Monday, October 24, 2011

SPOOKY POEMS

Picture by Janet Kvammen


Midnight, in the City of the Dead

by Herman King

Where is this I wake, how did I arrive?
Coldness grips me as find;
I am the only one alive.

Among the tombs of St Louis, number one, I lay
Too much absinthe, on Bourbon St. this day
The taste of anise and wormwood,
stale upon my lips.

My favorite hat is gone, my suit has rips.
My ribs are bruised, my tender jaw I feel
Was I robed and rolled in Storyville?

Fog from the river, floats close to the ground
The night is heavy, “what’s that sound?”
Only a rat that scurries among the stones
A loathsome creature that feeds on bones.

By the light from a street lamp, on Rampart Street
I look at the name on the tomb,
just beyond my feet.
Marie Laveau, said to be the Voodoo Queen
Some say she still holds court, site unseen.

Write your request and roll it up
Leave a coin, in a crack, the note you tuck
Three times knock, three times spin
Mark three X’s, you’re as good as in.

Movement aside, my head turns quick,
Nothings there, my mind plays tricks.
Again, I feel there is someone there.
Do I seek, this creature, do I dare?

A hooded cloak, hides crimson hair
Scarlet lips, skin, pale and fair.
She seeks my soul, to pierce my flesh
To drink my blood, hot and fresh

All I know of this world says go
But this Vampire’s lips I long to know.

Copyright ©1/12/2004 Herman King, all rights reserved by the author













Sunday, October 23, 2011

Poems that Won or Placed in Contests

1st Place MPS AWARD  
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2013 Spring Festival


Devil’s Due


by Wynne Huddleston
                                                                       
Devil’s gonna get his due
on Highway 61; he stirred up
tornados, put us through hail, and threw
rain at Old Man River ‘til he swoll up
in such a rage
from Illinois, to Louisiana
through the Mississippi Sound, now he’s
goin’ ag’in the law of nature—
pushin’ up,
instead of flowin’ down the Arkansas.

Devil’s gonna get his due.
Chasin’ deer and ants right out o’ the fields,
swallowin’ our homes, drinkin’ the catfish
ponds, takin’ Rolling Fork, eatin’ acres
and acres of cotton, sweet corn,
soybeans, and wheat planted
in the fertile Delta
soil with the sweat and toil
of the poor and the rich alike.

Devil’s gonna get his due.
Floodin’ Muddy Waters’
playground, and Elvis,’ too, messed up
them blue suede shoes. Hear the music
shake and shiver—a sorrowful
tune; our Blue Delta’s cryin’
a Mississippi River.

Devil’s gonna get his due.
Ev’ry body come to Vicksburg
to watch it, too. Gonna see if it’s
bad as the flood in ’26-‘27. They ain’t

waitin’ for the levee to break, no,
they done blowed it up to save
the big cities, left us
country folks to soak it up… but we ain’t
complaining’ cause we know

Devil’s always gonna get his due.

۩۞۩

1st Place Myrtle Rae Davis Jones Memorial Award
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2011 Spring Festival

Mother’s


by Wynne Huddleston

I am my mother’s doll— acting at her command,
hugged not too tightly, and punished when I don’t
obey. She fixes my hair like hers, dresses me
in homemade clothes. My words are spoken in her
tone of voice; her pink lipstick forms my lips. She
drags me up the narrow, wooded path, pushes me
toward God and the things she desires— I see
the world through her eyes. She points out
sharp rocks, and that Morning Glories are really

invasive vines. We go to the garden where she
tells me to only pick what is ripe, and how to feel
for maturity of peas in a pod, and golden-haired
corn. She gives me a sweet peach, right off
the tree, and picks figs for preserves. She gives me
the recipe for delicious pie made with sour green
apples and sugar. Soon I am old enough to go
to college to develop my brain and God-given
talents. I snowball down the well-trampled path,

bitten by the strange and the curious. Glad to get away
from the country of work and proverbs and sun, I
dress myself in the fad of the moment, lips painted
Siren Red. I study and learn the web of the world,
make friends with different views. They stuff me
with spicy foreign food intended to shatter
the plate from which Mother fed me. I chew on it
and decide which agrees or not with my stomach.
Then one night I throw most of it up. The next

morning I wake up and look in the mirror to put on
my usual makeup, but I stop in shock to see her
natural beauty stamped on my face; to hear her
tongue lash judgments from my mouth; to feel
the healing itch and pull of the stitches of wisdom
she’d sewn into the fiber of my soul. I race barefoot

down that rocky path, back to the garden to find
myself. Choosing the mature, preparing the tried
and true recipes, with some spices of my own, I know
one day I’ll drag my own sweet baby doll here, too.

۩۞۩


Published in Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2011
© Wynne Huddleston




1st Place Elvis Was in the Building Contest
Mississippi Poetry Society 2013 Spring Festival


I Can’t Stop Loving You


by Wynne Huddleston

A teddy bear with swivel hips,
sideburns that lead to curly lips,
a million come to hear him sing,
girls scream and faint to see the King.
Although he likes to have his fun,
his heart belongs to only one.

Black velvet paintings frame his face
in Delta blues, Amazing Grace.
A Hound Dog dressed in Blue Suede Shoes
in Mississippi paid his dues.
Blue Christmases mean nothing new
the same as In the Ghetto, too.

You’re just a hunk of Burning Love
so if you’re listening up above,
I want My Way, so Don’t be Cruel
I’m All Shook Up and hoping you’ll
Love Me Tender, Love Me True…
Elvis, I Can’t Stop Loving You.

۩۞۩

© Wynne Huddleston


3rd Place Frances P. Denington Memorial Award (Humor)
Mississippi Poetry Society 2013 Spring Festival 


Addicted


by Wynne Huddleston

I’m having withdrawal; I had to go to work
without him. I can barely function
without him by my side. I feel shaky. Okay…
I’m addicted. I’m falling apart, I can’t think,
can’t remember what I’m supposed to do
from one minute to the next. I feel
like part of my body is missing. I have no one
to talk to, no one to play games with, discuss
the news and weather, read stories, mark
the calendar with plans. Man—I can’t believe

I left my smart phone at home!

۩۞۩


3rd Place Poets Anonymous Award
Mississippi Poetry Society 2011 Spring Festival


What Do You Know of Spring?

by Wynne Huddleston


...for what do you know of seasons, 
child? of long awaited flowers? You
pluck them without thinking, without knowing
an old woman’s joy of looking out
of winter's monochromatic gloom
each morning to find that, yes! the flowers are
in bloom! How could you know
that daffodils and tulips peeking
through green ribbons nod assurance that spring

is here and will stay until the blossoms
fade, dry to brown, and crumble
to dust? But you, in your unbridled lust
for the present, in the wastefulness of youth,
have thoughtlessly, and thoughtfully,
ripped every flower from its stem
and now, with triumphant smile, offer

them—already in the stages of death—
to me as if they were a secret only you
had discovered, but wanted
to share. I turn to hide my tears. Forcing
all of spring into a single vase for a single
day, I feign delight, then you, having done
your good deed, bounce

away. The next morning I hear you call, “Granny!”
I drag my weary bones up, and look out
at the gray yard. Only barren stems and leaves
remain. But then I see your beautiful face, precious
child, smiling at me as if to say… I
am spring.

۩۞۩

Published in Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2011
© Wynne Huddleston


 3rd Place Poets Anonymous Award
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2011 Spring Festival



Between Us


by Wynne Huddleston

While we await the birth of our first
grandchild, you refuse
to look at me. You stare at the wall
behind me as if it were

between us. I imagine
that's where you want to bury
me—in the mud and mortar between
the bricks you used to throw
when we were married. Nevertheless
I am still in your world, not
buried, but cremated, scattered

in fragments of memories—some blocked,
some remaining, like the stubborn
stains on the boxed-away wedding
gown. But this one we will keep
dear—our son enters the room, holding

this new life; we rush to stand
on opposite sides
of him. Our grandson looks at me
with your eyes, then
reaches for you
with my hand.


۩۞۩

Published in Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2011

© Wynne Huddleston






3rd Place Dramatic Dialogue
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2011 Spring Festival

Chopin: Robbing Time 


by Wynne Huddleston 



Now we shall talk about Chopin, dear student.
To play his music you must understand him—
his unrequited love, homesickness, illness. Here is
his portrait, which fellow Romantic Delacroix painted
thickly. His lyrical melodies were influenced
by Rubini, the operatics of Bellini, and the poetry
of Heine. George Sand— novel girlfriend, pen
in one hand, cigar in the other, pretending
to be lover, and man—played him like a piano,
while he, patriotic Polish, performed in private
Parisian saloons, discussed philosophy, politics,
and the arts with the brightest minds
of the aristocrats. Half Frenchman, he was
appropriately published in Paris, but longed
for his home in Poland. He chose to teach
instead of giving public virtuoso concerts
like his friend, Liszt—you can blame him
for recitals. Still, Chopin composed Mazurkas,
Ballades, Scherzos, Nocturnes, Etudes, Preludes,
Polonaises, and more on his Pleyel piano. Robbed
of love, robbed of his Polish home
and family, robbed by illness, which,
like his melodies, robbed time—slowing
down, catching up. Two against three struggle,
young love— her father opposed—sickness
stole that, too. But time cannot rob, destroy,
or diminish the beauty of his music
as long as his spirit takes us from the depths
of his sad soul, lifts us from our own despair
and races us up those chromatic stairs—
all the way to heaven. His body lies
in a grave in Paris, but his heart was taken
home to rest at last in beloved Poland. Now
his spirit is in your fingertips, dear student,
you must share it with the world and one day,
teach it, to keep his music safe for all time. 




۩۞۩

Published in Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2011
© Wynne Huddleston


2nd Place President/ VP Award
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2012 Spring Festival


User and Spouse 


by Wynne Huddleston 


My computer calls me user,
and I suppose I am;
early in the morning I get online,
and stay there until dawn.
It wants to find out
with whom I converse, which sites I like to visit--
it even reads my emails. It anticipates
my needs, tells me where to go,
and sometimes even locks me out--
when I can't remember my own name...
or the magic password. Smarter than I,
it corrects my errors, but if I go
where I shouldn't, it freezes up
and refuses to communicate with me...
I think I'll call it, "spouse."


۩۞۩

Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2012

© Wynne Huddleston

2nd Place Rhyming Award
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2012 Spring Festival


Sweet, Sunny Summers


by Wynne Huddleston 

Sweet, sunny summers of blackberry pie,
Red Light, Green Light, and Mother May I?
Chickening out halfway through
I'll show you mine if you...
Parting the wind with the wheels 
of my bike, puppy at my heels
lost in the woods right behind my own house,
climbing mimosa trees... falling out,
quiet as a mouse, no, a worm, while Pop
watched the news. Chores for Mom--
folding towels, making beds, being swung
in a quilt and then flung
on the bed, clutching sis, watching TV
afraid of the monkeys, afraid to see
the wicked witch on the Wizard of Oz.
Sunday--church, scary, too, because
of the hell-fire preaching
and the creepy cemetery, boo! Swinging
on the front porch at Grandma and Grandpa's,
listening to my uncles playing guitars
and fiddles 'til frogs croaked
and the beach ball sun broke
and bounced out of sight behind
the spiky black gate of giant pines.

۩۞۩

Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2012


© Wynne Huddleston



3rd Place Central Branch Award
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2011 Fall Festival



My Eclipse


by Wynne Huddleston 



When reality is too painful, I simply
black it out
like a solar eclipse. I don't mean
the kind of blackout I had
when my husband hit me, but

like when mom would cover
my "boo boo" with a Band-aid
and I'd forget it was there;
like when I get a blood test:
it doesn't hurt so much if I don't
look at the needle;

like when I go to funerals and sit
behind the flowers to block
my view of the front pew.

An eclipse is even better
than the anti-depressants the doctor prescribed
during my divorce.

It's like when I was at work
and someone told me
my house was on fire... I turned
the car radio up real loud, so I couldn't 
hear myself crying hysterically
all the way back to my

۩۞۩

[yes the ending is intentional, 
thanks to Dr. Angela Ball for helping me with this in her workshop]

Published Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2012

© Wynne Huddleston


3rd Place Clay Anderson Award
Mississippi Poetry Society’s 2011 Fall Festival


Regret


by Wynne Huddleston



 Regret is the dirt swept 
into a corner, the plant
you forgot to water, the engagement
ring returned to the shop, the annoying
pebble in your shoe, the unused
good china, the noisy cricket
in the middle of the night, the dirty
dish left in the sink, the book you meant
to read, the letter you should
have written, the unmade
be, the sigh at the end of a long day,
the "I love you" you never did say.


۩۞۩

Published in the Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2012

© Wynne Huddleston





2nd Place Fall Mini-Fest
Mississippi Poetry Society Fall Mini-Fest 2012

Autumn Cleaning


by Wynne Huddleston

The autumn wind sings as she rummages
through her treetop attic to find old things
that need to be blown away. She holds
them up, shakes off the dust before sending
each lifeless leaf whirling down. Then she
sorts them into piles to help the needy—carpet
for the cold floor, blankets for the flower beds,
and coats for the naked neighboring shrubs.

Published in the Mississippi Poetry Society Contest Issue 2012

© Wynne Huddleston







About Me

My photo
Wynne Huddleston is a poet, musician and teacher. Her first book of poetry, From the Depths of Red Bluff, ISBN: 978-0-9840483-2-8, published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc., is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ms. Huddleston is the Mississippi Poetry Society 2014 Poet of the Year. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications including the Birmingham Arts Journal, Camroc Press Review, Stymie Magazine, Danse Macabre, Orange Room Review, New Fairy Tales Anthology, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Four and Twenty. Her poem, Same Stars, Different Houses received a Pushcart Nomination from Deep South Magazine. Awards include the 2013 MPS Award, and Winner of the Grandmother Earth National Contest 2010 for Environmental Poetry. Ms. Huddleston was born in Lone Star, Texas, but has lived in Mississippi most of her life. She has been an elementary music teacher for 25 years, and has 2 grown sons, and 2 grandchildren. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984048324/