Winners of 2019 Poetry Contest

Gary Beaumier is the 1st place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.
Night Train to Paris

Our aged bodies
surrender to the sway
and lurch of the train
as we have passed through
the long tunnel
beneath the sea

old is a foreign country
we ride to

when we get there
we will rise to higher places
sit with gargoyles
balance on high slate roofs
as light slips through us
we sleep on park benches
dry leaves chasing around
us like wicked urchins

I will fish the river
in a floppy hat
mouthing a Gauloises
and you with a book splayed
in your lap will feed pigeons the remains
of your bread while sitting
on a soft blanket
and we will glance at each other
as only such longtime companions can with a pure knowing

later we will write postcards
from an empty bistro
—trumpet notes weave into the cool dark air—
telling the children back home
we are here now
and they will not see us again

Gary Beaumier
In his later years, Gary Beaumier has become something of a beachcomber and has self- diagnosed with “compulsive walking disorder.” On a number of occasions he has cobbled together wooden sailboats. Recently, he taught poetry in a women’s prison.


Daniel Edward Moore is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.
Tongues of Men

K calls it sin, I prefer sorrow
……………………….but the pink rubber whip
on the voice’s handle

inside the mouth’s dark barn
………………..couldn’t care less & never will
about our branded dialect of damage,

a cowboy’s choir of calloused saints,
……………………….whose pearly white sharks
with obsidian eyes chew on words

like repentance & sex
…………………as if shame had the power to lasso
men’s mouths into something

angels would eat sugar for,
…………………stolen straight off a horse’s tongue
as hooves beat wings into dirt.

Daniel Edward Moore
Daniel lives in Washington on Whidbey Island with the poet Laura Coe Moore.
His poems are forthcoming in Weber Review, West Trade Review, Duende Literary Journal, Isthmus Review, The Meadow, Bluestem Magazine, Coachella Review, Faultline, and more. His chapbook Boys is forthcoming from Duck Lake Books in February 2020. His first book, Waxing the Dents was a finalist for the Brick Road Poetry Book Prize and will be released in April 2020. Visit him at


Wendy DeGroat is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.
Meditation after Emptying the Dishwasher

Along with books, these bowls are among the things
I’ll take, when the time comes, to a smaller place.

Of everything I can buy direct from the hands
that shape them, sturdy bowls are my favorite—

bowls in tones of redwood and Carolina clay,
birch bark and sage, sand dunes, moss, and soil,

each with an origin story: ones from my life before you,
yours before me, and ones we’ve purchased together,

here with a mismatched pair from a friend who moved
and a single Blue Willow handed down, bowls small

as the rivered cup of an outstretched palm, bowls
like nested hands pressed to catch cool water,

and bowls that take, when full, both hands to hold.
A time will come when I won’t be the one to fill them

with soup or chili, cornbread crumbled over top,
a time when I cannot hold them, when even their name,

this word whose round vowel fills my mouth, will slip
from me. I like to think someone else will carry them,

lift a warm spoon to my lips, and sometimes
as I rest my fingers along a bowl’s curve, a memory

will flicker, and I’ll be climbing up our stairs again, bowl
of oatmeal and cinnamon in my hands, carrying it to you.

Wendy DeGroat
Wendy DeGroat’s poetry has appeared Raleigh Review, Cider Press Review, Rust + Moth, Common-place, Mslexia, and other U.S. and U.K. publications. Her chapbook Beautiful Machinery was published by Headmistress Press in 2016, and she recently finished a documentary poetry manuscript about Grace Arents, a Progressive-era philanthropist and educator who made a lasting impact on Richmond, Virginia, and Grace’s companion in her later years, Mary Garland Smith. Wendy is a librarian in Richmond where she also teaches writing, curates, and is a member of James River Writers.

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2 thoughts on “Winners of 2019 Poetry Contest”

  1. These three poems remind me of why I am always drawn back to poetry. They speak to the soul, each in its own unique way.
    I especially love “Night Train to Paris.” It’s clarity, honesty and eloquence captivated me and took me along for the ride. Growing old and the finality of dying aren’t usually equated with beauty and solace, but they are in this poem. I find that refreshing and powerful.

  2. Wendy,
    I am touched so deeply by your lovely poem. It’s rich usage of metaphor as you carry us through the journey of aging is so effective. A sensitive reflection as you consider each bowl and in relation to your loved one —life before and after. Fading memories of as what is most important is recalled.

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