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Lost Tower Publications

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Poetry Submissions Wanted 

Nicki Riley: The 2016 Winner

 
 

Clark Cook: The 2015 Winner

 
Clark Cook is a Canadian poet who explores the vagaries of love, time, mystery, myth, & the complexities of poetry itself. He works mostly in free verse, with occasional forays into rhyme (humour and satire).  He feels that the best of poetry embodies Robert Creeley's insight that Form is Never More than an Extension of Content. 
 
Clark taught English literature at Simon Fraser University & the University of Victoria (prison program, BC Pen) & Business/Technical Communication at BC Institute of Technology. He retired as a Head of his department at BCIT. 
 
Four recent UK anthologies feature Clark's poetry—The Poetic Bond III (2013) & IV (2014), The Bridge of Fates (2014), & Remember (2014).  A fifth anthology, out of Germany & exploring the issue of violence (late Summer 2015), will feature one of Clark’s poems. Three poems are in a USA literary journal-- https://thegreenwichvillageliteraryreview.wordpress.com. (I, ii 2015). Five poems are in two issues of a journal out of India, Ashvamegh:  the Literary Flight  I & II (Feb & March 2015). See www.ashvamegh.net  . Thirty-five earlier poems are at http://moonfroth.hubpages.com. 

2016 Commended Poems

The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

  • Bryon Richard Smith for his poem "Two Become One"
  • Sheila Marlin for her poem "Look to the Stars"
  • John Ward for his poem "Look At You"
  • Emma Doughty for her poem "Believe In Me"
  • Anita S. Pulier for her poems "How did you do that?" and "Sounds of Morning
  • Denise C. Buschmann for her poem "FDR and Eleanor, a Love Story"
  • Alan Harris for his poem "If Stephen King Wrote Poetry "
  • Sharyn Stone for her poem "It's Time"
  • Adrian Ernesto Cepeda for his poem "As I Sit Here Waiting..."

2015 Commended Poems

The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

  • Bryon Richard Smith for his poem "What Is Love"
  • John Brookes for his poem "Three Sonnets, linked by love"
  • John Ward for his poem  "Cocoon"
  • Emma Doughty for her poem "Believe In Me"
  • David Lindsay for his poem "Trellis"
  • Uma Venkatramen for her poem "Love's Journey"
  • Wanda Morrow Clevenger for her poem "When I Loved You"
  • David Joseph for his poem "It is You".
  • Steven W. Baker for his poem "Afterglow"
  • Alisha Grace Scott for her poem "Northern Lights"

2014 Commended Poems

The following poets produced poems that were Commended by our judges:

  • Bryon Richard Smith for his poem "The Crossing"
  • Rei Aziz for his poem "A Piece"
  • Margaret Ann Waddicor for her poem "Two souls"
  • Miguel Saporta for his poem "Proof Reading"
  • Thomas Vaughan Jones for his poem "Eternal Love"
  • Penny Sinclair for her poem "Love"

The Gallery of Winning Poets

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The Winners Roll of Honour

 

Nicki Riley 2016
Clark Cook 2015
Bonnie Roberts 2014

2016: Winning Poem 'My Perfect Love'

My Perfect Love

I want the kind of love they write books about 
She said 
Never knew what I was capable of 
Until I had her in my bed 
It wasn't about the sex 
It was more about the trust 
It was never about the lust 
It always just came down to, us 
The safest I feel is when I'm in her arms 
Or her head, on my chest 
Her laugh leaves me speechless 
Her awkwardness is pure beauty 
She has brought out things 
I never knew were parts of me 
She makes me feel smart 
In a world where I've always felt dumb 
She's made me feel whole 
When I've always seemed broken to some 
She brought to life part of me I never knew existed 
I tell her something, she remembers, 
She listens 
She made me feel comfortable for the first time in forever 
She's made me believe 
Happiness can last forever 
I never thought about a wedding 
Like I think about one with her 
I never thought about moving away 
When I think about her 
It seems like a choice I could make in a day 
I'd marry her tomorrow and mean every word in those vows 
If I could fall asleep, every night 
With my face against her cheek 
I'd wake up every day 
With my knees just as weak 
As weak as they did the first time that I felt her in my arms 
Or the first time I felt her lips against mine 
Ever since I spoke to her 

I've 
realized there is so much to this life that I'd gladly leave behind 
She is so smart in the way she speaks 
She is so kind in the way she looks at me 
She is pure beauty in the way she makes me see 
How there is so much more than my past to me

by Nicki Riley

2015: Winning Poem 'How to Woo a Girl'

How to Woo a Girl

I wrote you a poem but the words
pouted and frittered on the fringes
of my imagination, colliding with
discarded thoughts and half-baked
ideas which took the words with them
on their way back to the oven.

So I sang you a sweet song 
and sent the fragile notes
trembling across the blank spaces
between us,
but earnest robins plucked up the notes
before a melody could form.

So I picked up my saxophone and breathed
l o n g sinuous 
wails onto the night air, sending
waves of sound to you across the broad meadows
but the waves of sound lost their way in the dark
and fell to the grass, drowning in heavy dew.

My art is a reluctant emissary, 
an unwilling partner
in commending my love 
to you. . . .  
perhaps
I should give up poetry
and teach robins 
to warble love songs            
in keys you 

already know.

by Clark Cook

2014: Winning Poem 'Beholder'

Beholder 

He does not believe 
in picking wildflowers. 
Not even a single petal 
to remind him of their beauty. 
He gives them a light brush 
of his lips 
and for a while 
shades them 
from the noonday sun 
and then leaves them 
standing. 

He asks me if I too 
believe in Karma; 
he honors me with his kisses 
and covers me with his body 
and with his love 
leaves me 
standing.

by Bonnie Roberts

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2016: Best Romance Poem

Bird Language: A Love Poem

In the Northern Turkish town of Kuskoy, people have developed an entire language of whistles. The name of the town literally translates as “Bird Village.” 

From a housetop 
on a green slope, 
the Turkish man cups his hands, 
rests forefinger on front teeth, 
blows words into space. 

His message trills, gliding 
like a lark out into the valley, 
singing out the shopping list, 
Please buy honey 
at the market. 

His note flutters like 
paper, 
sifts through arguments, invitations, 
measurements for a young girl’s dress. 

In the market, his wife 
touches the honey jar 
already in her basket. 
The longer we are together 
the less we need to say.  

by Faith Paulsen

2016: Most Original Poem

Dog Sleep

This slip of a black dog 
Represents my heart, I’m told. 
Phew! I love that windmill tail 
And sweet Chaplin stroll. 
Such 
lovable, ridiculous dog, 
But his life is already quarter lived 
(I don’t tell him so - of course not!). 
I wish I could offer him a wider, 
Bigger pile, not just a pile of me. 
Take yesterday, when I scolded him 
For stealing a Christmas pudding 
(and putting it on my pillow). 
He (then we) crumpled so badly 
I could revive him only with a frankfurter. 
He’s lying tight to my side as I write 
(How friendly that feels!), 
And he 
turns 
his hurrumph on me: 
She really loved me and I loved her too. 
Why was it so complicated for you? 
Then he sighs and turns full turtle, ears fanning, 
That muzzle with flash of gum hard to one side, 
Huge front paws striking up like a disco dancer 
Before folding into their buttery soft flop. 
I wish you could still witness that 
(And the other wonders of our life). 
Every day we 
Bump into 
That wish 
So hard 
It hurts. 

by Dave Pao

2015: Highly Commended Poem

If

If, for some reason 
you were to end 
it all with me 
tomorrow morning; 
I go to bed tonight 
nestled in your arms 
Knowing I am so happy 
to have known you 
and would not trade 
any of it for peace 
of mind 
or

mended 
heart. 

If, for some reason, 
I had to end it all 
with you 
tomorrow morning; 
fall asleep my darling, 
know that I have loved you 
with purest and deepest heart 
and clear intentions 
and I know you love me 
as we rub noses 
and share breath 
for this, our last night. 

If, for some reason, 
the universe 
found

cause 
to separate us; 
stay strong and know that 
our time together 
was a gift and should we find one 
another again, then 
it is truly meant to be. 

If, for some reason, 
everything goes according to plan 
and we lay in 
each

others arms day after day 
remain in the truest love and stay together, 
know that I have pondered every alternate universe, 
and in even the darkest timeline 
I have always returned to you 
and you have always found me. 

by Audrey El-Osta

2015: Highly Commended Poem

Like Poets of Long Ago 

Your words begin to flow, 

I look into yours 
And I honestly know, 

That the love we share 
Is like it was a new
And as magical as the day 
That 
we

said “I do.” 

You speak fWhen you speak poetry to me, 

It echoes through my soul— 
What comfort it brings me 
And makes me feel whole. 

When you look in my eyes 

And you from the heart— 
One poet to another, 
And just as the Brownings, 
We were made for each other. 

by Stacy Savage 

2014: Highly Commended Poem

Onion

My onion is my lover
He's the first thing I see when I get home
And open the fridge in desperate hunger
Where he sits add waits on the bottom shelf
So eager to help me make dinner.
 
I place him on the chopping board
And undress him
His layers tumble off easy as silk
Yet my Lover acts coy about his body
I assure him he is very well endowed.
 
Soon he is fully de-robed
Naked and ready to be chopped
I split him in two but he shrieks angrily 
And starts spewing sour insults
I chop again and he becomes blind with rage
His juices seething
I feel tears pricking the back of my eyes
After every splice his roar becomes louder.
 
He tells me I shouldn't have stopped dieting
That I look like an obese leprechaun
And he declares his hatred towards my mother
After she juggles with him and his friends
By the end I am a sobbing mess
And unwillingly toss him into the pan
I always end up crying when he's around
We haven't had a single meal where he hasn't lost his temper.
 
by Tasman Hogan

2014: Highly Commended Poem

Anniversary


I guess I love you in my way,
I hope you die before I do.
Your stupid face, 'neath brows grown grey
In front of the TV all day.

Your balding patch, how you slurp stew
'Twas you or loneliness, I knew
I guess I love you in your  way
But you'd better die before I do.

by Deborah Jane Willimott