Apologies for the delay in getting the Autumn Rondeau Contest More than Honorable Mentions up on the blog! Here they are--you will agree they were worth the wait:
Oak Tree Chronicle
Oak leaves hang on, blithely outride
the wind, swaying dun-colored, dried.
Acorns scatter in jazzy rounds
of random drumming on the ground,
the squirrels’ come-and-get-it guide.
Though almost in tatters beside
birches gorgeous in gold as brides
papery yellows swirling down,
oak leaves hang on.
School kids shuffle kicking sky high
red mauve confetti as they glide
laugh and leap into crackling sounds.
Hickory, maple, jumbled mounds
raked and vacuumed, dumped, nullified.
Oak leaves hang on.
Bio: Charlotte Mandel's seventh book of poetry ROCK VEIN SKY (Midmarch Arts Press) was listed as a Best Poetry Book Read for Fall 2008 by Monserrat Review. Previous titles include two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision, The Life of Mary, and The Marriages of Jacob. She recently retired from teaching poetry writing for several years at Barnard College Center for Research on Women. Visit her at Charlotte Mandel.
It’s fall. I’m knitting pairs of winter socks
and trying not to see the veeing flocks
fleeing South. Traitors. It’s not cold
yet. The locals have just begun to fold
away the lawn chairs, to pull up the docks.
Instead of raking, or taking rambling walks
I sit outside, stitch and purl the sumac’s
flaming red, the elm’s glowing gold.
It’s fall I’m knitting
into these socks. My Southern blood balks
at the Midwestern winter coming. It stalks
my every thought. And yet, each sock that’s rolled
off my needles staves off winter’s toehold.
It’s fall. I’m knitting.
Bio: Heidi Czerwiec is assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of North Dakota, where she is the Director of the annual UND Writers Conference. She is the author of Hiking the Maze (Finishing Line Press, 2009), the recipient of a 2009 Bush Foundation/Dakota Creative Connections artist grant, and has poems and translations published or forthcoming in Measure, Nimrod, Evansville Review, Southern Indiana Review, Hunger Mountain, and International Poetry Review.
Rondeau: Autumn Leaves
These autumn leaves -- they burn citrine
As pumpkins glow. The stiff rake leans
Upon the apple tree, its fruit
Decayed and brown along the roots.
We dress warm, groom the backyard clean --
We make three heaps, breathe the pristine
Air. The sky: fat, a nectarine --
Now blackens to a crown of soot.
These autumn leaves --
It's all we care for, all we've seen
All day. Our mother says fifteen
Minutes and to wipe off our boots
Before coming in. But we hoot
Like imps; burst, like a time machine,
These autumn leaves.
Bio: William Soule is a young poet currently living in Utah. His works have appeared in Read This Magazine, elimae, Tattoo Highway, and the delinquent, among others — he is also a former One Night Stanzas Featured Poet. He runs the webzine Clearfield Review, and works as a Literature Gallery Director for artist-networking site deviantART.
I miss the hues of death, the flaming trees,
the rotting sweetness carried by the breeze.
Escaping winter meant I made a trade -
I had to give up seeing summer fade -
surrendering fall to avoid the freeze.
I even miss the mold that made me sneeze -
the microbes in the air that made me wheeze.
Perhaps up north is where I should have stayed.
I miss the hues of death.
The faded green leaves here do not appease
my need for change, a turning climate's tease.
This was my choice - can't say I was betrayed;
and yet each year I find myself dismayed
when autumn does not visit me with ease.
I miss the hues of death.
Bio: Dorla Moorehouse is a writer, dancer, and bookseller living in Austin, Texas. When not pursuing one of these three careers, she serves as the poetry editor of Gloomcupboard. You can find out more about her work at her blog, Dorla's Poetry and Prose.
A Distant Line of Hills
The air is clear, and leaves, undone,
drift in zigzags – russet, crimson.
Wild purple phlox and goldenrod
in rearview mirrors wave and nod,
like summer’s parting guests. And on
the complicated road we run
we take a deeper breath. The sun
ignites a sumac’s velvet pods.
The air is clear
and apple-crisp; light is honey
on tree-trunks in the afternoon.
We didn’t know, and find it odd:
behind the slowly molting woods
lies a long and low horizon.
The air is clear.
Bio: David Eye earned a midlife MFA at Syracuse University in 2008. This followed a 17-year career in the theatre, and four years in the military, so he may be the only poet who has spent time in both the U.S. Army and Cats. While at SU, he garnered awards for his work as a writing instructor, and interned at BOA Editions, Ltd. His poems have appeared in Waccamaw Journal, Stone Canoe, roger, and Critical Encounters with Texts, a university reader. This fall, David is teaching English composition at St. John's University and will be conducting workshops at Manhattan College. He is completing his first book of poems, mostly during the hour-and-a-half commute from Harlem to Staten Island.