Night Falls by Tod Robbins

Night falls,

then recedes,

mourning sleepless darkness.

€œTempt me not, € saith the Lord God.
The spire’s skeleton reaching upward like a plea for shielding.

May is a slight way,

April an end to Chillihuani

March a crimson memory,

February a bursting crag,

and January a duality of whiteness.

Morning rises,

then proceeds,

mourning spiritual atrophy.

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Tod Robbins was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and now lives in the greater Seattle area where he attends the University of Washington’s Information School, studying library and information science. His poetry is peculiar like his worldview. He is an advocate for cooperative living, gardening, bicycling, and anything else that inspires one to love, to serve, and to build a community. Collections of his verse will be available on his personal website shortly: http://www.todrobbins.com.

To read more of Tod’s writing on WIZ, go here, here, here, and here.

*contest entry*

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Homecoming by Carla Martin-Wood

The air is a-buzz with wings
bird to butterfly
bee to dragonfly
flit, fly and flutter by

cherry trees lifting petticoats to heaven
full-blossomed defiance
caught mid-cartwheel
kicking up chaos
in can-can regalia
long-limbed show-offs
in ruffles and bloomers
late and early
daffodils and Japanese magnolia
crocus and iris and tulips cover places
old winter (that cold-handed lover)
has relinquished at last
bright spindled forsythia
lilies and redbud
double flowering peach
too much is not enough

this is earth in an Easter dress

and all because Persephone
called ahead to say
Mama — I’m comin’ home!

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Four times nominated for The Pushcart Prize, Carla Martin-Wood is the author of the recently released Songs from the Web (encore), as well as One Flew East, Flight Risk and How we are loved, all full-length collections of her poetry (Fortunate Childe Publications). She has authored seven chapbooks: Songs from the Web (Bitter Wine Press); Garden of Regret and Redheaded Stepchild (both Pudding House Chapbook Series); Feed Sack Majesty, HerStory, and The Last Magick (all Fortunate Childe Publications); and Absinthe & Valentines (Flutter Press). Carla’s work also appears in the following anthologies:   Love Poems & Other Messages for Bruce Springsteen and Casting the Nines (both Pudding House Publications); Lilith: a collection of women’s writes and Postcards from Eve (both Fortunate Childe Publications); and From the Front Porch (Silver Boomer Books). Her work has appeared in a plethora of journals in the US, England, and Ireland since 1978. She was recently nominated by Flutter Poetry Journal for Best of the Net 2010. Carla is listed in the Poets & Writers Directory at http://www.pw.org. To see more of Carla’s poetry on WIZ go here and here.

“Homecoming” was previously published in Leaf Garden Press.

*contest entry*

Spring Haiku by greenfrog

Welcome to WIZ’s Spring Poetry Runoff open invitation haiku chain.   This is a non-competitive (that is, not part of the poetry contest), come-as-you-are,   just-for-fun activity that we run from time to time here on WIZ.

A haiku is a classical Japanese poetical form, usually 17 syllables all in a single line in Japanese, but I understand that there are longer and shorter forms.   In English, a haiku often takes the form of one short line of 5 syllables, a long line of 7 syllables, and a short line of 5 syllables, but there are many paths–take your pick.   Often, haiku mention the season under scrutiny–in this case spring, obviously.   If you wish to learn more about haiku, you can go here or here.

The rules: Really, there aren’t any.   How it usually goes is someone starts the chain–today, it’s Sean aka greenfrog.   Somebody follows him, adding a single haiku in the comments, and then another person takes a turn, and around we go.   Other than the informal, “one-at-a-time-please” tradition, there’s no limit to turns a participant can take and no deadline for this activity.   It runs as long as it runs.   So if you feel inclined to add a thread to the tapestry, don’t be shy.

Here’s Sean’s opening haiku:

The bud embedded
In the matrix of branch and
Earth and sun and spring.

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Sean/greenfrog makes his home in the Denver area and blogs occasionally about yoga and meditation.   You can visit his blog In Limine here.

Runoff Rerun: Naming Spring by Sandra Skouson

Today the secret names of everything
come back, the ancient names.
Tribe-of-the-morning names
call to me from the wind, which I know
as shut-your-eyes-breath,
hands-over-your-ears, gone-with-the-ice-song,
hymn-rising-out-of-cottonwood-sap.
Smell-of-dogwood; it is called,
smell-of-willow.

Daffodil has become again
small-pusher-of-earth-and-snow,
light-out-of-stone,
seawater-turned-sunshine.

This morning has its own name,
separate from all other mornings,
fire-in-the-clouds
waking-in-the-folds-of-mountain,
joy-of-long-shadows.

And now spring has brought
mist-in-my-breath,
shining-on-the-rocks,
quick-and-noisy-in-the-canyon,
to make soft soil in the garden
where I kneel for the first time
on the almost-warm-gift-to-growing
and work my spade toward summer.

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Sandra Skouson won the Utah Arts Council prize in poetry for a book-length manuscript in 2004.   In 1996 she won the Arts Council prize for ten poems.   Her poems have appeared in Petroglyph, Ellipsis, and Great and Peculiar Beauty: A Utah Reader. She is the mother of nine children, the grandmother of 30 really adorable grandchildren.   To read more of her work, go here and here.

“Naming Spring” first ran during WIZ’s 2010 Spring Poetry Runoff.   I’ve chosen it from the host of last spring’s really fine offerings   for a Runoff Rerun–a second showing and a stunning kick-off for this year’s festivities.

*contest entry*