Poem of the Week: ‘Fortune Cookie’ by Vicki Mowat

Poem of the Week

3rd Place
‘Ball Jar’ by Michael Lee Johnson

I am the cut-off ends of yellow lemon,

end cuts off green lime skin and juice

squeezed, mixed with Pure Vitamin crystals

heavy-duty vitamin C, leads me to Christ.

I hang my survival on orange and lime trees.

I cut you with Chicago cutlery knives.

6 ounces of Barton vodka brand a twist of above,

between this night, my thighs, my thoughts

morning is the master of exchanges of fluids myself or others.

Life is a single squeeze both ends of both fruits.

Jerk me hands free top end of a Ball Jar a hinge of plastic.

Bring me to the end of the straw, up/down over again

mix it/mix me to the end of hell.

2nd Place
‘Newborn’ by Adam Smith

There’s nothing wrong.
You lie as though
dreaming of weightlessness, with the horror of stillness in the shadowed corner.
The bili light aids your recovery, our body parts
yellow in pallor.
A respirator fills your lungs. You are so
palm-small. Breaths from
my mouth, speaking sounds neither of us understand, in your
eyes must cataract my face as I place kisses from
chapped lips onto the incubator wall. Your opened
door now lets me in. Thank you, nurse, who places
you so delicately pale inside, illustrating neonatal hyperbilirubenemia; the
strange words as big as giants in a nightmare. I’m afraid to say your name and to look at
this reflection, shivering in the glass, it seems,
at the knees. I am
standing here unravelling.

1st Place
‘Fortune Cookie’ by Vicki Mowat

Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.

All my talents?
Because they are many and varied
I can balance a spoon on my nose
I can turn the bathtub faucet off with my toes
I can sing off key to almost any song created
I can clean the toilet without complaining
(that’s a lie)

I can lie, occasionally without detection
I can watch the sky for hours
I can lie in my hammock, making the old oak creak
I can kill my brother’s houseplants while keeping mine alive
I can do one deke in soccer
I can listen to the leaves rustle in the wind
and feel beauty all around me

I can sit still while a bee buzzes around my head
I can fall in love with someone imaginary
Are there rewards for any of that?
I await recognition.


Cultured Vultures Poem of the Week

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