Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Poetry Contest Second-Place Winner

Second-place honors go to Skip Renker for his poem “Silent Reach.”

F.W. "Skip" Renker lives in Midland, Michigan, and teaches English, Introduction to Meditation, and World Religions courses at Delta Community College.  He has published poems in small press magazines and is the author of two chapbooks, Birds of Passage and Sifting the Visible.  He lives on the Pine River in mid-Michigan and draws inspiration from the natural world, from his wife Julia Fogarty, from family and friends, and from the Source of all being.

A Silent Reach
            by Skip Renker

There’s a stillness in the world
that lives at dusk in the tapering pines
near the riverbank, light held in high branches,
darkness further down and deeper
in the woods.  Nothing is dead,

not the stumps, the trees
bare of leaves, the pine needles
on the forest floor, the smooth rocks parting
the river, and not this stillness,
wholly self-contained,

needing nothing, yet
waiting for us to awaken in it, 
as if, like roots, stillness lives to reach, reach
to feed on the world and give back through
itself, servant and conduit.

all along the line 
it lives to reach, to feed
and be fed on.
needing nothing, yet
waiting for me to wake up to it.
Sleep isn’t stillness.  Stillness is awake
to its roots.  It lives, it lives
to reach, to feed.

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