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. €
Was that deceiver so lacking
in diabolical imagination that
he appeared loudly, graceless in
I think not.
Rather he brought to mind sweet
cool Spring mornings, mother’s bread
baking thick and moist. Its smell
tickling every corner, happily.
Broken, pulled apart, steam dancing
upward from two hot halves. Honey losing
viscosity as bread and sweetness meet.
“Surely it would be no crime,”
“Take these rocks, you
made them anyway, and
to that bread.
Command these bees:
`Bring honey my friends
for this fast of mine is over.’
The Son of God must have his strength
for the mission ahead. Surely
you deserve this.”
But rising, the Master
smiled at his memories, brushed the
dust from his robe. And walked homeward
over the rocks
tired and hungry.
Steve Peck is an ecologist at Brigham Young University. His novel, The Scholar of Moab, by Torrey House Press was awarded the Association of Mormon Letters award for best novel of 2011. Other creative works include a novel: The Gift of the King’s Jeweler (2003 Covenant Communications) and a novella A Short Stay in Hell was recently published by Strange Violins Editions. He has published numerous short stories and his poetry as appeared in Dialogue, Bellowing Ark, BYU Studies, Irreantum, Red Rock Review, Glyphs III, Pedestal Magazine, Tales of the Talisman (nominated for the Rhysling Award), Victorian Violet, and a chapbook of poetry published by the American Tolkien Society called Flyfishing in Middle Earth. Steve blogs at bycommonconsent.com and has a faith/science blog called The Mormon Organon.
When the rains come I tilt my face,
Letting life soak me to the skin
With welcome to each drop that falls,
Sliding soft like tears to chin
Regarding each as hours spent
When the rains come I tilt my face,
A mingling of joy and tears,
Of paths that led me to this place
Where Sorrow hand in hand resides
With Gladness as she brightly sings.
When the rains come I tilt my face
Toward each gift that living brings.
I will not turn away again
But meet each dawn with truth and grace,
Accepting all that life bestows.
When the rains come–I tilt my face.
To read Lou’s other entries to the Spring Runoff, go here and here.
Draw me water sweet from out the well
when winter storms replenish all we know.
Long before the trees with blossom swell
the ice-bound season gifts the world with snow.
Snow that saturates the thirsting ground
as aquifers imbibe and drink their fill,
unleashed toward the sea where they are bound
when spring unties the thread of winter’s chill.
Chill that painted roses on your face
in March now slips away but still the blush
remaining as your fingers shake, unlace
the garments April sheds in such a rush.
Rush toward summer’s arms when ours are old
and frigid winds of change are fresh with cold.
Lou Davies James grew up on the beaches of Eastern Long Island and currently lives in North East Florida with her husband Wes and far too many cats. She is the author of one full length volume of poetry, Adrift in the Holy, and two chapbooks; Drawn as Ever and Internal Insomnia. She has been published in Victorian Violet Press, Wilderness Interface Zone and JBStillwater.