And I Did Eat by Jonathon Penny

Journal_of_Emerging_Infectious_Diseases_Jan_2013 pic2

The orchard offered fruit,
And I did eat.

The field imparted grain,
And I did graze.

The farm gave up the calf,
And I consumed.

Her mother furnished milk
To quench my thirst.

The market tendered goods
Both fair and fine,

Encumbrances unique
To tempt my tongue

And fill my eyes and ears
With vague desires.

The bending world laid bait,
And I did eat.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

WIZ Profile-1 Jonathon PennyJonathon has taught literature on two continents, and has read, written, and conversed about it on three. He has published poetry, fiction, and reviews in Dialogue, Sunstone, Victorian Violet Press, Gangway Magazine, Mormon Artist, Mormon Midrashim, Mormon Review, Switchback, and WIZ, and was anthologized in Tyler Chadwick’s (Ed.) Fire in the Pasture.

Illustrating painting: Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (1558?1628), Still Life with Two Figures (1622). Oil on canvas (123.8 cm × 148.6 cm).

Vote for your favorite 2012 Spring Poetry Runoff poems

Hello, WIZ Readers and Contestants!   Thank you for your excellent participation in this year’s Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration!   It’s time to put on the mantle of poetry judges for the next seven days–part of the informal, just-for-fun nature of this contest.   But rather than limit each judge (that’ll be you) to just one vote, we’re asking each voter to choose her or his 3 (count them: one–two–THREE) favorite Spring Poetry Runoff entries of the 31 contest-eligible entries that came thundering down from the heights this spring.   The poll opens today and runs until 10:00 p.m. (Utah time) midnight Wednesday, June 6.

While readers and participants choose the winner(s) of the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Popular Vote Award, WIZ admin will be choosing the winner of the Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award.   Winners of both awards will be announced in a post on or shortly after Thursday, June 7.   The winner in each category will receive his or her choice of The Scholar of Moab, by frequent WIZ contributor Steven L. Peck, (Torrey House Press, 2011) or the distinguished new anthology of Mormon poetry, Fire in the Pasture, edited by Tyler Chadwick (Peculiar Pages, 2011).   Tyler has also contributed work to WIZ.

Rules for voting (PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW CAREFULLY!!!):

1.   Each voter should select his or her 3 favorite poems of the 31 eligible. Please, participants–enter three choices for your favorite poems.   It’s more sporting than just voting for your single favorite poem, and it provides our poets feedback for their hard-wrought words.
2.   Each voter can vote only one time–no ballot-box-stuffing shenanigans, please.
3.   Voters are encouraged to read every poem before voting.  Please note: Click here to see a complete list of contest eligible poems, then left click on a poem title.   This will open the complete poem in another window. Alternatively, to read all the poems, you could go to a Google docs page here and click through the links.
4.   Participating poets and WIZ readers may encourage friends and family members to read and vote.
5.   All participating poets are encouraged to vote whether their poems were published in the contest category or in the non-contest category.

Instructions for voting:

Click on the small square box next to the name of the poem that you wish to choose.   A green or black check mark will appear in that box.   If you accidentally check mark the wrong box or change your mind, simply click on the box again and the check mark will disappear.   After you have check-marked your 3 favorite poems (you will see 3 check marks on the page), click on the €œVote € box at the bottom of the page.   Clicking on that box will end your voting session, so be sure you’ve finished voting before you click €œVote. €   To see the tally of votes so far, click €œView Results. €

[poll id=”6″]

WIZ’s 2012 Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration comes to an end

RodneyLoughWaterfalls public domain

Last year, spring in the Four Corners region of the desert Southwest was comfortably cool; this year, mixed business temperature-wise, but brittle-boned, tinder dry.   When the summer rainmakers come, they’ll find plenty of fodder to feed their range fires.   So far, mosquitoes have been rare and the black gnats–“flying teeth,” as a friend once called them–pretty thinly spread, causing little trouble.   The hummingbirds and orioles that frequent our feeders drain the cups twice a day, which is pretty serious sugar water quaffing for May–especially with those thread-like tongues that the hummingbirds have to work with. So far this spring, I’ve removed one hummingbird and one fence swift from the house.   Because of dry weather, the globe mallow–O, ye of the lovely, sherbert-orange blossoms!–is blooming a bit closer to the ground than it has during previous springs.   The invasive alfalfa that over the last five years had built quite a stronghold in our yard is struggling everywhere except in my garden area where I water the peach trees (which, by the way, surrendered all hope of fruit to a week’s worth of chill o’ the night frosts … except for one tree, which put out two flowers two or three weeks after the rest).   The claret cup cacti is blooming out.   Engleman’s hedgehogs are beginning to flash pink frills.   Prickly pear buds have sprouted like toes on the wide green pads of those be-spined plants.   The creek in Crossfire Canyon has gone thin and muddy, then, in places, flaky or sandy and dry-stoned.   The snowmelt on the Abajos to the north seemed to have skipped its trip south to the San Juan River via Crossfire Canyon and cascaded straight up into the air.   The beavers remain the water barons in the canyon, gathering together the springs at their canyon bottom outlets with mud and vegetable dams to hold constant the water levels of their modest ponds.   The last time I entered the canyon, about 30 black Angus cows and calves were strung out along the beaverworks, which provides the only significant, native water for miles.

Unlike the melt-off from the Blues, WIZ’s Runoff has been pretty impressive.   But like all runoffs, it has tapered off. The last poems have posted and deliberations to choose which of the 31 eligible entries might win the Spring Poetry Runoff’s Most Popular Poem Award and the Admin Award are about to begin.   Voting  for the Most Popular Poem will be conducted by public poll beginning Monday, May 28 or Tuesday, May 29.   Poets, please come back and vote, and invite your friends and family members to come vote, too.   Winners of both awards will be announced on or around .

Thank you so much, writers, for participating so well.   Poets, readers, and commenters who have already put so much time into the Runoff €”prepare yourselves to vote, starting next week.   Each voter will be able to vote for his or her three favorite poems!   Please, participants–enter three choices for your favorite poems.   It’s more sporting than just voting for your single favorite poem, and it provides other poets feedback for their hard-wrought words.

Again, good work, participants, and thank you, readers, for sticking with us and reading all the entries.   There were many delightful surprises in this year’s offerings–a lot of poetry I’ve been proud WIZ hosted.   Remember: Choices for this year’s prizes are Fire in the Pasture, an anthology of contemporary Mormon poetry, edited by Peculiar Pages, and the novel The Scholar of Moab, by Steven L. Peck and published by Torrey House Press.   Which, by the way, opened up to accept submissions on April 25.

It’s been a vibrant spring so far, thanks to all your flowers of speech. (Does anybody besides me remember that phrase, “flowers of speech”?)

Meadow Talk by Sarah Dunster

Wade BrightPurpleFlower via Wikimedia Commons

There is no better talk

than

thoughts shared in violet hollows

where not so much praise as scent

not so much words as velvet €”

soft petals on our faces €”

speak our language.

So, love, make plain

what

you might wish in digging out

green hills for four-leaved omens

we might taste in stems of waiting clover

and I might see in hollows of your

throat, your lips, your eyes.

______________________________________

Sarah Dunster contributes regularly to WIZ as a writer and a reader. Her wide-eyed wonder at the world and at words embodies the spirit of LONNOL month. She has published in Dialogue and Fire in the Pasture. For more, go here.