Contest Winner
I set in my jar on the shelf
and try to think things out.
It’s nice to be alone in the quiet, sometimes …
Find a deep trunk or a
dark closet, somewhere to
hide and gather my mind,
then evaluate to see what
I find. When I come out
I twist the lid on tightly
so no one else can find
the inside of my jar; I
shut the sliding door, so
they can’t find my shelf.
It’s the only place I have
to myself.
Crawling out
of the hundreds of shoes
pushing up the lid of
the trunk, I can seep
out into the light, where
my mind has more to
think of than myself
and my life. Things can
line up then, fall into
order. Voices I couldn’t
hear are louder.
Through my jarred
meditation, I can be
happy. I can see where
to place myself.
Life’s clearer

[illustration] Art by Robin Luch

November Till the Mantis Flies Away

Contest Winner
An undercurrent whisper in the wind
in model harmonies tells of magic,
witchcraft boiling somewhere in the oak
and cypress forest; and the fumes of spells
long aging in the wood will wisp and wander
in the breeze. The leaves turn yellow as
the magic passes smooth among them. Sooth!
Say sooth, my friend, and laugh into the witch-wind!
or its breath will waft the autumn into you.
November till the magic will be through,
November till the mantis flies away,
and snow will stop the fires, stop the fires.

[photo] Photo by Clarke Whitehead (contest winner)

Forever Flashings

Contest Winner
My father
focuses heart-gripping flashes
Across the wall screen,
Family slides.
I am small,
My brother is smaller,
My sister is smallest.
Days now dead
Reopen like old storybooks
From memories’ heaped box,
Pulling out pictures of
Cooking in Grandfather’s Dutch oven,
Playing cheetah in our
Backyard monkey-jungle,
Being beautifully Easter-bested
with my coat buttoned wrong,
Hugging a mommy minus grey hair.
Soberly I think
Of another Father
Who someday shall open my mind
And flash reeling remembering
Of every day’s minute
Across my soul,
Across the heavens,
And kindly ask me to narrate.

[photo] Photo by Jo McCarty (contest winner)