Monday, October 1, 2012

October 2012 Poetry Challenge

On the last Sunday of each month, there is a poetry reading at the Brewed Awakening, a coffee shop across from the train station in Westmont, IL. The readings are sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society (see for announcements concerning upcoming featured poets). Two excellent poets, Judith Tullis and John Quinn, were featured on Sunday, September 30. Each one read a poem about the news (or someone’s response to the news), not a heavy or sad or angry poem, but a poem with a lighter touch and a bit of humor. John’s poem is a sonnet; Judith’s is free verse.

Details at Ten!

Alar on apples! Asbestos in school!
Our water's not fit for your pasta fazool!
Radon in basements! Be cautious in love!
Watch out! Beware! There's no ozone above! Chlorine's a crime! So's driving to work!
Cigarette smoking's the realm of the jerk!
Stay out of the sun! Don't play in the street!
Fried eggs are verboten, so is red meat! The stuff my dad worked so hard to obtain
are now objects of fear, loathing, disdain.
"The good things of life," we all tried to get
are getting us now, it's our life we bet. Whatever we do, we'll all end up dead
unless, as we rise, we crawl under our bed.

~ John Quinn

Morning News

Every morning
he reads the newspaper
through the steam from
his coffee – Boston, two sugars.

Every day in a plaid flannel shirt
and worn slippers, he confers
in the paper with heads of state,
beleaguered economists, city officials.

He coaches the Bears,
consults the weatherman
and test drives the latest
foreign luxury car.

Every day through the steam
from a mug of orange herbal tea,
across a kitchen table set for two,
I read him.

~ Judith Tullis

October Poetry Challenge:

Write a light or humorous poem about the news—whether the news comes from radio, television, or the internet—or second hand from friends. No angry poems. No partisan poems. No heavy-duty advocacy poems for or against the UN, the US, Iran, North Korea, abortion, legalization of marijuana, etc. Advocacy has its place, but the challenge for this month is a poem which will bring a smile, not make the reader angry (pro or con). Your poem may be in free or formal verse (if you use a form, specify which form it is). Please put your name at the bottom of the poem (note the format used above).

Due to formatting restrictions on the blog, all poems should be left justified. Unfortunately I am unable to publish indentations or shaped poems.

Poems published in books or on the Internet (including Facebook and other on-line social networks) are not eligible. If your poem has been published in a periodical, please include publication data. Poems submitted after the October 15 deadline will not be considered.

How to Submit Your Poem:

Send your poem to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for [dot]). Be sure provide your e-mail address. If you want a bio published with your poem should it be a winner, please include put a brief bio below your poem. Submission of a poem gives permission for the poem to be posted on the blog if it is a winner. The deadline is October 15, 2012. Copyright on poems is retained by their authors.

© 2012 Wilda Morris