October 20-26, 2014: Lisette Alonso, Richard Widerkehr and Amber Decker

This week presenting the winners of the
2014 (17th annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

Lisette Alonso, Richard Widerkehr and Amber Decker


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Lisette Alonso
mrsbear@bellsouth.net

Bio (auto)

Lisette Alonso won first place in the 2014 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. She also won 2nd place in the 2012 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. She is a stay-at-home mother of three and a native South Floridian. She tries to find time to write between loads of laundry and her children’s pleas for attention. Her work has appeared online at susurrusmagazine.com and verbsap.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Lisette Alonso and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Missed Apocalypse

On the day Armageddon rolls in,
the kids are waist deep in the internet,
little eyes askance like domesticated
goats, their entire world out of focus.
They had long ago given up on outdoor
play, hating the scent of ozone in their hair,
the way the mosquitoes bled their shoulders.

On the day the world ends, of course the sky
rains fire, first a drizzle then fat drops
that burst into sparks as they collide
with the asphalt, a million tossed cigarettes,
a billion orange contrails.

On that day a tsunami rises out of the Pacific
like a monster claw that drags all of the west
coast to the sea floor. In central Florida, the earth
yawns and swallows an entire town—street lamps,
abandoned theater, the laundry where they wash,
dry, & fold by the pound. A belt of volcanoes
sneeze fire all along the equator, birthing lava
islands, bringing the oceans to a slow boil.

Armageddon comes on the day it was
foretold, except nobody truly expected it,
assuming it was just another fundamentalist
hoax or the media’s attempt to boost ratings
and the sale of asbestos umbrellas.

By the time people notice, apocalypse is only
another event in a series, a point of reference
in their collective memories. They talk of going off
to work in cars whose tires had melted, not even
realizing the highways turned to ash. How just
for a moment the kids had glanced up to see
a tangerine sky, their mouths loose, their small
fingers twitching as of someone dreaming.


Richard Widerkehr
fordwid@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Richard Widerkehr won second place in the 2014 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. He also won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan and received his M.A. from Columbia University, which he attended on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Two book-length collections of his poems were published in 2011: The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press). Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist. He won first prize for a short story at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference and several awards for poems published in The Bridge. His work has appeared in Passages North, Chariton Review, and Rattle. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Richard Widerkehr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Saying the Mourner’s Kaddish

for my father

Perhaps, there’s a place where songs,
as they’re sung, come true–
where leaves in the elms

that once held themselves steady
sway under a streetlight,
dazed by the heat of summer.

Or there’s a living room
where the thrust and parry of his talk–
where the air, choked by the smoke

of his Chesterfields, hangs heavy,
where his armchair, his chessboard,
his Wall Street Journal receive their blessing,

the same way the minyan
stands when we say Kaddish,
as if blessing were both call

and answer–streetlight, elm;
armchair, star–till the chess pieces
say they’re through.


Amber Decker
foxfire0002@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Amber Decker won third place in the 2014 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. (Not to mention 1st place in the 2012 Poetry Super Highway Poetry contest!) She was born in 1982 and has been many things besides a poet– a sales girl, a rodeo princess, a security guard, and a warehouse worker to name just a few. These days, Amber lives in West Virginia and spends her free time reading fantasy novels, playing video games, traveling and attending college. She does the “poet thing” semi-regularly on her blog: http://roughverse.wordpress.com

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Amber Decker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Planting Season

Mid-April, all the hollows had
gone green with springtime.
Small storms blustered by in the evenings,
quick, wild bursts of rain and wind and thunder
that made the hogs squeal and shift, uneasy
in their pens as I sneaked from the house,
through the sodden pasture to get to the river
where I waited for him, watched
as the sun sank down, down
into the cupped hands of the black hills.
I could smell him coming, even before
he crossed the river, like a doe can smell
a buck in rut from miles away and trembles
with the knowledge of that hard hunger
closing in, so fascinating and terrifying all at once.
Frogs startled and leapt into the water,
kicked up mud dark as the eyes of that farmboy
when he, lost inside the squall of his own heavy desire,
pulled me to him under that hazy orange moon
while the trees towered over us
like the steeple of an old church
and blackbirds rustled
in the branches above,
huddled together,
their little hearts
hammering away at the night.