Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 2015 - The Winning Bell Poem

The judge for the December Poetry Challenge, Jim Lambert, said “What a great subject to use as a prompt. Bells can be sad, tolling the dead, and ecstatic, tolling in the New Year, the new marriage, the new life.” He added that the winning poem by Steve Klepetar “captures that interesting dichotomy.”

Here is that poem: 


Bells over the wide bay, a call on waves
for boats longing in the river’s mouth,
for glass-green shadows when tide ebbs.

Bells calling me to water’s edge, where
my journey begins with a day of waiting and rain.
Bells along cliffs with swirling birds. My mother’s

bells rung for the last time, her tiny voice
scraping against sand. My father’s bells
with their chests of brass and their fists gripping

frequencies, those braided ropes of sound.
How fine to hear bells on a day ground
into powdery blue, a day of compounds and magic

and flood. Oh bells, calling me home, calling
me to mud and frogs. How sound gathers and swells,
filling me with your tongue, or a meal from your hands.

~ Steve Klepetar

Congratulations to Steve. Remember he owns this poem, so please do not copy and distribute it without his concent.

Thank you to everyone who entered the December Poetry Challenge. I enjoyed reading all the poems after I sent them – without names – to the judge.


Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared widely, and several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

Jim Lambert is retired and lives in Southern Illinois with his wife of 50 years and two desert tortoises. He is vice president of the Illinois State Poetry Society and past president of the Southern Illinois Writers Guild.

Come back to this website early next month to see the January Poetry Challenge. Happy New Year, everyone, and keep reading and writing poetry.

© 2015