Thursday, December 27, 2012

And the winners are ...

First of all, let me just say that running this scifaiku poetry contest was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed reading all of your entries.  In fact, I liked them so much that I picked out a winning entry ... and then second place ... third place ... and an honorable mention.  I felt bad that I only had one prize to offer.  I discussed the situation with my son tonight - the 11-year-old instigator of the contest - and he said he wanted to donate the $5 Target gift card that he got during a holiday gift exchange at school for use as a prize.  Inspired by his generosity, I'm adding another prize of a $15 iTunes gift card.

So, without further ado, here are the winners:

(winner of a one-year subscription to Poets & Writers magazine)

the aliens' grasp
of haiku's basic concept:
seventeen small farts

 -- F.J. Bergmann

 My thoughts:  What can I say?  Every time I read this poem out loud, I laugh.  I love the contrast of the perfectly staid 5-7-5 syllable count against the bizarre imagery of the poem.     

(winner of a $15 iTunes gift card)

my little shoppers

-- N.E. Taylor

My thoughts:  I read this poem after a long day of Christmas shopping, a day when I longed for some elfbots of my own.  Brief, concise, and compelling, this poem is classic scifaiku - the type of poem that stays with you long after you read it.

(winner of a $5 Target gift card)

in soldered skulls
preprogrammed memories
echoing unheard

-- N Sloboda

My thoughts:  This poem has a deeply haunting quality, a sort of scifaiku - horrorku hybrid.  Try as I might, the imagery of this poem would not leave my mind.

Hollowed asteroid
--zygote born of desire--
finding a new home


My thoughts:  This was my son's favorite poem.  "I thought it was an interesting idea," he said.  My husband also liked this poem the best, enjoying the juxtaposition of a human zygote and a new colony on an asteroid.

If you have a winning poem, please contact me at jublke (at) gmail (dot) com and send me your snail mail address so that I can send your prize to you.

Thanks again for sharing your poetry!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scifaiku Contest - Win a Year's Subscription to Poets & Writers magazine!

Christmas Gift by Petr Kratochvil

The good folks at Poets & Writers are running a two-for-one holiday offer for current magazine subscribers, so I thought I'd pass along the extra subscription to one lucky winner by way of a poetry contest.  I'm partial to scifaiku (science fiction haiku, read a good definition here and see some examples at Scifaikuest), so here's your challenge:

Leave me one original scifaiku in the comments section of this post before midnight EST December 24, 2012.  I will choose my favorite and announce a winner on or before December 28, 2012.  Please leave me enough contact information so that I can track you down.  If you are chosen as the winner, I'll need a street address so I can tell Poets & Writers where to send your subscription.  I reserve the right to choose a different winner if I can't locate you.

Rules & fine print: One entry per person.  Odds of winning depend on the number of entries.  The decision of the judge (me) is final.  Scifaiku do not have to adhere to a 5-7-5 syllable scheme, but should be roughly around that number of syllables.  The winning prize - a one-year subscription to Poets & Writers magazine - can not be converted into a cash prize.  This contest is not sponsored by Poets & Writers, Scifaikuest, or anyone else (except maybe my 11-year-old son, who suggested the contest).  Void where prohibited by law.

Please note: All rights to any poems remain with their authors.  However, numerous journals consider ANY appearance online to be publication and, if you place your poem here, these venues may not consider your poem as an unpublished submission.  When in doubt, save your best work for your favorite journal.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Van Gogh - Starry Night - Google Art Project
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (via Wikimedia Commons)
"I exaggerate, I sometimes make changes to the subject, but still I don't invent the whole of the painting; on the contrary, I find it readymade—but to be untangled—in the real world." - Vincent van Gogh 
I read this quote recently in an article in Smithsonian Magazine and it struck me that I feel the same way about poetry. Often I feel as though the poem lies, ready-made, just beyond my perception. When I place words to paper I am - by necessity - limiting the ineffable and forcing it into the three-dimensional constraints of human experience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When We Were Seven

jangling cow bell
standing in the pasture
you shout moo

-- Julie Bloss Kelsey

(first appeared in Four and Twenty, Volume 3, Issue 10, October 2010)

Photo credit:, via flickr // CC BY 2.0

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just Before Sleep

his booming voice
from under the bed
little giggles

-- Julie Bloss Kelsey

(first appeared as a "Four and Twenty of the Week" at Four and Twenty, November 9, 2010)

Photo credit: irene nobrega, via flickr // CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Petite Heirlooms

in this hand-painted tin I find every button

Photo credit: Lainey Powell, via flickr // CC BY 2.0