The frost might as well be snow tonight
It blossoms in sparkles at the sign of first light
Stretches as far as the eye can see
The first day the sun has welcomed no green
The fields, so recently tall and gold
Now are low, pure white, and cold
The first taste of candy after the feast
The first warning of the upcoming beast
I am excited to share that I recently won first place in the Riley Festival Written Poetry Contest!
If you are not aware, the Riley Festival is a local arts/crafts/poetry/music festival that celebrates the birthday, life, and legacy of local poet James Whitcomb Riley. Known as “the Hoosier poet,” he is famous for poems such as “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man.”
The festival, affectionately called “Riley Days” by the locals, includes shutting down several major streets in the historic downtown area and setting up booths where local vendors can sell goodies that often include homemade crafts, antiques, baked goods, toys, and clothing. The festival also includes a fine arts gallery that awards prizes for photography, cooking, painting, quilting, and other needle-crafts. There’s also an entertainment tent (or two) with several performers varying in fame and style.
In recent years festival organizers have also tried to stay true to the origin of the festival by promoting poetry events such as open mic nights and a poetry slam. The written poetry contest, however, goes back to the early happenings of the festival (or, at least, it was still a prominent part of the festival when I was in elementary school — and before poetry was a thing I did seriously). The contest is divided by age/grade with winners in each age group.
Each year has a theme, which is always a poem of Riley’s, and this year the theme was his work “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s.” All poems in the contest have to somehow relate to the theme.
My poem was titled “Wishful Thinking” — a nod to the tone of innocence and freedom Riley writes about (and my struggle to relate to it). Honestly, I was a little surprised my angsty poem did so well.
Of course, another exciting thing is that the winner receives actual prize money, so this is one of the few poems I’ve actually profited from!
You can see the announcement of all the winners (including yours truly), in this article. According to the contest, publishing first rights are granted to the media, so if/when I get the ability to share or post the poem I will certainly do so!
A metal monster howls tonight
Louder than the wind
Coyotes scatter in its path
But we all call it friend
In the darkness it emits
A lonely, eerie light
Scouring unyielding land
So one day we can have a bite
Filter though my ear canals
And escape as sweet whispers
Between careful lips
Perhaps only I can hear
The loves, the fears
That connotate these conversations
So I offer translations
So my loves don’t fear each other
Composed 10/12/18 Description: For the word of the day: Pacify.
Thoughts spin like teenager tires
On the way home
Familiar scenery flashes by out of perception
Eyes look past dusty, well worn paths
Ignorant of change
Slam door, rush inside
Just another day
Stunning color as
The daring sea blushes at the sun
It’s a Master’s art finale
And thoughts stop
Shoulders ease back as wonder washes over freshly electrified skin
And eyes open for the first time again
And takes on color like the sky
As breath hesitates in the moment
As you are
Composed 9/26/18 Description: Inspired by last evening’s amazing sunset. For the word of the day: enthralling.
As twilight slips ever closer each passing day
I rest in its familiar, intimate embrace
When feet and minds halt their rushing
And eyes relax in darkness as opposed to oscillating light
Ears are soothed by natural lullabies
Anxieties put to bed for the night
At crepuscule time it is time to just be
Yourself, one, with nature and peace
No other being to entertain or impress
Just the honest time of being and rest
Composed 9/18/18 Description: Inspired by life and today’s RagTag Daily Prompt: Crepuscule.
I cannot fathom the priviledge of your admiration The possibility of taking for granted the attention of your eyes To be the origin of your curling smile and enchanted laugh Would be too much of a thrill It’s too much of a fantasy to be true
I cannot fathom someone like you That glorious mix of boyish charm and Mature wit and sensibilities Just the normal ambitions, anxieties A comforting resting place Where I can recharge my batteries
In a world so tainted and broken I take pleasure in your normalcy And though I know you’re not my destiny I cannot fathom The embrace of one so lovely Meant for me
It would seem like an easy find But your kind is scattered about the earth like pirate treasure Long coveted and eagerly sought Captured in stories and song Most discovered already by worthy predecessors Thus I cannot fathom that anyone else like you exists Except in myth
Composed 9/16/18 Description: Inspired by life and the RagTag Daily Prompt: Fathom.
Which is more superficial:
Consuming all that
Brings me joy in this
Making it a bit shorter
Denying myself for
A few more years to
Conform to standards
That aren’t mine
To slip in more easily
Through the cracks of this world
Until it breaks.