Thursday, February 28, 2019

Again this month it was difficult selecting winners in the Poetry Challenge. I settled on two of the less complex (but nevertheless, interesting) poems—one a rhyming poem; the other, free verse.

“Counterpoint” could be called an old-fashioned romantic poem, and perhaps it is. But it is well-constructed and fun.


Someone told him love is blind.
That was before he saw her.
Surely his eyes were open wide,
and he plotted ways to wow her.

He offered to take her for a spin.
She was thinking Ferris wheel.
Not a happy woman, when
his auto tires began to squeal.

She told him she’d enjoy a show.
Which one? He thought he knew it.
But when she left before the end,
he knew he really blew it!

However, he would persevere
and rid himself of guile.
She recently had second thoughts, and
joined him walking down the aisle.

~ Deetje J. Wildes

The second poem deals with misunderstood conversation. I have not asked the poet if this is a true account of an actual conversation; it doesn’t matter. If it didn’t actually happen this way, it could have. I didn't "catch" it on first reading, but would have done so had I read it aloud.

Like A Bull

“Flared nostrils, heavy breathing, determined gaze”
I shake my head “No, that’s not what I’m saying”
We keep repeating ourselves but fail to communicate 
I see red. I’m determined to be understood
She asks “Like a bull?” 
I say “No, likeable!” 

~ Rebekah Scher

Congratulations Rebekah and Deetje!

The poets published on this blog retain copyright on their poems.


Rebekah Scher is a poet currently based in the Chicago suburbs. She is submitting poems for publication, as well as continuing to write new work. She also keeps a day job at a finance firm so that she doesn’t become a starving artist.

Deetje J. Wildes is an enthusiastic member of Western Wisconsin Christian Writers Guild. She enjoys making music and experimenting with visual arts.

© Wilda Morris

Friday, February 1, 2019

February 2019 Poetry Challenge - He Said, She Said

Penthesilea (1862), by Gabriel-Vital Dubray (1813-1892).
East façade of the Cour Carrée in the Louvre palace, Paris.
Photo © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

In February, 2018, I used my poem, “Wanting to See the Amazon,” as one of three prompt poems encouraging poets to make use of ancient myths in their poetry. This month—the month of Valentine’s Day—I’m using that same poem as a prompt, but in a different way. It is a poem about two people—a man and a woman, in this case—who look at things in different ways. The name “Amazon” elicits different responses from the man than intended by the woman, leading to a communication problem. Perhaps it happened this way because Cupid was playing tricks on the narrator.

Wanting to See the Amazon

When I say I want to see the Amazon, he assumes
I mean the statue of Penthesilea in the Louvre.
He’s thinking perhaps of the exposed breast,
legs bare from boot top to kneecap. He’s thinking  
warrior. Woman. I’m thinking river. Rainforest.
He says Achilles killed her, removed her helmet,
was so stunned by her splendor his heart stopped.
He says Achilles wept for love that might have been.
The river flows not from tear ducts but tributaries.
It’s not salt water but fresh. It shoves sediments
out to sea. It has no sword. While I think
of the Amazon’s mouth opening into the Atlantic,
he thinks of the Aegean Sea and the sneering lips
of the statue or sensuous lips of the lifeless woman
lifted by Achilles. He says the Amazons originated
in Pontus. I say the waters flow from peaks
in the Peruvian Andes. He lies on the love seat
pondering the sad end of Penthesilea. I order tickets
to tour Brazil and Peru, not Paris or Pontus.

~ Wilda Morris

After Hours, 29 (Summer 2014), p. 8.

The February Challenge:

The challenge for February is a poem where two persons with different gender identities make different assumptions or express different points of view. Avi Difranco is quoted as having said that “in the ‘he said she said’ sometimes there’s some poetry;” look for poetry there. Perhaps you won’t report dialogue, but just make it plain in another eay that the different assumptions of people in your poem lead to communication problems. Some humor is preferred, but not required.

Your poem may be free verse or formal. If you use a form, please identify the form when you submit your poem.

Title your poem unless it is a form that does not use titles. Single-space. Note that the blog format does not accommodate long lines; if they are used, they have to be broken in two, with the second part indented (as in the poem “Lilith,” one of the November 2018 winners). Read previous poems on the blog to see what line lengths can be accommodated.

You may submit a published poem if you retain copyright, but please include publication data. This applies to poems published in books, journals, newspapers, or on the Internet.

The deadline is February 15. Poems submitted after the deadline will not be considered. There is no charge to enter, so there are no monetary rewards; however, winners are published on this blog. Please don’t stray too far from “family-friendly” language (some children read this blog). No simultaneous submissions, please. You should know by the end of the month whether or not your poem will be published. Decision of the judge or judges is final.

The poet retains copyright on each poem. If a previously unpublished poem wins and is published elsewhere later, please give credit to this blog. I do not register copyright with the US copyright office, but by US law, the copyright belongs to the writer unless the writer assigns it to someone else.

If the same poet wins three months in a row (which has not happened thus far), he or she will be asked not to submit the following two months.

How to Submit Your Poem:

Send one poem only to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”). Put “February Poetry Challenge Submission” in the subject line of your email. Include a brief bio that can be printed with your poem if you are a winner this month. Please put your name and bio UNDER the poem in your email. If the poem has been published before, please put that information UNDER the poem also.

Submission of a poem gives permission for the poem to be posted on the blog if it is a winner, so be sure that you put your name (exactly as you would like it to appear if you do win) at the end of the poem.

Poems may be pasted into an email or sent as an attachment (no pdf files, please). Please do not indent the poem or center it on the page. It helps if you submit the poem in the format used on the blog (Title and poem left-justified; title in bold (not all in capital letters); your name at the bottom of the poem). Also, please do not use multiple spaces instead of commas in the middle of lines. I have no problem with poets using that technique (I sometimes do it myself). However I have difficulty getting the blog to accept and maintain extra spaces.

Poems shorter than 40 lines are generally preferred but longer poems will be considered.

© Wilda Morris