1st Honorable Mention: “Rowing Machine” by Judith Barrington, Portland, OR
2nd Honorable Mention: “Renault Shocked” by Charlie Southerland, Viola, AR
3rd Honorable Mention: “Tips” by John McPherson, Portland, OR
What a pleasure to dive into a great wodge of poems all 20 lines or less, by OPA members, and let them lead me down many different paths! As I was reading, I thought about the practice of dowsing—for water, or metals—and how the dowser moves slowly forward, waiting for something underground to tug on the stick. Reading poems is like that, a quest for words that pull directly on the heart and makes it “dip”, thus stimulating both trust and vulnerability. Once that happens, I am eager to look more closely at whatever method and magic the poem might be willing to reveal.
I especially appreciated the humor and the formal technical skill exhibited in the poems honorably mentioned.