Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 Bethesda Poetry Competition

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine’s poem “Sentenced” was selected by David McAleavey as winner of the 2014 Poetry Contest organized by Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Magazine. Ms. Delaplaine is a member of The Writer's Center, and she has taken many workshops over the years.  We're glad to post her winning poem. - The Editors


By Joanne Rocky Delaplaine

 When I think of your arms, I do not think
home, but house on fire, Knight of Wands,
and when we burned too brightly, I’d say
ice on limestone, Nine of Swords...
we were a small country once, Belgium,
fine chocolate, a train station in every town,
but now that you’re dead, we’re Russia, vast,
pierogis and borscht, with the Caspian Sea to cross,
you’re Moscow and I am banished to Minsk,
you’re the crime I’m doing penance for,
you’re my sentence without end.


 * * *

 Ms. Delaplaine's comments about her poem:     

Do I feel more at home in solitude or with another/others? What proximity or distance does any relationship need to endure?  A comment about "home" by Diane Keaton in an A.A.R.P interview prompted this poem. I find the images in the Tarot deck intriguing, dense, the way a dream is...
full of possibility.

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine is a Maryland native. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, (Walt Whitman and Anti-War issue), Cabin Fever: Poets at Joaquin Miller’s Cabin 1984-2001, Innisfree Poetry Journal, International Poetry Quarterly, The Northern Virginia Review, Radio Pacifica’s WPFW website, and elsewhere. She’s taught poetry workshops at the Great Labor Arts Exchange, and workshops combing yoga and poetry at The Second Annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat, Split This Rock Poetry Festival, and UnityWoods Yoga Center. She consider The Writer’s Center one of her homes and co-hosts CafĂ© Muse which sponsors poetry readings in Friendship Heights the first Monday of the month. 





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