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
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
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.