BY NOEL KING
I have a need to cover a great oak tree with one
big white sheet, dream of threading together
a house-full pulled from under a family
who stare at me, consider me mad; brutal even.
At eight, I fell from its branches, don’t know what
happened then, just remember being bedridden.
At ten, I crouched in lightning, not knowing a tree
was the last place to shelter.
An oak swish in winter soothed me at earlier times
of life. Now its tongues tease me, coming as it has before
baby, child, teenager, husband, widower. Naked
in a nightmare, I am barely balanced on my garden wall,
wave my arms to keep balance and the sheet in my hands
from flapping, despair on how to get my sheet over the tree.
I no longer object to house plans for its field, won’t mind
the sound of a chainsaw; will a dream to sit on
its wide stump as branches lay dying in the grass, and I
won’t count the circles, knowing it has lived long enough.
The 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry
THIRD PLACE WINNER
We are pleased to announce the third place winner for The 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, honoring the independent press’ best poems of the year. The winners are selected by an external panel that judges all pieces blindly and selects the full list of finalists. Alternating Current does not determine the final outcome for the judging; the external judges’ decisions are final. The third place winner receives a printed certificate, publication on Alternating Current’s award page, publication on The Coil, and printed publication in the forthcoming Luminaire Award print anthology collection.
NOEL KING was born in and lives in Tralee, Ireland. His poems, haiku, short stories, reviews, and articles have appeared in magazines and journals in thirty-seven countries. His poetry collections are published by Salmon Poetry: Prophesying the Past (2010), The Stern Wave (2013), and Sons. He has edited more than fifty books of work by others. Anthology publications include The Second Genesis: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry (AR.A.W., India, 2014).
Poem originally published on 3/11/15