Sunday, September 03, 2006

Winners of the "What Inspires You" Contest

I am very pleased to award first prize in my "What Inspires You" Contest to New Zealander Christina Pater for her unusual and very personal "Writing a Hillside." Second Prize goes to Penny August for "Inspiration" which has a strong and memorable ending. Well done, Christina and Penny, and thank you to all who participated. The two recognized poems follow -

First Prize

Writing a Hillside

You ask what things
inspire me to write -
they are like leaves of grass:

The woman who waits in her bed,
through her treatment torture
with its symphony of pills,
for her cancer to abate.

All the drunks in bars
crying to be saved -

The way I scrimmage
to garner my living.

The fear of swallowing an apple seed
and having a tree sprout from my belly button.

The white she-wolf who pads beside me.

The moon beneath her hood of night.

Every life stolen by a bullet.

Political prophecy on the wall
of a motorway viaduct.

Willow fingers rhinestoned with ice
wafted above the steaming July river.

Water dancing with light,

light breathing in darkness.

I write so that someone may read this
and recognise me.

I write to bind you in narrative threads
and reel you in.

I write the flute of wind
through blades of grass
along the hillside sheep tracks
of my homeland.

-- Christina Pater

Second Prize


Not the pinks, purples and oranges
of a Colorado sunset
nor the ever-changing profile
of the Rockies every evening
not the dew on the morning
summertime new blades of grass
nor the magpies sunrise
chatter in my garden.
Not the criss-cross pattern
on the dragonfly's wings
nor the swish of the horse's tail
greeting me as I walk past
not the changing colors
of the fall canopy of leaves
or the yellow swelling of my heart
thinking of those
I love.

Words flow most abundantly
when my mind is overwhelmed
and my heart
is overburdened.
I still my mind
and I rest my heart
then I stop. and listen
to the noise
all around me,
and quiet it
with my words.

- penny august


burning moon said...

Thank you so much Christopher. I'm honoured that you chose my poem.

Sherry P said...

both very, very good.

Christopher T. George said...

Well deserved, burning moon. :-)

Sherry, I am pleased that you like the two recognized poems. I liked all of the submissions although I have to say that a number of other contestants gave more of a list of different inspirations. I felt that Christina and Penny went further by actually giving us a sense of what the inspiration meant to them.


LJCohen said...

Both poems are beatuiful. Well done Christina and Penny.


*waves at Penny*