Poetry & Art: The Endless Love Affair

Poetry & Art for centuries have been intertwined. Artist have been inspired by poets and poets have been inspired by artist. The Flagler County Art League celebrates for the 8th year this love affair between poet and artist as it prepares to receive poems and art for it’s Annual Spring Art Show plus Poetry Competition.

Last year, the poetry competition drew more than 30 excellent entries according to Stephanie Salkin, poetry competition coordinator. Five winners were chosen by Linda Eve Diamond, award-winning poet and judge. They included: "A Keeper" by Vicki Iorio, first place; "The Stroke" by Abigail Kim Truelsen, second place; "Liquid Drumbeats" by B.J. Alligood, third place; and Honorable Mention winners Peter M. Gordon for "Travel Agent" and "#neveragain" by Nina Heiser. In addition, the winners were invited to read their entries at Dr. David Axelrod's National Poetry Month Festival at the Casements in Ormond Beach. This year is expected to be just as competitive and the winners are invited to read their entries on Surf 97.3 FM for all of Flagler County to enjoy.

Saturday, April 13th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm the Spring Art Show plus Poetry Competition reception will be held in the new FCAL gallery at 160 Cypress Creek Point Pwky, Suite 208A. This is one show you will not want to miss, as Flagler County celebrates the connection and overlapping of poetry and art for the 8th year.

To enjoy and experience once again, the 5 winning poems from last year’s competition.

FIRST PLACE 2018 FCAL POETRY COMPETITION

A KEEPER

Because I keep a mermaid in the basement

I wash her delicate sequined pink bra in the bathroom sink

gingerly scrub around her clam shells

with a soft toothbrush fresh out of its wrapper

Because I keep a mermaid in the basement

I have not done the work left me by a hurricane

She is a blue flame phosphorescence

illuminating the basement in ways electricity never could

Because I keep a mermaid in the basement

I tell my nosy neighbors I am still waiting for FEMA

when they ask me about the standing water and the flickering lights

Because I have named the mermaid in my basement Jayne Mansfield

I have to rethink my sexuality

Jayne flips me her dorsal fin

swims deep and reads drowned books

learning the language they teach her

I tell her I will buy a wetsuit

and take her back to the midnight ocean

Vicki Iorio

©2018 All Rights Reserved

SECOND PLACE 2018 FCAL POETRY COMPETITION

THE STROKE

“I’ve been dumping mango

peels and eggshells underneath

the pine in an attempt to give

back, only to notice an abandoned

horse lying on his side,

kicking ruts into the snow

making the strangest snow

angel I’ve ever seen,” said the girl

down the street. She also said

that you have been calling,

that she heard the phone ring

clear down the road

and that I’d better answer

because something in the rings

sounded important. When I pick up,

my gaze catches a shard of white

on my sleeve, leftover from

the shambles of an eggshell.

This is how the conversation

goes too—ruins to be left

on the sleeve of a sweater

I tear off, and only wear again

for the next dying horse.

Abigail Kim Truelsen

©2018 All Rights Reserved

THIRD PLACE 2018 FCAL POETRY COMPETITION

LIQUID DRUMBEATS

First the few tiny pings hit here and there.

Some over the kitchen, one or two in the living room.

Quiet, uncertain, unsure that more will follow their

slow and awkward beginning.

A pause and then, as if Mother Nature tripped while

carrying a water bucket, a hard smattering runs from one

end of the house to another.

And again another tremulous pause.

Clouds wondering if they should separate or

gather forces.

Until quickly a bevy of drops escape from the sky and

fall like liquid hoof beats on the metal roof.

A herd of zebra running full tilt while

all sound is driven out except for the thunderous

applause of rain drops. So proud of themselves that

they clap at their own cleverness.

B.J. Alligood

©2018 All Rights Reserved

1ST HONORABLE MENTION 2018 FCAL POETRY COMPETITION

TRAVEL AGENT

By Peter M. Gordon

About a week before we left on vacation

Dad started piling clothes on our living room

sofa. He’d begin with weather, either

wool sweaters, watch caps, mittens,

for Vermont or Bermuda shorts, flip flops,

tee shirts for Florida. Each day he’d

add garments until clothes covered every surface –

socks, undershirts, striped ties, shorts,

belts, wing tips, pajamas, and long underwear.

I was married before I found out

not every family did this. Most people

see packing as a chore to finish fast.

Dad saw potential energy pulsing

through every pair of socks. When

I put boxer shorts on our couch

two days before a trip my wife

called my therapist. She didn’t understand

my family’s need to physically manifest

our desire to look forward to things.

The night before we left Dad, and only Dad,

took our two biggest suitcases and packed

everything in order, underwear on bottom

dress shirts on top. In hospice at his end,

Dad said to stack some shirts and socks

on the plastic chair in the corner.

Just in case he needed something

where he was going.

©2018 All Rights Reserved

2ND HONORABLE MENTION 2018 FCAL POETRY COMPETITION

#neveragain

By Nina Heiser

Forever valentine

Now if I close my eyes

I can feel the softness of you

Your newborn cheek on mine seconds

After your birth, our first. I smell that sweet

Baby scent in the hollow of your head small enough

To cradle in the palm of my hand, fingers splayed to cap you.

Long breaths carry me through the river of images of you

When I force myself back through time to a place

Where everything was possible where any

Dream could be found in your wide

Eyes looking up at me with

Surety that I would

Always be there.

Never Again

©2018 All Rights Reserved