or the Inaugural Source Weekly’s 2017 Poetry Contest,we challenged local poets to send us their works in one of two categories: focused on the topic of growth, or in the “open” category. Scores of poets submitted more than 260 poems, which were judged in the first round by the MFA creative writing candidates at OSU-Cascades.
In the second round, our judging panel included Emily Carr, Ph.D., a poet published by McSweeney’s and the program director for the MFA in Creative Writing program at OSU-Cascades; Ellen Waterston, owner of the Writing Ranch, executive director of Playa, and the author of four books of poems; and Jenna Goldsmith, Ph.D., writing instructor at OSU-Cascades and the recipient of the Kentucky Writers Fellowship for Innovative Poetry in 2015.
Thank you to all of our judges for the generous use of their time—and to all the winners.
- From left, judges, Emily Carr, Ellen Waterston and Jenna Goldsmith
See the poets in action at these two readings:
Sun., Nov. 12, 10am. Tucson's Poet Laureate, T.C. Tolbert will read as part of the Deschutes Public Library's Second Sunday Reading Series, with the Source's poetry contest winners as special guests. Deschutes Downtown Public Library, 601 NW Wall St, Bend.
Thurs., Nov. 16, 5:30 pm. Readings from the Source poetry contest winners, and poets Emily Carr and Jenna Goldsmith. Crow's Feet Commons Café, 875 NW Brooks St., Bend.
Winner — "Underwater Music" - Alex Borgen
Runner up — "Mower to the Glowworms" - Jamie Houghton
"Stream" - Meli Broderick Eaton
"Since the Apple" - Danielle Gosselin
"How I Spent My Day" - Jamie Houghton
"Trees" - I.A. Johansen
"Different Light" - Sandy Thompson
"Widow/Window" - Jana Zvibleman
— W I N N E R —
Underwater Music: Water Home
by Alex Borgen
Connection Piece VI (by Yoko Ono)
swim as far as you can in your dream/ away from/ your home/ your mate/ your children/ your pets/ your belongings/ your work place/ your colleagues/ see if you drown or survive
My mother wants a one-lane lap pool.
We talk about this often.
She wants for us to dig the hole in her backyard
we understand one other when we use our bodies.
We would shovel out the earth until our arms
ache, our shoulders paralyzed with the strain
of repetitious movement,
line it with stone, labor, then fill it with water.
Long after the swallows fly south
and the milkweed's soft leaves begin to
shrivel into crunchy cocoons,
and the monarchs dwindle to the last few
castaways hiding in the tall silvery grasses
the winds pick up from the north and east.
After summer fades into longer shadows
and the apples are harvested from her trees,
she will have to construct a tent-bubble
to encase her dream pool—
"If I had a small pool in my yard, I would swim
twice, maybe 3 times a day," my mother whispers—
We understand the world better when we are moving.
"I would like that."
I nodded, yes.
— R U N N E R U P—
MOWER TO THE GLOWWORMS
(After Andrew Marvell)
By Jamie Houghton
Think of it as just a haircut through your heart which is your whole
body glowing because that's what a pulse does and your heart is electric
Think of your heart as mud struck by lightning in the womb some where
you cannot dive for or become small enough to see
Think of it as a slight shock combing up your spine or your skin
changing like the surface of water
Think of it as division think
of me as a witness think
of clinging to the rain or pouring
down the grate think
of it as the last
whisper before being extinguished
Think of it as sinking just
to rest in the dark wet think
of it as a buffet and you
are sunlight's last snack think
of the shining blades as music think
of your tailbone as a mouse
and you will be fed to the peonies
and the dogs and the dawn think
of me as next
FOUR WAY TIE WINNERS
since the apple
by Danielle Gosselin
the microwave told me she was becoming nauseous from too much radiation, and could i please roll her a nice joint.
while rolling, i peeked at the peaches, who wrinkled and turned.
mirror, mirror is it me that's turned and wrinkling away. what would an eye see inside the pit of the pithiest fruit. (the heart of the heart).
on the wall i've written everything: i long to hear the mango's orange tang on the tongue.
who is made of stars (blinks us) and stars are made of meat. we like to eat big hunks out of each other.
the fairest mouth might taste of fruit. berried and soft.
one of the people excreted his soul. (didn't sell it to devils (didn't deliver it to gods)) let it shine inside the microwave, settling in her bones.
all the fruit wore time into foul juice and time wore fruit into night.
i pulled the plug on the microwave (because things were getting out of hand). the beauty slept on another day.
when the people found her, they raised their red apple, now a gun. she stared and sighed, how uninventive,
they'd lost the wonder of their evil.
by Meli Broderick Eaton
There is a process by which
when we are not looking
they say it flies
through our sky then
falls back to earth
heavy and new.
One hot summer afternoon
we followed a mountain stream
to see what boulder birthed it
what stone was responsible for this.
Oh, sacred spot
where lusty gush poured
from beneath the earth
as though the planet
were a pitcher tipped
just enough this way
and we were satisfied.
where the water flattens
runs wide to fill
an alpine bowl waiting
with hard open hands we slid
bare feet through the cold
savored the late blue release
when earth gives back
heat taken from the day
crickets sing from deep
in meadow grass
when the dusky remains
of light become
ashes to mountain
dust to lake.
The year she was born
they still looked sickly
like stripped pencil sticks
in little burlap sacks.
Her father brought them home
and planted them like
a wall around the yard
three deep and green all year long.
He said they'd pay for the wedding
he couldn't afford otherwise.
But she grew up ugly
not on the outside but in
and her father knew it
by the time the trees had
reached the height of the house.
He said they'd block out the world
she wouldn't understand otherwise.
HOW I SPENT MY DAY
by Jamie Houghton
The ghostly silver of unnamed want
clung to you like dead
grass to dew. You were a child
sucking on rubber wheels.
A dark muttering bruised your lips
you tried to let it all run
you over. Began walking away
from that body you never wanted.
Sound travels- at least-
Who can loom as a star
in your limited heaven?
Traffic means no harm in parts
it is the total stampede
that jams signals. You howled
at the top of your voice
kicking and trying to bite.
The subjunctive stands between us
your mouth remains open
speaking in qualifiers-
If we ever get there
if I see you.
— HONORABLE MENTIONS—
by Sandy Thompson
in muted forest
shroud high pine
and cedar boughs
on graphite green,
on and on
around a bend,
beneath the mist
ten thousand candles
widow / window
by Jana Zvibleman
were ever to happen to either of us,'
we used to say to each other,
but then I never thought . . .
you know "
if the winter were ever to thaw
if that child should ever grow
if these petals should happen to fall
if this bridge were to reach the other side.