Friday, April 29, 2016

April Poetry Challenge Winners

The April Challenge was to write a poem about poetry or about writing poetry. After I narrowed down the submissions to three finalists, I couldn’t decide which one was the winner. Last week I attended a writers conference. Still uncertain which poem to select, I consulted three other writers whose critiques had impressed me. They did not all agree, so I have decided to declare three winners. I hope you enjoy these three winning poems.


I was one of his lesser experiments
…given the consideration of crumbs.
He delighted in degradation,
his words, twisting with the wind,
…kept pushing the hurt deeper.
So I walked out into the night,
invisible to his eyes.
The stars came out of the darkness
…and sprinkled sorrow.

I climbed over mountains of doubt,
waded through rivers of grief,
explored the depths of my conscience,
…searching for my self.

The long, arduous journey brought me here
and now. So I write        because
words I cannot bring to my mouth
…sometimes come to my pen.

~ Eileen Kimbrough

Poetry a pulse, unseen, that guides us
Past the corners and the slick-faced
Surfaces of so many things:
Poetry?  It's a beautiful
Side-long glance ending in ripples
Wrapped around a tree felled in an
Unexpected storm years ago.
Some things poetry can't let go,
Meter, say, and that beat that makes
You think of the hail that pulsed on
Eaves of the Quick Mart four summers
Past. Poetry keeps the rhythm
Of what you can't let go, it rises
Like sweat from a gentle heat
We barely feel. There, poetry
Is found, often enough, at least,
To keep a poet looking around.

~ Sheila Elliott

About Your Poems

Don't make me climb
a rickety ladder
to the attic to dig
through that old trunk
where you've hidden
your joy and pain.
Don't make me work
to understand you.
Slice the top off my head.
Pour your molten wisdom
into my mind.
Expose me to whistling hate,
force my mouth open
to taste the brittle finality of death.
Wrap the string of earth's cruelty
around my eyes.
Sing to me of snow caverns
and ancient cellos.
Talk of all the lost loves
who walk your dreams.
Hold my hand
and tell it true.

~ Peggy Trojan

These poets own copyright on their poems. Please do not distribute copies without permission.


Eileen Kimbrough is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has produced visual arts in many media and exhibited in art galleries, museums, colleges, and gift shops throughout Illinois. She has been employed as a graphic designer, editorial and fashion illustrator, receptionist, bookkeeper and salesperson.  Eileen has sold many copies of her self-published poetry book, Painting with Words, and contributed the poems and art for Wings for the Soul, published by a non-profit. Her stories and poems were published in Rivulets. She lives in Aurora with her husband, Bob Walker, innumerable books and artistic clutter.

Sheila Elliott is a poet who is an active participant in the workshops, public readings and print publication of the Oak Park Writers Group. A self-published chap book, Autumn Light, was completed in 2015.

Peggy Trojan lives happily in the north woods of Wisconsin where she gardens, writes, and entertains.  Author of two chapbooks, Everyday Love, and HOMEFRONT, Childhood Memories of WWII, and a full collection, Essence.

The May Poetry Challenge will be posted soon.

©  Wilda Morris