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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Oh child among the roses, oh press of doves,
oh presidio of fish and rosebushes
your soul is a bottle of dried salts
and a bell filled with grapes, your skin.
    Ode With a Lament     Pablo Neruda

Egg-yolk yellow police tape flaps
in the morning breeze, delineates the area,
is the bold evidence left to say:
"caution, beware, a bad thing happened here"
An impromptu memorial: teddy-bears,
gaudy balloons, hand-fashioned cards
expressing heartache and love
leans haphazardly against an opening
smashed through the patio tree grove,
oh child among the roses, oh press of doves.

The staff cannot resist talking although
the place is not opening today...
"Is it true, he didn't die right away?"
And the wind may be forgiven for sobbing
as it whispers to the lilacs not to listen to them.
Anyone passing by would hear only
minutiae-like sounds, the pulls and pushes
as bits of grief and sadness circle there,
and always on the breeze, soft shushes,
oh presidio of fish and rosebushes.

There's no denying the facts as wretched
as they be, especially as your tiny soul lingers on.
How to explain to such a one that a party
just for you should end so unimaginably.
No wonder the wind cannot speak above
a whisper, nor expose, with whom lies the fault.
Does it matter now who caused your death,
who it was couldn't bring the car to a halt,
pinning you to the wall, stealing breath and life;
your soul is a bottle of dried salts.

Would there be a way to fill your Mama's
empty arms, her emptier heart—we would.
But catastrophic events such as this leave little corporeal
with which to work and the reality for us, and for you
is that now you need unfold your ephemeral wings,
and soar above us all—go, you who are without sin.
Go where you will become whole again...
Remain not where your everyness lies broken,
where birds weep, eyes grow blind, bones thin,
and a bell filled with grapes, your skin.

From the original press release:
S.E. Ingraham and Lois Elaine Heckman Win the 11th Annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest Sponsored by Winning Writers (via PRWeb)
S.E. Ingraham of Edmonton, Canada and Lois Elaine Heckman of Milan, Italy received the top awards of $2,000 each in the 11th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. The top twelve poets shared $5,800 in prizes; their work is published at WinningWriters…

1 comment:

  1. This is the comment that I posted with some revisions over at a page that I administer. Congratulations to a dear, much more than 'virtual' friend.

    I can only say that I am absolutely delighted to shower sparkling celestial stardust on "our own" incredible poets who has finally received a dose of recognition that is comensurate with her wonderful talent . HURRAY TO YOU SHARON (S.e) INGRAHAM on winning the 11th Annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Annual Poetry Contest which includes $2,000 along with some other very delightful acknowlegments. I am thrilled for you, Sharon and call every marching band, flying dove, helium balloon, and meteor shower to spray the night with this glorious win.

    Congratulations dear friend.


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