Sunday, April 22, 2012

Third Place Poem Julie Heckman


Espresso and billows of cigarette smoke
start your life each day, to underwrite and
elevate the squeaky neurosis you display.
Freud and Prozac and Xanax keep you level
but flat, add 60 milligrams of amphetamines
to get your motivation back.

Some say its “creative style” while others say
“you’re very ill” as civilized, certified doctors
proclaim: “swallow every pill!” No more
“Carpe Diem” nor “beckoning to swim out
further,” celebrate you right to cope,
with therapeutic fervor.

Your fading friends alas, contend: “your
brain is now asleep!” Just tweak your dose
and animated you will arise and leap! Skies
ginger with days ablaze cobalt space,
your ability to marvel struggles in
a foggy and muddled place.

Synapses firing, “Control!” my mind has ordered
Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors…dreams
Carl Jung has ordered. Dopamine, Zoloft or
Ambien, competition to attend, the
imagined dangers that never
really end.

© 2012 Julie Heckman

About the Author Julie Heckman

Born in Chicago I became a Californian at three years old. After the usual teenage drama I entered California State University Los Angeles. There I procured a MA in Art degree and spent the next fifteen years owning my own graphic design firm, Julian Berlin Productions, that produced greeting card among other things that were sold throughout the US Europe and Canada. I became interested in Teaching 7th grade and returned to University again for a Teaching Credential. I taught for four years. After this I went back to university to the School of Theology at Claremont and procured a Masters of divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. I worked as a minister for a few years then became disabled and retired. Now I spend most my days reading and writing poetry.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fifth Place Poem Taunja Thomson

(after E.D.)

One day a Reflection passed
my face; I thought it Mine
and upon its curves
I Dwelt.

Its intention was not Cruelty
and yet it solid stood
suggesting Years
of Pointlessness.

The air was a mirror,
a breath, a depth, a Something
I could not Grasp
and so I lay me down to sighs
and Restlessness. 

One year had passed;
I knew not whence
and fumbled with the Clock;
I found it steeped
in Senselessness

and cursed myself, a speck.

© 2012 Taunja Thomson

About the Author Taunja Thomson

This is the second year that Taunja's poetry has placed in The Political Poetry Competition. In the past, her work has appeared in The Cincinnati Poets’ Collective, The Cincinnati Poetry Review, and The Licking River Review. Her poem “Seahorse and Moon” was nominated for the Pushcart Award by the editors of The Licking River Review in 2005.

She currently lives in Cold Spring, Kentucky, with her husband and five cats, and does volunteer work for local animal shelters.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fourth Place Poem Alice Connally Fisk

OBAMA 2012!

Global justice billions crave
Revolution now the wave.
Fresh solutions far and wide
peace procurement now the tide.
On waves and tides of cosmic scale
audacity and hope now sail.
OBAMA 2012!

U. S. poverty must Go
a conscientious overthrow.
Resolution now the call
a living wage for one and all.
Our long-time shafted people roar
We Just Won’t Take It Anymore.
The working poor, the down and out
a risen people packing clout.
The fairness movement leads the way
People power here to stay.
The middle-class profoundly score
inequity shall rule no more.
Righting long wrongs one by one
disparity at last undone.
Our fed-up people fiercely vow
Economic Justice. Now!

Americans a lively blend
pilot the progressive trend.
Vote ones heart evolve transcend
the Wisdom Way to comprehend.
The Common Dream now full force
a visionary, gutsy course.
Peaceful revolution, Yes!
the human race to coalesce.
One Creator over ALL.
One last chance to heed the Call
Love’s the lesson. Life the school.
Peace On Earth. The Golden Rule.
Live the Lesson. Heal our Earth.
Transformation now. Rebirth!

Spur the people stir the fire
Mobilize and walk the wire.
Back on track and off the dime
Revolution. One last time.
So amplify the drums and riff.

© 2012 Alice Connally Fisk

About the Author Alice Connally Fisk
Alice Connally Fisk is a 73-year-old great-grandmother from Melrose, New York.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Second Place Poem Bob McNeil

Billfold Souls

Suppose those Billfold Souls,
Who tow their boats of green notes,
Had stocks that became sewage
Under Wall Street’s block,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped the Dow Jones
Go under gravestones,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped the NASDAQ
Become bird crap
On an investor’s jacket,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped a certain magazine’s five hundred
Hunger to wed a loaf of bread,
Suppose those Billfold Souls
Scoped their bank accounts’ mass
Become a fumbled pass,
Would those Billfold Souls
Find the emotion known as despair
For a human who stares
At a pocket
That has no money in the fabric’s lair,
Would those Billfold Souls
Find the emotion known as despair
For a human who stares
At a plate
That has no sustenance there,
Would those Billfold Souls despair,
Would those Billfold Souls despair
For anything besides
Their beaten schemes for moolah reams?

© 2011 Bob McNeil

About the Author Bob McNeil
Bob McNeil recalls, at the age of six, A Child’s Garden of Verses planted a seed in his mental soil.  Now, since the Autumn of Adulthood has descended upon him, Mr. McNeil feels his harvest came in the form of a position as Poetry Editor for BLACFAX and the publication of his two books.  Both of these poetic compositions, Secular Sacraments and The Nubian Gallery, A Poetry Anthology, can be found in various libraries, universities and bookstores.

Bob McNeil was influenced by the Imagists and the Negritude Movement.   Furthermore, even after all of these years of being a professional illustrator, spoken word artist and writer, he still hopes to express and address the needs of the human mosaic.   

Besides writing professionally, Bob McNeil is an orator of some renown.  For example, he was the Featured Poet at numerous libraries throughout the tri-state area.  He looks forward to performing again with his spoken word and music group in the future. 

Kindly refer to Facebook or for more information about songs, poems and videos.

“The message is clear, the music is solid and the presentation is strong.  The consciousness in Bob’s poetry is so very much needed today.” –Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets

“Bob McNeil is a genuine American poet with a feel and the heart to carry the word.” –Danny Simmons (artist/poet)  

All those who are interested in hearing some deep poetry and music, the CD, Rapping You with the Facts, can be purchased for the nominal amount of $3.00, plus $2.00 postage and handling.

For further enquires about this CD, write Bob at P.O. Box 144, Hollis, NY 11423 or  or visit him at

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Place Poem Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

You Made Me Feel Illegal

You made me feel illegal
the way you eyed my hair
too-long-too-dyed-for-work hair
too-third-world-take-care-of-kids hair
too-got-to-clean-the-house hair
too-too-much-chat-about-the-family hair.

You made me feel illegal
my Wal-mart pants and blouses
my too-this-isn’t-how-we-dress-here clothes
too-cheap-to-even-work-here clothes
too-girly-to-do-your-job-here clothes
too-back-to-the-slum-with-you-dear clothes.

You made me feel illegal
pointing out my jewelry
“too gold” you say, “too gaudy”
my too-don’t-show-your-face-in-the-lobby jewelry
too-you-know-nothing-about-our-country jewelry
too-go-home-to-anchor-babies jewelry.

You made me feel illegal
like I’m too-you-can’t-speak-like-we-know how
too-got-no-right-to-talk now
too-got-to-go-and-wash-sticky-floors now
too-better-go-cook-in-a-filthy-kitchen now
too-best-sweep-up-the-dirt-you-see now.

You made me feel illegal
too-nothing-more-than-low class
too-nothing-less-than loathed
You made me feel illegal.

You oughta be illegal.

©2012 Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

For my students and their loved ones--may you find peace and know you are not alone.

About the Author Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt is a poetry and prose writer residing in Western Prince William County, VA, where she enjoys exploring history, art, culture and nature. An advocate for preservation, conservation, education and civic engagement, Katherine volunteers for several non-profit organizations. She is a freelance, community writer for the regional News & Messenger newspaper, teaches college English composition online and teaches English as a Second Language (ESOL) students at an adult detention center.

Katherine’s poetry and prose have appeared in various online and text journals. Poems from the Battlefield, a collection of her Civil War themed poetry, original and archival photos and period quotes, was published in 2009. Katherine’s children’s book, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, was published in 2010. Approaching Felonias Park, a novel focusing on predatory lending, was released in November, 2011.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Community Writer for News and Messenger
Happy Easter!

Where do writers get inspiration?

I'm currently the guest author on ~Bookingly Yours~. To see my article on where writers find inspiration click on the link below.
Guest Author on ~Bookingly Yours~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Star Child and 13 More Twisted Tales Now On Kindle

My new book is now available for Amazon Kindle $3.95 link follows. Star Child and 13 More Twisted Tales

Honorable Mention Renee V. McCormick

Principal Deficit

Copper cables carry 
bitter spleen from the
talking heads to the faceless crowd

Injected with the virus,
they take on visages of their own
tea partier, occupier, paulite or gnome

And I – adrift in a land I once
owned and loved -  try to
make sense of it all

Will Gilgamesh please step forward
take center sage and save our people from
fracking foes and lying lore

For if not, we will surely perish
and it will not matter if Tehran
presses the accelerator

Harpies hover above
colored red, blue and yellow
and rancor rules below

The neocortex has melted into
the amygdala and it’s chanting
down, wound, over

God must see this and wonder
why he sent his only son to
guide us

But if he does, he can send
a sign of hope, a ray of light,
he can blend wisdom with the gound

Bend us, lend us, bring
to the fore the divine glimmer
to ignite the force

Copyright 2012: Renee V. McCormick


Renee McCormick dedicates this poem to her children Kaitlyn and Conor McCormick-Cavanagh and their generation of peacemakers.

About the Author Renee V. McCormick

Renee has spent her professional life as a psychologist helping people find their voices and rewrite their personal narratives.  She lives by the motto that it is never too late to change the ending of a story. 

Renee has also put stories on film to help people make responsible decisions about parenthood, and especially to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies.

Renee believes that poetry has the power to change the world.  Serving on the executive board of a U.N. affiliated organization, she organized the First Annual Poetry Competition for the Olof Palme Peace Foundation in 2011.

Find Renee on the web at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tired of High Gas Prices Stop Wall Street Speculators

If you're tired of higher gas prices then help stop Wall Street speculators. Keep informed about what we can do with Senator Bernie Sanders' newsletter. He is a true watchman on duty in Washington DC. 
The Bernie Buzz

Monday, April 2, 2012

Honorable Mention Kirby Wright


The boy and girl fish from the Vitava’s bank.
He holds the pole—they share a cigarette.
They work hard shortening the smoke
But their puffs are weak.
The bait’s red float bobs in a boat’s wake.
The boy passes the cigarette.
“Vypadni!” he calls to the boaters.
The boy’s father chops cords of wood
Behind a wire fence.
Maple burns warmth in their home
As his wife sautés paprika chicken
With greasy dumplings.
He stacks kindle and studies his son.
He remembers fishing the river
With Anka, his snoubenka.
There’s moaning
And the smell of blood.
He still sees the Russian soldiers
Luring Anka down the grass bank
With Sobranie mint cigarettes.

©2012 Kirby Wright

vypadni: beat it
snoubenka: fiancée

About the Author Kirby Wright
Kirby Wright was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. He is the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in the islands.