Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Third-Place Winning Poem

Our 2016 Poetry Contest Third-Place winner is Arlene Gay Levine for her poem "Marigolds."

Arlene Gay Levine, author of 39 Ways to Open Your Heart: An Illuminated Meditation (Conari Press) and Movie Life (Finishing Line Press), has had poetry and prose appear in many venues, including in The New York Times, in an off-Broadway show, and on radio. Her poetry is frequently anthologized. She lives with her husband in New York City where she tends a garden of words, roses, and herbs. Learn more at

by Arlene Gay Levine

There are days when nothing works.
Not forgiveness, not gratitude, not

even an excursion into the silence,
inside, which currently sports a
“Do Not Disturb” sign.

No, nothing works.
Quirks and quandaries cut
like knives while the dismal
drone of the daily quotidian
beats a bad rhythm

in your fragile heart
yearning to stay present,
like I said –
it doesn’t work.

Yet amidst the sludge of such
dark sky thoughts, twirling your
life round to the ground like the
spiral of a falling feather, you
sense a nudge, happen to look up

and see that pot of marigolds,
you know, the ones you planted
in the hopes that the sun of
their faces would shine you
back to the bright side of now

and it does. 

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