Issue 1 Archives
Contest Winners and Finalists


Paula Lambert
Bees
Second Place

—for Bessie and Doug

A beekeeper, gone blind, she could smell disease
and the Queen. The woodworker, a bit arthritic,

learned about bees from her, every sting a cure.
When she died, he crafted a box for her ashes

and was asked to execute her will. She'd left money
in books, thousands of dollars between pages he blew

with an air hose, the compressor thumping the floor.
He thought of her often as he handled the bees and

one day, pulling a comb from a hive and trembling,
he thought of an uncle he used to bring to the doctor—

he'd sat next to him as the doctor explained and
the old man shook. The woodworker's tremor is new,

and is not fear. The bees are calm, but he's aware
of the smell she taught him: it is not the Queen.




Alan Peterson
Poets and Criminals
Third Place

The ear is there with its ranch apparatus
listening while shoeing
and eyes that saved an image of the murderer
till they shot them out
These are beliefs of poets and criminals
and we are a hardened lot
Though the fear of discovery persists
we listen to ingots cooling
and time them with our watches and fret
till the horses forgive us



John Fitzpatrick
Leaf Falling
Runner Up


-gratitude to e.e. cummings

When does a leaf decide to fall,
to let go the branch
that has cradled it
and kept it steady in the rocking of the wind.

When does it release its hold
still full of color,
spotted perhaps with the malady of its own demise,
to go fluttering downward
into the valley beyond
where grounded
it shrivels itself into brown crisps
as cereal to the dentured earth
soon to be covered with fruit of the fall flowering
and absorbed into the nourishment
of the source from which it comes.

Yes, when does a leaf pluck itself
from the food of its sustenance
as a person does

_____when in the silence of the heart,
_____there is no more yearning to live
_____nor are there dreams of anything else to be desired --

and that person, too,

_____totters slowly, softly, silently
_____into the distant field
_____and folds the self into earth
_____to be covered with the white sheets of the winter snow.



Allison Joseph
Fish Crow
Runner Up


after the work of John James Audubon

You are the only black bird
not subject to threats and hatred,
not ridiculed, or so said Audubon
in 1860, labeling you “perfectly
inoffensive,” despite your lively
motion, ceaseless chatter. I thought
that crows meant death, never
knew the difference between you
and a raven, both shiny-black, claws
gnarled as if arthritic. You haunt
the water, glide over lakes, rivers,
shore bird scavenging crabs
for the sweet meal inside. You come
seasonally, summer along the
Mississippi and Ohio , down south in
Illinois where, like everyone else here,
you live frugally and hope to hold
onto to what you can afford—your spot
by the shore, the chill of the dirty waves.
Black wings, keen beady eyes, what
do you hide under the span of your
oily feathers, what feeds you but this land,
these marshes, the rivers' humid, pungent breath?

Evelyn Ibarra
Providence
Runner Up


His wife says he can't sleep at night they tell him to walk to the right or the left but he always comes home with the cuffs wet and
sometimes up to the knees fortunately he wears slippers but he doesn't know why. There was a picture of him in the book loose it fell to the ground he stared up as if it were taken at a booth in a train station but the curtain was lacy he hadn't blinked for a long time white hair hadn't receded nor the smile. His wife says he can't sleep at night he wakes up saying there is a man sitting at the foot of the bed he remembers her but not the eight children not the children's children when he sees you he says you're fat and you eat too much you laugh and wonder where
your father has gone, into which closet.



 
   







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Sound and Literary Art Book

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