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]

Apr 2, 2013

National Poetry Month Is On

 Poets, rev your metaphors, get your enjambment on!

National Poetry Month began yesterday.
I'm doing NaPoWriMo again this year, but I won't be posting the poems.

That pesky "previously published."  This year I will also be making a concerted effort at publication, and many journals define "previously published" as published anywhere, including blogs.

I can write about writing my poems though....

 Wrote a poem yesterday. About place.
 Hope to write another one today. And tomorrow....and the next day....the next....for thirty days.
 I've done this twice and to complete it does many things for me. It gives me a few solid poems and a lot of first drafts to work with. And there is something about finishing this project that sets an energy for me to finish others. A completed NaPoWriMo is more than the sum of its thirty poems.

Currently I'm reading "The Triggering Town /Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing" by Richard Hugo.

Here's a bit I like from the first essay, Writing off the Subject:

"...Don't be afraid to jump ahead. There are a few people who become more interesting the longer they stay on a single subject. But most people are like me, I find. The longer they talk about one subject, the duller they get. Make the subject of the next sentence different from the subject of the sentence you just put down. Depend on rhythm, tonality, and the music of language to hold things together.  It is impossible to write meaningless sequences. In a sense the next thing always belongs. In the world of imagination, all things belong. If you take that on faith, you may be foolish, but foolish like a trout...."

For your poetry needs this month and all the months after: