Category Archives: Poetry Contest Winner

Dolphin, with Number by Ty Phelps

Black dolphin in deep blue water
 

Ty Phelps has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest Dolphin, with Number The city stretches out beyondthe marshland, lights shiningthrough the cold, graymidwestern fog. On screen,a triptych of images of a dolphinstranded on a strip of Cape Codsand.                         “Smooth as polishedgranite to the touch,” readsthe caption. The dolphin isred-eyed, face shaded with blacklike a great northern bird. Crackedbeak full of serrated teeth.                                   Someone—perhaps a ranger—has painteda number in red on the spentcreature’s side. I wonder whereit will be taken, for what purpose,and my mind floats to a friendwho’d make a “porpoise” joke—she’s … Continue reading Dolphin, with Number by Ty Phelps

The Driver by John Beck

darkened steering wheel with hand on it
 

John Beck has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest The Driver In 1925, Pius XI made you, St. Frances, the patron of all car drivers. I am sure the Pope could not have imagined the enormity of the job he had given you. It is your heavenly mission to make my job easier. Every night that I drive for Uber and Lyft, please watch over the pedestrians who try to die on my bumper and save their unworthy souls. Please bless me when I am without space between cars as I move … Continue reading The Driver by John Beck

We Left My Father and Sister at Home by Joan Mazza

Hay bale and distant hills
 

Joan Mazza has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest We Left My Father and Sister at Home Because my mother didn’t drive, we took the bus to Winsted, Connecticut. Two of us alone to visit cousins on the Nicosia side of the family. They’d named a cow Josephine, after my grandmother, who took it as a compliment. That summer I was fourteen and fell in love with the scent of hay, adored by the kitten who lived under the house, and cousin Mike. Zio Nicosia, too old to drive the tractor, taught … Continue reading We Left My Father and Sister at Home by Joan Mazza

Apology for Ralph’s Mule by Joyce Compton Brown

Photo of green hill and trees
 

 Joyce Compton Brown is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight‘s 2023 Poetry Contest Apology for Ralph’s Mule       …and before them went the mules: and ever upward,          downward, sideward, and aslant they fared.                                          The Iliad   II.23.93 You stood there in mud and dung, your little streetside lot hardly big enough for a good stretch, a kick. I’d stop sometimes, Ralph’s Mule, think about the muck on your hooves, how it must feel, you standing in the mud, mired in that nasty mess. I never knew your name. Your … Continue reading Apology for Ralph’s Mule by Joyce Compton Brown

Considering My Last Carbon Footprint by Patricia Hemminger

Photo of copse of trees with light shining through
 

 Patricia Hemminger is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest Considering My Last Carbon Footprint New York Governor Legalizes Human Composting, ⎯The Guardian, January 23, 2023 I’ve been composting for years. It’s very satisfying, potato peels, broccoli stalks, tumbled with dried leaves decompose, enrich the garden soil each spring. I wonder whether to make a will that requests my family do the same with me cocoon my body in wood chips and straw for a month or more. It’s legal now and carbon neutral when sun powers the rotation. They could plant a tree … Continue reading Considering My Last Carbon Footprint by Patricia Hemminger

Digging by Linda Parsons

Photo of lots of white potatoes
 

Linda Parsons is the 1st place winner of Streetlight‘s 2023 Poetry Contest Digging Dirt peppers the sink as I roll palm to palm these golds heaved from the ground with heft and pitchfork, this egglike clutch for soup, stew, hash, roasted, smashed in fall’s coming. I roll them lightly, thin skinned, perfect and misshapen, knobby knuckled. Dirt becomes dust filming my hands I am loath to wash, for here in the grit of new potatoes I am one with the garden, back bent, salt sweat, my own stew of becoming. And I think what else I’ve … Continue reading Digging by Linda Parsons

Raking Leaves by Beth Copeland

brown limb of oak leaves
 

Beth Copeland has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2022 Poetry Contest Raking Leaves Dry oak leaves are riddled with BB-sized shot-holes. Is it an encoded warning from the universe, a map of stars, a chart of scorched sun spots? They remind me of paper rolls used on player pianos or of old hole-punched cards we once fed into huge computers. Are these holes a score of whole notes played as November wind whistles through trees? I think about the holes as I rake leaves away from the walls of the house before they rot … Continue reading Raking Leaves by Beth Copeland

Rain in Dublin by Gary Beaumier

rainy window with large white light on road
 

Gary Beaumier has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2022 Poetry Contest Rain in Dublin I want to know what happened to the 90 year old man who raced up the steps of the Empire State Building several years ago Has he slipped away in the night in some unremarkable way while I turned in my sleep and WH Auden when his body quit was I scrapping off the evening dinner plates into the garbage but then he knew of the world’s indifference and you mother at some disconnected hour in the morning with your … Continue reading Rain in Dublin by Gary Beaumier

Progress Report 50 Years after Reading Black Elk by William Prindle

Large stone outcrop surrounded by trees
 

William Prindle has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2022 Poetry Contest Progress Report 50 Years after Reading Black Elk Last night in the silences between barred owl calls I thought I heard some people passing by the pond. Might have been plangent minor chords of bullfrog and fowler’s toad sounding a bit like human voices, but I picked up hints of Cherokee heading west, or was it Monacan disappearing into the high coves? I thought I heard bluegill or maybe perch rising to The surface to feed, but maybe it was only the sound … Continue reading Progress Report 50 Years after Reading Black Elk by William Prindle

Arson by Matt Dhillon

Photo of flames in the dark
 

Matt Dhillon is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight‘s 2022 Poetry Contest Arson Blistering heat, mother of me. A little gasoline makes the heart fire glow, and you can watch things grow in reverse- twigs retract, leaves reduce, logs wither, and then you want to see it undo plastic bags, bottles, couch cushions, and soon it’s marching away from you, this unmaking, sinking into particle board and rotten siding, beams and rafters, nests of mice and wasps and the barn bent down and the light leaving it. Someone struck a match and there was a … Continue reading Arson by Matt Dhillon