Posted November 6, 2017.

2017 Fall Contest Winner: 2nd Place, Members Only

I Sit Astride the Globe

 

A journey in the terrain of

a dragon—

highway tunnels,

one conceives another,

the contour of my birth place.

 

I gauge my homesickness

while twirling the crimson peppercorns

with the tip of my tongue.

They numb me.

 

Outside the abandoned woods,

sculptured in the silence of the granite,

his elongated ear lobes yell for attention.

His truth, heaven to earth.

He is Tao.

 

Grandmother holds me close to her bosom.

She chews food small and fine.

She feeds me,

mouthful by mouthful.

 

China—the Middle Kingdom

the most humble; the most arrogant.

 

Judge’s comments

Limited to twenty lines, the poems in this category delivered memorable imagery and resonant meaning with great economy of language. The very best of them also gave the reader the gift of surprise—a quality shared by the diverse assortment of poems honored here.

The second-place poem, “I Sit Astride the Globe,” captures the complicated flavor of the author’s relationship with her Chinese homeland in a succession of vivid images, leading to a fittingly paradoxical conclusion.

 

Stella Jeng Guillory lives in Vancouver, WA. Her poetry has appeared in Bamboo Ridge: The Hawaii Writers’ Quarterly; La’ila’i; Sister Stew: Fiction and Poetry by Women; VoiceCatcher, the Winter Issue, 2013 and Summer Issue, 2015; Just Now, 20 New Portland Poets; and America—The National Catholic Review (2014 & 2015). Her poem “Chief Joseph’s Flute” was awarded a second place by the Hawaii Review for the Ian MacMillan Writing Award for Poetry, 2016.

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