Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Poem "Rural Cemetery" Wins Third Prize

What fun!  I am very lucky to be participating as a judge in the Cupertino Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Cupertino Poet Laureate, David Denny. I had the honor of judging over 30 poems in the Teen category (ages 13 through 17).  The awards ceremony will be later in the month, and I'll post about that (and the winning teens) later in the month. 

Today I was notified that one of my own poems (submitted in the Adult category) has been awarded Third Prize. Sally Ashton, the current Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, was the Adult category judge. I wrote this particular poem, "Rural Cemetery," in 1997. It is a dream musing about an actual cemetery near my mother's home in Maine. 

Rural Cemetery

Why so beautiful, the cemetery on the meadow's edge?
Tucked in finally where trees begin their walk,
the colors good: wild goldenrod and lichen,
weary granite, rusty iron spike.
Perhaps the slope suggests a humble inclination,
think of the small graves, and of the new, along the fence.
But I suspect what lingers in the eye as we round the road,
is the pattern of stones, certain now, sure to topple,
with which we invite order
among chaotic grass.

The cemetery in question is Woodlawn Cemetery, on Birch Point Road in Wiscasset, Maine. Here's a photo of the cemetery, that I found on the (incredibly) interesting website, Find A Grave. According to a search on that site, the oldest graves in that little cemetery are from the 18th century.   

I'm thinking I will have to ask my mother or my uncle to take a new photo, from the road, that better shows what I can see driving by this lovely spot. 

All the winners will be reading their poems at the contest awards ceremony. Details on the Cupertino Library website, or Dave Denny's Facebook page.  

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