Today, at the Austin Poetry Society’s Online Annual Awards Celebration, my poem “Growing Faces” won first place in The Unexpected Award. I’m excited that this weird, somewhat creepy little poem will appear in the 2019-2020 volume of Best Austin Poetry and can’t wait to see it come out in print later this year.
In the meantime, I want to share my poem that was published in Best Austin Poetry 2017-2018. This poem won the APS November 2017 Monthly Contest in the “light verse” category. It’s about my very fat childhood cat, Muffin, pictured below.
Conquest or Coincidence?
A scratch at the door, a pitiful squeak,
the clumsy stumbling of four furry feet,
some panting, some pawing, and one muffled “mew,”
we all gather around and—can it be true?
The twenty-pound feline bounds through the door
and places his conquest onto the floor.
Proudly he sits in the awe-silenced house,
for Muffin, Great Muffin, has brought in a mouse!
We all praise his bravery, his courage, his gumption,
although, privately, it is our assumption
that the mouse that lay dead in our fat housecat’s claws
probably died of a natural cause.
I hope everyone’s having a happy holiday weekend. I’m on vacation too. In fact, I’m not *really* posting this right now. I’m really eating pie(s) and playing games with my family. This blog post is all an illusion. Kinda spooky, huh? (Sorry, I think I’m a little lightheaded from all the sweets.) Anyway, I’m going to keep it short today so that you can get back to your own pie-eating, football-watching, and gift-shopping ASAP.
I just have a few announcements to make.
First, my flash fiction piece “My New Place” was published at MicroHorror earlier this month, and somehow I forgot to share it! Check it out here when you have a minute. It won’t take long to read—all of MicroHorror’s pieces have to be 666 words or less.
I’ve also received some good news regarding my poetry. Sirius Education Solutions asked for permission to reprint my poem “Enchanted Rock in September” in their Grade 7 STAAR Reading Review and Preparation workbook, and I agreed. So if you’re in the seventh grade or if you teach seventh grade reading, be on the lookout for it. I’m interested to see what questions they ask about my poem.
I entered several poems in this year’s Poetry Society of Texas’ annual awards competition, and twelve of them placed in the top ten in their contests, ranging from 2nd to 10th place. I’d like to share one of them with you here. “Old Soul” earned eighth place (out of fifty-two entries) in the Oscar A. Fasel Memorial Award.
Not even two years old,
but already I see your puppy face changing,
taking in the world, gathering knowledge,
new epiphanies every day.
It’s not hard to look down the road a ways,
and see you in your later years—
I can picture your graying muzzle,
and the sigh you will make
as you lower your aging bones to the ground,
the way you’ll ease yourself onto the sofa
or maybe need a little help.
You may be young, but you have an old soul.
you look at me with those insightful eyes,
full of answers, of understanding,
full of the simplicity of a life
I make so complex.
There’s no doubt in my mind
you’ll be a wise old dog someday,
a quiet companion, a peaceful protector,
content to rest on the porch
watching the squirrels in the backyard,
thinking of your youth
and the days when you chased
And last, but definitely not least, today I have another guest post on the Muffin, the blog of WOW! Women on Writing. Click here to read “The Gifts We Are Given.”
Okay, that’s it! You can go get another piece of pie now. Or take a nap. Or maybe a walk. Whatever you think is best. 🙂
[Note: Comments are turned off for this post, but feel free to share your thoughts on “My New Place” or “The Gifts We Are Given” on the MicroHorror or Muffin websites.]