Are you big on entering contests? Dancing the night away? Trying new recipes on your suffering family? Grilling your 5th grader for the spelling bee? For writers, contests can be doom or bloom exercises in talent, chance or just plain luck. Good or bad. Contests to measure skill, imagination, and creativity result in writers skimming through their pages to see what might meet the requirements, ie fit in. Or, inspired a writer sets out to create a new bit of work to satisfy the rule-keepers.
Rules may dictate theme, genre, age of writer (under 30/over 50,) number of pages, lines or submissions, not previously published or on-line okay. Sometimes the rules have lives of their own. “You may submit up to X number of poems of no more than Y lines each.”
I’ve been tempted of late to submit to poetry contests. Trying to fit CLARA’S AIR to the line limit found me submitting a sloppy piece that was further compromised by electronic demons. Very embarrassing. More recently, I thought I’d work a new poem for yet another contest. This time the limit is two poems, no ore than 32 lines each.
My work refuses to comply. Instead, I have, so far, two poems of 10 lines each. Each can stand alone but are part of a foursome when complete. So, I’ll have one forty line poem which is too long or four 10 liners, much shorter than two 32 word liners. Have I lost you yet?
Since I have a problem fitting-in the parameters, I won’t be entering this contest. Instead, I’ll subject you to one 10-liner every so often until the whole piece is out in the world.
LONESOME CHILD OF AUTUMN
The flowers of autumn settle beneath the trees
After filling my soul with wonder and longing.
First, a gradual shift from green to yellow
A bit of orange and red peek thru the limbs,
Where images of lost bouquets reside.
Rakes at work gather the flowering leaves,
With laughing children jumping the piles.
Clouds of smoke climb to my window seat.
Tears creep down my eight-year-old cheeks.
I yearn to be out picking autumn’s flowers.
Arletta Dawdy October 29, 2013
Thanks to Albert Camus: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
How do the seasons affect you?
Childhood memories of swimming holes and snowmen?
Impatience for Daylight Savings Time to begin or end?