Monday, August 10, 2009

Love Rondeau Contest More-than-Honorable Mentions!

Here are the poems that were chosen as "More-than-Honorable Mentions" in the Rondeau Roundup's Love Rondeau Contest! Enjoy!

Spin Cycle

Love tumbles us through mundane life,
a rolling cylinder, we dive
into the dirty clothes we wash.
The scent of soap cuts clean across

daily bores of husband and wife—
a cotton kiss on pillows rife
with surprise in a rigid hive.
The wash, dry, fold, so far from posh.
Love tumbles us

into breaking, spinning alive
in cycles that turn us in strife,
foggy suds that leave us awash.
Each feeling we coddled and tossed
settles, fresh snap as you arrive
love tumbles us.

Tara Betts

Bio: Tara Betts is the author of Arc and Hue.  Tara is a Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of the New England College MFA Program.  She currently teaches at Rutgers University and leads community-based workshops with teens and other groups.  Tara's work has appeared in Essence, Black Renaissance Noire, Hanging Loose, Ninth Letter,Obsidian III, Callaloo, and Columbia Poetry ReviewGathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, and both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies. She is also a poetry editor for The November 3rd Club, an online journal of political writing.

My, What Big Wishes I Had

I could not calculate my nature then,
too stunned by street and kitchen din.
Oh, the summer city bruised but did not
burn me, the night’s load of slushy heat caught
by sooty screens that let no breezes in.

That was before your autumn weather’s spin
undid me, its blue, lake-bitten wind,
chrome-dented light, and all its heart-cold plot.
I could not calculate my nature then.

No taffeta and locket, my old friend,
no sweet and butter-crumble, no bride, when
I thought nothing mattered but a love knot.
Loving you was always the long-shot,
a blind bet, underlay, the dividend
I could not calculate.

Susan Elbe

Bio: Susan Elbe is the author of Eden in the Rearview Mirror (Word Press) which received Honorable Mention for the Posner Book-Length Poetry Award, and a chapbook, Light Made from Nothing (Parallel Press). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in AscentBlackbirdDiodeOchoMARGIE, and North American Review. Her work has also been widely anthologized, including in A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women's Poetry (Calyx Books), On Retirement: 75 Poems (University of Iowa Press), and Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath (The Backwaters Press). She currently works as a Webmaster in Madison, Wisconsin. Her web site is

We Love As You Do

We love as you do, more or less:
The careless talk, the bland caress,
Selective ear, ironic brow,
Companion silences—and how
We waste our weekends, you can guess.

We do not hunger to transgress.
Although we’re still, with some success,
Denied a sanctioned marriage vow,
We love as you do.

We bicker, misconstrue, express
ambivalence when we undress.
Think mainly of yourself if now
We lobby leaders to allow
Our share of that dull happiness
We love as you do.

Buzz Mauro

Bio: Buzz Mauro received his MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tampa Review,River StyxNOON,  Poet Lore, and other magazines, and is currently featured on He can be reached at

Lost Love, in Memoriam

October leaves brush by the door.
I hardly recall what I wore
yesterday, yet fifteen years comes
back easily enough--a pet, some
unwanted but familiar chore

to break up the afternoon before
I accomplish too much. Before
I can savor autumn's sweet crumb,
October leaves.

Cider, gourds, dried corn are no more
than dreams, figments, epitaphs or
the palest ghost of bubblegum
on his desk. Lost, my hushed succumb
to kisses by the sycamore.
October leaves.

R. Elena Prieto

Bio: R. Elena Prieto is a graduate of the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  Prior to being published by Rondeau Roundup, her work has appeared in Compass Rose, both online and in print.

It Isn't What I Thought

It isn’t what I thought. It can’t compare
with the early days,
she said, so don’t despair
when snooze is all you do in bed, and lust,
if it exists, turns out to be a bust
because equipment fails or needs repair.

It’s natural. Attraction fades. Prepare
yourself for less romance with age and share
a deeper love. Don’t worry. You’ll adjust.

It isn’t what I thought:

He’s at his sexiest with silver hair,
my menopause is freeing. Our kids declare
us old and passionless as they combust
with hormones, assuming that the thrust
of us is talk, now, and sex is rare –
it isn’t.

Marybeth Rua-Larsen

Bio: Marybeth Rua-Larsen lives on the south coast of Massachusetts.  Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in:  Measure, 14 by 14, Soundzine, The Recusant, The Raintown Review, Two Review and The Worcester Review, among others. 


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