Congratulations to winners of the Starkey Flythe Jr. Poetry Prize
Terresa Haskew, first place $500
Terresa Cooper Haskew writes short stories and poems from Lake Murray, SC. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Atlanta Review, Cold Mountain, and The Fourth River. She was awarded the Poetry Society of South Carolina’s 2015 Starkey Flythe, Jr. Prize; the Emrys Journal 2013 Nancy Dew Taylor Poetry Award; and the Press 53 2010 First Prize for Poetry. Her short story, “Living the Dream” (published in Altered States by Main Street Rag), served as inspiration for a short film (by Ron Hagell) in the 2014 SC Expecting Goodness Film Festival. Terresa is the author of Breaking Commandments, a poetry chapbook published in 2014 by Main Street Rag.
Here is her poem:
Just Passing Through
Monetta, South Carolina
Winding back roads bisect
miles of crop rows sown
straight as Singer stitches:
pole beans, sweet corn, yellow dots
of summer squash, peach trees
barren from spring’s late freeze.
Freash Eggs, rough-lettered on metal,
fronts a shotgun house I daydream
holds a primitive kitchen table,
maybe a Naugahyde recliner,
rump sprung by the evening slump
of a man not long home from his fields
who, even as we pass,
waits with half-closed eyes
for the woman to hang up her apron
and point a portable fan at the bed
where the smell and taste of honest sweat
is a sensual call to come together
like the harrow’s tongue to the tractor’s hitch;
one cocksure rooster to the timid hen;
the low fog of heaven swallowing red, wet earth.
Kit Loney, second place. $250
Kit Loney’s poems have appeared in Emrys Journal, Kakalak, Yemassee, Redheaded Stepchild, Qarrtsiluni, Waccamaw, One, Poetry East, and Poetry Society of SCYearbooks. She received the 2012 Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship from the SC Academy of Authors. She has just retired from teaching middle school art.
Her is her winning poem:
For his fingers are like tree stumps that neighborhood children and dogs have leapt upon to dance the zoppetto.
And his hands make the birds and fleas and turtles and snakes want to play the game where they freeze into stillness and pretend to be statues, and see if they can fool the howdy-wife into thinking they are the flowers in her kitchen garden.
And his wrists are long walks into foreign lands, and marble veined streams.
And his arms hold bundles of strange dreams, such as the ones in which we dance a tricotee through the twatterlight, and even though the house is ours it is not one we’ve ever seen before.
And his shoulders make the squirrels scamper through framble branch.
For his bald pate is a mountaintop scaled by Loony Toons who leap about admiring the flimberwaft view, then make small talk, share corncraggle cakes before their descent.
And his belly is a pillow I can rest my head upon and listen to ocean tides rumble from inside, hear the gandermooner winds that sometimes howl his head, sending Elmer Fudd and Buggs and old Taz sailing off to far Zimblecork.
For his calves are calves, wobble legged, that step the swedge-green meadow, chase one another, but never out of sight of their mother’s calm graze.
And his feet are anchors holding fast to ocean floor, shod in barnacles and periwinkles, nestled by warp-rascal lobsters.
For his eyes are boiling kettles, but also the soft worn knees of blue blenchkins, and yet also glimpses of sky in the grubblehink mud. For his eyes, for his eyes, for his eyes.