Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 2013: Poems Recognized

Two recent poems have received recognition in contests sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club.


I ascribe human attributes,
To our cottage on the pond,
And why not:
Four generations of
Idiosyncratic postures,
Favorite chairs,
The smiles of grandsons
Around each corner,
In every splash off the dock,
Scent of decades of pine rooms,
My father’s shaving brush,
Memories in other artifacts
We did not buy.

So when we leave,
Packing up board games
Along with Beth’s shy grin,
We ease out onto the lane,
Regret visceral
Until about the Massachusetts line.
The cottage, at first forlorn,
Has figured out what’s going on,
Recognizes the red kayak,
An intruder in the guest room,
But, relaxing under its cover of
Newspaper, moth balls,
Frayed bedspreads,
Like an old bear we know,
Dozes off for the winter.

First Place, Spring 2013 Contest

Poetry Society of New Hampshire


My lesson was before school.
My father waited in the car,
Smoke from his Lucky Strike
Clouding the windshield of our ’48 Plymouth,
Against a gray January sky
In Pennsylvania
We did not know to call it the Rust Belt then.
My spinster teacher walked about
Her Victorian row house,
Checking on an invalid mother
And calling out to me,
“I hear wrong notes.”
The house smelled of cooked vegetables,
Even at 7:30
When Teddi Kalakos came for her lesson.
She and I played a duet once,
K.P.E. Bach, it may have been.
Her family ran a restaurant;
She may have inherited it—I don’t know,
One of many threads of the plot
Lost over time.
Once a year Miss Edna would take us
Into Philadelphia, the Reading Railroad
More than a Monopoly card,
Elegant iron horse, cold coal-smoke dawn,
Dutch trainmen in shiny blue suits
Calling out the station stops:
Royersford, Conshohocken.
She let us shop at Gimbel’s,
Have lunch at Bookbinder’s,
Wasted on 12-year-olds,
And took us to the Academy of Music,
The children’s concert,
Peter and the Wolf, no doubt.
Years, years later
My mother asked if I remembered
Seeing Ormandy conduct.

First Place, 2013 Poetry Contest
Burlington Writers Club (Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Randolph and Rockingham County, which includes Greensboro, Durham and Chapel Hill))

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