THE IBPC BOARDS
Winning Poems for November 2007
Judge E. Ethelbert Miller
by Ellen Kombiyil
(after Jean Valentine)
How deep your sea movements inside
Fisting open and open, my child,
My twin heart, covered in lanugo,
Fish-tailed, transparent, my loveliest
Memory-stain; I waited for
Your somersaults in the shower,
Or was that my own tilting,
I touched my breasts -- how tender!
And imagined you curled in the dark,
My hardening, smooth belly, both of us
Ripening; dreams mere shapes,
And you the center Rorschach blot,
Dreams of my future, dreams of my past,
Or were they yours, all blotted,
And no one to tell me how to pass the time,
The Jewish ladies at the Y shouting, mach shnel,
Already! gone, gone, all excuses,
Your weight pressing on me, you
Filling out, carving the air,
Me, emptying, blood-marked,
Your tidal song seared down and scored,
How deep your fisting; your ink,
How dark! as we began.
by Guy Kettelhack
I didn't use to like the ones with birds in them --
she'd paint alluring skies and water -- minerally
brimming glints -- then seem to feel she had
to punctuate their ambiguity with some expected
order -- carefully assorted gulls: culled illustrations
out of greeting cards -- obligatory birdies dotting
gleaming shards of sky and sea to add cliché
to the topography: some expected notion of what
ought to be above, beyond, around an ocean:
turned the beach from vague-and-haunting-lone
to Jones. But I was an elitist prig. Now I look at
each meticulously painted sprig of wing and breast
and tail and beak: and almost hear my mother
speak: each fine careful flying thing belies her
death: bears witness to what's left -- lifts the gulls
and deftly keeps them up: her artist's breath.
The Gravity of it Beautiful
by Melanie G. Firth
Wild Poetry Forum
of your sleeve. Pause ripens
as in 'dead silence',
is a lie.
Under your collar
is a heart-to-heart, think
of the skin, the only talk whispered
just there. And then stifled,
choked, the lover's spit razed
to leave you unloved.
I can almost taste. that.
clambering. pause. as it hastens
to shout in palms
you now hide.
moist (the gravity of it...)
escapes this new design.
Flung loose like an epitaph
alight in trees, speaks '...