2000

 

 

HAIKU   (Judge: Laurie W. Stoelting)

 

 

First Place  ($100)

 

wildfire

the thermometer climbs

all night

 

            Carolyn Hall  (San Francisco CA)

 

Second Place  ($50)

 

morning rain—

an egg for my father

spreads in the skillet

 

            Timothy Russell  (Toronto OH)

 

Third Place  ($25)

 

pear slice falling

to the kitchen floor

pale moonlight

 

            paul m.  (San Francisco CA)

 

Honorable Mentions (unranked)

 

snapdragons—

hearing the sound of

mother’s sandals

 

            joan iversen goswell  (Valencia PA)

 

childhood home

my concrete footprints

go nowhere

 

            Ernest J. Berry  (Picton, New Zealand)

 

cloudless sky

she cranks up

the big white umbrellas

 

            Carolyn Hall  (San Francisco CA)

 

 

SENRYU   (Judge: Paul O. Williams)

 

First Place  ($100)

 

open-air T’ai Chi –

the occasional clearing

of a raven’s throat

 

            D. Claire Gallagher  (Sunnyvale CA)

 

Honorable Mentions (unranked)

 

second heart attack

   he’s careful now

hiding the polish sausage

 

            Kay F. Anderson  (Redwood City CA)

 

moving day

again, I pack the china

we never use

 

            Geri Barton  (Levittown NY)

 

nude beach—

the crowd around

the dead whale

 

            Michael Dylan Welch  (Foster City CA)

 

 

TANKA   (Judge: Ebba Story)

First Place

 

alone with no moon

water-doused embers out

eyes closed . . .  I drift . . .

            in the dark within the dark

            I see your bright face smiling

 

            David Rice  (Berkeley CA)

 

Honorable Mentions (unranked)

 

floating moon

all night  your radiance

blinded me & yet at dawn

how crystalline the dew

on the chrysanthemums

 

            Pamela A. Babusci  (Rochester NY)

 

they say it has

as many seeds

as a human

has bones—

the shattered pomegranate

 

            Veronica Johnston  (San Francisco CA)

 

whirlwinds of wisteria

scattered

among last fall’s leaves . . .

my daughter’s friends share a joke

I don’t understand

 

            Linda Jeanette Ward  (Coinjock NC)

RENGAY (Judges: Paul Watsky and Garry Gay)

First Place

Cornstalk Twisting

Memorial Day--

rows of gravestone flags waving

out of rhythm

dusty field

cornstalk leaves twisting

sailboat 

on the billboard

peeled off by the wind

collection day

a bag drifting

over the campus chapel

fan on high

the professor's papers scatter

the neighbor's house

shingles strewn

where it used to be

Michael Dylan Welch

Lenard D. Moore

Second Place

Grandma's Kitchen

undulating top

of the chopping block

grandma's kitchen

both children lick batter

from the mixer blades

keeping the peace--

in the pantry a cache

of wishbones

groceries unpacked

the tabby rustles his way

into each bag

she sweeps the crumbs out

onto the welcome mat

suds-filled sink

through parted curtains

a sparrow song

Carolyn Hall

Ebba Story

Third Place

Out of Eden

the greenhouse cluttered

with broken flower pots

long winter rain

this old watering can

missing its rose

rows of nibbled tops

young Peter Rabbit

has helped himself

a weathercock's screech--

dandelion fluff swirls

in every direction

pulling on some Wellies

the gardener throws her back out

window view . . .

in the rusted wheelbarrow below

white chickens nesting

Lynne Leach

Helen K. Davie

Judges' Comments:

It was a pleasure judging this contest. We received twenty-one entries, and found them generally engaging and interesting. In choosing the winners we looked for a persuasive, well-sustained theme, distinctive voices, and language that was visually and emotionally evocative.

The first place poem, "Cornstalk Twisting," not only presents a well-varied set of images of the wind as a disordering force, but frames it with a consistent, well-rendered sense of place--a midwestern college town with its campus chapel, cornstalks, and tornadoes. The four relatively benign central links are bracketed by a first link featuring "gravestone flags" and a final link centered on the shingles of a destroyed house. The proportions of the poem are excellent and its brooding power well suits the subject.

In second place, "Grandma's Kitchen" lovingly illuminates the spatial universe within a single room. The images, while only directly referring to Grandma's person or agency twice, all cooperate to generate the aura of a warm-hearted, permissive, and perhaps somewhat ditsy matron, "sweep[ing] the crumbs out/ onto the welcome mat." The poem's language is both precise and graceful, with each link well realized. 

"Out of Eden," the third place winner, has an ambitious, complex theme: gardening in a postlapsarian world. As with the other poems selected, its well-crafted imagery and elegant use of language hold the reader within a compelling frame. We can feel how the love of gardening must sustain itself despite setbacks and frustrations of all sorts--broken flowerpots, foraging rabbits, bad backs. Though not all of us share the physical hardships of the fully committed gardener, I imagine none of us, as writers, feel we reside permanently in Eden either.

Paul Watsky

Garry Gay

December 2000