengay has a spiky thematic quality that makes it stand out from the other offerings.

 

 

Third Place

 

Bubble Gum Bubbles

 

John Thompson, Santa Rosa, CA

Renée Owen, Sebastopol, CA

 

pink camellia

floating in a bowl

the layers of her dream                      John

 

waking at dawn

the front yard flamingo’ed                 Renée 

 

morning glow

what I know of love

I know from you                                John

 

day moon

the baby discovers

his toes                                               Renée  

 

popping the giant

bubble gum bubble                            John

 

before sleep…

in bedtime stories

even pigs fly                                       Renée

 

 

The whole piece is “flamingo’ed” from beginning to end. Funny and sweet – a winning combination.

 

 

Honorable Mention 

 

The Sound of Frost

 

Angela Terry, Lake Forest Park, WA

Cara Holman, Portland, OR

Julie Warther, Dover, OH

 

breaking open

a fortune cookie

the sound of frost                                      Angela

 

what he says

what he doesn’t                                        Cara

 

woodpecker taps

he only pretends to know

Morse code                                               Julie

 

winter solstice…

twelve toots from the calliope                  Angela

 

approaching storm

a symphony

of wind chimes                                         Cara

 

whiteout

she slams the door behind him                Julie

 

 

A gorgeous opening verse. I wonder if “the sound of frost” might, in some small way, relate to Robert Frost’s “sound of sense.” He sometimes gave, as an example of this, the way a conversation heard through a wall or a closed door can make sense even when the words are inaudible and one has only the rhythms and tones of speech to go on. The door slam in the last verse seems apropos.

 

 

Judge’s Comments:

 

My understanding of rengay is simple and, as a consequence, I applied a limited set of criteria. Rengay are written around a theme or, sometimes, multiple themes. Each verse should be capable of standing alone. And the interplay of the collaborating poets and of the various elements of the work is a central aesthetic value.

 

                                                                            John Stevenson

 

 

 

 

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