Tag Archives: 2011 contest eligible

Vote for your favorite 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff poems

Thanks to a gorgeous stream of entries, WIZ’s 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff Celebration ran even deeper into the season than did last year’s.  And indeed, this year’s Runoff has been an inspiring show of green and fertile language, above and beyond what I had hoped. In fact, I’ve been wowed, not just by the craftsmanship of the poems that came in but also by the wide range of styles.  Many thanks to those who joined the dance in whatever way they did!

Now, Dear WIZ Readers and Poets Participating in the Contest, it’s time to have a little more fun and play at being poetry judges for the next six days–part of the informal nature of this contest.  But rather than limit each judge (that’s you) to just one vote, we’re asking each voter to choose her or his 3 favorite poems of the 25 contest-eligible entries.   The poll opens today and runs until 10:00 p.m. (Utah time) Saturday, May 14.

While readers and participants choose the winner(s) of the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Popular Vote Award, WIZ admin will be choosing the winner of the Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award.   Winners of both awards will be announced in a post on or shortly after Monday, May 16 and will receive their choices of Mark Bennion’s Psalm and Selah: A Poetic Journey Through The Book Of Mormon (Bentley Enterprises 2009), A Metaphorical God: Poems (Persea 2008) by Kimberly Johnson, or The Clearing (Texas Tech University Press 2007) by Philip White.

Rules for voting:

1.  Each voter should select his or her 3 favorite poems of the 25 eligible.
2.  Each voter can vote only one time–no multiple-vote-ballot-box-stuffing shenanigans, please.
3.  Voters are encouraged to read every poem before voting.  Click here to read all of the eligible poems. Please note: Because there are 25 poems total, you’ll need to click on “Previous Entries” twice in order to read them all. The full text of longer poems won’t display on the list pages, so right clicking and opening each poem in a new tab or window is a good approach.
4.  Participating poets and WIZ readers may encourage friends and family members to read and vote.
5.  All participating poets are encouraged to vote whether their poems were published in the contest category or in the non-contest category.

Instructions for voting:

Click on the small square box next to the name of the poem that you wish to choose.  A green or black check mark will appear in that box.  If you accidentally check mark the wrong box or change your mind, simply click on the box again and the check mark will disappear.  After you have check-marked your 3 favorite poems (you will see 3 check marks on the page), click on the “Vote” box at the bottom of the page.   Clicking on that box will end your voting session, so be sure you’ve finished voting before you click “Vote.”  To see the tally of votes so far, click “View Results.”

[poll id=”5″]

Sprung Rhythm (A Pagan Hymn) by Jonathon Penny

I could never make something so perfect, so precise
As midway between summer’s cauldron fire and winter’s ice
A revving of the engines, an adjustment of the eyes
From bleak to bright and coloured light. In short, it’s rather nice.

This season is a halfway house, an opening of blinds,
A rooster season, and a rood awakening of mind
To worlds in worlds in worlds of many valuable kinds:
Heuristical; chockfull of long lost treasures, novel finds.

Spring is a billion billion small explosions of new life:
If winter’s an old maid, then Spring’s a baby-bellied wife;
A wild and rabbit romp; a Bacchic toast to fecund strife;
A bee-loud, humdrummed glade and swelling hill with blossoms rife;

A gentle, warm upturning of the cockles and the soil
That heralds love, and plain, soul-saving toil.


To read Jonathon’s bio and more of his poetry published on WIZ, go here, here, here, here, here, and here.

*contest entry*

March Morning, New York City by David Passey

At last the world leans the cobbled street
between Church and City Hall
in line with the sun.

The host of sparrows in the barren aralia vines
catches fire again, flickering and dancing so quick,
like a scaffolding of glad candles.

The forsythia hedge at the Mansion gate–
yesterday a row of tattered sticks,
today a bustling brass parade.

And we, the grey coated regular strangers
befriended by this old street,
drink the new light with our eyes and faces,

partaking maybe in the very beginning of time
when the sun first made the world
a thing that could be filled with joy.


David Passey works as a lawyer in New York City.  He won the BYU Studies 2009 Annual Poetry Contest.

*contest entry*

Bobcat by Steven L. Peck

When the bobcat
flashed angrily through
the headlights
of Alan’s famous
we sliced the
silence to a primitive
stop and wild
grabbed the
.22s resting cold and
anxious on
the back seat

hunting hawks
from the car
wings folded

The canyon echoed the crack
crack, crack as we fired
at shadows

We didn’t know then,
the cat
have cured us
and the quiet Spring night
our burning


To read more of Steve’s poetry and see his bio, click here, here, here, here, and here.

*contest entry*

Frosty Kisses by Nathan Meidell

Warming rays over frost kissed flowers
Bids cold love depart into a smiling sun,
Enticed thereby to air and cloudy bowers
Where icy winds and snow have lately run.

An earth in step with brimming clouds above
Renews a onetime halted suitor’s dance,
Accepting rain’s entreating poet’s love,
Penned once again in arcing rainbow’s glance.

Cold voices from this blanket world rise up
To sing away with birds where snows still cling,
And stirred to drink new season’s refilled cup,
our slumbering earth steps thawing into spring.


Nathan Meidell is a blissfully wedded, stay-at-home father and student who enjoys escaping into the literature of his childhood, as well as trying to create some of his own.  You can read sporadically updated thoughts on art and writing from his blog, Palabras Ardientes.  You can read more of his poetry published at WIZ here.

*contest entry*

Wet Spring in Phoenix by Judith Curtis

Palm hands
applaud the wind
that brings
lost cloud ships
to toss extra weight overboard

Rocky hills
blush green from
unexpected rain

Shy poppies
in spite of themselves.


To read Judith’s bio and more of her poetry on WIZ go here, here, and here.

*contest entry*

Her Father’s Critique by Steven L. Peck

She painted herself
into the landscape. On
a canvas she had
magicked from deep-self,
April sunlight streamed
from the clouds
in spectacular, uncanny, rays—
immaterial matter,
soul stuff made flesh.

She brought it to her
father who pointed out
how she should have
painted the sunbeams with
more yellow—
pointing to a maudlin
mountain scene,
hung ceremoniously on
a well-manicured wall—
an oil anyone could have techniqued
with hackneyed accuracy. That’s
how it should be done he said, then
turned away.

He missed the remarkable
enchantment of his
little girl capturing light mixed with
quintessence and vital
spilling onto canvass.

Unable to penetrate
his cataracts,
she spread Platinum White
over the surface
and put down her brushes.


To read Steven’s bio and more of his poems published on WIZ go here, here, here, here, and here.

*contest entry*

String Theory by Steven L. Peck

On the warm late Spring shore, late
in a lunar glow,
he stood looking at the waves
trooping slowly, relentlessly into the cove

He stood wondering about the strings
of which some say he was made

Of what tidal forces were they drawn?
What sort of other moon forced him
into existence by its orbit around . . . what?

He placed his foot in the sand
it felt cool, rough, and yielding

What are these qualia, ‘cool’, ‘rough’,
‘yeilding’, and why such pleasantness
bubbling up in the vibrations he has become?
How do vibrations, causing vibrations, ponder
those vibrations?

Becoming? Vibrations becoming?
Vibrations becoming him?

Before the deep waves had twisted into
just the right harmonies to
create this self, this himself,
what was there? Nothing? Abyss?
but then . . .
How? Why? How why now?

So there is the moon—a bolus of strings
bouncing light waves from an even larger
solar knot of strings, exciting waves
in neural bundles packed within her eye,
passing through intricate
webs of waves upon waves in intricate and
complex tangles and astonishing frequencies,
which finally erupted into

a pleasant night, on a beach, watching the
ocean move.


Steve Peck is an ecologist at Brigham Young University. Creative works include a novel: The Gift of the King’s Jeweler (2003 Covenant Communications); a self-published novella A Short Stay in Hell (reviewed here and here), a short science fiction story: The Flaw in the Lord Harrington Scenario, published in HMS Beagle (online journal by Elsevier); poetry in Dialogue, Bellowing Ark, BYU Studies, Irreantum, Red Rock Review, Glyphs III, Tales of the Talisman (in press), and a chapbook of poetry published by the American Tolkien Society called Flyfishing in Middle Earth.  Steve blogs at bycommonconsent.com and has a faith/science blog called The Mormon Organon.  For other poems by Steve, go here and here.

*contest entry*

Robin by Barry Carter

A robin arrived early spring with
snow on his breast and the
moon in his eyes heavier
than the moon in the sky.
He took his rest on my
gaunt apple tree and
the robin’s winter melody
began to haunt me, he
sang every day for twelve
days and on each day
an apple grew. I watched
him from the window.
The moon in my eyes
escaped with tears.
I ate the fruit and on
each day for twelve
days I had a dream
that bore moons.
After waking on the
twelfth day I copied
and pasted each dream
scene by scene onto
the sky under a full
moon. The robin sang
and I waited for the moons
to fall.


To read Barry’s bio and another of his poems on WIZ, go here.

*contest entry*

Mesa Verde Subdivision by Harlow S. Clark

(after reading “Deer in the City” by Patricia Karamesines)

Deer rise up from the page
Like the walls of stone houses from the Mesa
As we top a rise on our drive across the Mesa
A few years after fire drove across
Uncovering new pots, new sites

The stone houses uncovered old memory
Older than the 40-odd years I have longed for this place
I had seen them in my childhood visits
But they weren’t what I longed for

Cliff Palace, filling its underhang, overshadowed the wonder
Of this suburban neighborhood
Houses in rows
Kiva for worship and gathering

We drove past—but Cliff Palace had closed for the day
And there was an extra tour cost
Spruce Tree House was open and free

Donna stayed in the museum to rest her feet
(How many check dams would have wished to retain what they did?)

Matthew and I took path and stairs into the canyon
And I rested where the path curves around the canyon wall
An underhang too small for stone rooms
Or too wet.

I have always heard they left when the water left
“Only in the Cliff Palace twenty years” the sign says
They had granaries
But the check dams couldn’t hold water for the seven lean kine
Did they keep kine?

This alcove is wet, water dripping, running
Did it dry up?
Looking out at Spruce Tree House I hope they felt this place’s peace
What stories did they tell by the fire, in the fields, on the hunt?
They left stories on canyon walls, but the hike is too far this late

Thinking of pots found after the fire I ask a ranger
“Have you ever found a kiln?”
“We uncovered one when we were remodeling the museum,” she says.

Back atop the Mesa I wander the single story houses
Awed at the memory of cities and suburbs
How odd to find that word in children of Israel’s parceling of Canaan
But which is the suburb, this stone village?
The cliff houses—surely too grand for tenements?
Those children playing in the dusk,
What do their mothers say when they ask
To go visit friends in the cliffs, to sleep over?

The words, “Deer in the city after dusk— ”
Take me back there, or maybe it is the em-dash
That prompts, “Of course they had deer on the Mesa.
And they came into town at night and in winter.”

And I wonder what they saw, the deer, the people
Did they share their crops?
Use wolf urine for scaredeer?

“He says they’re oversized rodents eating the orchard,”
My friend Bela says of his friend who lives at the Manila bend as you go out to Cedar Hills
“And they do eat daffodils.”


To read Harlow’s bio and more of his poetry on WIZ, go here and here.

*contest entry*