Three Poems: Contest Winners

THIRD PLACE

 

One More Ride, Ann Christine Tabaka
Father worked the rails. Free
passage was our rite. Hours
rocking back and forth to the
constant rhythm of the train.
Foreheads pressed to cool
fuliginous windows, scenery
streaming by at a giddying pace.
Large cities, small towns,
virescent farm land, all ablur.
The somnolent clickety-clack
of wheels motoring onward.
Miles of track laid north to
south, east to west. Once the
lifeblood of transportation.
Memories, hard and soft now
collide, as once great escapades
also blur in my aging mind. One
more ride, yes one more ride,
and I shall soon be home.

~

SECOND PLACE

Eight Views of a Lego® Block, Peter Frankis
after Wallace Stevens

(i)
Among everything moving —
the gulls and the kelp lifting and again
or slumping on the sand in the early heat
Lego® is still.

(ii)
400 billion since Adam –
fecund almost exponential –
36,000 in the time it took to read this:
enough

(iii)
I found one on the beach this morning
battered
matt orange (was fire engine glossy)
abraded by the seabed as it abraded
faded by UV and salt as it imperceptibly
faded.

(iv)
lego is pig-Danish/Latin for put together
yet alone resembles a stone,
once part of the consumer spiral,
now the sedimentary cycle –
sand to stone to sand.

(v)
< 2 grams of
acrylonitrile
butadiene
styrene,
of forests buried, compressed and liquefied in hot rocks, tapped by
money makes the world
catalysed, injected, marketed, lionised.

(vi)
I kept my Lego® in a tin
ardent pipers chased ivory nymphs
round the battered lid.

(vii) – A speculation
(a) Maybe blown
from a young engineer’s imagination
on the SS Oriana’s deck as it steamed through the Heads
while parents at the railing watched the new country
— so clear, so harsh — come into view.
(b) dragged down for an age –
and then yesterday’s storm freed
tossed with weed and fishing line and remains of drink cans where
the dog and I
walked.

(viii)
it’ll take another hundred years,
like a juniper reversed,
slough off a molecule or two
until fully dispersed
into our great plastic sea.

christmas-garland-clipart-3

FIRST PLACE

Jawbone: Homo Sapiens, Merril D. Smith

Almost 200,000 years ago
he hunted across the miles,
journeyed farther than his brothers–
an explorer,
a dreamer–
a man following fate
who lived
till he lived no more,
joining the dust of space
cycled through time–
lush green land
gradually turning desert brown–
and there,
his jawbone, open to the stars,
a monument.
His epitaph,
“eight teeth, one broken.”
Not living,
no longer here,
yet not completely gone.

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15 thoughts

  1. I liked the riding the rails poem very much with its memories and the final trip ahead included someday. . .
    The Legos poem made me smile, many different ways this captured my interest! The tumbling sand, sea salt worn and faded lego is one I have seen a few times myself washed ashore.
    Merril’s poem has so much packed into it! History, portent of man, time carried out and now, it’s jaw looking bare among the sand below and stars above. Bravo!
    Congratulations to all three for their uniquely beautiful written poems! ✒️📃 🌟🌟🌟

    Liked by 2 people

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