T.P.S. Excellence Contest Winners
Poems below have been posted on site with authors prior permission. Those not shown
respectively declined and had the right to do so. All poems can however be found in past
publications and issues of Poetize Magazine. All copyrights rest with the Author.
Summer Competition - June 1, 2007
Helen McInerny - Pennsylvania USA

In His Hands

In His hands he holds all things
Pertaining to my life.
Nothing comes but through Him first,
Neither joy nor strife.

In the valley of suffering,
He molds me to His plan,
Then takes me to a mountain top,
And I rest in peace again.

There is no growth on the mountain,
No demand is made of me.
Only as I pass through the valley,
Am I allowed to see.

That in the time of wandering,
And in the place of pain,
My spirit melts into His own,
And two are one again.

Copyright © Helen McInerny
Winter Competition - December 1, 2007
Joanne Cucinello - New York USA

He's Gone

The sun
now ending its long walk
across the sky
peeks again through the willow.
It's quiet now.
She sits by the window
looking at the garden
and this aging man
who once she knew
as lover mate
now more like a child,
a lost one at that,
but still a man in form
the man she loved
for all these years
who calls her Sally now,
Sally some girl he knew
when he was young.
Sally doesn't live here
and this is not his home
in West Virginia.

He keeps looking for his dog
long dead calling out
"Scotty! Come here, boy."
And she sits and watches
as he clips the branches
of the small bush
that sits alone at the back
of the yard.
She's thinking how like branches
his mind
is being clipped away each day.

he'll come through the door
yelling and asking why
she's sitting in his house
and where's Sally?
And the wedding pictures
on the bureau
stare back at him
like strangers
toasting ghosts.

She sits by the window
holding screams

beneath her breath
of frozen tears
and weeps silent
even as the fireflies
begin their dance.

He's lost
the man she loved
locked in some forbidden space
within his mind
growing deeper and deeper away
lost to all who called him friend
and father and Darling.

"I can't find Scotty," he mumbles
teary-eyed through the door
and she cups his face in her tender hands
trying to find him somewhere.
Night brings its close around them
and he smiles and pats her hair
and plants his small kiss upon her cheek
"I love you, Sally."

Copyright © Joanne Cucinello


Summer Competition - June 1, 2008
Joseph Meckes - Pennsylvania USA

Grandpa's Love

This little child has a place in my heart that only a child can see
where patience, love, and tenderness will never cease to be.
A place where understanding lives and kindness guides the way
a helping hand with lots of smiles and laughter every day.

This little child will know the love of a Grandpa filled with pride
a gentle touch, a whiskery kiss; with tickles down the side.
A game to play, a song to sing, some time to fly a kite
a lesson in the golden rule and learning wrong from right.

A tear to share, some time to dream, a hug that's really tight
a rainy day, a baseball game, perhaps a childish fright.
This little child will come to know that Grandpa's love is real
and given with a guarantee that no one else can steal.

My days are short; I cannot stay, there's other work to do
for God will call me home with Him and I must say adieu.
This little child will grow to know what God has given me
a special love; a Grandpa's love that only a child can see.

Copyright © Joseph Meckes


Winter Competition - December 1, 2008
Peter Joseph Adams - Georgia USA

They Soon Forgot The Cosmonaut

He is an island insignificant
Amidst a sea magnificent
To be passed over by the eye

While the world storms and quakes
All alone he floats and waits
The man above the sky

One cannot follow
A heart long hollow
For nothing's there to lead

His simple crime
Was wishing time
Would move another speed

But the world passed right by
Time stays content to fly
It will never postpone

And our Cosmonaut
The world forgot
So he floats away, alone.

Copyright © Peter Joseph Adams


Summer Competition - June 1, 2009
Kilian McDonnell - Minnesota USA

At Dusk

Up the hill
between lake and window

come fawn and doe.
They see me, but stand

beneath the dead
oak unafraid.

Does the wild know
something the old monk

forgets? I move
and they are gone.

Copyright © Kilian McDonnell


Winter Competition - December 1, 2009
Joanne Cucinello - New York USA

Early Riser

When I sit in my room
of many windows
especially at early morn
gratefulness fills me.
As the sun pokes through
the trees, there are
silken strings
hanging, shimmering
fine threads of the Master
who was weaving
while I slept.

I wonder
on this particular sunrise
as I watch them sway
caught in passing
by a trembled breeze
how light of sun
can play upon them
fragile chords of morning song,
silent beads of glistening dew
ascending descending
stretched across each silver filament
coloring hints of rainbow

visible only in this brief encounter
spared with grace for early risers.

Copyright © Joanne Cucinello


Summer Competition - June 1, 2010
James Kenneth Waltzer - Texas USA

To Escape


Winter Competition - December 1, 2010
Charlene Rene Geist - Minnesota, USA


(Poem Will Be Posted Soon!)


Summer Competition - June 1, 2011
Penny Carson - South Carolina, USA


Thursday afternoon we arrive like clockwork
not much going on yet, but give it time
Your arm supports my lower back and
your Old Spice fights for breathing space
alongside cigarette smoke, beer, perfume
and pickled pigs feet .

The jukebox pulses with Leroy Van Dyke
just walk on by, wait on the corner
You deposit me at the bar like a check that
requires a three day waiting period
You call to the lady on the other side of the bar
(while slapping a few bills down) watch out for her .

Occasionally some cowboy walks up, pinches my cheeks
or buys me a fresh refill. My eyes follow you. In between winks at
whatever woman is looking, the pool cue in your hand sings
as another illusion disappears in the side pocket.
My body starts to sway to the music on the jukebox.
Patsy Cline? Loretta Lynn? I'm not sure. It doesn't matter .

My bottle is long empty and I am close to passing out on the bar
you stroll over and pick me up calling me your best girl
whirling me around while teary-eyed women admire you .
I whisper "Daddy I'm hungry can we go now?"
You call to the lady on the other side of the bar
(while slapping a few bills down) watch out for her.

Copyright © Penny Carson


Winter Competition - December 1, 2011
Amanda Diane Wilmong - Farmers Daughter

(Poem to post soon!)


Winter Competition - December 1, 2012
Richard Shultz - Dancing Angel

The poet's blood upon the page
Is the scarlet scimitar that carves
My heart to tattered
Lean and awkward metaphors
That climb past understanding into eternity,
Where my eyes will render all I have been,
All I have done stern and silent
And carry me on to paradise

There my soul shall be wrapped
In a white cocoon of words,
And when the butterfly emerges
On wings of golden verse,
Only then shall I surrender
To her, that my pride
Has always sought.
My dancing lovely angel, death

Copyright © Richard Schultz

Summer Competition - June 1, 2013
Joanne Cucinello - Necessary

I am waiting
like the small acorn
left behind and buried
in the barren earth of winter

waiting for
the warm rays of
springtime's sun to
open up my heart again with light

do we all
not close that
inner door when
daylight's scarce and night is long

how necessary then this test
to pause and stay within the heart's
perimeter and muddle through the aches
of our decisions past, that walk us through the labyrinth

there is no undoing
yet the years leave memories
with faded watermarks, blurring truth
sometimes, as the mind grows weary in the dark.

so come sweet light
add your colors softly painted
to this waiting canvas of my thirsty soul
and I will, like the acorn, part this earth and bloom again.

Copyright © Joanne Cucinello

Winter Competition - December 1, 2013
Ingeborg von Finsterwalde - Winter Splendor

A hush settled over the diminutive valley
The pine trees dressed in Christmas splendor
Whispered tales of wonder and merriment
The ice maiden has touched the waterfall
She will keep it suspended in her frigid grip
Turning the sheer wall of flowing water
Into a white wispy veil of impenetrable beauty
Hark to the wind reciting his ageless melody
While the creatures inhabiting the land go to sleep
Only the moon and the stars watch in silence
While the lights from the village linger momentarily
Then darkness lays siege to the day