April 29: Blossom or Blue Sky
April is a season unto itself of blossom: daffodils, forsythia and in some corners of Kansas, even magnolia. And anytime around the year there will be bright, expansive blue skies. Write about blossom and/or blue skies, celebrating the moments when the weather astonishes us with ease and beauty. For inspiration, read Ramona McCallum's poem, which appread in 150 Kansas Poems March 22.
Winter is trying hard to get in a last word, but the calendar
is on my side. So let that gray bastard rant with blustering fists.
I drive home in silence. Grocery sacks spill across the back seat,
frozen vegetables in no danger of thawing in their bags.
Along the street, trees scratch at the sky with skeptical branches–
dates don’t make them forgive. They want to be seduced
by longer, warmer days before they’ll surrender
in succulent bud.
But daffodils present themselves right now, by the front door.
I bring them inside and bundle them into a vase.
Bright faces watch as I fix supper, elegant guests
join me tonight at my table.
-- Ramona McCallum
Ramona McCallum earned her B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Kansas State University in 1999. She currently lives in Garden City, Kansas with her husband Brian McCallum, a ceramic artist, and their 6 children. Ramona works as her husband’s editor and artist’s assistant, and she also teaches 7th grade English Communication and Poetry at a local middle school. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Organization and Environment and Zone 3.
Please send your poem in a Rich Text Format document or as a Word document, to KSpoetlaureate@gmail.com by midnight on April 29.
Professional Poet Category Winners:
By Denise Low, Lawrence
Cold sun brings this mourning season to an end
one year since my mother’s death. Last winter thaw
my brother shoveled clay-dirt, she called it gumbo,
over powdery substance the crematorium sent us
not her, but fine, lightened granules—all else
rendered into invisible elements. That handful
from the pouch, un-boxed, was tucked into plotted soil,
the churchyard columbarium, under a brass plaque
and brick retaining wall, scant semblance of permanence.
Now my mother is a garden—lilies and chrysanthemums
feeding from that slight, dampened, decomposing ash.
Her voice stilled. One ruddy robin in the grass, dipping.
NonProfessional Poet Category Winners:
By Nancy Hubble, Lawrence
First the early-morning
cup of coffee to my lips
while herons fly over
on their way to the Kaw
From the Haskell Bottoms,
wetlands only fourteen blocks
south of my fenced yard.
In silence, they glide above us.
Starlings whirring, hunker down
as if they saw hawks or hot air balloons.
So, picking up my brush to paint –
to make the circle of my day come
true - I think how pleasant is the town
that embraces these beautiful creatures.
Darkness comes again, shadows filling inside
Fences. Flowers lose colors as light puts itself to bed.
Once again the prayer of holding my evening glass.
Water tonight. Tomorrow some of the new wine.
Heat leaves the day and tomorrow
winter will want our attention.
But sometimes in the dark, just
as the end seems imminent,
geese sew the crest of the wind.
Sparks of dying light
reflect in the water.
We see it.