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Winning Poems for November 2007
Judge E. Ethelbert Miller

First Born
by Ellen Kombiyil Blueline (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. Bird Painter by Guy Kettelhack About Poetry 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 Silence the length of your sleeve. Pause ripens everywhere. Silence, as in 'dead silence', is a lie. Under your collar is a heart-to-heart, think conversations 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 '...

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