----------2019 Robert Frost Poetry Contest Results-------
"Caterpillar" Author: Arne Weingart , Chicago Ill.
"I Plan On Haunting" Author: Lucy Ricciardi , Greenwich CT
"Wild Man" Author: Arne Weingart , Chicago Ill
"Loner" Author: Michael Poluzzi, Highland NY
"Full Glow" Author: Linda Flaherty Haltmaier, Andover MA
"Late Harvest" Author: Toni Treadway, Rowley MA
"The Big Room" Author: Mark Bohrer, North Andover MA
"Letter to Hayden:
In the Afterlife" Author: George Drew, Poestenkill NY
"The Suicide Returns
To Leave A Note" Author: Arne Weingart , Chicago Ill
"Uncle Eli" Author: Blanche Jenkins, Detroit MI
You may notice that the same author can appear multiple times.
The scoring is blind and is based on each poem, not the poet.
Thanks to all submitters and readers!
I send you this photograph of a caterpillar
from Virginia. He, or she – how would I ever know? –
is impossibly fuzzy, perhaps a sign of harsher
than normal winter lurking in the hills
where they ride horses and hunt deer.
The caterpillar has not yet found out that they
are shooting Jews in Pittsburgh, right in the middle
of Saturday morning services. They will not
have had the chance to put the Torah away
yet, to wrap it up like a perpetually well-behaved
baby and sing it back to sleep in its velvet-lined ark,
or to hear a sermon on how to heal the world,
much less to say a prayer for the anniversaries
of the deaths of all their dead relatives. They
won’t be getting around to that this morning
in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh,
where Jews go to remind themselves that whatever
happened once can and will happen again
and where, if it were an actual tree, caterpillars
will emerge in the spring, dangling from newly
green leaves, preparing themselves as best
they can remember how to become something
that sheds history like a sad old coat and takes flight.
--------------------a runner up-----------------
I plan on haunting
I plan on haunting this house
some time soon or in a few years,
not to be possessive, or to scare
the grandchildren or to settle
scores, and not to make a big deal
of it, but to complete my to do list
in post death thoughts about how
today there was a sound in the house
that wanders like a lost bird. Or
like the rainwater talking garbled
words and swallowing itself.
The new owners will say it’s the wind
in the two pipes set up on our roof
funneling runoff from the chimney
flashing to the gutters, to collect the
efflorescence that would otherwise
stain the shingles, but I will be the wind
in the pipe and the voices in the faucet
and the stubborn film on the roof.
Tell me you don’t hear your mother’s
voice murmelling softly. Of course this
is just a lullaby I’m singing to myself,
assaulted not by the traffic, but the
silence of the suburbs on a Sunday night.
---------------a runner up---------------------
the story of a loner down on his luck,
doing what he can to make a lousy buck.
His prayers go unanswered but he still tries,
walking the street corner the alley fills with his cries.
Waking up just another day gone by,
been a while since his spirits been high-
the anger of the loner,struggling for his sanity-
the sadness of the loner-ready to turn his back on society-
the world of the loner-tragedy is his reality.
Disability checks came evaporated like water,
a sorry basket case from a vietnam slaughter.
Betrayed by his own government another vet shafted,
it wasnt the future he saw the day he was drafted.
"Never say die"- carried over from a senseless war,
somehow keeping his faith waiting to knock on opportunities door.
Woke up one monday his luck finally changed,
landed a part-time job as if god had arranged.
An old war buddy heard his sad story from his ex-wife,
now an auto parts worker with a purpose in life.
Working hard and putting in his time,
even met a woman his turnaround is doing fine.
Loner no more finally getting his due,
feeling quite happy about the red,white,and blue.
-----------------a runner up---------------------------
The Big Room
Or an evening walk in the rhyming universe
The evening sky brightens outside, and draws light from my room.
The dogs, impatient at my feet, want to move, let’s leave this tomb.
I laugh, is the workday through? Their leashes on, and mine, undone,
we step into the outer room, now the realm of the setting sun.
It’s eventide, half summer, as we step into the gloaming,
into that room with no ceiling, the three of us go roaming.
Into the warm quiet nightfall, we enter this swirling place.
Leaving our home, my dogs take me on a trip through time and space.
The fading light is stealing, background radiation, fleeing,
new stars and planets are appearing, pearls in a pink champagne sea.
As the swirling sky darkens, what’s left still ignites my brain.
It leaves me with this feeling, our familiar world is strange.
It looks as if I’m standing on the edge of an open field.
It looks like a man with two dogs – instead the infinite, revealed.
I feel the arrow of time, the sky aquiver with twilight.
My hand draws the bow of the Archer, his dart flies across the night.
In this room, my hand can reach to the edge of space and beyond.
From me to that star, I could skip a stone across this pond.
Can my spirit bear the lightness of The All within my reach?
Yet here I am, in the big room, dizzy, with dogs at my feet.
Overhead, there to the right, shines Vega, Mister Sagan’s star.
He had a billion or two to share, but this one was the door.
Twenty-five light years, a short step away, Contact was the book,
where Ms. Foster met her Dad, or an alien with a kindly look.
How can all this be so welcoming? It could squash me like a bug.
But it doesn’t seem so inclined – somehow it feels more like a hug.
A hadron glow still warms the sky, and the worlds around each star.
The radiation might be dangerous, but still, it warms my heart.
----------------a runner up----------------------------------
Did you know my Uncle Eli?
he danced with the stars
tied ribbons to the moon
and tamed the storm with his bare hands
Did you know my Uncle Eli?
he paved the streets with smiles
and pirated the sun
for treasures of love
He stood tall as the trees
and calm as the night
Did you know him?
You can see him in shadows