Armchair Poetry Contest Winners

First Place - Lynn Fazzini

murphy’s shillelagh

in lager-tinted lamplight
on Christmas eve
irish whiskey shines
on murphy’s splendid nose.
his face, glossy as a shoeshine,
reflects his temper
rising like a sputtering candle
near a parched pine tree.

unsteady, the jolly old leprechaun
amuses his children –dancing, singing, swirling, joking.
until swinging around once too many times
dashing the bottle and himself
into the decorated tree.

crashing, the human hammer
scatters presents,
breaking ornaments into shards of colored confetti,
their fragments reflecting
all the jagged facets
of this holiday scene.

Second Place - Derek Kleinknecht


A dream unleashed, a life lived blessed,
Crushed by the weight, hopeless emptiness
For the whims, ideals, smiles and fears
Kept in check by societal gears
The restless sleep, the imprisoned soul
Merely a shell, no longer whole
The spirit contained, hollow, bereft
Pretentious and empty, no emotion left
To resurrect the life that was meant to be
Life unrestrained, untamed and free
Tis not the intent to confine and hold
The butterfly to the caterpillar’s mold
But rather awaken, sentience reborn
Shedding cocoon no longer to scorn
A life suppressed by cultural chains
To breathe the wind and drink the rains
Scoffing at risk and laughing at fate
Let life unfold, let destiny sate
For the greatest sin is not forsaken grace
But the life unlived in conformity’s place.

Third Place - Aurelio Villa Luna Diaz


…the sun may burn but the MOON always glows…

It will always glow & glow
from San Antonio
to the child shoe shiner
to homemade Indian ink tattoos
to the cotton fields
to the tomato fields
to Flint, Michigan,
to Akron
to assimilation
to the meat-cutter
to amputation
to a ferocious work ethic with money-under-the table job
to divorce
to the loss of tangible achievements
to years of estrangement from ex-wife & daughter
to polyester even in the 1980’s
to embark on meeting family
to never throwing in the towel but being realistic
to Mansfield (yet another field)
to chorizo y huevos on Sundays
to torch songs by Amalia Mendoza
to a new apartment so different, so foreign
to a body betraying itself
to 24 hour nursing assistance
to bike trails when the sky is turquoise by Aztecs
to your bed
to your bedside
to your soulful eyes which glint immortality and corn husks
to my mi corazon in the deepest sense
to el cielo
back to LUNA

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