2016 Winning Poems

The Moving Words Competition for adults returned in 2016 after a hiatus. Six winning poems and six honorable mentions were selected from more than 400 poems by judge and local poet Francisco Aragón.  View the six winning poems on Arlington’s ART buses from April through September 2016.

2016 Moving Words Poetry winners: Susan Bucci Mockler, D. Gilson, Steve Herring, J. Howard, Camisha L. Jones, and Ellen Sazzman.  Honorable mentions went to Elizabeth Acevedo, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Patricia Davis, Ann Rayburn, Nancy Tyler, and Joyce Winslow.


 

My Mother’s Rolling Pin

I’ve had her wooden rolling pin for 20 years
but hardly ever use it. The handles are loose,
it’s worn smooth, and it makes a thumping sound
when I roll out and push the dough, hoping,
in the soothing repetition, for lightness, flakiness,
the right combination of flour and water, gentle force
of rolling pin to dough.  It’s been wrapped and forgotten,
but some days I’m glad I kept something I can touch.
Some days, I need to pull it out from the back of the drawer,
unwrap it and wake my heart up again.

-    Susan Bucci Mockler

 

Sewing Lesson

Above me, my mother sews a blue dress
for Brad, the only drag queen in our town.
She’s bent before her work as I caress

the yards of silk charmeuse gathered round
her feet. The ceiling fan whirs, and sequins —
silver, chartreuse — fly about us, flutter down,

stick in my curly hair. Mother tousles them
free, and quick, begins to sew again.

-    D. Gilson

 

Between Bridges

When I pulled the chord I got Dizzy
I be-bopped down the aisle
A passenger passed me a smile
Mother Hubbard was bending phrases
I started to rumba back to my seat
Higher than the stratosphere, upbeat
Blowing life into Little Sunflowers
Not Van Gogh’s but blee-blop blues
Grooves that ventured hard bop
But, oh man, I missed my stop

-    Steve Herring

 

untitled

This poem is so very tired
Of guns. Of snuffed lives. Enough,
Says this poem. Enough. Enough.

-    J. Howard

 

Hair-itage

my hair is a horizon     uprising
tall like tree tops reaching high
towards the nourishing sun
a salutation honoring what is above and beneath

my hair is a horizon
a land once stripped of its natural resources
that now stands        unapologetically rich
a beckoning place   
spiraling itself into its own quiet revolution

-    Camisha L. Jones

 

Baseball Evening Reliever

August swelters.  Nats fans slick 
with the sweat
of triumph pack the train.
From their seats a boy and girl rise
unbidden
offer their place to an elderly couple holding on
to seasons long past.
With thanks bowed bodies accept the gesture
graceful
as the game’s last double play.

-    Ellen Sazzman

 

2016 Honorable Mention Poems

 

Family Bed

Her first tumult, roundhouse, flip
little spark of flutter, little slip
when the universe tumbled through me
I plodded, heavy with importance, our
path forward. Now she curls to me
beckons--when have I not heeded her call?
This love radiates, burns brighter with each
diminished night, I cannot relinquish her need.
How tiring and lovely it is to fill.

 
From "Haint" Copyright (c) 2016 by Teri Ellen Cross Davis. Reprinted by permission of Gival Press.

 

Fig

blooms inside the fruit—
which, more than fruit, is
      a wound, purpling,
tumescent,
seed inseparable from meat, pulp
      livid with flowers
no one ever sees.

-    Patricia Davis

 

QUERENCIA

In the angled safety of my father’s arms, I listened to the tale
of Ferdinand, the sturdy bull who did not want to fight, preferred
the scent of meadow roses to whiffs of mad-bull hormones.
My father, in a l930’s stiff brown suit, home from grown-up business talk.
In the bull ring, querencia signifies the place a bull retreats to rest,
to regain strength. Today I walked a trail deep with crunchy gravel,
deep with grass, in a lingering Indian summer. Every pore absorbed
the woodsy calm, inhaled messages that whispered, Rest your spirits here.
Just as I’d inhaled my father’s weary spirit, his longing for querencia.

-    Ann Rayburn

 

The Ballston Tango

I lean into the rhythm
of a far away song –
swaying, sashaying
in a shadowed living room.
       Twenty-five years ago
       Twenty-three years old
Hand upon hand,
trusting your lead,
we step and pivot as one –
perfected in memory.

-    Nancy Tyler

 

Choose Your Companions Wisely

For example, don’t take a clown deep sea diving.
His floppy shoes catch on reef.
That big red nose    
Like the bubbles he blows,
Buoy up with no comic relief.   
When a clown isn’t funny under water
His sense of humor drowns.
A starfish out-stars
And a porpoise out-pranks
A wet and grumpy clown.

-    Joyce Winslow

Did You Know?

Arlington County is one of only 15 Gold-level Walk Friendly Communities in the U.S.

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Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
584
14th Street Bridge
1698
Arlington Mill Trail
433
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
244
CC Connector
823
Clarendon EB bike lane
214
Custis Bon Air Park
1036
Custis Rosslyn
1173
Fairfax EB bike lane
144
Joyce St NB
101
Joyce St SB
49
Key Bridge East
1057
Key Bridge West
562
Military NB bike lane
62
Military SB bike lane
35
MVT Airport South
2429
Quincy NB bike lane
125
Quincy SB bike lane
78
Roosevelt Bridge
378
Rosslyn Bikeometer
0
TR Island Bridge
1518
WOD Bon Air Park
1522
WOD Bon Air West
1944
WOD Columbia Pike
0
WOD East Falls Church
1526
Wilson WB bike lane
274

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
4455
14th Street Bridge
423
Arlington Mill Trail
849
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
357
CC Connector
635
Custis Bon Air Park
704
Custis Rosslyn
671
Joyce St NB
127
Joyce St SB
182
Key Bridge East
4941
Key Bridge West
1992
MVT Airport South
391
Roosevelt Bridge
368
TR Island Bridge
1588
WOD Bon Air Park
1148
WOD Bon Air West
1082
WOD Columbia Pike
0
WOD East Falls Church
615

All counters, YTD

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Year to Date
7551608
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