I went to the Utah State Poetry Society convention over the weekend. I heard some wonderful poetry. I wasn't going to go, but the contest chair called me and asked me to read the winners in one of the categories. I was so glad I went. There is nothing like hearing a poet read his/her own poems.
And here's the good news: I got an honorable mention for this lovely little ditty (warning--it's kind of weird!):
The kitchen drawer paring knife
with the bent tip
pierces the skin between
the long thin foot bones above the
second and third toes.
not a clean, smooth scalpel drawn line of blood
but a jagged, meat-torn window
to where the bones are.
That’s what I’m after:
I remove them, one by one,
from the right foot
and pile them,
clean and white,
on a clean white plate
with a chipped rim
carefully placed on a clean white cloth
with one frayed edge
at the head of the dining room table.
Thin, delicate, unbroken.
I harvest the bones to the ankle.
Why am I doing this? I ask myself.
And I can’t recall.
I just know it must be done.
The newly emptied fleshy flap of skin
sags at an awkward angle
from my right ankle
as it rests on my left knee.
Enough, I say.
And it is enough.
And the big news is . . . I won FIRST PLACE in the sonnet/villanelle category for my winter sonnet!!!!! I was soooooooo excited. I was up against some very good, very experienced poets. I recognized the names of three of the people who placed LOWER than I did!!! I BEAT THEM!!!!!! Huzzah! I've been validated!
This frigid wintry wind still blows forlorn;
From blue-black north the steel-grey clouds are sent.
The mountains with white fur themselves adorn,
And with that heavy fur, the firs are bent.
Look! Lacy crystals, gossamer they seem;
Yet look again, their jagged edges found.
And sifting down from heaven? No, they teem--
Collide, cascade, conflict, contend, crash down.
Benumbed are all by endless brumal skies;
All flesh is bit with brisk and bitter breath.
Abysmal, boundless winter -- future lies,
Hell frozen o’er, in truth’s a hellish death.
What’s this? In snow, a crocus head I see.
Thou, Winter, who deals death, soon dead shall be.
I was pleased with it all. There are some incredible poets in this state! I was happy to rub shoulders with them for a moment.