Since You Ghosted*

November 12, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Darian Karuza

The sun is a mosquito zapper
sizzling on the veranda,
calving Earth’s shadow
over a lawn of dewy comets.
I am the chrysalis duskywing
ascending latticework to its warmth.

I passed your cross
on the shoulder of the parkway
the other day. It sent crushed ice
sliding down my spine. Who
was Caroline? I can barely remember.

Maybe, what we call a phantom
is just someone’s fiery iron
mass now cast
as a cool brown dwarf,
a shade of human heat,
calfprints in memory
foam,
                    gravity wells
of a supergone black hole,
an unthawable head cold.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Darian Karuza. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

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Sudden Thoughts*

November 5, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Aysha Burney, 11th Grade

She was like a Sour Patch Kid
Sour without sleep, then sweet
So innocent, and loving
Shaped like a plumb who
Sat in the chair from
Sunday to Monday
Sadness appeared when
She left my life
Soaring in the sad grey sky
Say goodbye to the love of my life
                         Rest in peace, Grandma

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Aysha Burney. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Dear Rain*

October 22, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Sterling C.H. Bemment, 3rd Grade

Dear Rain,
You probably
don’t
remember me
The vast
Ocean
of sand
that is scorching hot
I would trade
all the animals
and all the plants
just for you
to visit me
And quench my thirst
And stop me longing for you
From, the Desert

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sterling C.H. Bemment. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Let them be Cars*

October 15, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Mason Mills, 9th Grade

Let them be cars,
Always fueled, fixed, loved,
But harnessed to the road.

I’d rather be submarine,
Cruising underwater like a shark,
Exploring the deepest depths of the ocean.

To have shattered theories,
To dive and search,
To be carried among the waves,
Currents moving me all around the world.

I’d rather be unseen,
Unknown by all,
Than to be a shiny new car,
Made in a factory,
Praised by all,
And driven by greedy hands.

If I could be alone, strong and free,
I’d rather be a submarine.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Mason Mills. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.


2017 Merit Award
By Sheila Nickerson

Yes, they come masked,
she admitted, but she was lonely.
She didn’t smoke or drink.
Why not spend money on raccoons —
that one big bag a week?
All her dogs had died, and her cats.
She could name them, one by one.
She was born in Nazi Germany,
remembered the Gestapo
breaking down her family’s door,
tearing up her childhood things —
there was a music box —
while searching for evidence
that never was.
Her family is gone, now.
There was no one left to call or visit.
When no one came to her door
at Halloween, she fed the candy
to the raccoons. They make her happy,
she said, and every night they’re back.

. . . . .
Sheila Nickerson is an American poet and writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Alaska and was twice awarded the Pushcart Prize. Much of her writing focuses on Alaska, nature, and arctic exploration.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sheila Nickerson. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Princess and Maiden*

October 1, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Ruby Thomas, 4th Grade

Even princess and maiden come together like the wind,
When old Mrs. Locket calls,
“Good morning! Good morning to all.
Well wishes to all of yo!”
Then dog and cat
Hawk and mouse,
Good and bad,
Come together like all is well, like all is well,
While princess and maiden stand hand in hand,
Looking out the window.

. . . . .
Ruby Thomas is in 5th grade at Happy Valley Elementary. She loves animals and has three cats and one dog. This is her first published poem, and she thought it up while looking out the window.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Ruby Thomas. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.


2017 Merit Award
By Roger William Gilman

Some of my brothers are broad-backed low-set men
unlike the other who stands like me tall and scrawny
vulnerable to the wickedness of weather.

We’re ducks and herons standing by the great lake
fists jammed to pockets shoulders hunched, soldiers
against fierce wind, five hundred miles away from home

longing, preparing for hard flying, drunk with desire,
between moonlit clouds and the shine off the Snake — as
it turns west through the Tetons toward the prairies

of Idaho, rivers-on through rolling sage of the Palouse
into Columbia Basin where it stretches tongue out mouth
past a broken line of island teeth to taste the Pacific —

the shine showing us the way home.

It’s the shoulders we have in common . . . as we stand
along the lake in the snapping wind . . . crafting silences
more articulate than ever . . . getting ready to leave

for home . . . the distance in our heads.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Roger William Gilman. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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