Read the Winning Poems from OPA’s Spanish Language Category

October 24, 2022



1st Place — La luna del mediodía, Anna Jasinska

2nd Place — Duraznos de Sangre India, Jabez W. Churchill

No Honorable Mentions selected.

Judge’s Comments: none.


La luna del mediodía – 1st Place, Anna Jasinska

Al mediodía

camino insomne

bajo la luna brillante—

rostro medio oculto, medio iluminado,

colgado encima de las palmeras

de Ocean Avenue.

Ambos deambulamos

pálido y fuera de lugar,

trastornados por el disco solar desnudo.

En su cenit, arroja

una niebla lúcida

y los contornos nítidos se derriten.

Suenan cascabeles

bajo la sombrilla roja y blanca

de un carrito de helados.

Al sonido de las campanas

la gente, hasta ahora ajena e inconsciente,

escucha y se levanta.

Como vestido con zapatos rojos,

ellos caen

en un desfile de baile delirante.

Empiezan a marchar

al ritmo solar y bailan un vals

de distancia.

Una mascarada loca corre

por las calles,

al parque, a la playa

cuanto más rápido, más alegre,

y más profundo en un trance

de carnaval.

Mientras, miro,

distante y curiosa,

bajo la luna del mediodía,

suspendida en algún lugar

entre el azul

y el cobalto.

Midday Moon (English translation)

I walk sleepless

at midday

under the lustrous moon,

             face half hidden, half lit,           

             hung overhead

             of Ocean Avenue palms.

We both wander

pale and out of place, upset

by the naked solar disc.

               At its zenith,

               it casts a bright noontime mist

               and crisp contours melt.

Jingle bells ring

under the red-and-white umbrella

of an ice-cream cart.

               At the sound of the chimes,

               a crowd, so far oblivious, listens

               and rises.

Like dressed in red shoes,

they fall

into a delirious dance parade.

               They start to march

               to the solar tune and swing

               in a distancing waltz.

An insane masquerade streams

through the streets,

to the park, to the beach—

               the faster the cheerer

               deeper and deeper

               in a carnival trance.

While I watch,

distant and curious,

under the midday moon,


               somewhere between azure

               and cobalt.

Anna Jasinska is a Polish-American poet and molecular geneticist specializing in the molecular basis of brain functions, behavior, and viral diseases. Her poems appeared or are forthcoming in the California Quarterly, Cardinal Points, Oddball, Passengers Journal, and Cordite Poetry Review.


Duraznos de Sangre India – 2nd Place, Jabez W. Churchill

Sé un poco de muchas cosas:

cuando podar y cuando sembrar,

cuanto tenta,

tarda en dar fruto

el durazno de sangre india.

Sólo sé lo que no debo hacer,

que flechas:

palabras dichas y no lanzadas,

actos cometidos y ometidos,

no importa sin voluntad,

a uno le dejan marca,

cicatriz encima del alma,

pozo negro en la de uno mismo.

El misterio mas insondable

todavía se me despliegue.

¿Cómo brota la afección?

y a pesar de escarchada, sequía y de plaga

¿Cómo florezca?

al fruto más raro,

más carnoso de todos

el amor.

Cherokee Peaches (English translation)

I know a little about a lot of things:

when to prune and when to sow,

how delicious-long it takes

for blood peaches to bear fruit.

I only know what not to do,

what arrows:

words said and left unspoken,

acts committed and of omission,

no matter unintended,

leave a mark,

a scar upon another’s soul,

a sink hole in one’s own.

The greatest mystery still unfolds,

how affection buds,

despite frost and drought and infestation,

how it blooms,

into the rarest,

most succulent of fruit,


Jabez W. Churchill is the first bilingual poet laureate of Ukiah, CA, a poet teacher in California Poets in the Public Schools since 1998, and a member of the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Circle of Berkeley, CA for over 40 years.


JUDGE Amelia Diaz Ettinger is a self-described ‘Mexi-Rican,’ born in Mexico but raised in Puerto Rico. As a BIPOC poet and writer, she has two full-length poetry books published: Learning to Love a Western Sky by Airlie Press, and a bilingual poetry book, Speaking at a Time / Hablando a la Vez by Red Bat Press, and a poetry chapbook, Fossils in a Red Flag by Finishing Line Press.Her poetry and short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies and have received honors and awards. A new full collection of poetry will be released by Red Bat Press in the fall.

She has an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Oregon University. Presently,

she and her partner reside in Summerville, Oregon with two dogs, two cats, and too many chickens.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top