Tuesday, April 6, 2021

CSPS Monthly Contest Winners January - March 2021


California State Poetry Society is pleased to announce the winners of the Monthly Poetry Contests for the first quarter of 2021. Alice Pero, Monthly Contest Judge made the selections.

JANUARY 2021 WINNERS

  • Dr. Emory D. Jones,  "Sanctuary" - 1st place
  • Marlene Hitt, "Summer of Fire" -   2nd place
  • David Anderson, "The Coming Snow" -  3rd place

FEBRUARY 2021 WINNER  

Claire J. Baker, "Speculation" - 1st place

MARCH 2021 WINNER

  • Julia Park Tracey - "Just One Thing - " 1st place
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!

 



JANUARY 2021 WINNERS

FIRST PRIZE - DR. EMORY D. JONES - "SANCTUARY"

Sanctuary


Bent grasses hint

at the passing of unseen winds and spirits.


Spires of black spruce, 

rise out of moss

and  point skyward, 

their broken branches 

draped with a haunting thin gauze

of lichens.


Poisonous red capped mushrooms stand 

like miniature tables and chairs­

fungus furniture 

that some secret night

might have hosted

the "little people"

so important in the folklore

of the native Ojibwa.


Something spiritual lives here, 

something dark something old.

 





SECOND PRIZE - MARLENE HITT - "SUMMER OF FIRE"

Summer of Fire


... only a few clear days to see mountains

that summer of smoke.

It blew north to south, west to east

then due westward with a thick canopy

veiling the sky.

That one morning, dawn sun

rose red as blood yolk,

fiery as those flames

that devour  the ridges and ranges

licking them clear of chaparral.

That sun spread orange on the sheets

where we lay while orange flames

covered thickets and nests.

Fire!

You have such a terrible craving

reducing cedar and pine to

blackened stumps, sumac to ash.

We pray for rain to bear you downhill

to melt the rage of you.

This morning in the orange light

air is pungent;

the smell of black brush,

the fear of live creatures.

After the night of fire

I do not fret over the smell of

last night's onions

nor do I light a bathroom candle,

but gaze out to yellow-grey,

watch the mountains disappear.






THIRD PRIZE  - DAVID ANDERSON, "THE COMING SNOW"

The Coming Snow

The lone buffalo grazes

ninety feet away 

from a single giant pine.


This landscape hangs

unbalanced

by the haze of a coming storm.


Coated with ice 

the buffalo

continues to bite


the short grass

we cannot see

under the shifting layer of slush.

Spare winter feed belies

the flourishing tree

which, like the buffalo,


stands alone

and catches the diamonds

of the oncoming snow.

 





FEBRUARY 2021 - FIRST PRIZE WINNER - CLAIRE J. BAKER "SPECULATION"

Speculation

        I learn by going where I have to go
                              ~ Theodore Roethke

My love & I are a blink
in time's polished mirror,
a tinkling of bells, 
a sprinkling of savvy
filled with drama, trauma
& triumph.

In the center of our story
we gather anise 
& rosemary for soup.
After reading The Waking,
we realize we read
each other easily.

Speculating
we will love forever,
clinking glasses
surely makes it so,
& so for now
we gloriously come & go.

 




MARCH 2021 FIRST PRIZE WINNER - JULIA PARK TRACEY  "JUST ONE THING - "


Just One Thing—


Between two trees, a pretty 

patch of light like sun on water, firelight on walls—

like rain against the window, where every gleam’s

a jewel—

Mica in concrete. Ice crystals. My

wedding band with a diamond for each child.

William Carlos Williams’ broken glass

and Lucy in the sky, all shining with that

unbearable beauty, the only thing

that keeps my two feet moving when I should otherwise 

collapse. A sparkle so bright it 

waters my eyes. A light so delicate and sharp

like the first breath on a January morning.

Strange that’s all it takes some days to endure.

So little. So much. 






CSPS MONTHLY  CONTESTS 2021

GUIDELINES:

California State Poetry Society encourages poetic creativity by organizing monthly contests. The contests are open to all poets, whether or not they are members of the CSPS. Reading fees are $1.50 per poem with a $3.00 minimum for members and $3.00 per poem with a $6.00 minimum for non-members. Entries must be postmarked during the month of the contest in which they are entered. They must consist of a first page with all contact information (name, address, telephone number and email address) and the titles of the poems being submitted. 

At this time there are two ways to submit, by regular mail (enclosing check) or by email (using PayPal and email CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety@gmail.com) to make a payment  - adding $1.00 for PayPal fees if submitting by email.

CSPS Monthly Contest – (Specify Month)
Post Office Box 4288, Sunland, California 91041

Alternatively, poets may submit their work by email to: CSPSMonthlyContests@gmail.com (Specify Month) and simultaneously pay their contest fees by PayPal to: CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety@gmail.com, adding $1 for PayPal fees.

All contests are judged by Alice Pero, CSPS Monthly Contest Judge. The 1st place winner receives half of the prize pool for pools less than $100. For pools of $100 or more, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners receive $50, $10 and $5, respectively. If there are insufficient fees submitted, the minimum prize is $10. There are no exceptions to the prize disbursement rules. The monthly contest winners are announced as they are awarded and the winners are notified by mail. All of the winners for the year are listed in the first CSPS Newsbriefs of the following year. In addition, the first prize winners are published in the CSPS Poetry Letter (PDF, email, posted on website) and posted on this blog. 

Please note: Do not send SAE’s. We do not return poems. If you win, we will let you know. Otherwise there are no notifications.

CSPS Monthly Contest Themes (Revised)

  • January    Nature, Seasons, Landscape
  • February  Love
  • March      Open, Free Subject
  • April        Mythology, Dreams, Other Universes
  • May         Personification, Characters, Portraits
  • June         The Supernatural
  • July          Childhood, Memoirs
  • August     Places, Poems of Location
  • Sept          Colors, Music, Dance
  • October    Humor, Satire
  • November Family, Friendship, Relationships
  • December  Best of Your Best (Winning or published poems only. Indicate name of contest or publication and the issue/dates of publication/award.)     

To find out more about our Contest Judge read ALICE PERO's Interview on ShoutoutLA website:  
https://shoutoutla.com/meet-alice-pero-flutist-poet-poetry-teacher/


NOTE: Photos of Big Tujunga Wash and a Central California Orchard
 in bloom by Maja Trochimczyk






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