Keith Polette – USA (PJ32)

going stag . . .
i follow deer tracks
into the forest

old growth . . .
her mother’s voice
under her own

reaching twenty-one
at blackjack

The River

The clear stream carried the morning sunlight to the bend where it disappeared.  I waded in and cast my line to the shallows of the opposite bank, hoping to hook Walleye or Bass.  After an hour of casting and reeling, catching nothing but time, I was ready to close my tackle box and call it a day, when a dragonfly landed on the tip of my rod.  Perched in a six-legged grip, it was a blue bloom at the end of a long stem.  The wings, glinting in sun, translucent, thin as a whisper, did not move, like a biplane grounded.  Its eyes looked like dark observatories.  Then, as quick as a blue-tipped match stuck to life, the dragonfly lifted, hovered for a moment, then disappeared into light, leaving me standing there, the first catch of the day, shimmering in water.

fishing lure
the flash of her leg
in fine-mesh net

Richard Tice – USA (PJ32)

dental drill —
the doctor hums
a country tune

when I’m 64
turns out
she still feeds me

War Gaming: Hobby or Habit 

toy cannons
firing ladyfingers
at plastic soldiers —
Mom asks us to take
the battle outside

Refight World War II hour by hour. Choose among sixty-four countries. Pick political leaders and generals. Build your economy through trade and construction. Create a military juggernaut. Practice diplomacy — or not. Read the instruction manual several times to even begin to play.

dinnertime —
too busy taking Paris
with Panzergruppe 1