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 Pasquarello 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.


Lisa Cohen said...

Both poems are beatuiful. Well done Christina and Penny.


*waves at Penny*