Monday, April 28, 2008

The Poetry Society of Virginia: 2008 Contest Awards

Mel Edwards (C'es moi) is a WINNER!

2008 Annual Adult Contest
Awards Program
April 19, 2008

Category 14. Laura Day Boggs Bolling Memorial,, Marguerite Watkins, Judge. First Place: “My New Neighbor”, Dr. M. Lee Alexander, Williamsburg, VA. Second Place: “Hats”, James Garrett, Richmond, VA. Third Place: “Teachers”, Mel Edwards, Simpsonville, SC. 1st HM ”My Secret”, Laura Bobrow, Leesburg, VA. 2nd HM “Colder Light”, S. Nagarajan, Mason, OH. 3rd HM “Upon Visiting the National Zoo in Winter”, David Essex, Alexandria, VA. (55 entries)

Category 20. Come Out Swinging Prize, Henry Hart, Judge. First Place: “Breakfast at Sea”, Lynn Veach Sadler, Sanford, NC. Second Place: ” Song Written for Sophia”, David Essex, Alexandria, VA. Third Place: “Pro Se Blues”, Peter H. Desmond, Cambridge, MA. 1st HM “Apiary Act”, Mel Edwards, Simpsonville, SC. 2nd HM “Simple Simon’s Song”, Richard Raymond, Roanoke, VA. 3rd HM “o daddy long legs”, Trilla Ramage, Hampton, VA. (60 entries)

Mel's winning entries follow:


by Mel Edwards

There are short ones,
tall ones,
skinny ones, too.

Watchin’ what you’re doin’.
Watchin’ what you do.

Some they crawl out in the night.
Others stand in broad day light.

Who are the easy ones?
Who be the bad?
Who are the worst ones that you’ve ever had?

Their paychecks may be nothin’ but I will tell you true.
Their benefits are somethin’ – maybe one of them was you.

There are round ones,
wide ones,
average ones too.

Showin’ how to do it.
Showin’ what to do.

Who were the great ones?

Who weren’t that bad?

Who was the best one you ever had?


"Apiary Act"

by Mel. Edwards

You flew right in and snubbed my worker bees
Saying, “Hey Queenie, mama, take a look at me.”
I spun around. I had no fear.
I knew Big Daddy, where you’d be in a year.

I said, “Yeah?”
You said, “Yeah.”

You walked right up and said with a smile,
“Come one Queenie, baby, let’s play for a while.”
I said, “A drone of mine will be put to the test.
If you know what you’re doin’ you’ll get no rest.”

You said, “Yeah?”
I said, “Yeah.”

I should have known then that you knew your scam
You claimed, “I was made for dancin’ the old wham-bam.”
You looked into my eyes, then lightnin’ struck.
In a heartbeat you were my broncin’ buck.

I said, “Yeah!”
You said, “Yeah.”

Well, months have passed. The hive is full.
Your life is done. Honey, that’s not bull.
“Mother Nature said it’s time for me to fly.
It’s been fun, Daddy, and that’s no lie.”

You said, “Yeah?”
I said, “Yeah.”

You took a step back and tripped on the rug.
Lying on the floor you sighed and shrugged.
“If that’s how it goes, I’m not sorry, ma’am.
There are worse ways of livin’, like the ol’ flim flam.”

I said, “Yeah.”
You said, “Yeah.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It began with a seashell
so delicate...

The words flowed
with adolsecent angst.
They continue through
life's surprises and goals
I never hoped to realize.

It will continue:
as long as my fingers move
even if the letters wobble
like Anna's did...

All the while my eyes see
even if those visions
exist only in my head...

As my ears receive waves
even if no one else hears
the voice within....

Beyond the everlasting day my spirit
enters eternal rest
past the hours that will flow
evermore in the distance...

I am
I will be
a poet.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hub City Writing Conference

Hi, folks! If you are looking for an intimate writing conference to attend this summer, check out Hub City's 2008 Writing in Place conference, which will be held Aug. 1-3 at Wofford College. They only allow 72 people to register and I'll be there focusing upon poetry.
I signed up after I found out Hub City published Marjory Wentworth's first book, and one of the presenters is the ever-intelligent poet Vera Gomez, who I met at TRAM last Saturday.
I love that when I follow my passions (storytelling, writing, teaching) I meet more and more fabulous people. Jayne Jaudon Ferrer is rumored to be attending this conference as if you're looking for more fantastic folks to share your love of word wrangling with, Hub City is the place to be in August!
For more details visit:
(And, no, I do not benefit financially or otherwise from speaking about this conference or any of the women mentioned above. I'm just so excited that I wanted to invite you to join us!)
Hope to see you at Wofford!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

TRAM: Marjory Wentworth workshop

Call it luck, synergy or Divine Intervention, but on Friday night I attended a poetry reading at a cafe in Traveler's Rest given by Marjory Wentworth, our state poet laureate. While I was there, it was announced she was giving a FREE workshop on Saturday for two hours. So, I cancelled my plans for Saturday and signed up. What a gas!

The main thrust of the workshop was writing about stories you find in magazines, newspapers, etc. that just catch your mind in a spin. Marjory brought her file and we looked. I found in the pile our local library's ad for a teen event -- not related to reading or libraries at all, but toward environmentally-related crafts: making floor mats out of plastic shopping sacks. It struck me funny that no reading was promoted in the advertisement. I then brainstormed and thought of all the times people have been hushed in the library. I combined that silence with all the things we as adults don't talk to teens about even when all the information is right there under our noses. Below is the poem I came up with:

Trash Bag Floor Mats
by Mel. Edwards

Conformityville Library:Calling All Teens!
Create kitschy quirky foundation
to combat global strangulation!


Shop on
and drop
crunchy carpet for
park pavers and
football field.

Fashionable obfuscation found.

So sad.
Sam Walton’s shop
switched those sea-tone sacks.
Cement County seeks coastal view.

Free use with author credit given.
© 2008. Mel Edwards

Farewell Teaching

Well, this week I turned in my resignation effective the end of the school year. What does that mean to the rest of the world? Ready or not, here I come!!!!
I have a list of 18 things I want to be working on this year. I won't post the entire list here, but some of the basics include:

  1. Votre Vray - Finding Your Truth workshops
  2. Storytelling, poetry crafting and other literary support and entertaining in schools
  3. Writing boatloads more poetry
  4. Writing a book with a colleague
  5. Many, many poetry readings and other related festival events

Somewhere along the line I hope to see more of my husband and bunnies and meet YOU!

I'm OPEN FOR BOOKINGS most days and nights beginning June 14th. (Before that I have a summer camp, National Boards of Professional Teaching Standards assessment test, and, naturally, the end of the school year.

I look foward to meeting you soon!