Skip to main content

And the Winners Are...

There were 5 entries this year and all were good, but only 2 were chosen as winners. They present very different images and are well crafted.

And the winning poems are Miriam Parrish's Topaz's Misadventure and Ed Pacht's Lament for the Hills.

Topaz’s Misadventure

The unblemished day is young;
The verdant hills are calling.
Topaz paces the plush new grass,
Tense, alert, tongue lolling.

She longs to leave the yard and go
Where grand adventures hang
(A joyride or a cat pursuit)
To earn a fearsome name.

She leaps over the gate and runs
Past streets and alleyways,
Even through dew-studded spiders' nets;
She will not be delayed.

She trots into the local zoo
Exploring here and there until
She comes across a tawny beast,
Sitting statue still.

He has a slanted, mint-green gaze;
A mane of golden wealth.
His tasseled tail flips listlessly;
His paws suggest his stealth.

She barks, and rage consumes the beast.
Reaching, he rants and roars
With pride and fearsome fame!
Pup flees to safety's tempting shores.

Exhausted, frightened, and contrite;
Thirst for adventure quite spent,
She gladly returns to paradise:
Life without embellishment.

--Miriam Parrish

Lament for the Hills

Reaching for the verdant hills,

he loudly roars in deep frustration,

that the onward march of progress,

the embellishment of daily life

by things that no one really needs,

and the constant urge to take a joyride

through the once unblemished countryside,

so quickly touches and consumes all that it sees.

He looks with love upon the slanted slopes,

studded with the flowers that glow like topaz,

plush with verdure green and cool as mint,

and watches as a bighorn ram leaps upon the rocks above.

Yet there are those who would destroy this grandeur,

not contrite for all the wreckage they may cause,

seeing nothing but the bottom line of what they net,

the other green on which their thoughts all hang,

and thus it is, in reaching for those verdant hills,

he loudly roars and cries his tears of deep frustration.

--ed pacht
Ed's comment is worth publishing also.  He describes how the random words suggest images so that a poem forms like the swirling force of a tornado. He wrote: "I'm always amazed how it works that, if I take one or two of the words in the list, a theme emerges and sucks the rest of the words into its vortex.  The first two lines, including three of your words certainly set the pace for this one.  I had no idea where it might be going, but it unfolded amazingly quickly.  I didn't expect a piece of environmental commentary, but that's what came out, and the lines are longer than I usually do, but here it is."
Congratulations to Ed and Miriam! And thanks to the other poets who participated.
Watch for another Random Word Poetry Contest in October.


edpacht1 said…
Miriam, it is truly amazing what different use two poets can make of the same wordlist. I love yours!

ed pacht
Anonymous said…
congratulations, both of you! next year i fully intend to make good use of this contest to extend vocab, ect. i love both of your poems, and fully encourage both of you to keep writing!
-chandler hamby

I'd love for you to participate. Why not submit a piece for the contest that will run in October? Watch for the notice around October 15.

Popular posts from this blog

INDEX of Topics

Kayaking: A descriptive essay

Hannah O’Malley (Grade 7)

On clear days when we’re done with schoolwork, my mom will order my sister and me to go outside. We’ll tromp out in the afternoon light, unlock the garage door with a struggle, and fetch our orange life jackets and yellow paddles. If, as we click our life jackets on, we can hear and feel an inquisitive wind combing through the trees and brushing our faces with soft hands, we grin and say it will be a good day.

Since our twin kayaks are stored below the house, I always have to a venture there to fetch them. Impassively, they wait like faithful pets in the cold, stale air and the damp, orange sand which seems to be below every house. Ducking my head, I clamber down there, shoving the kayaks to the square of light so that my sister can pull them the rest of the way out, trying not to scrape their sandy undersides on the ground. Then I emerge back into the light, unfolding from the cramped position that the maze of pipes dictated.

Chatting and laughing about th…

Response to Sayers’ “Lost Tools of Learning”

Alice C. Linsley

I have been fond of Dorothy Sayers’ writing for over twenty years. It was while reading her Lord Peter Whimsey novels that I came to appreciate the power of literary fiction and I began to write fiction. I consider Sayers’ Nine Tailors and Gaudy Night to be the most finely crafted English mystery novels ever written. They reveal her exceptional eye for detail in story telling, her remarkable vocabulary and grasp of syntax, and her spiritual insights.

Sayers' facility with the English language rests on her exceptionally good classical training. In “The Lost Tools of Learning” Sayers begins by criticizing the modern tendency to regard specialized talking heads as “authorities” on everything from morals to DNA. She opines that the greatest authorities on the failure of modern education are those who learned nothing. We can imagine chuckles coming from some in her audience and frowns on the faces of self-important academics.

While Sayers is correct that we can’t “tu…