And the winner is…

Pleased and proud to have won second place in the D&E Poetry Contest. I submitted the following, written around 2001 after a week at Common Ground on the Hill…

Bear Lake

on the steps

the nights is passing away into dawn

the first spikes and feathers of blue light are painting the trees

slow calligraphy on the ancient bark

the towering shapes leap out in piercing contrast

cut from a page with the sharpest scissors.

 

the world is birthed in a swift movement

slipping into existence with a wet yelp like a newborn

to find the trees dripping with dew

the lanterns are wreathed in mist;

yellow staring eyes.

 

on the breaking edge of this emergence,

the sound of your voice enters my head like the wide-eyed stare of a child

calm and measured

a night bird beckoning from the darkness

tearing at the fragile fabric of my dreams with talons of ice and shadow.

 

the banjo rings like a church bell, painting your voice in swirling watercolors

it’s rhythm undeniable and persistent.

and as you play, I am struck by the slow fusion of player and instrument

your slender form rocking in time with the music

the boundary between your fingers and the neck is blurred into oblivion

 

the ship strains in her moorings,

ready to be away on the swell of the ocean current

and your fingers touch the strings

plucking from the depths of the water, things like fish with scales made of silver

 

I can see you sitting by the shore, spray catching in your hair

seaweed clinging to the smooth boundary of your cheek

the sound of your voice rising and falling with the waves.

 

and I as a water bird, wings ill suited to flight

webbed feet accustomed to the blue resistant thrum of the sea,

halting in my fluid path

bobbing in the tide, frozen by your laughter.

 

on the steps of the church

the night has passed away into dawn

the trees are revealed in their milky azure robes

and I have been cut

running with scissors

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~ by matthew olwell on April 10, 2016.

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