Thursday, April 30, 2015

Second-Place Winner: "Midsummer Meditation" by David Allen Sullivan

David Allen Sullivan’s first book, Strong-Armed Angels, was published by Hummingbird Press, and three of its poems were read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Every Seed of the Pomegranate, a multi-voiced manuscript about the war in Iraq, was published by Tebot Bach. A book of translation from the Arabic of Iraqi Adnan Al-Sayegh, Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet was published in 2013, and Black Ice, about his father’s dementia and death, is forthcoming from Turning Point. He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students, and lives in Santa Cruz with his love, the historian Cherie Barkey, and their two children, Jules and Mina Barivan. He was awarded a Fulbright, and taught in China for one year ( His poems and books can be found at

Midsummer Meditation  
by David Allen Sullivan

Make of yourself a gourd.
Dry yourself of all desires.
Let the few true thoughts
inside you rattle in the hollow
chamber. Let that music be
what sustains you. And when
you, at last, split open, let
the seeds fly. Perhaps a few
will even catch fire in fertile
ground and fly again. Sun-
baked, nuzzled by the rains,
touched by creature mouth
or kind hands. We don’t know
what we’re doing. Might as well
let go of our hard grasping.
Sun doesn’t judge your worth.
So why do you deem yourself
less than anything under it?

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