2015 Rengay Contest Results (with Judge's Comments)

Rengay (Judge:  Garry Gay)

First Place

Weighing In

Michael Dylan Welch, Summamish, WA

Sonja Arntzen, Canada

summer trip—

no scale

on the island map                    Michael

      scaling the hill

      he skins his knee                Sonja

scales of justice--                    

my uncle's brass rubbing

framed in his office                   Michael

snake scales

transparent on my palm...

the discard                                Sonja

     my son practicing

    a minor scale                        Michael

in the scale model

of our new home

his infinite care                        Sonja

 What makes this a very wonderful rengay for me is the playful way the poets used the word “scale.” Its very clever, original and a very clear theme. Each verse can stand alone and yet connects to the over all poem linking perfectly to the theme. Its nicely done.

Second Place




Stephanie Baker, San Francisco, CA

Sherry Barto, Daily City, CA

Chuck Brickley, Daly City, CA


lost in an eddy-wind

the drone

without its queen                                 Stephanie


sharpening his sword

masterless samurai                              Sherry


empty park

the pit bull wags what’s left

of his tail                                             Chuck


street corner encampment

a stirring of cardboard boxes              Stephanie


“Hit the road Jack”

cut off as the driver

rolls up his window                            Sherry


fog drifting

the old shrine here somewhere           Chuck


 You can feel the loss of each verse, the “lost” effect ripples throughout the over all poem. It shows you the many ways things are lost or misplaced or even an empty feeling like the “masterless samurai” or the encampment of cardboard boxes.
The poem is intricate in that it does not tell you what is “lost” just that something is missing. This poem is a fun read, and I kept coming back to it over and over.

Third Place


A Shared Umbrella


David Terelinck, Australia

Beverley George, Australia


this sleight-of-hand

known only to magicians

and timezones                                  David


     a phone call transports you

     to the armchair next to mine       Beverley


here or there

in every photo

our elbows linked                            David


     a shared umbrella

     our fingers tracing lines

     on the same map                         Beverley


charting a friendship

that’s never lost its way                   David


     each day a book,

     a cup, a pen you gave me

     cradled in my hand                     Beverley

 This rengay captures the feeling of a friendship over a lifetime. Can a rengay travel this far over time when often they are more like haiku in the here and now? This one does, and it brings a lot of feelings with it. While the individual verses work well, it’s the overall feeling of the poem or its theme that ties it together for me.

Honorable Mention  (not ranked)


No Escape


Julie Warther, Dover, OH

Angela Terry, Lake Forest Park, WA


late autumn

a hornet’s nest

in the cemetery tree                      Julie


no escape route

highlighted                                   Angela


tuesday afternoon

a fly’s thwap thwap

against the window                      Julie


leaf bonfire—

a moth stops by

to investigate                                Angela


cutting off asters—

a black chrysalis                           Julie


milkweed pods…

a monarch misses

the fall migration                          Angela






Beverley George, Australia

David Terelinck, Australia


pink underbelly

of a huntsman spider

on the fly-screen door                      Beverley


     she lies to mum

     about her facebook friend          David


a retreating tide

dumps one spike-heeled shoe

on sloping sand                                Beverley


     day after day

all the teenagers who

look like her…                             David


a flock of noisy miners

drive off a wattlebird                             Beverley 


the silences

… where once

we’d mention her name               David