The Daily Press poetry contest is over and the winners, as decided by a combination of reader and staff votes, are Samantha Drake, Francica Brown and Abigail Sines.
More than 100 poems were submitted for the contest, conducted in April in observance of National Poetry Month. Thanks to all who participated. There were many fine poems in contention.
Drake takes the top prize for her poem "Osmosis," which describes the challenges faced by those who set out to create vibrant art.
All three winners will receive a $25 prize. In addition, Drake wins the title of 2012 Daily Press Poet Laureate.
Here are the winning poems:
(By Samantha Drake)
Little Rock Getaway, I will own you.
Take your swingin’ sashayin’ rock-me-and-dip-me-blues
and let it tumble, frail skeleton, from my mandolin,
mash fingers to fret, pick the bare bones away.
I’ll take you too, Johnny Crane.
Paintbrush brackish blue rachis PVC pipe neck
burnt siena throat, knob kneed sticks on scuba fins.
Heron anatomy on canvas caught before it can slide to liquid flight.
I want the Snakehead nebula, Mariana’s Trench, stegosaurus
bellowing, curled tongue kitten yawns, toe-tapping cheeseburger, cicadas,
my sister’s wicked blonde streak, an overhanging branch in a stream
like a cartridge on a record player.
I don’t know how to tell the fresh cut clover-greenonion-dandelion lawn
I’m in love with it.
I can’t paint the smell of green, sing ripe grass, write love.
So I roll in it, until my skin is made of chlorophyll,
until I’m so green and damp and grassy, crickets hide in the folds of my clothes.
* * *
I Want To Write Again…
(by Francica Brown)
I want to write again so badly,
that I’d sell the devil’s soul gladly,
to all the casualties of his corrupt
calamities and make him see comedy in
His own ironic tragedy,
while demanding him to kneel on one knee,
Praise GOD and call him daddy-
Only if it all meant that I would be called
back to writing’s line of duty!
Please use me! I want to write again.
I want to write,
as if I’ve got the parasitic, literary, holy ghost,
and my pen, creativity, mind, body, and soul
are connected living as its only host.
I Want to write words that dance,
words that give second chances,
words that move folk with an inspirational,
tear jerking, thought provoking, life giving kind of jolt.
Hallelujah! I want to write again!
I want to write as if paper is the skin that I’m in
and the only way to living is by breathing every
breathtaking stroke of my pen and like the ink filled
space within is the liquid of life flowing from beginning
to end to every vital organ and through every vein especially
my idle brain stained with critical and creative thinking dying
to write anything.
I want to write again ...
I want to write like sins being cleansed by way of Jesus’ ransom!
I want that kind of stagnant writer’s redemption!
I want to have a writing conniption, but I’ll settle for subtle inscriptions
So long as I can be the one to write them!
I just want to write again!
* * *
Ode to London Stansted Airport
(by Abigail Sines)
In one thousand years
anthropologists will uncover the CCTV security film
of London Stansted Airport.
They will consider us, their primitive ancestors.
They will ponder our silent actions.
They will analyze our dress, our movements, our luggage.
“Didn’t they have such curious rituals for their travel?”
one will ask her colleague.
Technicians will carefully manipulate video.
“Zoom in there. Do you see what each one holds?”
The most precious possession,
offered with care to uniformed officials,
imploring approval to pass,
and one by one it is granted.
The precious object received back gratefully
and clutched close
as quickened steps carry harried travelers
past duty free and Starbucks to their gates.
Pausing only, perhaps,
to retrieve from lip balm or hand cream
from the sacred container so much the object of concern:
The clear, zip-top bag.