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  • Polly Alice McCann, Managing Editor

Our April Poet of the Month & March Spotlight Poet wins 2020 Vision Award

Updated: Jun 7


Congratulations to our April poets. Gloria Heffernan is our April winning poet of the month or her submission to our Rainy Day Poetry prompt, "Stone on Stone." Our judges selected it for it's thought provoking, unique metaphor. "This is a poem I will remember," said one of the readers.

Stone on Stone

Ten thousand feet above the Cliffs of Moher,

I stare out the window

at the meandering seams of stone walls

stitching together the Irish countryside.

Unseen from that altitude

is the space between the stones,

air passages to keep the walls standing

against the violent Atlantic gales.

Anger swirls in the air between us

like wind across the Burren,

as we pile stone on stone

slathering each with mortar,

ignoring the lessons

our ancestors taught us,

recklessly erecting a wall

that will never stand up to the storm.

Gloria writes, "My first full-length poetry collection, What the Gratitude List Said to the Bucket List, was published in 2019 by New York Quarterly Books. I have also written two chapbooks, Some of Our Parts (Finishing Line Press), and Hail to the Symptom, (Moonstone Press). In addition, my work has appeared in over sixty journals including Chautauqua Literary Journal, Stone Canoe, Columbia Review, Magma, and The Healing Muse. I teach at Le Moyne College and the Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, New York."

Congratulations to our Spotlight poet for March, Gary Beaumier, whose winning entry for our Love Poetry contest, "Night Forest," was selected to receive our 2020 Vision Award by our staff. Congratulations to Gary. His poem will be the title poem of the year; all our 2020 poetry winners will be printed in the collection titled "Night Forest" to be released in Spring 2021. His poems entered for our March poetry contest were selected blindly by our jurors as well. Read them below.

To the Lighthouse

The sun bounces off the water

waves toss jagged glints of light

as they break into a shrapnel of drops

against the limestone

the sea has punished the concrete fortification leading to the lighthouse as a couple

dance step around tricky footing she takes his arm scrimshawed with tattoo

you must not know the arch of your years to come

as you stand beneath the shadow of this structure wrapped around each other

ready to laugh off any battering

maybe just know you’ll both be a light to the other

and that you must dance a little when you can

even near the killing sea

Merely Us

Under a dark bloom of cumulus

Dense concentrations of geese wander the sky

I have not been listening

I have not listened

traded all for a sugar high

There is the shushing of the ice

the waves bring to shore

and the sinewy wisps of steam

that skim the waters in the harbor

just before a west wind takes them

near the burning of the sun

There is the watch of the trees

in their slow deliberateness

in this season of long nights

It is not the world that ends in fire or ice

merely us

Night Forest

Once there was a woman in the night forest

who could hear above the register of most.

She would listen to mice sing in chorus

or coyotes comfort their young

over the flash and rumble of coming weather.

There was the night when I stayed in the garden

late into the hours and you called for me

and together we watched the gods

toss stars across the sky and later

we returned to our bed and I watched you

over the vastness of our pillows

as your breathing fell into a rhythm

and you separated from me.

Have your dreams returned you to a wooded place,

dusted in moonlight, where you keen your ears

to other selves, selves beyond the register of my knowing?

Gary Beaumier. A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in English Literature, he has been a long time poet. His work has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award, and he was a finalist for the Joy Bale Boone Award for his poem, “The Migratory Habits of Dreams in Late Autumn.”

He was a finalist for “Best of the Net” award for his poem "The Rio Grande" and first prize for Streetlight Magazine for "Night Train to Paris." A finalist for the New Millennium Writings for “From Certain Distances in Space I Still See My Brother,” he was recently shortlisted for the Charles Bukowski contest from Raw Arts Review for his poem “Ghosting.” Happy to be a finalist for Wingless Dreamers contest for the poem “The Complete History of Our First Kiss.” He is glad to have it reprinted with Flying Ketchup Press in our 2020 poetry book coming out at the end of this year. His poem, "Night Forest" was selected as a winner of our Love Poetry contest this February!

Find his book of poetry "From My Family to Yours" published 2019 by Finishing Line Press and his second book to be released by early next year with Uncollected Press. Gary says, "I have been a teacher, a book store manager, and a gandy dancer (for one summer a long time ago). I used to build wooden sailboats, and I once taught poetry in a woman's prison. He says he is often found walking by Lake Michigan.

#GaryBeaumier #GloriaHeffernan #poetrywinner #2020VisionAward

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