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,
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 showered earth singing
the dripping things
the trembling leaves again and again
the green green
---Zann Carter