By Annie Newcomer:
"Poetry is a form of expression. Writing it lets us get out our feelings and thoughts on a subject while reading it encourages us to connect and find meaning in our experiences.
Poetry can have a positive impact on the social and emotional learning of children & adults."
—"Why Is Poetry Important?" Proud to be Primary
Before we announce the results of this year's Flapper Press Poetry Summer Contest, we feel that it is important to share that this was one of our closest competitions to date. Our chief editor lamented, "Wish that we had enough award money to give out even more stipends."
We received poems from all parts of the United States. We are grateful for the trust and the interest. We value the poets who come back each year to participate in our contests, as they elevate the quality of the work gathered. Flapper Press cares about each piece that is submitted.
As we continue to develop our online publication in the literary world, we will stay true to our original mission statement, which is to advance poetry through poet interviews, prompts, and theme-based contests and other creative ideas that we develop for the Flapper Press Poetry Café. Our intention is to become a home for the advanced writer as well as the emerging poet and to find ways to help our audience stay curious about poetry through the work we present. We hope to spark interest and continue to provide a way for poets and our audience to engage with the written word through a variety of unique opportunities.
A wise professor once shared with his student, "Ahhh, never forget to consider the audience." With each article we prepare on poetry, we understand the responsibility to provide pieces that will inform and excite our readers, because poetry is an opportunity to find hope and solace in this complex world that we find ourselves in today. Your participation both as a writer and a reader of Flapper Press helps us fulfill this mission.
Even though the three poems selected all used lines from John Updike's "June," notice the ways each poem demonstrates different moods and styles of poetry. Storytelling, imagery, and repetition are tools each poet uses differently to build to a place of deep emotion. Notice how the element of time and the recognition of the importance of how we use time is prevalent in each piece.
The contest guidelines were are follows:
1. Choose 2 lines from one of these 3 poems:
"June" by John Updike
"The Silken Tent" by Robert Frost
"In Summer Time" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar
2. Use the lines anywhere in your own poem.
3. Let us know the poem you used.
4. UNDERLINE the 2 lines you used.
5. The lines can be used anywhere in the poem.
6. The lines can be separated.
7. Send your submission and short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org
One first-place winner is awarded $100.
One second-place winner is awarded $50.
One third-place winner is awarded $25.
Below is the poem on which our three winning poets based their work for our Flapper Press Poetry Café Summer 2022 Contest.
June by John Updike The sun is rich And gladly pays In golden hours, Silver days, And long green weeks That never end. School’s out. The time Is ours to spend. There’s Little League, Hopscotch, the creek, And, after supper, Hide-and-seek. The live-long light Is like a dream, and freckles come Like flies to cream.
If I Could Pause For a Moment
By Kristin Timmons
The trees sing me a song of strength and resilience
Wisdom and scars radiate through their veins Their branches reach out and beg me to listen If I could pause for a moment, I could take it all in.
The birds sing me a song of contentment and freedom
Journey and adventure radiate through their veins
Their voices call out and beg me to listen If I could pause for a moment, I could take it all in.
The ocean sings me a song of abundance and caution
Vastness and surrender radiate through her veins She runs towards my feet and begs me to listen If I could pause for a moment, I could take it all in.
The sun sings me a song of hope and forgiveness
Comfort and warmth radiate through her veins
She nudges my body and begs me to listen If I could pause for a moment, I could take it all in.
The stars sing me a song of mercy and beauty
Illumination and brilliance radiate through their veins
They captivate my eyes and beg me to listen If I could pause for a moment, I could take it all in.
The moon sings me a song of adjustment and stability
Perseverance and grace radiate through his veins His soul permeates me and begs me to listen If I could pause for a moment, I could take it all in.
My daughter sings me a song of life and its meaning
Love and connection radiate through her veins She shows me myself and begs me to listen I pause for a moment and I take it all in.
The awareness and emotion that come with this presence
Are all that I’ve needed to see that I’m whole A new day is dawning and its beauty delights me The live long light is like a dream The time is ours to spend.
Kristin Timmons lives in Santa Rosa, CA, and is currently a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, studying Human Services. She is also a stay-at-home mother who has always loved writing, reading, and poetry. Her two greatest poet inspirations are Bob Dylan and Maya Angelou.
"I love the way that writing makes me feel.
t helps me get thoughts and feelings out
that I may be unable to do so through speaking."
By Tom Squitieri
My throat wind is blowing chords
from the faint heart
to the portal of dreams,
come to me and show me
strength and beauty,
for it is there
to those blessed
with the sunshine of courage
Retreated from the world as much as possible,
I have found a smattering
of a new balance that helps in ways
not yet defined,
each day gives a void and a precipice trail beyond the moment
Bursts of brightness popping from new redoubts
In golden hours
Much like escape lights on the floor panels
Of an airplane
For now I am headed to better places
Hiking to her
Eager for our night noises
I want to dance on those steps
Wearing only one shoe
just like you do, and with you
We step boldly
Guided by the oasis birds
Where nothing is common about the grackle
Encouraged by red bellies and ruby throats
And special tufts
if you are genuine, you are always in tune
Soon to apricate
Go away, world.
When you see the green moon
And if the puzzlement lasts,
it is not for you
When you see it and immerse,
You are ready
and long green weeks
Shed the lorica
To box the bet
Tom Squitieri is a three-time winner of the Overseas Press Club and White House Correspondents’ Association awards for work as a war correspondent. His poetry appears in several publications and venues. He writes most of his poetry while parallel parking or walking his dogs, Topsie and Batman.
By Lynn Scozzari
Dreaming of root beer floats and lightening bugs
as they streak across the settling-into-black-sky
Piercing the veil.
Small orange smears swimming through dense air
The live-long night is like a dream
Crusty sleep lingers in the corners of our eyes at sunrise
We never fully awaken in July or August, those juicy summer months.
Only in September when the school bells ring again
and the long end-of-day shadows follow behind us
to the hopscotch game
we scrawled with chalk on the smoldering sidewalk
“So hot you could fry an egg,” the old folks said.
Our pastels no longer relevant – faded into the cement
Leaving only dust
Blown away by all too infrequent summer breezes.
Jasmine in bloom
Tickling my nose
Giddy, I am as a child.
The time is ours to spend
No quarters, credit cards or other currency
Just time and freedom.
Kick up your bare feet and let the fireflies shine.
Lynn Scozzari lives in Southern California with her husband, two dogs, and two cats, writing when the muse strikes (and she pays attention). Owning to her Midwestern roots, she often finds her writing hearkens back to her upbringing in a small Indiana town. Lynn’s poetry has been published in various journals and essays. She is a former editor of a city-style magazine (back when those were popular) and of a parenting publication when her (now adult son) was a wee lad.