HONORABLE MENTIONS: (scroll down for each of the five extraordinary
honorable mention poems and the inspiring paintings)
TIME OF THE SEASON
by Laura Ohlmann
Inspired by “Last Light-Hillsboro Bridge”
Baby eyes bloom like white anemones during spring.
The protesters outside Planned Parenthood elevate their pickets. Yellow pollen
. sticks like sugar to the hood of my car. It’s spring
as I dream of you when I fall asleep. The knotted pretzels the nurses
gave me still twist on my tongue, the salt smarts my lips. Dream of spring;
Your eyes are two bodiless orbs, the ballpoint black iris’ share
love, point towards me like thumbtacks. Don’t think of spring
as I lay awake. I can’t see your lashed silhouette or the fray
of your curls fanned out like a parasol in the last light of spring.
I hold my pillow clutched to the bare flesh of my neck. The cold
beam of lights still press on my chest like small fists, in spring.
Laura Ohlmann was raised in Cooper City, Florida. She is currently seeking a degree in English at FAMU. She likes to daydream and has a greyhound named Lady Bug.
“Mangrove Element” by Padma Prasad
Boating in the shadows of the mangroves,
Painting myself a mangrove forest,
In briny wetness, floating, flooding my boat with light,
My brain rooting in wind, in salt water, in turpentine.
It’s remarkably, the best place to learn, salt and tide
Can affect the blood, the heart, and worry the mind;
High tide or low tide, we must keep our roots;
Sea salt or rock salt, we must keep it from our blood –
Such lessons are sedimented elements in the swamp.
So I paddle through the brack, the chatty back waters,
Listening to the saline whispers of wind management,
And the banter of coastal survival, thinking I too have
A word to contribute, just one word to say,
I too have a mangrove element in my veins.
“Florida’s Old Tree” by Mike Schneider
We’re not that different, Old
Tree, old buddy. As light fades
we thicken at the waist, grow
scaly, hardened layers
of bark. The sky goes through us
both, exposed to whatever thunder
& lightning blows in. We push
into the Earth, our mother, mud
& water, draw her into us. From
a distance we look better than
up close. Whiskers. For you
too every morning new growth
glitters, something in it flecked
with gold, illusion or not. We’ve
leaned a long time against the wind
to get what we want, even if we don’t
know what it is. An egret’s whiteness
outside the window, many regrets
resolved into none. I sit here with you,
old buddy, until it’s too dark for this.
I put the cap back on my pen, the end
of something. It makes a small click.
“Inspired by the painting: Florida’s Old Tree”
by Larry Spinner
(Florida’s Old Tree by Jensheng Song)
Amid the tragic, aching Shakespearean mood
The leaves flutter in the howling wind
and speak of Birnam Wood.
Behind the mist
witches counsel an ambitious Macbeth.
“Double double toil and trouble
fire burn, and caldron bubble.”
The dark, sinister light
evoke tragedies here
like the betrayed King Lear.
And the brooding vengeful Hamlet,
the absolute Roman Julius Caesar,
the jealous Othello, the heartless Titus Andronicus.
the deadly passionate Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra.
All fatally flawed,
in this tragedic light.
Nature provides a front row seat.
No tickets needed.
Larry Spinner is one of the top 5 2015 winners: Miami Herald Zip Code Poetry Contest. Memoirs selected by Lipservice for Miracle Theater readings 2014, 2015. Madison Avenue “Mad Man” creative director/writer -TV campaigns.
“Mulenbergia Movement” by William Drew Weinbrenner
by my reel; like God,
the world revolves
around my rod.
by indigo; blades blush.
unwinds its brush.
by bugs; rasps my ear.
by that reflected
in a brackish balm,
a sharp azure edge
bleeds vermillion, cypress, cabbage palm.
My still soul, kidnapped
by periwinkle shadows,
dies on my retina
as my iris