The Poetry Winners

You're Jimmy Smits and Emilio
Boots, hat all rolled up
And all that.

You walk into a room at high noon
Half man, Half horse
Vincente Fernandez
Strident, Strong, Sexy
Half gallop, half trot

maybe the walk proves where you've been
Who you are
I believe in.

I bet if I put my ear to your chest
your heart thumps
Like a Santana drumbeat
Underneath the moon and stars
So protected under thick, slick skin.
I'm sure it beats hard
Like a verterano's
In a war, he never chose to be in.

You make me proud
And I don't even know you.

You are one fine man.
You are my pai chulo
You are my hombre mas hombre

Being next to you
Feeling your t-shirt cloth smell of sweat
makes my abuela tortilla making heart
Swoon for the days of flour and baking soda
And mantelles and getting the house ready for my man
Come back in flash
From years gone by.

You stood near me
I felt everything
In me
About you
All at once

I want to make you a tortilla, honey.
You are one fine man.

Third Place
K.A. Thomas

La Llorona

Muher, it took me ten years to recognize you.
One decade of our sorrow flooding the back of my brain
growing more deliberate with every Spring,
when daily I paced Buffalo Bayou,
watched water lilies lift in its sweep & flow;
each time I thought I heard children crying.

Juana Leija, weeping woman, when you were a girl
in Laredo, the viejas de vestidos negro
spoke of men who strayed, took off in the night,
leaving washed out wives & fatherless children;
or worse, hissed talks of those who always returned.
Angry men who used their fists to no resistance.
But sometimes they were found face down in the river
or across breakfast tables; their overturned cups
of cafe con leche taken quickly, washed out thoroughly,
to eliminate any lingering of Oleander.
Pero, there were no brujas for you
once you made the trip North;
only telenovelas & daily breathing,
your seven children siempre hambre.

Llorona, I know that you cross yourself
when you step across that bridge
embankment bordering the bayou,
kneel when you drop your babies down into its water.
Madre de Mil Tristes, Dama de Los Ninos Perdidos,
I know the terrible lifting of their arms,
that they float only for a moment, then drift away.
I know how their darkening hair flows
when the current sweeps them under.

Honorable Mention
Bill Buetner

bending northern lights
ribbons, curls, faint-neck, sheet rains
dressing gown unfurls

Honorable Mention
Alvaro Saar Rios

The Obligations of Being Somebody

Somebody should write a book about that,
make a song about this,
make a movie about her,
come up with an easier way,
say something,
tell on him,
take a picture that,
pick that up,
eat this,
check to see if she is still breathing,
do something about that,
tell him that he can't sing,
buy some more beer,
make breakfast,
light a match,
tell him that he is bleeding,
give his wheelchair back,
drink that,
vote for her,
make sure he is telling the truth,
call the police,
tell them where she is buried,
assassinate him,
start a revolution,
at least pay them the minimum wage,
check to see if somebody is in there,
fix the system,
invent something for that,
call her mother,
stop them,
(fill in the blank).

Honorable Mention
James B. Gavin

Never Ever

I really hate school
cuz it isn't very cool.
Do you think it got better?

Had to do what my teacher said,
I wanted to take a nap in my bed.
Do you think it got better?

I had to go to lunch,
My food tasted like gunk.
Do you think it got better?

My friends weren't cool
cuz they didn't hate school.
Do you think it got better?

I had to go to the bathroom
But I had to stay in the classroom.
Do you think it got better?

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