Mathhew and editor Alan Parry were tasked with selecting what they believed to be the strongest three poems which would be rewarded with a video recording of Matthew reading their work, and a page in a future Artist Collective publication.
Our first winner is Kathy Miles – with the poem Urban Fox.
Skinny dog-fox, hungered to his bones, scrap-merchant
and wheeler-dealer of other people’s trash; and in this
hot reek of city, where there’s no dark, no silence,
he’s sketched on the dusk, russet traced over neon,
a drawing so delicately done that he’s almost not-there,
a trick of streetlight and rain. His bark is a stalled engine,
his scream the echo of a passing siren; his eyes gleam
headlamps of yellow. But when he keens for the forest,
how it catches in your throat; like the memory of a painting,
or the wild in us, lost somewhere out of the frame.
Our second winner is M.S. Evans – with the poem Nights on the Line.
Nights on the Line
We hitched to Wenatchee,
caught the Hi-Line.
Held our breath through
Tops of telephone poles
whipped past, backlit by
the Milky Way; so beautiful I cried.
Our third winner is Sarah Connor – with the poem Crossing the River.
Crossing the River
Suddenly, autumn shatters
into a thousand birds –
swirling and whirling
across a paper-lantern sky –
I think we need them now,
the things that
weave a dance
against the dark.