Our Annual Poetry Contest is underway!

Due to an influx of submissions, we are only accepting up to 3 poems per poet at this time. Thank you for your interest!

Please send a poem you have written to octoberprojectmusic@gmail.com before midnight on Thursday, April 29th, and we will select a winner and runner’s up (and publish your poems) to be announced here and on our FB page on Saturday, May 1st.

Winners will receive signed and personalized copies of Julie’s two books of poetry – Joyride [https://www.amazon.com/Joyride-poetry-Julie-Flanders-ebook/dp/B00VQQPS4U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1543503810&sr=8-2&keywords=Julie+Flanders+Joyride

Shadow Breathing [https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Breathing-Julie-Flanders/dp/0988645637/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1543503776&sr=8-1 – and the Grand Prize Winner will be invited to be a judge at next year’s contest!

We look forward to sharing your poetry.

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We are so ready

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The Yellow House

by J.R. Manning, Sr.

A two-family house stands alone,
Abandoned, with broken windows
In its urban Upstate setting.
Today, we call it a tough neighborhood.

Once a jaunty yellow with fancy trim,
Faded now. The wooden porch askew,
The doorway dark and nailed shut.
White window trim pealed and dulling.
No other house on the lonely block
Shares the same once vibrant color.

I wonder how long it’s been since the house
Saw bad boys throwing crab apples, or
Girls hanging fresh laundry out in the sun.
Caught the fragrance of Thanksgiving wafting its halls.
Heard children’s laughter or a baby’s cry.
The clink of milk bottles delivered on the step.
Dad’s radio blaring the glories of DiMaggio,
Or the stuttering joy from lovers late at night.

Its time has passed, forever, but perhaps somewhere
An old gal wakes up from a nap in the solarium
With a smile on her weathered face, remembering
The yellow house
She lived in as a kid.

Her happy memory lingers.

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Summer Times & Summer Places

by Michele Merges Martens 

step into a hazy afternoon memory,
trail walking a tenuous dirt path at the lake.
no need for a map. your mind remembers the way.
your heart still does not care
that there is no apparent beginning and no definite end.
underneath the trees
seasons are layered in patterns.
explore until you recognize one that belongs to you.
find your childhood.
get blackberry scratches.
trace cobweb patterns.
braid grasses and pine needles.
seek wisdom from turtles on logs.
crease a wintergreen leaf.
hide a perfect pebble in your left hand.
follow a tree root.
watch sunlight dancing with the water.
listen to whispery wind songs.
escort an ant into the dark earth.
allow your tears to water the velveteen moss.
and then reach up from the surface to the sky.
the lake is a mirror.
which is reflection
and which is reality?

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by Isaac Keener

Is your light less beautiful
Revealed to me through blankets of fog
Your song turned lonely and sad
Your eyes in distant lands
Staring at dreams only you can see
If I had the means I swear I’d blow away
This haze that keeps us apart
But I’m only a man
(Which is really just a word for a boy
Who is better at acting brave)
And you are my favorite enigma
Reflecting a light beyond my understanding
Still, your pale beams illuminate my shuttered heart
From worlds away I hear you whisper what you barely believe yourself
If only you knew how your own heart glows
So I whisper back your words in the night
And through the clouds we bid each other to open our eyes
My beautiful one, Arise

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Flying Into the Fire

by Gina Forberg

Her hand flat on the knife
she thumps the blade, cracks
the clove, peels away the skin.

She could design dishes the way
Daedalus created the labyrinth,
the ship’s sail, the mast.

She could thicken a gravy,
butterfly a beef tenderloin
flambé crème brulee.

She was drawn to the flame,
its heat, its candle shape color.
She liked its dangerous desire.

Icarus flew too close to the sun,
his waxen wings soaring, then falling
feather by feather into the sea.

She too wanted that high.
She wanted that intimacy with fire
even if it meant burning.

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