Saturday, December 23, 2017
Stazia McFadyen, of Austin, Texas, coordinator of the 2017 Poets for Human Rights event, sends this by e-mail:
Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd place winners of the 2017 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest.
1st Place - "Take to the Streets, February 15, 2003" by Judith Janoo of E. Burke, Vermont
Take to the Streets, February 15, 2003
I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. Desmond Tutu
Is it dangerous, she asked
exiting the bus against ten degree gusts,
walking Manhattan's Third Avenue,
dark casement awaking like Rembrandt
stroked the morning, our numbers
multiplying, spilling onto Second
with neglected appeals.
Sure we were all mad
after the attacked, shocked back,
but what had these people done?
Wives of firefighters waved banners:
No blood for Oil, business people,
blue-collared, poor, frayed, disabled,
babies in strollers, Grace Pauley,
9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows,
Susan Sarandon spoke, and Desmond Tutu.
Half a million strong, said the man behind us
as we merged onto First, The reports will pinch it,
say we're hippies, lefties, gut our numbers.
His suit had ridden many buses --
They always turn down the volume. The world
marched that day against a rampage that would
yield no chemicals or Al-Qaeda. Those who've
walked the street never again see only pavement.
No, my daughter then told a friend, it isn't
dangerous to walk, only to not
say a word.
Stazja adds: "Judith Janoo is a writer and yoga teacher. Her writing has won the Soul Making Keats award for poetry and the Vermont Award for Continued Excellence in Writing. She is also a Dana Award Finalist."
2nd Prize - Pursuit of Life by Gabrielle Sinclair
Pursuit of Life
We walk at night
Moon lights our way
Searching their prey.
Harsh land trips us
We've been walking for days
Baby, don't cry.
No one around?
You never know
The group is far ahead
Torn feet go slow.
No work at home
Can't feed my child
There's work in Florida
Weather's more mild.
What's left to do?
Risk I must take
End justifies the means
No choice to make.
No food or drink
Can't pack enough
Coyote did not say
The trip's so rough.
Snake bite killed one
Heat got one, too
Another just collapsed
What could we do?
Border is tight
We have to dare
More of us are dying
This land was ours
Pursuit of Liberty
Now is a crime.
Gabrielle has been an actor, singer, writer and editor. She currently lives in Lake Havasu City, Arizona with her significant others: Two cats, one dog and one man. She would like the United States Government to establish a Department of Peace.
Stazja continues: "Grateful thanks to Judith Janoo and Gabrielle Sinclair for their permission to publish their works, and to all who entered this year's contest.
Thanks also to Kate Sweet and Anita Welch, who continue to support the Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest, and to Elyse Van Breemen and Sioux Hart for reading the poems at this year's Poets for Human Rights awards event."