Sunday, March 28, 2021

------Results of the 2021  Robert Frost Poetry Contest!----------


As posted at :  https://robertfrostcontest.blogspot.com/

                  BTW, got great metrical poetry? Quick, before March ends... 

                  the Frost Farm contest:  http://www.frostfarmpoetry.org/prize



(text of poems comes after this)1st place, with 45.29

           John Blair of San Marcos, Texas 

           "In The Tin Factory"

finalist,   w/43.9    

           John Davis Jr. of Riverview, Florida

           "Bound Furniture"

finalist,   w/43.0   

           Linda Flaherty Haltmaier of  Beverly, Massachusetts  

           "Museum....."

finalist,   w/42.5   

           ----(wbr)

finalist,   w/41.25  

           Jessica Cross of Lawrence, Massachusetts

          "Noise  (sestina)"


*The scores (sum, 5 readers, 2nd round, scored 0-10 each)

    are posted to illustrate how great and close great poems are, 

    and how variable the reactions are.   By combining  a number of readers,

    the question, "is this special to many,  will it make a strong impression on a crowd?" 

    is at least partially answered.  

    Within and beyond this list, most of the poems we received 

    were very satisfying to read, and all were worth learning from.

    Learning what?   Actually, the great and subtle art of 

    dipping an oar into other souls and stirring them.

    Art is not just 'what this is', but 'what it does to me'.


   Thanks to all 

     who sent their innermost in!

       --The Frost Board


-------------------------------------poem texts-----------------------


IN THE TIN FACTORY 

                                     ---by J.Blair

There, in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic 

age, a human being was crushed by books—John Hersey, Hiroshima 

The books themselves are rubble       abandoned 

shrines of moments      rumors and misrule shouting  

through doorways bright as salt      Miss Sasaki 

sits at her desk      her body held in a calm pretense 

      of dutiful       of useful waiting       the way 

cherry blossoms wait forever in a kimono’s print  

to wither (after the bomb some of the women  

of Hiroshima would wear flowers until they 

themselves withered      perfect blooms burned  

into their skin by a light so bright it heated  

the dark patterns on their kimonos like the metal  

of a branding iron)      & the shelves in their rigid orders  

are made of heavy oak & painted white (color  

of industry      color of empty       color of death 

       color of the serpent-god Hakuja no Myojin  

who in the book of folktales above Miss Sasaki’s head  

perpetually strangles rogue samurai in their sleep) 

       and the color makes Miss Sasaki remember  

the novel she has been reading about the snowy 

north country      a young geisha lost in her poverty 

       the handsome traveler who loves her and leaves 

her inevitably behind       how the afternoon moon  

paints itself like ardor       above unbroken fields of pale  

buckwheat flowers as the traveler in his train      alone 

      homeward goes      every horizon and rail      every 

line tracing every edge       a separation of here  

from there       of the past from whatever consummation 

still hovers on the other side of now; it is 8:14 

       she is looking at the window       in a minute  

she will look away        thinking to speak to the girl  

at the next desk about something she can never 

      afterwards remember       but before that       in  

the moments before after begins      she sees through 

the tall panes       absolutely nothing       not even 

sky or rooftops or any kind of cloud      only 

a featureless waiting-to-be that fills her not with dread  

but with longing       what do you call the world? 

a priest at the hydrangea temple of Ajisai-dera 

once asked her father and her father replied  

without hesitation       I am the world       I name  

the world myself       and now she thinks this light  

is the name of the world before it is written  

and the window is its book       like pages too bright 

for words      this day like any other day       like any 

other story      relentless       & forever about to begin. 


 -------------------------------------

Bound Furniture

           ----by J.Davis

Simple tying commenced:

end over end, close the loop

until the hole is gone, until

a fat, hard lump of line is left

where space and braided length once were.


Secure everything. Heirlooms

shift as road vibration trembles

through finished wooden legs,

weakening joints

with every exit curve.


Our cargo holds like boats

moored to the floating dock

of this moving truck. Ropes

tumored by stopper knots

limit sway and slide.


The doctors said it would be best

to live closer to the hospital,

easing my transport and travel

preceding the inevitable last

visit: loved ones, declarations.


Don’t leave me here to do

the living you plead in that same

spousal tone that asks me

to take out the trash, reminds me

to pick up milk and eggs for you.


We’ll arrive soon and loosen

these everyday fixtures, untie

our landmarks of rest, and begin

filling open floors and bare walls

with familiar items – kept, freed.


----------------------------------------------

Museum..... (text witheld)

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

         





 


--------------------------------------------------------------------

Noise (sestina)

                                ----by Jessica Cross

You wonder if you've ever experienced silence. At night, you hear the trees,

Clawing desperately for purchase at your window; in the space

Between your walls, you can hear the house slowly crumble,

The termites gnawing at the beams to satisfy insatiable hunger.

You can hear, unsettlingly, the pulse of your heart, its echo

Reverberating in your ears, and you wonder, when your father leaves


(and it is a when, not an if like she'd like to pretend), when he leaves,

If she will still lie awake, imagining the shadows of the moon through the trees

To be his sillohuette; if every creak of the floorboards will still be the echo

Of his footfalls.  Sometimes you imagine you are in the vacuum of space,

In a vortex of perfect silence, away from his anger, his hunger

For something more, for some illusion that always seems to crumble


Beneath the weight of his expectations.  You've seen your mother crumble,

Sworn you've heard her heart break, a sound like dry leaves

Crushed beneath a careless heel.  In the mornings, devoid of hunger,

You'd push your eggs around your plate, the birds in the trees

Competing with your mother's humming; she sings to fill the space

Between them, the screech of his fork across the plate an empty echo


In lieu of conversation.   In the kichenette, her song echoes;

Every every utensil reverberates, alive with her singing, threatening to crumble

With the sad desperation of it.  She asks, does he have space

For one more, just one more cup of coffee, and follows him to the door as he leaves

Without a kiss, without even a proper goodbye.  Only the trees

Wave to her as he drives away, leaving her with an emptiness worse than hunger.


There is a bitterness in your throat, a ringing in your ears, a consuming hunger

In your belly that aches, the way you know his does.  You are his echo,

Daddy's little girl, and you understand the itch beneath his nails, like the trees

Scraping against the glass of your window; in your dreams, you see your life crumble

Into nothingness, into mundanity, into the emptiness you see in her eyes, and when he leaves,

You will not blame him.  You will step aside, and watch as the space


Between you grows irreparably far.  You are Daddy's little girl, and his space

In your heart cannot be filled, nor can the gaping hole in hers.  The hunger

Will always be there, threatening to consume you; it will never be satisfied, never leave,

And neither will you.  In the empty chambers of your heart, your mother's voice echoes

In the void he is destined to leave - I love you, I love you.  The clouds crumble

At the touch of your finger as you reach desperately higher, like the trees.


In your dreams, you are a tree, and your mother collects your falling leaves 

as they crack and crumble in her hands.  The dream echoes in the space in your heart

He left behind -- you love her, you still hunger, but you have grown roots.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Tuesday, December 1, 2020


 


There will be a 2021  Robert Frost Poetry Contest!


Submission mode and contents:

      ----Fee: none....nothing to pay!  Only two poems in one email allowed though.

      -----via email only, poems text inside the email, no attachments

            (those without email addr, find someone with email to submit via)

      -----in the email: 

           ---send it (not a reply, a fresh email) to:  rffpoetrycontest@gmail.com

           -----title:   Frost-2021-submission

          -----in the body:  your name, email address, mailing address

         -----and then:    

                --two poems maximum per person, 

                 ---seperated from each other by a few spaces, 

                 ---50 lines maximum each


    We are simply looking for poems that are compelling to a wide

             variety of people, that are memorable and affecting, when read aloud.  

        There is no specific style preferred, just some richness of flavor,

            and a limit of 50 normal-width (or narrower) lines.  



Timing:

      ----open to submissions from December 1st, 2020 

               through Feb.28th/midnight, 2021 

      ----decisions made and posted by April 15th, 2021

             monitor at:   robertfrostcontest.blogspot.com


     ----1st prize:  $500

     ----all of the top ten will be mentioned and may be posted at this blog

    ---ceremonies are TBD



Sunday, March 22, 2020

---Top Ten Poems of the
----2020 Robert Frost Poetry Contest: poems----



----------------------------
"Singer" slips in and out of the beat, uses the slant-rhyme,
 in-rhyme, out-rhyme, (early or delayed rhyme), the
 repeat-word-swapped-context rhetoric and other wordplay you
  see in late-20th poets and contemporary music.
There is this cinematically intense focus on a few little details
 of machine, skill, and fabric.  Even people who have not
  done the craft become intimate with it, as it was with the
  Ken Burns  "Baseball" series.   And just when you are sold into
  the craft, the role, and the pride, there is the sudden
  sad  revelation....that in this moment, you know far more than
  this women does......anymore. 
   The final pass for #1 drew 5 votes for this.
   Hard to say what moved through all of us before
   reading this poem, but its time had come.
   Sometimes art speaks when words can't,
   but sometimes, words make all of the art.
    ---JK
-----------------------------




-----Paulette Demers Turco:
( the #1 poem )
Singer

The last time mother closed her sewing machine,
she’d sewn my sister’s gown of silk and lace,
a veil with pearls, fulfilling her own wish.
The house, now her own space, would have no hum.
She’d reached the private goal she’d set herself:
to dress each daughter till her wedding day…

plus bridesmaids’ gowns and her own dress that day.
She’d learned how fabrics stressed her one machine
and oiled it well; used threads she chose herself.
She learned the slip of silk, the weave of lace,
learned to guide her Singer, feel its hum—
with yards and yards of fabric toward her wish

of daughters dressed by her—beyond her wish
when she took her vows on her wedding day.
While her love served in Normandy, she’d hum
soft tunes of his return—no sewing machine.
Her trousseau was of borrowed silk and lace.
Her groom gave her a Singer. She’d teach herself.

She made her first dress simply, for herself—
an A-line shift in navy blue. Her wish
for Christmas velvet, Easter’s hand-made lace,
came first in trimmings for each holiday.
As we arrived, she cherished her machine;
from birth, we breathed in rhythm with its hum.

She’d set the bobbin, press the footplate, hum
a favorite tune, and fit each dress herself
in pastels, flowered prints, as her machine
sewed ribbons, pleats—yes, every daughter’s wish
for birthdays, dances, gowns for Spring prom day—
velvet, chiffon, rayon, linen, lace.

All sewing done, she stored away her lace—
knit baby blankets. Soon lost names, used hums
for words in lullabies, forgetting midday
shopping trips and losing sense of self,
what daughters said, the clothes she’d made—her wish
undone, instead confusion: what machine,

what meal, what day, what daughter. What is lace? 
Our photos proved how her machine did hum;         
our wish, her awe— “I stitched these gowns myself?”






-----Paulette L Turco:

Annulment
   Holy Family Sunday—1985

We sit beside each other in the pew,
unprepared for what this priest will preach.
Who will be the focus of his reach?
He’s garbed in white. What will he choose to do?

He knows about my sister’s recent woes—
her overdose of Ambien and how
her husband said, “I’m gay” that day. His vow
to her a lie, she feels eclipsed. He chose—

he loves his partner, loves his kids. Misled,
years in his bed, she’s borne two sons. And now
she prays the Church tribunal grants somehow
that, in the eyes of God, she never wed.

The priest invites parishioners to “Transcend
all shadows in your family. Pray. Amend.”




----Lucy Ricciardi:

MORNING                 

This day begins slowly on the porch.
Across the creek a lone roofer taps out
a rhythm on his shingles, the swans
patrol their waters anyway.  Lop-sided
geraniums nod in a stupor, scent of rosa
rugosa slips past the  screen door,
and a breeze that is not really a breeze
weaves us together even though you
are going, or perhaps you have already
left.  What we have is all we will have.
Give yourself to the morning, the swans
will regroup, aware of upright paddlers
balanced on their boards as they glide
like lithe Egyptians flattened on a frieze. 



-------Simon Peter Eggertsen:

Elephants at the Beach

Near the coast just short of Zinjibar,
this and every morning, the sand waits
to sneak across to the shore on the breeze

a few grains at a time, like small, anxious children
longing for a playful day at the beach
without their parents’ permission.

At night, when the wind changes its mind,
the grains will scurry back home to the other side,
wait for the dawn, for another morning run.

The shifting sands, free of their hourglass,
keep their own day time, their own night time
on either side of the brazen, warming sun.

Further along the highway, dunes,
the shape and size of fallen elephants,
begin in earnest, lie on their sides,

ribbed spines sagging, trying to touch the ground.
The beasts cannot move without a helping hand,
without a nudge from the insistent sea breeze.

Last year the rogue elephant dunes squatted
on the other side, threatened to trample
the rustic fishers’ village near the shore—

a mish mash of drift and plywood and tin,
imagined homes: ‘ramshackled’,
the perfect word for them to speak.

Mushkeda.  So it may be, the people say.

-- Zinjibar, Yemen, May 1997



------John Struloeff:

Home

It’s been too many hours on the road.
Your hands are numb on the wheel
as you reach the top of the forested hill
above home. Not the home you return to
after work each day, a thousand miles
from here, but your mother’s home,
the home that still has the bed you
slept in as a child. It’s night, but the moon
alights the valley, the dark velvet contour
of treed hills visible for miles. You can see
how the rain has shaped this place, smoothed
the sharp ridges, carried grit and stick
to the valley bottom where the dark murk
slides to the open ocean. This place has taken
away so many you remember – your father,
your best friends, your childhood teachers –
and it’s taken your childhood itself.
What is to be done but look in strange wonder
at this beautiful, painful part of the world?
Yet you drive down the winding road,
your tires hissing on the slick blacktop,
windshield wipers pushing away the mist
so you can see anew each curve, each
treeline, the wet signs, the flashing yellow
light, and the long final corridor of trees
before you turn and wend slowly to your old drive.
You stop in front of the garage and see
the silhouette of your mother rise slowly
from her chair. She will greet you, feeble
and smiling, as you open the door.
I’m home, you say, and even with all the things
that have been lost and all the ways that
this is no longer your home, it still
is, and your mother is here – and has been
here for years – waiting to hold her boy
one last time before this place, after thirty-five
years, is taken from both of you.



---Colleen Wells

“The Hawk”

In a neighbor’s yard, planted on the branch of an Oak tree, the hawk worked over
its lifeless prey, busy as a chicken scratching in the dirt for a bug.

We stopped walking, took it in. My husband was entranced with it all.
“It looks like he got a mole,” he said with satisfaction.
He hates the moles in our yard;
we’ve argued more than once about his wish to eradicate them with lethal means.

Just then the giant bird grabbed up the flaccid rodent, clutched it in its talons,
then swooped, black wings flapping like a magician waving his cape.
He landed in another nearby tree,
to feast unfettered by us,
is my guess.

We took a few steps, admiring him again.
“I don’t really want to watch this.” I said.
My husband commented the hawk was about the same size as our Jack Russell.
“He can’t be that big,” I disagreed.
“Can’t you see Kramer up in the tree? At that far away, he’d look the same.”

I thought to myself, Maybe without his four legs,
maybe just his head and chest would equal the size of the hawk.
But I agreed with my husband.

I looked up at the killer who held me in its vacant amber eyes
for a powerful split second.

“Pretty Bird. You are a pretty bird,” I said,
 unable to stop myself from saying it.




----Jane Blanchard:

Near the End of Ocean Boulevard
            Saint Simon’s Island

The county’s latest bulwark has begun
to fail already—maybe only weeks
since normal traffic was allowed back on
this busy stretch of road. Saltwater seeps,
then undermines concrete too easily.
No engineer has figured out a way
to stop erosion here. Predictably
tides entering and leaving every day
will do their damage. Nature takes care of
its own—the egrets, herons, ibises,
marsh hens, and clapper rails which perch above
stiff grass or pluff mud after meals. What is
a human being in this habitat?
A passerby who gets a glance, if that.





----Gary Bills:

CHANGE AFTER WHISPERS.

Late August when the poplar leaves
Are busy tongues in trembling heat,
The apple tree with ripened fruit
Is not a laden tree at all,
It’s just a drop of bursting rain –
Exploding – crown-like – shedding beads –
Arrested come the thunder’s roar –
Arrested in the lightning flash;
You blink or sneeze, the lot might fall –
The drumming of the sudden storm,
The rumble of escaping feet -
The poplar leaves foretold it all,
An end to apples out of reach,
An end to summer’s trembling heat.




---------------Gayle C. Heney:

Signals

Dusk’s fading hints of pink become gunmetal grays, outlining hundreds
of our efficient, black bodies blanketing the sky in search of a roost.

We are feathered, black-gloved hands waving in supplication
as multitudes of our flocks follow the Merrimack River upstream.

Raucous chatter comes in waves as some swoop down to rest
upon young river birches, change our minds, then take flight.

Lawrence’s red brick and mortar converted mills stand in silhouette,
silent guardians of our daily passage as night’s cape descends.

We are signals of impending darkness, transient congregations without a god.
Our journey, like so many others, reverberating with strident cries.




---------------Sandy Longley:

Illuminating the Night

It's eight degrees and the long
blue stillness of the February
afternoon stretches across the yard.

You recall her, this white-tail, from last
winter because of her left hind leg, broken—
there's swelling around the ankle,

just above the fetlock, yet she's graceful
and steady as a young dancer after
many arduous hours at the barre.

She nibbles on woody browse frozen
on the chain link fence, turnips and
kale long gone from the garden.

You want her to shape-shift
into that dancer so you can cajole
her inside and call to your family:

"Look who's come in from the cold!"
She'll shake snow from three hooves
onto the mat that says Home at Last.

"Come sit by the fire," you say, but the soft
magic of her animal tongue is silenced;
the moon mourns her absence, her wildness:

She is an anima mundi:
a soul hungry
a soul broken
a soul survivor
a soul lit from within,
a glimmering girl, Yeats
might call her.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

----Results of
   the 2020 Robert Frost Poetry Contest

Note:
   ---there is also a nearby
        modern metrical poetry Frost contest as well,
         deadline March 30, 2020,
          defined here:
            http://www.frostfarmpoetry.org/prize

We began with about 120 poems.

3 batches of 40 were read,
typically by 3 readers, and scored 1-10,
by only by personal reaction, how it
grabbed each reader, how much it moved them.
10 of each 40 were selected, and any just
into or out of that 10 were compared openly
to settle the choices.

So then we had 30 poems.  4 readers scored them
in one session.  The top 10 scores were selected
after the usual open discussion of just-in and just-out.

So, finally, the best 4 were emailed around,
  one reader seeing these for the first time.
   It was a vote: favorite, and your #2 choice,
    instant run-off voting.

Tallying votes for the number one poem was easy:
   everyone voted for the same #1!

The other 9 of the top 10 are important for being very close
   to the very top, and more importantly:
   to give different examples
   of what it takes to capture many people's minds.
   
----------------------------

Anyway, the top 10 poems are listed here,
  and after #1, there is no particular order implied
  by the order of the runners-up...

First Place...

"Singer" ---- by Paulette Demers Turco,
                     Newburyport, MA

Runners-up:


"Illuminating the Night" --- by Sandy Longley,
                                Delmar, NY

"Morning" --- by Lucy Ricciardi,
                     Greenwich, CT

"Near the End of Ocean Boulevard" --- by Jane Blanchard,
                                        Augusta Georgia
"Home" --- by John Struloeff,
              Malibu, CA

"Signals" --- by Gayle C. Heney,
                 North Anover, MA

"Elephants" --- by Simon Peter Eggersten,
                   Champlain, NY

"The Hawk" --- by Colleen Wells,
                  Bloomington, IN

"Annulment" --- by Paulette Demers Turco,
                     Newburyport, MA

"Change After Whispers" --- by Gary Bills,
                            Ledbury, Herefordshire, UK

----->  The Board
        of the Robert Frost Foundation of Lawrence Mass.
        wishes to thank everyone for an enlightening,
        compelling experience, despite all the effort.

----->  There were to be ceremonies of awarding and reading,
        but due to the magnitude of the mounting
        CORVID-19 pandemic, we cannot be sure of the original
        dates or venues.  This is a problem for anyone
        making plans to travle and read, or even to listen.
        Stay tuned for any re-scheduled events.



In the meantime, could each of the top 10 please email
   text with their poem to this address, frostnewsline@gmail.com ?
   That makes it so much easier to tell the world about
    your awesomeness..


Regards, Thanks, and Congrats,
     The Frost Board


Sunday, October 6, 2019

---DETAILS, FROST FOUNDATION 2020 ROBERT FROST POETRY AWARD-----

   should be postmarked:
     between  October 1 (2019)
     and 
    February 15 (2020)
    ...including those dates

  NOTE:   THIS IS A MAIL-ONLY CONTEST, TO BE MAILED
     TO THE LAWRENCE , MASS PUBLIC LIBRARY. SEE DETAILS BELOW.
     no email or submittable entries please..

---------DEADLINE:  LAST POSTMARK OF FEBRUARY 15th, 2020-----------------

GUIDELINES:
    ---Prizes will be awarded as follows:
    ---First Prize,     $1000
      Best 10 poems will be mentioned
         (others as as honorable mention, not ranked with number)
       

-----------------
The contest theme:    "INSIGHTS"

  Robert Frost often came to awesome philosophical/psychological
   insights in his poems, using humans and/or nature, and coming
   to some great insight about the human condition.
   Some great examples include "The Road Not Taken", "Mending Wall",
   and "The Tuft Of Flowers".  There are dozens like this, of course.

A great poem is less about what it is
     than ... what it does....to you, and especially to an audience.
    We have never needed a call to think carefully more than now.

That's what we want, why we read as a diverse group, and we we are
    not too fussy about any particular type. It is the impact on listeners
    or readers that matters.
    Poetry can be relevant and important to the public.
    So......give it your best shot!


SEND YOUR POEM(s) BY POSTAL MAIL:

    ----Send originals of up to 10 poems of up to 55 lines each,
               (based on 12 point font, 8.5x11 page)

    ----Include one copy of each poem with no contact information,
         just title and poem. These will be numbered for blind judging.

    ----Include a second copy of each poem with name, address, email,
           phone #, etc. at the top of the page

    ---- Include a check for $8 per submitted poem
      (check made out to:  Robert Frost Foundation)



    ---- Mail to:
             Robert Frost Award
             Lawrence Library
            51 Lawrence St
            Lawrence MA 01841.



Additional guidelines:

          •Poems should be postmarked
              between
                  October 1 (2019)
            and  February 15 (2020)
                   to be considered for the yearly award.

          •Prior published work (nationally visible in print,
                   online, or contest mention) is not allowed.
                (But tuning up poems circulated at
                   critique groups, or practiced at open mics is aok,
                   and is recommended!)
   
          •Manuscripts will not be returned
   
          •Submissions with poems that do not comply will be discarded.
            (check will be discarded as well....not deposited)

          •Winners (and the websites)
              will be notified in late March 2020
                 of the judges' decisions

         •The Robert Frost Foundation will have the right to publish the poem,
          in the announcements, online,  and in promotional activities.   All other rights
           of publication will revert to the author.

          •For a list of winners, please  visit  frostnewsline.blogspot.com
             and look for the article title mentioning the prize winners.
                   (Or look at this blog)

          •Officers and Directors of The Robert Frost Foundation
               as well as festival organizers are not eligible to enter the award.

          •Entries will be read and judged by members of the Frost Board

      Contestants under 18 years of age not allowed unless there is an
         accompanying note from parent or guardian.



----------------------------------------


Frost Foundation Poetry Prize: history

2019  Arne Weingart, "Caterpillar"
2018 Jerome Gagnon , "Cherries, After"
2016. [ No competition]
2014. "Roadsiding Hay" by Franklin Zawacki
2013. "November Guest" by Alfred Nicol
2012. [No competition this year.]
2011. "Constellation" by Sally Albiso
2010. "The Great Disappointment" by Adam Tavel
2009. "Crossing to Fox Island" by Gregory Loselle
2008. "Double Wedding Ring" by Elizabeth Klise von Zerneck
2007. "Henry Jones of Wales" by Barbara Adams
2006. [poem] by Rob Smith
2005. "The Effects of Light on a Woman's Body" by Susan Somers-Willett
2004. "To do to Beans" by Megan Grumbling
2003. "Aristaeus" by Ned Balbo
2002. "Sheepdog Trials at Bleanau Feistenog" by Deborah Warren
2001. "First Light" by Vivian Shipley
2000. "Overheard" by Len Krisak
1999. "Echolation" by Diane Thie
1997. "Visiting Frost's Grave" by Patricia Fargnoli

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


----------2019 Robert Frost Poetry Contest  Results-------

First Prize: 
    "Caterpillar"                Author:  Arne Weingart , Chicago  Ill.
Runners-up:
"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!


---------------1st place-----------------------------------------------


Caterpillar

                                     ---Arne Weingart


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
                      ---Lucy Ricciardi


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---------------------

Loner-
     ---Michael Poluzzi


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
              ---Mark Bohrer

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----------------------------------

Uncle Eli
                    -----Blanche Jenkins

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
of love





Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Dear Participants:

      Thank you all for your poems!  There are twice as many this second year of the
       contest rebirth.   Envelopes came in from local places and  all over the country.
     

      Thanks again all of you and hope to see you in future events and competitions.

      Stay tuned for announcements at   robertfrostcontest.blogspot.com
      and at   frostnewsline.blogspot.com 
       Winner/runners-up should be announced by about the start of April 2019.

       Every poem will be read at least two and as many as 5 (for the top ten) times.
       On the way to widely-memorable poems, it is important to see different people
       agree in their appreciation.       


----The Robert Frost Foundation Board  (In the  Lawrence Mass Public Library)