Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December Challenge Winners: Snow Poems

Snow turned out to be a popular topic for poets. Two submissions were selected as winners. The first place poem is by Dan Kenney.

Your Breath On Frozen Glass

                His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly
                through the universe and faintly
                falling, like the descent of their last end, upon
                all the living and the dead.
                                                ~ James Joyce, “The Dead”

I stood in a dim pale shaft of
light from a single bulb. We
watched your breath disappear for
ever from an old dime store mirror,
and a chill stirred through our
bedroom one last time.

So many nights you created
ghosts in the steam of your breath on
frozen windows in all the rooms
of our  lives. Rising from
twisted sheets, your shape in
candlelight, your lips
close to glass panes.

I left our cold house,
walked into falling snow,
that collected in tree
bark, filled milkweed pods,
blew beneath doors.
I am still walking
in falling snowing.

~ Dan Kenney

Dan Kenney is a community advocate in his role as founder, president, and executive director of DeKalb County Community Gardens. He is a retired elementary school teacher, husband, father, and grandfather.

The second place poem, by DB Appleton, is very different.

          Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
                                           ~ Sammy Cahn

When she left,

the snow fell upward,
perverse reversal of nature,
white flakes flying skyward,
leaving the cold, brown ground
naked and vulnerable,
whipping away the white blanket
that swaddled my world...

how I desperately long for a blizzard.

~ DB Appleton

D.B. Appleton splits his time between Madison and Sister Bay.  A transplanted NYC native, his editorial writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper's, The Economist and Newsweek, among other very accommodating publications. 

Judges for December

Judges for September were Jim Lambert, Jacob Erin-Cilberto, and Kathy Lohrum Cotton.
Lambert lives with his wife of 48 years and two 29 year-old desert tortoises near Carbondale, IL. He is active in community theater. His poetry book "Winds of Life" was published in 2007. Lambert is the Vice-President of the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Erin-Cilberto lives and teaches in Southern Illinois. He has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. His 12th and most recent book, Used Lanterns is available from Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY. Jacob has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry 2006-2008 and again in 2010.

Cotton, who lives in Anna, Illinois, is a poet and digital collage artist whose work has been published in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies as well as nationally marketed as posters and greeting cards. Cotton is the author of three poetry collections; the illustrated volume, Deluxe Box of Crayons, was published in 2012. She has edited a number of volumes, including Harvest of Words, Shawnee Hills Review, and Where We Walk. Cotton also facilitates Southern Chapter of the Illinois State Poetry Society in Carbondale.

© Wilda Morris