The Annual Poetry Contest’s deadline is December 1, 2017. The contest has two categories: Landscape and Portrait. The poems are read blind and judged by an independent committee. For more information about the contest click here
The following two poems won the first and second place prizes in the 2016 Landscape category:
By Norma Wilson
I follow their voices down
past the green lace orchard.
Slowly I step to the edge of the bog
but at once their song ends.
Searching the surface of the shallow pond,
I stand almost still so they won’t be nervous.
Peering through binoculars, I
finally spot the wide mouths and buldging
eyes of tiny chorus frogs.
Minutes later, these prairie castanets
resume their chorus. Throats blown up like yellow
balloons are singing open the plums’ white blossoms.
by Marsha Mittman
they drummed me down
that damn mountain
not a mountain really
but remains of an ancient volcano
considered sacred by Native Americans
considered sport by others
that i, inexperienced white city chick,
decided to climb one fall afternoon
not realizing i was the only one
when everyone else was already
…and suddenly dusk fell
and i was totally alone
and the narrow rocky path
along cliff’s edge
soon became completely
…one precarious foot
slowly, carefully, anxiously
placed before the other
inching down the treacherous path
cursing self for impetuousness, for folly
…and then i heard them
loud, insistent, commanding
and i suddenly realized
the mountain, indeed, was Sacred
and the Ancients’ Spirits
were with me, protecting me,
leading the way
…for an interminable time
their Drums guided me
down the Sacred serpentine path
in pitch blackness
and the very instant
my left foot touched level ground
the Drums stopped
Both poems republished with permission from the authors.
Featured image by Pascal Maramis, under the creative commons license on Flickr.