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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

FINALISTS



Every Spring

by William Pruitt

magnolia with new leaves,
dead branch hanging

Long ago kings had term limits
at the end of a cycle, say seven years
they were buried, burned or sometimes
expected to hack themselves to pieces

sparrows under my dormer
nest-building noise

someone discovered metaphor

more meaningful to just act it out
somehow no one extended the concept
working folk still had to
fight wars and die

bluebells crocus skunk cabbage
flowers in the sucking mud

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

then the secret got out
people realized you don’t
have to actually die you don’t
even have to kill something
as long as you make the right gestures
this was not acceptable to kings

she makes a necklace of dandelion
flowers, she makes a crown

Yahweh still needs the smell of burning flesh,
& the sight of spilled blood, still smites Cain
for offering green, who goes fratricidal every
day of the world IS LITERAL all the holy
scriptures scream, NO TIME BUT CLOCK TIME insist
the strategists of war, and God said from
a burning bush that children
are the only ones who blush

Beyond the cycle blood smoke wheel
every spring she makes the dandelion crown

William Pruitt is a poet, fiction writer, storyteller and assistant
editor for Narrative Magazine. He has published poems in
such places as Ploughshares, Anderbo.com, Cottonwood, Country
Journal, Ravensperch, Otis Nebula and Stoneboat; in two chap-
books from White Pine and FootHills; and the self-published
Walking Home from the Eastman House. His short stories ap-
pear in recent issues of Indiana Voice Journal, Adelaide Literary
Review, Oyster River Pages, Sick Lit, Crack the Spine Literary
Magazine, Visitant, Midway and Hypertext.

52

The Creaking Walls

by George Gad Economou

nightmarish whispers through the concrete
echo into the dark, deep midnight, as the bourbon
river stops, for good; needles broken and thrown away

in distant recycling bins for other angels
having lost their wings to find,
a last effort to balance the crimes, to
restore something inexplicable.

turtledoves die together, falling from the skies with one cry,
flaming meteors penetrate the stratosphere,

wounds can never be healed with just a “sorry”,
cheap heart apologies from pre-prepared
speeches do not cut the chase,
“apologize”, “forgiveness”; what’s the fucking point?

the tequila’s poured, strong and pure,
seeking for a long drinking hour to

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

surrender to the whims of a new world order;
horny demons escape the infernal pits, fallen angels meet
in the dens and joints of dark alleys—
there I too was, an observer
between immortal sinners, and it felt perfectly alright.

far better nights than the ones of
today, sober and clean nights
with nothing to do, nowhere to be, away
from broken down drinkers
and whores, nevermore the rough nights
of alley fights, bourbon drinking,
and needle sharing; everything to
destroy the vessel, yet no storm
would sink the damn indestructible ship that lusts for death.

empty hearts and cold livers, bruised
thoughts that render the nights
sleepless, breathlessly running through
the alleyways of yesterday
in a vain search for the meaning that
was tossed in a garbage can

so long, long ago that it doesn’t even
make sense… nonsensical
words, and lines, and words, and thoughts, wherefore
does the cat walk the rail, the mouse hides under the bush,
the cockroaches mate by worn-out
mattress and we’re still here
and there,

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

in the shooting galleries and the mansions,
still searching, still shooting,

drinking and fucking,
loathing the moments, despising the hours,
annihilating the world from within,
shooting nightingales down and
making stews out of sparrows
for we’ve all grown tired of the same old
songs and we need no birds for us to
sing—where to find them, though,
when we’ve killed them all
except for
the heartless pigeon sauntering its way
toward undeserved immortality?

George Gad Economou holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy
of Science and resides in Athens, Greece, freelancing his way to
a new place. His novella, Letters to S., was published in Story-
landia Issue 30 and his short stories and poems have appeared
in literary magazines, such as Adelaide Literary Magazine.

55

Planetship

by Abby Ripley

Planetship. Bestowed by interacting cosmic forces;
By similar interacting earthly forces we call evolution.
There is no god who has caused it or directed it
Only the synchrony of forces that are self-propelled
And cannot be halted. The field of forces is specific
To every medium whether Earth or Humanity but
They also overlap, same but different, as Plotinus said.

Poets know Creation. Yeats pointing out that you can’t
Tell the difference between the dance and the dancer.
Whitman acknowledging that every atom belonging to
Me belongs to you. Where did they get such wisdom?
But we are in an eternal race. The Earth, as long as it is here
With humans at the helm of this starship, idling in Space.

We are the Movers, as Aristotle always knew, so our
Evolution will take us from the earthly realm beyond,
To another spinning sphere awaiting our arrival.
We’ll have no choice as we are destroyers more than

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Creators given one place. Our home now is being
Compromised, eaten alive by noxious molecules
Which we launched in error and have no will to stop.

I fear not all of us will move beyond the Earth for in
This giant step for mankind the educated, the healthy,
And probably the most economically sound will depart
Leaving the ill and poor begotten to their extinction
On this stalled and smoldering planet with death in its sight.

I am seventy five years old, and have lived a very rich life. I’m
writing poetry again. My first effort was in the eighth grade
about which my teacher wrote: “What have we here? Another
Walt Whitman?” I knew it was a compliment as I had mem-
orized his Song of Myself. I wrote a few more times for cel-
ebratory occasions. However, I’ve spent most of my life as a
student and periodically as a Peace Corps volunteer, a travel
agent, a life insurance field agent, an encyclopedia editor, a fine
art photographer and exhibitor, a painter, and now a writer/
poet. I’m writing a historical novel, but I find writing poetry
a time-out because I can write a poem in a few hours or a few
days when my novel goes on and on! I live with my partner of
forty three years, three dogs, and a magical Calico cat. I also
crusade on behalf of western Kenyan people who suffer from
tungiasis, alerting humanitarian, political, and religious leaders
to this scourge.

57

On Becoming

by Andrea Cladis

When I was 15, I wanted to be 16
so I could drive a car
and have control.

When I was 17, anorexia reminded me
that boys don’t like “bony” girls
and there might not be an 18.

When I was 20, I learned that grief never weighs
less than a ten-ton boulder
resting eternally on your chest.

When I was 21, I had
my first period and thought of all
the therapists on the wrong side of my lies.

I learned I hated blood and reviled hidden truths.

When I was 22, I started writing a blog
about “being” and “identity” -

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

I tried on this thing called “self-discovery.”
I learned that no one really knows who they are.

When I was 23, I wanted to be stronger and
lifting weights gave me answers
to the physical pain I wanted to hide.

I learned strength is more than something you feel.

When I was 24, I experienced my first kiss.
I was glad I waited. It tasted like a shoe bottom
smeared with gummy grape jelly beans.

I learned I never wanted to kiss a man I didn’t love again.

When I hit the sweet spot at 25, I was
healthy in body and spirit,

I was chasing men and jobs and
the chance of moneyed independence.

I learned wealth is wasted on the rich.

When I was 26, I exchanged my day job for work with the
Night-time janitor at my dad’s medical office.
He became one of my closest friends.

I learned there’s worth in all work, especially
the thankless, lonely jobs

cleaning up the careless waste of others.

When I was 27, I was mercilessly teased for my virginity as
I published a book about racing through life.
I guess I never raced towards sex.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

My religion told me not to.
Eventually I learned it’s not what makes a relationship last.

When I was 28, I got engaged, bought a
house, and planned a wedding.

By cultural norms, I was becoming
a self-sufficient “adult.”

Does that mean I can’t call my mom every day?
Does that mean the undulating
sadness will just disappear?

At 29, I got married. I wrote a memoir. I
finished graduate school.

I published a second and third book
and I finally forgave my 17-year-old self.

Maybe she won’t haunt me in my 30s.

At 30, I’m told the decade means
Becoming a mother
Becoming more of a woman
Becoming a wife who has her life together.

But 30 means laundry and bills and
worried responsibility.

Is it okay if I still cry sometimes?
Life’s burdens haven’t gotten any lighter.
Yesterday I found new gray hairs
and a metabolism that’s
slowed.

60

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

“Have a super dirty thirty!”
My friends say to me –
It’s not like you’re really that old.

No, I’m less naïve and more alive
than I have ever been.

I wake up, I wonder,
Why do we measure time in years
rather than in moments?
Actually, why do we even measure time

at all?

30, 40, 50, 60, 70. Will I see these years?

I don’t know.

But if we are lucky enough to be
breathing, then we are all still

BECOMING.

Andrea Cladis, holds an MFA from Fairfield University and
is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Elmhurst College with
degrees in English Writing, Interdisciplinary Communications,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

French, and Secondary Education. A former journalist and
High School English teacher, she currently works as a freelance
editor, writing consultant, and fitness professional. She has
worked for Delnor Hospital’s Marketing and Public Relations
Department, for neighborhood magazines, and as a feature
writer for Shaw Media. She has been published by SAGE Ac-
ademic, The Greek Star, various literary journals, and online
publications including Thought Catalog, Elite Daily, and
Patch.com. She is also the author of Finding the Finish Line:
Navigating the Race of Life through Faith & Fitness (Cross-
Link Publishing, 2017). She has written extensively for online
news websites, print magazines, local newspapers, and social
media blogs. Known for her local opinion columns, Andrea’s
writing has been described as “emotive, yet brazen, seasoned
with thinly veiled cynicism, and a pinch of sarcasm.” Andrea
is an Advisory Board Member for Cambridge Scholars Pub-
lishing and maintains a personal site about faith, fitness, and
writing which can be explored at www.andreacladis.com.

62

Through Their Eyes

by Lael Lopez

A hungry child
devoid of hope
this world has robbed
all their joy
every waking moment
feels like another year in hell
but we will never see
through their eyes
We watch the news
we sigh and cry
our sentiments
do not fill that child
sharing posts on your social media
or complaining at night
will do nothing for that child
we will never feel
the pain in their lives

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

An abused child
beaten every night
they have never felt
the love of a mother
or the joy of a father
the rotting feeling
that no one will ever care
we will never see
through their eyes

We see the shelters
filled with broken souls
we shy away from donating
a few dollars each time
our pity will not save that child
we will never feel
the emptiness in their soul

The outcast child
standing alone at school
three inch scars
decorate their arms
but we will never see
through their eyes

We put up mental health posters
we insist that they are not alone
everyday a new social media post
but we will never feel
the gaping hole of loneliness

64

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

in their heart
we will never feel
what it is like
to hate the body
you were born into

We will never see
through their eyes
or feel the pain
in their souls
so we must act
or they will all be gone

Be kind to your friends
do the work
to help those children
do not sit idly by
while the child population of our world
slowly dies

Lael Lopez is an unknown poet living in Trinidad with her 11
cats and 1 dog. She goes to an online school and spends her free
time drafting poetry and working on short stories. Growing up
a quiet child has lead her to use her pen and words as an outlet
for her imagination.

65

Walt Whitman

by Richard Weaver

Look upon me soon as one who was here a long while,
wandering this wide country, and who saw many a man
die great in pain and misery, or simply drain of life. I
know the silence that shrouds a family when death is
announced and just as suddenly leaves the room somehow
emptier. Mine will no doubt be louder since I’m known
to yawp. Those who I’ve helped by easing their burden
are not forgotten, unwept over, or abandoned to dull
graves. Nor are hospitals factories where the dead are
manufactured and delivered elsewhere to morgues. Not
the ones I’ve worked, or where I presently reside, restless,
but wasn’t I always? I’ve suffered a few whacks. The
doctors call them strokes. But I remain committed to
my lifelong poem and celebrate the final edition that
supersedes all. Truth be, I’d much rather have a mud bath
followed by an immersion in a cold spring. That is my ease.
What comforts now is memories. Real or ones wished for
and never received matters not. My mother too recently
dead. Long-lived, I am of her stock and boundaries. Both

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

explorers of the unknown, the unimaginable. I honor
her absence as she will mine surely. The doctors talk as if
I’m not here, uttering words such as pleurisy, diminished
lung capacity, TB, multiple strokes, and nephritis. They
must’ve assumed deafness as well. I know I shall not be
here next year for my birthday. Unlike my older brother
Edward, I apparently will die soon enough at my house
at 328 Mickle Street. to please those who document and
detail such things. Might I suggest they add boredom
and monotony to the death list? The notable exception
- Warry. The sailor boy of good nature. He of handsome
biblical charity. Warren “Warrie” Fritzinger. He has it
in full. Here now to see my safe passage beyond. Not
hurrying about like a nest of red ants freshly disturbed by
an aimless boot sole. Even our dog named Watch comes
when he calls. Mr. Whitman, he calls me, just as he names
Mrs. Davis, housekeeper once, now co-caretaker, Ma’am,
unfailingly. He’s such a kind one, Warry. Has helped turn
me so many times on my water mattress. I tug the bell
pull he installed, so handy he is in many a way, and either
he or Mrs. Davis would be there, but usually he, saying I
sounded like the sea splashing against a ship’s hull, a poem
I wish I’d written. Even so I’m much satisfied with the last
version of my poem. It’s been a long wandering and I have
had the luxury of loving and being loved, and not being
alone too long. I’ve traveled wide and seen much of this
worldly earth. The many I’ve known, the many I’ve met
along the happy road, all call out for embrace. I’d be a cad
and a scoundrel to’ve not heard, not to’ve listened to their
entreaties. My life is passing. Has passed. “Warry! Shift!”

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Richard Weaver lives in Baltimore City where he volunteers
with the Maryland Book Bank, CityLit, the Baltimore Book
Festival, acts as Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit College, and is the
official writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. He is the
author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press). 3 of his poems
were adapted as the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars,
(2005), performed four times to date.

68

Shadow Dancing

by Peter Scheponik

Which is truer–
the tree or its shadow?
Surely, the shadow is larger than life,
the tree’s dark Id who swallows the light
to grow to its overwhelming size–
beautiful as it is haunting.
The tangle of branches gathers the grass in grand eclipse.
The trunk of darkness the tree drags behind it
sprawls forth like an agent of night,
with umbra boughs that embrace and
entice the mind to wander,
the heart to dance.
Is it warning or seduction?
Plan of divine mind or merely cosmic chance?
Certainly the sight arrests the soul
with something akin to awe–
or maybe fear of what hides behind the shadows,
the inability to bear the sun’s unblinking stare.
Light and darkness, indomitable pair

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

that divides and conquers
the beauty we seek, the truth we dare,
in this life of shadows and trees.

P.C. Scheponik is a lifelong poet who lives by the sea with his
wife, Shirley, and their shizon, Bella. His writing celebrates
nature, the human condition, and the metaphysical mysteries
of life. He has published four collections of poems: Psalms
to Padre Pio (National Centre for Padre Pio, INC), A Storm
by Any Other Name and Songs the Sea has Sung in Me (PS
Books, a division of Philadelphia Stories), and And the Sun
Still Dared to Shine (Mazo Publishers). His work has also ap-
peared in numerous literary journals, among them, Adelaide,
Visitant, Red Eft Review, Boned, Time of Singing, WINK and
others.

70

Hair

by Holley Hyler

I dream about hair.
cutting my hair,
washing my hair.

I dream about
flying through windshields
from the backseat

while he drives.
in the dream,
there is nothing to do

but accept my death.
it all happens
so fast.

I grow my hair out
in part because I
remember Mom telling me,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

“if he’d had his way,
you never would have
had any haircuts as
a little girl.”

It’s funny,
how we make these
decisions, thinking

they’re for ourselves.

myriad of heart tricks;
sometimes I wonder
if his humanity is

a mirage.
still, I hold on.
still, I grow my hair.

“Sometimes,
I don’t know if you’re
telling me the truth”

is not the same as

“you
are
a liar”

but that’s
what he heard,
the tears

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

silently
pouring
down my face.

strands of red
and gold
clinging to them.

I think,
“I can wash my hair
with this,” giggle,

blow my nose
and walk into
work like

nothing ever happened.

love is
a hopeless
hallelujah
incessant ringing
throbbing
in the ears
erecting barriers
around organs
tearing them down
putting them up again
and not being
entirely sure

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

if anything
is right
why can’t
it just
be right
why can’t
it just

some days
I tell myself
I am a Dothraki warrior

I haven’t lost a battle
in years
and I won’t lose

today, either.

wipe the tears
away, slow my
breathing

remember
the times that love
was not

a hopeless hallelujah.
remembering when
it was unrestrained
laughter in the jeep,

74

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

eating ice cream,
talking music.
an organ unbarred
by chaos
and death,
free for the
taking because
it was always
given back
without a
single scratch
or tear,
always.

Holley Hyler is from Danville, Virginia. She graduated in
2013 from University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of
Arts in Creative Writing. Her first publication, a personal essay
entitled “Meditation Session,” was in Buck Off Magazine in
May of 2016. She works as a consultant and plays the guitar
in her down time.

75

Ecclesiastes Road

by Patrick T. Reardon

See and see: Each time passes.
Journey is taken. River runs.
Green becomes brittle.
Tall withers. Sun is blind.
Blood dries to grit. Clock locks.

I line my dashboard with communion
of saints, each action figure holier than
I, driving west down Ecclesiastes Road,
listening to sacramental noise of wind
through open windows, liturgical sweat,
no expectation of revelation whisper,
itch to make distance, cover ground,
miles to go before miles to go, across
flatland to blank-face mountain, never
to be reached.

Remember now. Rains come and go.
Clouds remain. Strong men bend.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Grinders are ground. Doors are shut.
Voice of bird has no music.
Desire fails. Bowl shatters. Spirit dust.

Some day, I will
breathe out my
sorrows finally.

Patrick T. Reardon, who has been nominated three times for
a Pushcart Prize, is the author of eight books, including the
poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its
Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel
Silence. His poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, San
Antonio Review, Ariel Chart, Cold Noon, Eclectica, Esthetic
Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino,
Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, Down in the Dirt, Picaroon,
Time for Singing, The Write Launch, Hey I’m Alive, Meat
for Tea, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Under a Warm
Green Linden and The Write City. Reardon, who worked as
a Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published essays
and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune,
Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Cath-
olic Reporter and U.S. Catholic. His novella Babe was short-
listed by Stewart O’Nan for the annual Faulkner-Wisdom
Contest. His Pump Don’t Work blog can be found at http://
www.patricktreardon.com/blog/.

77

Sophia at My Window

by Phil Kemp

With bowed head, upon
the lower branch, Wisdom stares
at the window. I wonder
if I’m worthy of her presence.
She awes me.
I want her to speak.
Her servant, I’ll listen. Sophia,
you survey what moves.
What do you see in my heart?
We lock gazes and then I blink.
Only an empty tree remains.
I’ll remember her in darkness.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Phil Kemp was born in London in 1960. He received his M.A.
(Hons) in History from the University of Edinburgh and his
Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship from the College of
Librarianship Wales (now part of the University of Wales) in
Aberystwyth. In 2001, Phil relocated to Iowa City, Iowa, where
he resides with his wife.

Phil’s poem River was published for Iowa City’s Poetry in
Public contest in 2017. He is the author of two unpublished
novels, set in the UK, spanning periods from the sixteenth cen-
tury to the present day. Phil is currently a member of the Trip-
tychs, a poetry workshop in Iowa City facilitated by Jeanette
Miller, author of Unscheduled Flights published by Adelaide
Press earlier this year.

79

The World is too Bright
for Our Eyes

by Martin Willitts, Jr

The fifties were a simple time:
people did what they did, and it mattered;
lawns wore buzzcuts; and beauty pageants were rigged.
Our parents let us run uninhibited and corralled us at night.
We didn’t spill ambition. I was there,
patrolling neighborhoods as light lessened.

You might have seen me peddling days behind myself.
Where was I going? Was someone waiting for me?
There I go again, thumping in and out of doors,
imperfect like memory. Time was a short sneeze.

In the hierarchy of this world, I was a bottom feeder
trying to ascend the elusive ladder of success
my father promised existed, but, like porch swings,
I had to put effort into the motion.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

The world trilled with lovers. Flickers of headlights
were always leaving or returning from somewhere.
My dad’s day in the sun, climbing the corporate ladder,
never happened. That opportunity passed him,
cutting him to the quick.

It was a simple time, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?
We were able to identify a song from the Hit Parade
within three notes. You might have seen me
whizzing through the bully’s territory.
Light was perfect back then. Light lasted forever,
until it ended. As Groucho said, “You bet your life.”

Parents rooted for their state’s beauty in the pageant.
Some cheated on their spouses behind closed doors,
lights off, groping whatever was there. Someone
was mid-way up the ladder of success,
or on their way down. It was time for us to come in.

Martin Willitts Jr has 20 chapbooks including the winner
of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, “The
Wire Fence Holding Back the World” (Flowstone Press, 2017),
plus 11 full-length collections including “The Uncertain Lover”
(Dos Madres Press, 2018), and “Home Coming Celebration”
(FutureCycle Press, 2019).

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Breakfast

by Helen Hagemann

A square table of a period French provincial and a joyful array
of the region with croissants and slender butter and placed
with a little difference is a small white bull. Not a real bull. It
shows perhaps a borrowing. Spanish, but not, certainly not,
as it holds milk for the tea. The tea is weak but nevertheless
the decoration is blue, a kind colour around the room in a
choice of chairs, not too small for the back and the leaning
yesterday and it is likely that today is a holiday with eggs and
coffee. Delicious eating without explaining an accent as food
is a language, yes, and no need to explain a carafe of juice with
an arrangement of seasonal fruit and a side serving of baker’s
crusty snaps. Waiting is lengthening for the bacon and mush-
rooms if that order is really necessary but if in the eating there
is needed respite, a platter of cheese is there for the tasting, and
a declared respect for the cook when the door swings open
and a tray of pumpkin soup is strong and mushy with early
morning warmth which is a kind of astonishment for tears
and fullness and a certain bursting when there is further talk
of salmon with a dash of pepper, kind cuts of ham, sausages
thick or thin, a breakfast different and pleasanter and certainly
there is no surprise waving the chicken away.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Helen Hagemann has prose and poetry published in Austra-
lian Literary magazines, including Overland, Island, Westerly
and Southerly, and more recently prose poetry in the Adelaide
Literary Magazine. Helen holds an MA in Writing from ECU
and is the author of Evangelyne & Other Poems (2009) and
a full collection of Arc & Shadow (2013). Currently, she is
working on a prose poetry collection and a second novel titled
The Ozone Café. Her debut novel The Last Asbestos Town is
forthcoming from Adelaide Books, April 2020.

83

Joan Claire

by A. Elizabeth Herting

Firstborn babe, sleeping peacefully in a lavender room,
Soft purple curtains flutter out over light purple walls,
Her grandmother’s very image, her father’s deepest pride,
He holds her in a lavender rocking chair, gently rocking her
to sleep as a young golden retriever places a ball upon his lap,
My heart lies with her…

Little girl running barefoot through a muddy Iowa farm,
Long tangled hair, face kissed by the sun,
Brown dress, brown hair, brown feet, brown
everything on a late summer’s day,
Dark hazel eyes, tinged with golden-brown,
My heart lies with her…

Child prodigy, sitting in a tiny green
chair on the first day of school,
Mismatched pigtails and skinned-up knees,
reading titles from a pint-sized bookshelf,
Her teacher marveling that she has been

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

reading since before the age of two,
Playing upon a field of green grass, she dances through
her childhood in a breathtaking, glorious spring,
My heart lies with her…

Young woman, nearly grown in a kaleidoscope of
vibrant hues, her fingers stained with paint and ink,
Red and blue and orange and yellow, her mind
a jumble of intricate drawings and sketches,
Almost two decades passing by in the span of a moment,
She dreams and grows with an artist’s heart, untapped
potential teetering on the very brink of a colorful future,
My heart lies with her…

And even when the years mold my memories into
a much softer glow, I believe I shall still see,
A baby sleeping peacefully in lavender. A little girl with
muddy feet running through a field with wild abandon,
tracking her footprints forever onto my heart. A young
woman bent over a sketchbook, frantically drawing.
Her life a symphony of bold, joyous colors, her golden hue
to my silver, the baton eventually passing between us,
And her heart will lie with me...

A. Elizabeth Herting has had short fiction stories featured
in many different publications, including podcasts, reprints,
and poetry. She also has experience with non-fiction and as

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

an online copywriter. Postcards From Waupaca is her second
collection of short stories. The first one, Whistling Past the
Veil was published by Adelaide Books in 2019. A. Elizabeth
has also completed her first novel titled Wet Birds Don’t Fly at
Night soon to be released.
And her heart will lie with me...

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Amsterdam

by Fred Pollack

I long to speak with some old Marxist’s ghost
who died before the “end of history”
and fill him in on what has happened since –
objectively, without the condescension
of a living jackal for a dead lion.
Of course he’ll be upset
but will want (how could he not) to keep
the dialectic going, and invite me
to meet his friends, whom he calls on a pay phone.
In a small apartment (why shouldn’t it
be Amsterdam? Less predictable than Paris)
overlooking the Herengracht, beneath
that sky Camus said was a layer of doves,
I try as far as possible to explain
myself. But remembering who
I’m talking to, I speak of factories
in Borneo and in suicide-rich compounds
in China; Bloomberg terminals, eight trillion
speculative dollars circling

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

among them every minute. I confuse
and put them off somewhat by addressing
the wife or mistress who continually
pops up for coffee. Abruptly ask
if anyone knows Bram van Velde, whose work
inspired me. Or the COBRA painters
(whom I tie in with Situationism
and ’68 to keep them interested).
Meanwhile I mentally abstract the scene –
one should squint to see the large shapes of a piece –
into that group of friends I always wanted.
But by now they’re insanely
arguing. The word “proletariat,”
I notice, occurs often the first ten minutes,
less after, which is somehow both gratifying
and annoying. They ask about shipping lanes;
I tell them what I know about containers.
Eventually they decide that further study
is called for, and form a working group.
I don’t mention, no one does,
the obvious. But an older fellow, smiling
and plainly quoting, says that although Heaven
is eternal rest, the blessed do not cease
their efforts. He seems pleased that
I know which fourteenth-century mystic said it.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure
(Story Line Press, 1986) and Happiness (Story Line Press, 1998),
and two collections, A Poverty of Words (Prolific Press, 2015)
and Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, 2018). In
print, Pollack’s work has appeared in Hudson Review, Southern
Review, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Manhattan Re-
view, Skidrow Penthouse, Main Street Rag, Miramar, Chicago
Quarterly Review, The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Poetry Quar-
terly Review, Magma (UK), Neon (UK), Orbis (UK), and else-
where. Online, his poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Diagram,
BlazeVox, Mudlark, Occupoetry, Faircloth Review, Triggerfish,
and elsewhere. Adjunct professor of creative writing at George
Washington University.

89

He Talks to His Father

by Lazar Sarna

HE TALKS TO HIS FATHER
He talks to his father
dead for ten years
like he would talk to a house plant
whose leaves have shed.

Mainly he asks for advice
about the endless fears of being
a less than poor doctor.

When he gets ready to journey
the mouth of his rucksack can’t handle it all:
it knows when to keep quiet,
when to yawn,
a signal that he assumes too much
just by talking
without an appointment,
without an end.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

His father knows when to keep quiet
and when to yawn,
a signal that too much
has been injected through monologue.

He can’t hear his son’s patients
who took wrong pills
and swallowed bad life expectancies,
because he is cramming
his own valise
over-stuffed with bubbles of oxygen
and x-rays of mist.

Lazar Sarna currently writes, lectures at Concordia University
and practices law in Montreal. He is the author of the poetry
collections He Claims He is the Heir, Porcupine’s Quill, and
Letters of State, Porcupine’s Quill, as well as the novel The Man
Who Lived Near Nelligan, Coach House Press. His poetry has
appeared in Antigonish Review, Canadian Forum, Canadian
Literature, Descant, Fiddlehead, and Prism International.

91

Tantrum

by Mary Jane White

A practiced love of sameness:
As in this wild flapping and pacing . . .
Grunting is how he speaks to me.
A thing he wants is somewhere
In the world—find it! by
Looking
Everywhere. At all cost, avoid his tantrum.

A persistent love of sameness:
As in never move the salt and pepper . . .
As he does not speak to people, do not move
A thing in his world.
This will avoid his asking
Where?
This will avoid his tantrum.

A perseverative love, of sameness:
As in do not change anything . . .
As he does not speak to people, even me,

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

A thing in his world
He may love—but whom he will avoid,
By looking
Elsewhere. And avoid his tantrum.

Mary Jane White is the single mother of Ruffin, born in 1991,
who is among the first generation of young children with au-
tism to be “recovered” by intensive, early intervention using
applied behavioral analysis educational-treatments (ABA) de-
veloped by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas at UCLA. A retired trial lawyer
she also holds a MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and
has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Fel-
lowships, one in poetry and one in translation.

93

Eastertime Blues

by Austin C. Morgan

In Memory of Sam Shepard

I watched the crabapple beside the window
coral was April snow upon the grass
& roseate hung the heavy bough

last time that Dollface

ever called up

now he’s wilting petals

near the railroad track

& in Ohio my eyes

had closed & I heard

Summer whisper through

Ransom

(my god it’d been so long)

all bungalows enchanted

coral & juniper

Coccinellidae

wind through the spectral hour

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

scorpion
harken to moon

of your birth
& your moon

is my moon
(six vanished by Venus,

call her what you will)
ravens-wing
citrine awash from
Golden Hour prodigal dusk

late-July

(full on night of 27th)

& She (Columbia) led them Westward

‘cross the beersalt plain &

ghostly desert ‘neath heavenly rock

& diamond hue, nightfall

‘til they reached the frothing sea blue by South &

grey up

above them

although their finer bones were still

stacked back at the Village Gate or had their shadows passed

to Woodford as had his –

Cowboy see them off

with their sashes of suede

& musty cigarettes of a rainy

afternoon –

scorpion harken
to

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

moon

of his birth

& his moon

is my moon

ravens-wing citrine

awash by

Golden Hour prodigal dusk

in late-July

& Heaven too

“The world needs artists like Mr. Morgan. He is a poet who
respects the form, and the historical authority that established
it. He does not, like the majority of modern artists (or more
properly doomed aspirants), denigrate the wisdom of the
Greats; but he reveres it, in that it guides him to innovate
upon the form often led astray by capital… (his work) lends
aid to the fundamental effort of a Neo-Renaissance, to which
Mr. Morgan is doubtlessly an adherent, and proclaims in un-
wavering terms that in a time of odious morbidity, art is our
one salvation.” - K.C.G., August 2019

96

Street Girl

by Jan Napier

Clouds have painted your artist’s eye,
the face you called fine boned was thin
the waif you plucked to daub in rose,
tobacco breath, sheets, urgent skin,
shoved sleeveless back to streets of rime.

And here I lope in this ghost brimmed night
through alleys and lanes with open mouths
fluting blue winds from the blowhard South,
as cloaked in frost and unseen by men
I stare from the outside in.

All that’s sacred is locked and barred,
rain’s backhand slant scripts the dark in grim,
the moon’s a fish scale flaked and pale,
but I am the figure on the dream’s far rim,
sleep the key that lets me in.

The run of my days is dwarf and wan,
a cobbled wash of coarse home spun

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

rags wrapped around the egg skulled son
cursed from your door as beggar scum,
his milkless plaints now chilled to none.
The street girl’s picture made your name,
spider bone hands scritch scritch the door,
in brandy wine you drench new fame
‘tis only the wind you hear, no more,
but lights burn late and sleep grows small.

Jan Napier is a Western Australian writer. Her collection Thy-
lacine was launched in 2015 and Jan’s first haiku collection
Day Moon, is currently with Giramondo Press. Sometimes
On Honeycomb, a villanelle, came second in December’s KSP
Prize for Poetry and On The Hill. Is currently short listed for
the Tom Collins Poetry Prize. Jan’s work has been published
in journals and anthologies both within Australia and overseas.

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