Poetry Omnibus: I. ADULT WINNERS

Posted: Friday, April 02, 2010

For the fifth year in a row, Juneau's buses are somewhere you can read an original poem written by a local resident, courtesy of the Poetry Omnibus contest.

"Every year has been very different," said organizer Robyn Holloway. This year, she said the quality of submissions was high.

Poems "ride the bus" for a year. This year, there is one for each of Juneau's 16 buses. Eight are written by youth, and eight by adults.

The program is based on similar programs in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and New York.


Twinkle, Twinkle

By Michael Christenson

Crystal night, clear and crisp

Snow glow mountain, moonlight kissed

Who'd have thought it'd come to this?

la fin de l'idylle, je suis triste

Out beneath undocumented trees

with nothing but a pocket of memories

Konami's not the only cheat -

A broken heart still beats, still beats

Walk with your face to the frozen sky;

All stars sparkle when there's tears in your eyes.


By Bob Fagen

Asters in tears,

grey melt on blue ice

a leaf's yellow splash -

winter dips its brush

soon, the first magpie

ptarmigan kanji

Clam Soup

By Grace Lumba

Driving in a big white truck

Out the road, buckets rattling

Mom, dad, sister and me

Waiting for the smell of ocean

To seep through open windows

Bubbles in sand

Mark the clam's breath

Finally our shovels smack

The hard-packed Earth

We dig. And dig. For dinner.


By Brierley Ostrander

"I'm the first in the world to touch her," my father says,

As if the marbled cord pulses back into a void,

As if I've just sprung, Venus-like, from some abstract wave-

Never mind those slow nine months since I began to thieve

Just a little of my mother's verve, or the five since

I greeted her with a kick, pressing her lungs for space.

To exist in his world, must I discount her darkness?

To be, must I first shed all skin but my own-unveil

The mystery of womb-wet eyes to his exacting sun?

One Branch

By Mary Anne Slemmons

The blue jay's perch breaks

One branch less in the forest

One less kitchen spy


By Mary Anne Slemmons

sea stars fat and thin

left bare by the moon-tugged tide

the sky stars see all

Motes Alive

By Richard Stokes

Air alive with tiny winged insects

each a quantum of captured sunlight.

They rise and fall, circle and spiral,

to some instinctive script

beyond my understanding.

Work Pays Off: Strawberry Picking Lessons

By Margo Waring

Don't put harvest off; you may miss the peak.

Start with everything you'll need.

Work through the bugs; you'll be glad in the winter.

Change your perspective; a few inches can show treasures.

Many small treasures are better than one big one.

Look from the bottom as well as the top.

Look back; you may have missed something wonderful.

Watch your step. Weed as you go. Be thorough.

Learn when the pickings are so slim it's time to move on.

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