Tag Archives: poems celebrating spring

A Prayer to New Leaves by William Reger

New palms of life
Cup the swelling breeze,
Braided together with sunlight,
Clutching at vaulted
And time unspooling:
Teach me to hope
Against the broken branch,
The gnawing worm,
The bitter wind;
Show me the comfort
Of moments
Enfolded and
Help me converge
The dark root,
The crystal dew,
The burning light;
Unlimber in me
The loveliness
Of morning, the grace
Of night descending.


To read another Spring Runoff poem by William Reger, go here.

*competition entry*

First Robins by William Reger

Who strew the millet and sunflower seeds,
Attracting these red-vested jots
To the wintry paper of my yard?
Black and square in my overcoat,
I pass them by, an exact counterpoint
To their gratitude who left
The dark wind for this plenty.
Seek, seek, seek, they chirp,
And ye shall find the oil-fat seed,
The berry full and sweet.
Better to pass through sorrow
For a cracked kernel of corn
Than waste away in paradise.


Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area.  He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois and currently teaches history at Illinois State University.  He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children.  He began writing poetry in the 7th grade and never quite stopped.  He also plays the Native American Flute. He has recently had poems published in Fire in the Pasture and songs /cycles.

*competition entry*

Let WIZ’s 2012 Spring Poetry Runoff and celebration begin!


Got spring?  Got verse sprouting up with it?

I don’t know about anybody else, but I can’t let spring arrive without making lyrical mention.

The 2012 Vernal Equinox arrived Tuesday, March 20.  I know, I know–WIZ is running a bit behind the sun this year, due to unforeseen circumstances.  I toyed with the idea of cancelling this core event, but every spring since WIZ was born we’ve run a Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration wherein has cropped up some pretty fine poesy.  I can’t really go without seeing what will happen this year. So get your computers running, douse your muse with ice water to bestir her, and take a walk on the vernal side.  Send work to WIZ’s Third Annual Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration!

Contest rules

•    Submit poems to wilderness@motleyvision.org between March 26 and April 16.
•    All poems submitted must be original, published or unpublished work.  If the work has been previously published, please provide publication information and be sure you can grant us rights to re-publish the work.
•    Please submit poems no longer than 50 lines.
•    All poems submitted must be spring-themed or at least mention spring.
•    Poets may submit up to 3 poems each.
•    Winners of the previous year’s Most Popular Vote Award and Admin Award are not eligible for competition this year but may participate in the non-competition category of the celebration.

The contest will run from March 20 through April 20 or longer, if enough poems come in to warrant extending the contest, which is exactly what has happened the last two years.  In fact, last year, the Runoff flowed halfway across spring.  All submissions will be published on the blog, where they’ll become automatically eligible for competition as well as open to readers’ informal feedback in post comments. Authors retain all rights to their work.

Authors: Please include a short bio, 50-100 words long, with your submissions.  To help speed up scheduling and posting duties, no photos, please.  WIZ will try to sprinkle suitable spring images among the poems to brighten up the joint.  In fact, if there are any visual image artists out there who would like to submit photographs or other spring-centric images, WIZ would like to hear from you.  Please consider submitting your work to WIZ.

Entries will be posted one per day until all entries have been posted.  Following the contest’s closing, readers will vote on WIZ to choose the winning poem in the Most Popular Poem category.  We will also offer an Admin Award to a second winner, to be determined by blog administrators.

Winners will be announced within a week (or maybe two) after the last poem has been posted and all votes have been cast for the Most Popular Poem.  Winners of both the Most Popular Poem Award and the Admin Award will receive his or her choice of Fire in the Pasture (Peculiar Pages Press, 2011) or Steve Peck’s novel–which is no doubt poetic in its blood, if not in its formal bones–The Scholar of Moab (Torrey House Press, 2011).

Permit me to comment on my choices: It’s my pleasure to be able to offer as prizes publications wherein WIZ contributors makes their presences known.  Several WIZ folk are included in Peculiar Page’s Fire in the Pasture, and it’s a big deal to me to be able to offer frequent WIZ contributor Steve Peck’s first novel as a prize prospect.  We look forward to being able to offer more WIZ contributor works during future competitions.

Non-competition category: If you would like to participate in the Spring Poetry Runoff but don’t wish to compete, let us know and I’ll mark the poem, “Not for competition.”

So if you have written a poem which mentions spring or one in which spring figures prominently and that fits WIZ’s themes and content, e-mail it to us at wilderness at motleyvision dot org or pk.wizadmin at gmail dot com.  Please review our submissions guide before submitting.  Also, please participate in our open invitation haiku chain and the Retro Review DVD giveaway of a really charming classic old film, Come Next Spring.

Winners of WIZ’s 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Announced

Snow_river by Ranveig Thattai

It’s been a privilege and delight for Wilderness Interface Zone to host a spectacular flourish of spring poetry during this year’s Spring Poetry Runoff.  In the kick-off post, I called for a show of green language, of creative élan and prospect-opening words.  I asked for poetry that contained the recombinant stuff of fertile, world-making expression that gets into others’ consciousness and gives rise to new thoughts or that perhaps resurrects a memory.  This year’s Spring Poetry Runoff Contest entries did all that and more.  Among the poets’ overall accomplishments is the intertwining of song and dance that erupted on WIZ in response to the call for spring verse—a sight that not only was worth seeing but also that was my deep pleasure to join.  It was a good crowd to work with and reminds me of a recent experience watching violet-green swallows mixing it up over beaver ponds. Not only do the birds snatch up insects, each bird for itself, but obviously, they’re flying together and enjoying it, tumbling above and below each other, every bird forming its flight off its comrades’, wheeling, barrel rolling, one bird drawing up short of collision to let another flyer pass under then swooping out of its hover into a long, twinkling glide that weaves right back into a living fabric of free-flight. Continue reading Winners of WIZ’s 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Announced

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″]

Toasting my funerals away, Spring 2006 by Gabriel Aresti Jr.

We are celebrating that spring came over and we did not even make a move
Move, he says to me, we need to keep moving
We’re moving, the ground is moving behind our feet
You know what I’m gonna do when I am older?
Nuclear weapons
I’m gonna do nuclear weapons
I’m gonna do nuclear weapons with geraniums
See those geraniums how they’re starting to blossom
This garden of concrete
I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna make nuclear weapons to celebrate
That spring is here.
Keep on moving.
We walk
We totter
We laugh
We stop in front of a fruit store.
We’ll serve dessert in the living room, ladies and gentleman
You feel like trying it?
My living room is a desert
Blossoming desert of greening meadows apple trees
Oaks poplars birchs beeches holms pines are all invited to dine
You see them there up in the mountains
You see them?
Up there
Can you see them?
They glow like uranium
Geraniums and nuclear weapons.
Melon for dessert. This desert of concrete and pavement.
Daisies, dandelions, darnel, daddy was always telling us
The names
Always the names of things
You remember when we were kids?
You remember that?
Back then
When spring was dry and flat.
Keep moving, he says, and I lower my head to follow
The tracks in the sand of asphalt.
We better keep moving, we’re late.
We’re celebrating.
I know.
Spring came back.
And everything’s gonna be okey.
We’re gonna make nuclear weapons.
You bet.
With geraniums.
See them, blossoming.
They blossom.
They do.
I miss him.
Me too.


Gabriel Aresti Jr. is the pen name of Ángel Chaparro Sainz.  Ángel was born in Barakaldo, Basque Country, northeastern Spain around 1976. Currently, he is a professor of English at the University of the Basque Country where he has been teaching literature, poetry and history as well. Some of his short stories have been published in Deia newspaper and some other anthologies after being winners of contest such as Villa de Gordexola, Ciudad de Eibar or Ortzadar–all of them in the Basque Country.

Gabriel’s poem “Nospringland” won WIZ’s 2010 Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award.  To see more of Gabriel’s poetry published previously on WIZ, go here, here, here, here, and here.

*non-contest submission*

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*

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*