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Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

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Published by ADELAIDE BOOKS, 2020-04-07 19:51:43

Adelaide Literary Award Anthology 2019 - POETRY

Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

Keywords: poetry,literary collection,essays,short stories

Creative Minds

by Laura Dunn

The two artists fell in love,
A chaotic world was created.
It was fueled by an insanity creative minds are tainted with.
Lackluster performances met wild expectations,
Until inadequacy befell them both.
I remember running in the rain,
Catching the chill down my spine of late autumn air.
Laughing anyway, because I knew you’d be there to warm me.
We were young, and drunk.
Filled with promises we couldn’t keep.
We love to romanticize dysfunction.
Abuse and affairs followed by,
Absinthe and Adderall.
Perhaps you were addicted to more than just the booze,
Perhaps you were addicted to me too.
Laura Dunn is a junior in college, majoring in creative writing.
She had two original poems published in Inkling Magazine
last year. A dog mom, bibliophile, and also known to belt out
Miley Cyrus songs in the shower.

249

Women’s Action

by Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes

The night before she died my grandmother hoped
for a new world. In it everyone would have
what they needed and give what they could.
I would have liked to leave you that, she said.
This squabbling and gangsterism can’t go on.

We dispute who will get her pearls. I end up
with her father’s silver Seder goblet and her stories.
How she took money from the pushka
to buy her mother a beautiful belt of blue medallions.
How did you pay? her mother asked.
She had to give her daily penny into the box for months.

When she brought her father his noon
meal one sweltering day
he was lying on a table to fan himself.
The girls were pulling irons from a fireplace,
dunking them in buckets that exhaled
steam, to press the vests.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Don’t you see that workers are people like you? she asked.
She wanted him to cut his beard.
Later she was in love with the minister
at St Mark’s in the Bowery.
It was like a sickness, she told me.
She took the streetcar from Avenue D
to hear him preach about socialism.
He too had a beard.
Where do you go on Sunday morning? her father would ask.

She came straight from the hairdresser
when we marched with our children to the Battery
and sailed to Staten Island
to protest nuclear ships in New York Harbor.
She handed out leaflets and called, Read the truth,
as she had in her girlhood when selling the paper.

Squabbling over the words to our new songs,
we march on without her.
We demand our fathers change their politics
and accept our radical love.
We admire each other’s sweaters and hats.
We hand around the Passover cup and
call, Next year in freedom!

Losing Aaron, a memoir by Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes about her
son, was published in 2016 by Irene Weinberger Books. Her
poems and stories have appeared in many periodicals including

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Lilith, West Branch Review, Kalliope, Mudfish and The Mas-
sachusetts Review.

She was born in London and grew up in Athens, Saigon,
Singapore, and various parts of the US. As an adult she lived
in New York, where she raised her children and taught English
to immigrants and native New Yorkers at the City University
of New York. She now lives in the Hudson Valley and is active
in a peace and justice group there, Women in Black.

252

Peaches

by Catherine Cates

The moment of ripeness only arrives
in the dark of early morning,
when the last green of the tomato
changes to a marinara hue,

when the plum’s deep even stain
exudes a sweet, fruity aroma;
when the pale bleeds out
of the strawberry patch.

Readied at daybreak
to pluck the season’s yield,
dark roast in my mug,
I looked out from the bay window

as morning’s light cast shadows,
my black and golden retrievers
there in the back orchard
lunging, rocketing skyward,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

snatching rosy yellow peaches
weighing heavily on the lowest branches,
the joy of the harvest covering
the ground and their jowls.

Catherine Cates is an artist, photographer, poet, and is also
working on fiction. She is currently a student at Westminster
College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Remembering, interpreting,
exposing, and searching for elements of humanity; her work is
nostalgic and unexpected. Both written and visual, she believes
that these captured moments narrate the relationships we have,
internally and externally, with the world we live in. Her work
has been published in Verse-Virtual, all roads will lead you
home, After Happy Hour Review, 805 lit + art, and Adelaide
Literary Journal.

254

Palisades

by Robert René Galván

So high on the escarpment
above the Hudson
I felt the draft
of the peregrine,
its predatory plunge
through the cold air,
fearless god
of the turquoise sky,

and marveled
under the watch
of the wary skink
that explored the crags
for a pool of sunlight;

All day I wandered
among the soft voices
of nascent leaves
and silent stones

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left by a forgotten glacier,
the antiphon of sparrows,
and drone of the bumblebee
as it propagated
yawning blossoms
with golden dust
from its haunches;

across my path,
the drift of a mottled snake,
the dash of chipmunk
and hundred hidden eyes
in the bush,

until the migrating sun
vanished beneath the bridge
and I returned to the grey streets
as if that were life.

Robert René Galván, born in San Antonio, resides in New
York City where he works as a professional musician and poet.
His last collection of poems is entitled, Meteors, published by
Lux Nova Press. His poetry was recently featured in Adelaide
Literary Magazine, Azahares Literary Magazine, Gyroscope,
Hawaii Review, Newtown Review, Panoply, Stillwater Review,
West Texas Literary Review, and the Winter 2018 issue of UU
World. He is a Shortlist Winner Nominee in the 2018 Ade-
laide Literary Award for Best Poem.

256

Virgin

by Whitney Judd

I see a virgin on her knees
angel in the street light

Moses to build a fire a city burn
mock memory like broken necks

of those old who crane too far to
look back and second guess

stills a kindness in the city haloed
with the burdened light in

the crack of the street for the whiten
bare sheets to show blood its purity
- a child grown too old soon

who pleads the shriek of a lover
this white robed brittle woman

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

who now finds the pavement’s watch
vigil to her slow laying down
with any lover who will hold her
for a moment to hide
the darkness on again and off.
She is - homeless, thrown out:
this ascent of ancient neglect
we whisper of passing,
a hard fall, Mary and a Christ
forgotten things still.
I have seen a virgin, the fall
and angels consumed –
a prophet on her knees burnt to
a golden calf of fires of no light
in silence looked at the
end things hollowed in this immersion.

258

Pei-De Chen

by Catherine Rohsner

Pei-de, or Bit, or Betty Chen.
A person’s face holds more than one
Could say in just a thousand words.
Still, I can share what she has done.

One time, when I was very young,
We went to visit them in Queens.
My grandparents lived there back then,
Near twin tower peaks and Empire scenes.

We climbed the narrow, carpet stairs
And pressed the buzzer at the door.
With slippered feet, they let us in.
I played with turtles on the floor.

So many are the memories
Of what that place was like, and I
Can see their couch, their floor, and more
With a vivid and familiar eye.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

The narrow kitchen steaming as
Pei-de prepared Chinese, the phone
Upon its stand, ringing as it pleased,
And talking, native tongues unknown.

After a time, I then was put
To bed in Bit and Nac’s bedroom.
The room was black; a line of light
Beneath the door kept me from doom.

I cried and cried as a child would,
Aloud, without the sense to hide
My fears or tears, as monsters lurked
Within the void on either side.

How many nights this happened, I
Cannot recall. Yet every time
It did, Pei-de herself came in
And spoke away that deadly clime.

Beside the bed, she lit a lamp
Shaped like a sphinx, and there it glowed,
The symbol of an ancient day
And of the story that she told:

She spoke of Israel’s slavery
Under a Pharaoh’s merciless hand.
God brought out Moses then to speak
And bring them to the Promised Land.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Through every plague the prophet cried,
“Let my people go, that they may serve Me.”
I hear my grandma’s whisper, firm,
Of “Let my people go,” near me.
The Israelites went free at last,
And quickly, too, the monsters left.
Pei-de stood from the bed and said
Goodnight, and so I sweetly slept.

Catherine Rohsner lives in Maryland. She is a work-at-home
copywriter by day, and an artist for life. She is often inspired
to create by pulling together storylines and scenes from real life
that strike her with their beauty and awesomeness.

261

Timekeeper’s Waltz

by Shari Jo LeKane

From the very last stroke of the dancing alarm clock,
when dreamscapes are melting to sweet reverie,
in the sieve of subconscious where spirits unlock

there’s a synergy building for delivery.
Ushered in fresh like a strong handyman,
with a rustic world view and gestalt bravery,

- Step, two, three, back, two, three – just like Candy land -
If the Lord is deceased, is the Widow endowed?
Gently she rests, singing love to the Ottoman.

Overstuffed daydreams in blue jeans are allowed.
When will this figment assume incarnation -
enrapturing mainstays to lay claim out loud?

Beggarly trust in the evaluation
of romantic love is an eternal plight
for all who may end up in the realization

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

that time waltzes on in the midst of the fight
while we’re dancing on, keeping step, doing right.

Shari Jo LeKane lives in St. Louis, Missouri, writes poetry,
prose, articles, and specializes in literary criticism, creative
writing, Spanish Language, culture, business and community
development, educational and leadership development, non-
profit matters, disability, and advocacy. She has a B.A. in En-
glish, Spanish, an M.A. in Spanish from Saint Louis University
in Madrid and St. Louis, and additional certifications. She
teaches Spanish at an HBCU in St. Louis, Missouri, and Cre-
ative Writing and Poetry. Shari’s poetry has been published in
literary magazines worldwide. She considers herself a modern
formalist, addressing contemporary issues in poetic verse with
a stylized language.

263

Wake Up Laughing

by Jack Brown

When your clarinette fool
flies into the bloody arms of night
and the trumpet pinwheels
like an axe thrown with bad intentions
by a circus assassin-stroke that
silken head and ring
the plangent bell of dawn.
Wake up laughing.

When the spillway words
bob like soap bubbles
among the restive stars
and the electric zebra
flashes hot color after cold-
Wind your Grandfather’s watch.
Cartwheel to the gut bucket blues.
Wake up laughing.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

When your clever conversation
passes through the sullen wall
and the salt has been sucked
from the mutinous sea-
Climb up on a diaphanous dream.
Fly a kite from Ryan’s Mountain.
Yodel into the frog mouth of the mad sun.
Wake up laughing.

265

A Better Education

by C.H. Coleman

You’re going to school,
my father said, as he pulled
warm sheets and blankets
from my single bed.
You’re going to school,
said my mother, as she pulled
a pillow from beneath a dream
playing in my sleepy head.
Stiff as an iron statue
lacking liberty, I figured
no use arguing my case,
I alighted in fast stead.
That musical’s famous song,
it’s a hard luck life for kids,
who can’t get adults to follow,
always the ones being led.
My imagination of adulthood
resembles a Christmas poem,

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

delicious, sugary sugar plum
dancers dressed purply red.
Mom ‘n Dad forgot that school
sucks joy from kids’ lives,
only the geekazoids benefit
from great books not read.
Shoved outside in winter,
gloves, scarf, slice of bread.
Meander to the bus stop,
other kids too seem dead.
You’re not going to school,
for sure I’ll tell my own kids,
pulling covers around them
as I tuck them in their beds.
You’re not going to school,
I’ll promise to those kids.
Daddy thinks better you stay
home and play hooky instead.

C.H. Coleman resides in New Haven, CT. His most recent
fiction and poetry may be found in Santa Ana River Review,
Adelaide Literary Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, former-
cactus, The Drabble: Shortness of Breadth and other on and
offline publications. When not writing, C.H. works pro bono
on cover letters and resumes, application essays, dating site
profiles and any other writing that helps family and friends
connect their dreams to reality.

267

Bingo

by Philip Wexler

1.

Surging up the parkway, a black ’67 Corvette
Stingray smeared with red and yellow war paint,

a can of Budweiser sloppily soldered to the hood,
half-open darkly tinted windows, driver side

headlight out, and vanity license plate spelling
Bingo! Spewing nasty gray exhaust, going

70 in a 45 mph zone, swerving maniacally
as Queen’s We are the Champions blasts

in a streaming loop from the cabin, the car
looks not long for this world, if it ever was.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

2.

Driver in aviator shades and a cowboy hat,
brim pulled down low, his paranoid

attempt to avoid detection. Drugged up,
a scar under his lip, shotgun on dashboard,

barrel end plugged, unbeknownst to him,
with a used condom from his latest encounter

with a substitute hooker taking the place
of his regular who was recuperating

after childbirth two months back. Cigarette stubs,
empty Bud cans littering his lap and the floor.

He is winning at mobile bingo on his cell phone
magnetically mounted to an indoor air vent

and converses with the scrappy looking dog
next to him. “Good dog, Bingo, we’re on

a streak now.” He has just sped through
his third red light that morning, at 3 AM, that is.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

3.

Up the road, a cop in an unmarked white
cruiser is on the lookout for a situation

like the one coming, to make his day.
On a grassy embankment, he waits

for that prototypical hyper driver daring
the world to take him on. He chews stick

after stick of gum while on speakerphone,
sweet talking his girlfriend to move in

with him and let him support her.
She just might relent because she’s not up

to returning to that night shift job but says
she really has to sign off and get back

to sleep now that the baby has settled down.
So, the cop, to pass the time, turns on

the classical music station, playing the heroic
final movement of Shostakovich’s Fifth

Symphony, and sees in his rear view
a high velocity speck gaining ground -

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

the death wish driver due to pass him
in seconds. He switches on his siren
and flashing lights, pumps his fist, floors
the accelerator, and grins triumphantly.
Under his breath, he snickers
“Bingo!” and bolts out the gate.

Philip Wexler, originally from Brooklyn, New York but a long-
time resident of Bethesda, Maryland, has written poetry his en-
tire adult life, with some 170 magazine publications, including
prose poems, to his credit. He has also dabbled in short fiction.
Phil has organized a number of spoken word series in suburban
Maryland, most recently at Glen Echo Park. Retired from a
career in federal service at the National Library of Medicine,
he has also written and edited technical works related to tox-
icology. In addition to writing, Phil also enjoys working as a
non-commercial mosaic artist.

271

To Earth and Water

by James Christon

Draw me, We will run to you.

We cried inside a small white room.
The night curling around the windows.

Empty house.
Empty bed.

Where did all the people go?
I do not know.
I was hurt.
I cried.

I couldn’t control myself.
I cried but not to you.

I will cope.
This pain rang with the weight of lead.

Why did you call me?
I need. I called.
I looked towards the swelling door
people call my name
and the cut fell.

272

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

sullen silences of empty homes.
a border of carpet separating life and death.
insidious designs. suicide sown into seams
I—Dashing myself upon this shore.
attend to me. I cannot do it on my own.
I’ll go on. I can’t go on.

you’ll go on. Persevere.
in the lonely house,
called from beyond—misty night encircles and
the voice rings out between two worlds:
“desire is my filth.
I await you beneath the Earth.
Fickle thoughts from your flesh.
They have led you to this mire.
Crawl, reside–cut your skin.
I will grab you while you sleep.”
the voice silenced them both, and the
night vanished in misty air.
I went home.

Walking into another night again.
So tired I couldn’t breathe.


One day, I thought, I will fall against this door.
When the walls were breathing
And my voice was seething
He howls from inside my head:

People put up with me, but they do not enjoy my presence.
They are calling my name so they can laugh at my face. They

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

are calling my name. Because they know my filth. They know
you lie. Lay down the game, you’ll find no rest. Put down the
burden. All you can do is die. They can hear you cry. Shameful,
weak, all to blame. Pent up and unreleased: kill yourself.

One day, I thought, an ending would make more sense.
One day I thought even my dreams hate me.
One day, I thought, I’ll go through with it.

I am here for you. I am here for you.

I tell myself.
I hope you know
That I think of you every day.
I hope you know,

I hope you know,
I tell myself:
I can’t speak.

So confused again.
Meeting up,
From the floor that knows no bottom.
harrowed

We took pictures and laughed
Because we were alive.
no voices, no words.
Athena paved her way.

Forever spurned to the tides of life
Writ in tears, etched in stone.
we will separate again

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

and I will crown my head with my woes.
and my scarred bark will grow beside these flowing waters.

Never forgetting what we were.
Moving past the moment we find ourselves in.

I will cover my skin with brown earth
my roots digging deep into the ground.

Together. Together.

Draw me, We will run to you.

Jimmy Christon is a writer from Eugene, Oregon. Jimmy is
all about working with writing to make life that much more
livable. Be it explorations of a feeling, or exposes of exploita-
tions, Jimmy tries his best to write honestly about the world
we live in.

275

On Brighter Days I Drink
only Water Before a Speech

by Jules Elleo

Ladies and gentlemen. Fellow Stardust Class travellers.
Colleagues, customers, shareholders,
stakeholders,
soothsayers,
and others.
I was asked to speak today
to turn platitudes into priceless wonders
and keep shapeshifting beggars
from chasing you home
(or to a hotel room preferred
by a member of your sedentary support staff)
when this things is over.

There is no such thing as a home
away from home. Which is why I leave the radio on
when I sleep in my car.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Truth be told, I now squeeze out a living between

soft skills improvement training and left clicks

on a mouse.

Reply all.

Accept invitation.

Save your last draft.

We feed bodies, smiles, and gold to our company
but loneliness is the only company I keep.
Wasting my days being sober, I feel most like a poet
when I remember that honesty is perhaps just that:
not to take what you cannot give back.

Can a poem be written to tame the horror of all this?

Don’t be alarmed, good people,
if after a day like today the next day
files for bankruptcy. If I have come to poetry
it is because nothing else would come to me.

I’ll drink to that because no battle seems unwinnable
from this side of the bottle. And if you survive
the next few slides conscious and undiminished,
my last cigarette will be for you.
For there is nothing left to gain
but knowing once and forever what part of you it is
that your younger self will miss the most.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Beware of the drunk who doesn’t drink to forget beware
of the poem that doesn’t ask for forgiveness
in the turn never trust a roadsign that doesn’t presume
you’ve been asleep at the wheel all along.

Jules Elleo is working on his first full-length manuscript of poems
in Brussels, Belgium. Visit him online at www.juleselleo.com

278

Forgiving My Father

by Jan Little

My father left me twice before he died,
Yet he returns in my dreams now and then.
He stands silently in a tableau
in the center of the room behind others,
who are also gone from me.

He has an expectant look as if to ask
for posthumous forgiveness for spending less time
with me than with my mother and brother.
During five years, he traveled for his job and later
he changed in his last years to trying to restrict
my independence he had before valued. He wanted
a quiet, compliant daughter, who never spoke in church,
and who did not love her black and Muslim students
equally with her white ones.

Yet I remember his bringing ice cream and a coloring book
to the hospital while I recovered from a tonsillectomy,
our laughing as we painted my bedroom one summer,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

and his driving me to school always almost making me tardy.
These events become hanging ornaments on my timeline
that I take out of memory boxes on birthdays, holidays.
each becomes burnished like worn brass
from tears rubbed off because they are so few.

Only now five years since his death, can I bear
to remember third-shift helping my halved dad
cough up phlegm to keep from drowning.
I breathed and slept in slightly padded chairs
Alone in the hospital.
Daily, friends and family came to grieve
for his dimming light that stayed lit only
to go home to be with Mom to Hospice care.
Silenced and gaunt, his only action was to hold Mom’s hand
with brief looks from under lids to reveal
the small light and love left.

I kiss a bald pate and promise to care for Mom
and a breath is his last.

A member of the Florida Writers’ Association, I am a retired col-
lege instructor and AP English teacher. I am revising a murder
mystery, writing a fantasy, and have written short stories and
poetry. I live in Orlando, Florida.

280

Brief Envelopes of Dusk

by Chani Zwibel

I seal brief envelopes of dusk waiting for you. How
can envelopes be brief? Their contents are light,
fleeting, near empty. Their paper is thin. They quickly
dissolve. As soft as the blue-between curtain where
stars do a quick mirror-check of their brilliance, before
blooming into full night’s splendor, all promises given
without real assurance are brief envelopes of dusk.

Every dropped feather is a brief envelope of dusk. Every
bird discards a different feather. At dusk come the starlings.
Their cries announce nightfall. They carry blue-black in
their beaks. Night birds tell each other secrets about the
night: how to pluck fresh grapes from the bunch and
leave only the rotten on the vine, sentinels of dusk.
Doves coo, ushering dark onto oak branches, welcoming
an old friend. Keening, crows go. They dip their feathers
in puddles, ablutions, their odd prayers a croaking. In satin
livery, they carry mystic messages. Woodpeckers have no
pocket-watch but know their dinner hour. Each night when

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

all the sun has left the trees and the worms twitch in the
shadowed bark, they come to dine, that last hour before dusk.
Be mine; let me keep you. Give over every red
feather you find. Keep them in a locket, silver
casket, or concealed in the breast pocket of a woolen
suit, neatly folded, its own envelope of dusk.

Chani Zwibel is the author of Cave Dreams to Star Portals and
Star Portals to Cash Registers. She is an associate editor with
Madness Muse Press. She graduated from Agnes Scott College in
2011. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but
now dwells in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and their dog.

Recent publications include:
The Ekphrastic Review: Ekphrastic Challenges Responses:
Emilio Boggio, November 22, 2019,
Adelaide No. 29, October 2019, Animal Heart Press:
From the Ashes October 2019, Marble Issue 5, Summer 2019
The Ekphrastic Review: Ekphrastic Challenges Responses:
Cristobel Rojas July 19, 2019, Q/A, A Poetry Journal, Issue
#2 (July 9, 2019), Setu: Special Editon Western Voices Volume
3 Issue 9 February 2019
Pieces forthcoming at: SageWoman.

282

Learning How To Love

by Sarah Conklin

Intimate objects taking place of the word
Home
But home is not where the heart is
For home is a place I don’t call my own
A place to rest my head from weary thoughts
A place to not feel so lost

For home is a person
a person quite dear
For home is embedded in you
something so near

But when home is a person you try to
keep the foundation strong
But foundations go weak, when they stand for so long
So my dear love, my humble home, my person,
Please keep this foundation strong
for I am still learning.

Sarah Conklin is an undergraduate student working to get
her PHD in child psychology, with a minor in creative writing.

283

Homecoming

by Katharine Studer

You loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
you wanted to be like Raphael
wearing a half shell and carrying
a sword, running into the sewer
drain to slay the criminal whose
gun held the entire city at
bay; but instead you signed up
for boot camp at Jackson,
“Don’t worry Mom” you said,
“They call it relaxen at Jackson”
For a reason.

We waited for 12 hours in the
family bunker the day you deployed,
sitting in circles, Indian-style, sometimes standing, pacing
for hours, with Lee Greenwood’s
“God Bless the USA” playing on the
Intercom, your M-16 propped up
carefully against the wall behind your head

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

because you were told as you waited,
to never let your weapon, leave your sight
until you finally picked it up
and held it tight against your chest,
releasing the grip only long enough to shift
it to the other hand and wave goodbye,
with a boyish grin that I never saw again,
even when you returned home a year later
from Fallujah for the first time,
up all night sweating,
drinking bottles of cheap Gin
telling me “you’d never understand
Mom” how the gun powder gets all
over your face and hands, turning down
the pot roast and scalloped potatoes
made to celebrate your arrival,
saying no to the chocolate oatmeal-no-bakes
that were always your favorite,
as you took another swig
from a turned-up Gin bottle,
looking wildly into the open
air—telling me
that Gin is all you’d ever need.

Katharine Studer lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys
taking pictures of the beaches along the California coast. She
finds inspiration for her poems by studying the people whose
stories are visible in the busy city streets. Her hobbies also

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

include watching her granddaughter play volleyball with a
traveling club and attending plays at the numerous theaters
around the city. She teaches writing courses at San Francisco
State University and online courses with Ashland University’s
Correctional Education program.

286

Visiting Adelaide:
Pineapple Mystique

by Larry Hamilton

A crowded marketplace, mid-day lunch break
tourists sampling, gawking, touching.
International faces many hues, many tongues.
Pungent, fresh cut citrus and many new
exotic fruits. Espresso, Latte, almond roast, a free aroma feast.
Serious shoppers seeking value plus high quality.
Two dusky young women and their smiling
laughing eyes, walking ads for Waikiki.
They touch on-sale pineapples and their sprouting leaves.
With knowing hands they judge by color, size and feel.
A mystery to my Haole eyes, I wish I
knew the clues to their insides.
I carefully watch, they buy two. I bought
the third they almost had.
One then returned two leaves off the fruit she held.

287

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Laid them in the bin with a sheepish
smile, laughing at herself.
Respect, and thanks, nothing wrong with that.
So, I left two leaves, smiling silly at myself.

Larry L. Hamilton grew up as an Army Brat, traveling from
school to school, state to state, 2 tours in Germany. He then
spent a few years on active duty himself in Explosive Ordnance
Disposal. He earned three degrees in Government and Interna-
tional Studies from the University of South Carolina many years
ago and spent most of his career in SC state government while
also running over 50 marathons and coaching his sons’ soccer
and chess teams. Now 77, Larry and his wife are living well with
Alzheimer’s on the side of a mountain in Asheville, NC.

288

Politics In Vigil

by Christopher Di-Filippo

We held vigil with suffrage
Lighting candles by the vote
Watching lines in procession
Mourning the ink that marked our choice
The voices heard in hymn
Names left in silence
Seeking forgiveness of the ballot
Decisions bartered on a sin
Faith designated by a chosen right
Temptation held the margin
Polling righteous in its offering
Neither a path to societies belief
The votes were counted
Freedom held in chastity
We ask deliverance of a promise
Forgiveness is not bipartisan
There is no sanctity in parliament
Just the cruelty of misjudgement

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Sacrificed for a policy
And the watering of trust
By the chosen hands.

Chris was born and raised in Sydney Australia. He completed
university in Sydney and graduated with a degree in business
studies. Chris has devoted his spare time to writing, with
recent works published in Outposts of Beyond, Neo-Opsis,
Not One of Us, Liquid Imagination, Abyss & Apex, Adelaide
Magazine, 101 Fiction, Fantastical Savannahs and Jungles An-
thology (Rogue Planet).

290

Mother / Father

by Riley Bounds

Mother.

I’m sure one day
I’ll crawl back up
one more uterine
hell
and wait
in the blood
and amnion
for
our hearts
to beat
together.
I’m sure
of
a lot
of
things.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Father.

You didn’t
call me
about the
rapture
today.
Twenty-six years
of any day
now,
how everyone
would
pay,
and I don’t
know
how to tell
you
I don’t
think
God will save
us
from what’s
already
happened.
But rant,
shout,
break your voice
against my
head
and let me
hear it,
because I’d rather

292

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

shiver in
your noise
than stand in
your silence.
Your heart
was always
a war
drum.
So stay
and tithe
your noise.
Stay,
and maybe
one day
gravity will
reverse,
all our ash
will fall
up,
and all the world’s
fires
will spiral
into the upper
atmospheres
like jet
streams,
and all
that’ll be
left
on the ground
is
what’s

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

pure.
All our traumas
happened while
the sky watched,
so let’s give it
hell,
let’s give it
a taste,
you and
me,
whatever gives you
war,
whatever keeps you
fighting.
Keep
your dogs
this side
of memory.
Keep watching
for pale horses
and holes
in the sky,
listen for
the eagle,
just don’t
stop
talking.

Riley Bounds was raised in Alex, Oklahoma. He earned a B.A.
in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma
and is pursuing an M.A. in Philosophy at Talbot School of
Theology. He lives in La Mirada, California.

294

Tender

by Angela Shepherd

Was it all for love
Survival or gain
Tethered from above
Freed of its pain
Warmed by memories
Scented as they drift
With gentle affinity
Cloaked in reflections mist
A welcomed homecoming
Amidst shadows gone past
Ballads sweetly opening
Windows to the heart
Seeking, searching, aching
For comforts higher ground
A simpler time now waking
Where lost we are found

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019
296

The Defiant Jay

by Rees Nielsen

Along the shanks and long shadows of my mother’s library,
a legacy of syntax handed down, one generation to the next,
words like wise men bearing gifts
encounter soldiers of fortune betting on a new world
words as modest as Sherpas scaling the highest peaks,
words that stole the headlines,
words gone bad,
words as jailors validated by term papers, legal documents,
college applications, consent forms,
lists of medicinal side effects,
newsroom deadlines,
words surging into a tsunami of warranties,
advertisements,
jingles, permission slips and tweets
words mocked through the streets of the capitol,
words binding one to the other as sturdy as links in a chain
words as power of attorney
incendiary words
words gone off color

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

turncoat words
words born to pander
words bound hand and foot by loyalty
words as gags,
wasted words,
words as falsehood
words so mighty that never a lie dare enter their domain

If only my words might take to the heavens
like homing pigeons slicing through the twilight
yearning towards the roost
while I stand, planted in an open field
all envy for the defiant jay

For 35 years Rees Nielsen farmed stone fruit with his cousins
on the family farm 3 miles southwest of Selma, at the heart
California’s San Joaquin Valley. Three years after the passing of
his wife Riina, he moved to Indianola, Iowa where he chauf-
feurs his grandchildren, Marshall and Adelaide Taylor, to and
from elementary school. He has published poetry, fiction and
visual art in the USA and the UK.

298


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