Monday, September 18, 2017

Publication Award: Learning to Cope Poetry Prize

A publication award-winner  from one of our recent contests, the Learning to Cope Poetry Prize!

How Our New Immigration Policies are Like the Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

... as the algae provide the coral with 90% of its energy, after expelling the algae the coral begins to starve. –Wikipedia on coral bleaching

Starvation starts the day you spit them out,
those guests you harbored, off whose strength you fed
until the times turned hard. You had some doubts
but didn’t dare show weakness. So you led

with confidence. “We don’t need them,” you said.
You drove them off; you celebrate the rout
insisting it will make us strong. Instead,
starvation starts the day you spit them out.

Just listen to the garbage that you spout
to feed the hate, whip up the fear and dread.
It’s criminal, the lies you tell about
those guests you harbored, off whose strength you fed.

We all were glad enough to eat the bread
they baked and use their labor in our drought-
struck fields. Oh yes, it’s all good fellowship ahead
until the times turned hard. You had some doubts,

I think. I could be wrong. You always shout
the loudest when you’re anxious. That inbred
team of flunkies trembled at your pout
but didn’t dare show weakness. So you led—

at least, you call it leading. Better dead
than stranded in some borderland redoubt
the wrong side of the national watershed.
And when you close that border to the south—
starvation starts.

 Tiel Aisha Ansari

Friday, September 8, 2017

Finalist: Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest: Elizabeth Ehrlich

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Brighton Palace Ballade

A wounded conscript far from home
dangled, drugged in bloody grief,
woke to missing limb and bone
and gazed around in disbelief—
the jeweled hall and glittering gold-leaf,
a hospital commissioned from a vain
king’s palace for the War Relief.
No other vacant space remained.

Ten decades on, we tourists roam
the seaside town for pleasures brief
and smart, like the Palace, known
for its excess and art. Now our chief
goal is a good spot in which to leave
our car and start our tour before it rains.
We circle, stalk the street like thieves
but not a vacant space remains.

To us it's just a lovely hunk of stone, 
but once, a soldier lay beneath
the ornate frescoes, gilded domes,
with bitterness between his teeth
for this hard mess, though with relief
to be alive. So many tossed in pain
in their brave beds— call it reprieve—
that not a vacant space remained.

The earth is full of dead men. See
his words within a picture frame:
War is like leaves falling off a tree
and not a vacant space remains.

Elizabeth Ehrlich

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Finalist: Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest: Susan McLean

Ballade of Useful Advice

Some lessons in life are clear from the start:
if you pray for a snow day, it never snows;
toys and families fall apart;
umbrellas don’t help when a stiff wind blows;
a wart starts small, yet it always grows.
As Mom advised me when I was a tyke,
every “free gift” has its quid pro quos,
and you never forget how to fall off a bike.

It isn’t shrewd to reveal you’re smart,
for an envious friend makes the worst of foes.
What doesn’t make sense, if you call it art,
will impress your teachers and win at shows.
From puberty on, you’ll observe that those
who desire you are seldom the ones you like.
You’ll give one yes to a dozen noes,
but you never forget how to fall off a bike.

It’s not the rejection that breaks your heart,
but the way that happiness comes, then goes.
The path to contentment is not on a chart.
The banker reaps what the saver sows.
When visiting Paris, you never suppose
that the government workers will go on strike
and every sight in the town will close.
But you never forget how to fall off a bike.

The truest wisdom, as anyone knows,
you learn before studying Intro to Psych:
you’ll have time to relax when you decompose,
and you never forget how to fall off a bike.

Susan McLean


Susan McLean is an English professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared often in Light, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, and elsewhere.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Winner of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest: Jennifer Perrine

Happy to share the winner of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest "Greed|Charity" by Jennifer Perrine!

Greed | Charity

In purgatory, penitents are bound,
immobile, laid with faces pressed
down, gazes fixed upon the ground
as they contemplate every excess.
We thrill to imagine their holy distress,
take pleasure in the sufferings
Dante conjured, horrors meant to impress
us, sate our love for earthly things.

We enter the fire a crude compound,
sizzle until we incandesce,
until we’re nothing but a mound
of gold, stripped of the dross of worldliness.
Origen’s metaphor doesn’t hold unless
we ignore our end: coin clutched in the purse strings
of God. Still, we ask the divine to assess
us, sate our love for earthly things.

Whatever peace we may have found
through our acquiring, our largesse—
how our generosity astounds—
harbors the low rumble of pain we repress,
afterimage of the dispossessed
we try to shake, but our senses cling
to the hoardings, petty thefts that possess
us, sate our love for earthly things.

We don’t trick, manipulate—simply say yes
when offered our due share as conquerors, kings,
and with grace, tip our crowns as we beg, bless
us, sate our love for earthly things.

Jennifer Perrine is the author of three books of poetry: No Confession, No Mass (2015), In the Human Zoo (2011), and The Body Is No Machine (2007). Find out more about her at .
 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Guidelines: A Trio of Triolets Contest


A TRIO OF TRIOLETS CONTEST
Sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup
http://therondeauroundup.blogspot.com/

This contest is a contest for the triolet form of poetry.

A triolet is a poetic form with a set rhyme scheme and two refrains, indicated here by A and B:

A          I marched to set my spirit free--
B          took to the streets with old and young.
a          I marched to gain my liberty.
A          I marched to set my spirit free,
a          to shake the wrath of history,
b          to sing what needed to be sung.
A          I marched to set my sprit free,
B          took to the streets with old and young.     
                        Allison Joseph

More information about triolets can be found at this link:

This contest, sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup blog, will honor the best
group of 3 triolets  submitted between September 15 and November 1, 2017.

Entry to the contest is free. 
Each entry should be three triolets.
One entry of three triolets per entrant.
To participate, send one entry only to
rondeauroundupATgmailDOTcom
from September 15 through November 1, 2017

The best group of 3—the best “trio,” if you will—will be awarded $50 and publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog.  Other entries may be selected for lesser cash awards and/or publication.

Winners of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest!!

Thanks to those intrepid poets who entered the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest, sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup Blog!

I appreciated all the entries so much and I’m pleased to announce the following winners:

Winners:

$100 winner, with publication to come on the Rondeau Roundup Blog:
Jennifer Perrine: “Greed/Charity”

Finalists:  $25 awards and publication on the Rondeau Roundup Blog:

Elizabeth Ehrlich: “Brighton Palace Ballade”
Susan MacLean: “Ballade of Useful Advice”

Publication Awards:
Nicole Heneveld: “Speechless”
Amy Baskin: “After the Crash”

Winners of the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest will appear on the Rondeau Roundup Blog throughout September 2017.

Our next contest at the Rondeau Roundup Blog will the a “Trio of Triolets” contest.
Watch the blog for contest guidelines!

Thank you for your participation!

All best,
Allison Joseph
The Rondeau Roundup Blog

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Update on the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest!

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 UPDATE ON THE BALLADE (NOT BALLAD) CONTEST:


Thanks so much to the poets who entered the Ballade (Not Ballad) Contest, sponsored by the Rondeau Roundup Blog.  The blog received entries from poets around the country and overseas!

I’m reading the entries, and will announce the winners on or before August 22, 2017
(I’m giving myself extra time because my region is being consumed by the madness surrounding the Great American Eclipse). Eclipse Information

I appreciate all the entries so much!

Best,
Allison Joseph
The Rondeau Roundup Blog