Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Apr 23, 2013

Max Ehrmann 2013

 I am brogging today (brag blogging) or maybe blagging (blog bragging.)  Either way, it is my own horn being tooted here.

I am so happy to announce that I won the Grand Prize this year in the 2013 Max Ehrmann Poetry Competition.
And yes, that's again.  I won the Grand Prize and a second prize in the 2011 contest and a third prize in the 2012.

That's seven judges all together over the years that have chosen my work.  I keep reminding myself of that,  hoping to dispel the shadow of fraudulence I have when I identify as 'a poet' without any significant list of publications to back me up.

The theme this year was chosen to connect with the current Year of the River celebration we are having here in Terre Haute. Poetry was invited on the subject of the Wabash River or its watershed, rivers or water in general.  I chose to submit a poem that was simply written to capture a memory of a rainy day in my past.  The judge for this year was Chris Forhan, and we were treated to a reading by him after the awards were announced.

My poem follows. What is very gratifying to me is that I almost formatted it more traditionally, capitalized, etc. But it looked and felt horrible to me. This poem needed to be in just this form.  I do hope the formatting will be retained when I hit publish. Thank you for reading my brog.

         rain, leaves, longing

some time ago: a city
        by the sea
a low sky       
              gray forever as far
         and the water.

the water falling
            on the water
                 on the water falling
on the red tiles
                 on the rooftops
on the leaves
                     which trembled with it.

longing:  the waiting before birth,
before  water

how doors opened on the garden.
how a child napped in the next room.
how i loved the presence of small precious things.

how the word
            for the ritual of the tea ceremony      
simply means “hot water for tea.”
the tea the milk the sugar     the blessing
              of lentil soup    ginger     apples.

thunder so far away it’s only dream thunder.

but there        then:
the growing in me
               near the sky by the sea
before the opened doors
           the doors that opened on
          the garden
                     the showered earth singing
        the dripping things
the trembling leaves again and again
           the green green
of  water

---Zann Carter [2013]


At 4/24/13, 12:32 AM, Blogger Reticula said...

Congratulations! This is so deserved. It truly is. You are my favorite poet. Yes, even over Mary Oliver. No other poet so consistently reaches right into the core of me and touches my heart. You were already a winner in my eyes.


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