This year’s 3rd Wednesday Poetry Contest judge, Joy Gaines-Friedler’s poem, Detroit, is up at Vox Populi along with some of her photographs.
EACH YEAR THIRD WEDNESDAY AWARDS 3 $100 PRIZES IN ITS ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST. FOR THIS YEAR’S CONTEST, ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED FROM NOVEMBER 1, 2020 THROUGH FEBRUARY 15, 2021.
We’re pleased to announce that our judge for this year’s contest is Joy Gaines-Friedler. Joy has taught as a guest instructor at Wayne State University, Michigan State, Frostburg State University, and at the Lapeer Correctional Facility for the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) through the University of Michigan where she worked with male “lifers.”
Twenty years a professional photographer Joy sees poetry as a natural extension of the photographic art form: both use images, contrast, tensions, a kind of rhythm and tone to convey what language alone, cannot. You can find Joy’s complete bio and links to her books and individual work at http://www.joygainesfriedler.com/.
Our poem of the week is by Michigan poet, Joy Gaines-Friedler. It comes from a series of poems, nine of which were just published in our Spring issue of Third Wednesday. This one was chosen for its wonderful images.
The sea surprisingly warm,
the sky a blue room I wait in. Fearless
pelicans plunge headlong into waves.
I walk the imagery of my mother’s life.
There are no birds in these images,
I have never seen her dip her toe into the tide
never seen her startled by stars, no wonderment
at the way water ripples or forms clouds.
She is never looking up.
Here in the space between waves
where a kind of sanctity floats
I praise what I can:
A porcelain blue saucer,
the smell of Aqua Net & acetate
nails polished Frank Sinatra smooth,
the Formica table worn pale from hours of Solitaire,
cravings to leave – hers
as much as mine.
I return to her room – keep shut the blinds,
the way she always liked them.
The day clings to the edge.
Outside a cloud of a thousand starlings
move in unison, left then right – then left.
They land. Settled-in for the night.