Moving Words 2017 Winning Poems

Six winning poems and six honorable mentions were selected from more than 250 poems by Arlington’s Poet Laureate Katherine E. Young. View the six winning poems below and on Arlington’s ART buses from April through September 2017.

The 2017 Moving Words Poetry winners were Patricia Gray, Claire Kinnane, Hiram Larew, Gregory Luce, Laura Martin, and Naomi Thiers.  Honorable mentions went to Margaret Biser, Melanie Joyce Johnson, Sarah Lilius, Rachel Michaud, Madelyn Rosenberg, and Kathi Wolfe.  In addition, the Poet Laureate has contributed one poem for display on the buses.

2017 Moving Words Poems

Moon smudge,
lacy fragment
through the trees,
I sew you into
my camisole,
raspy light,
ignite.

- Patricia Gray

BEING DUSK

After "London, Houses of Parliament" 1904 by Claude Monet

Parliament is a ghost. A muddy blue, muted blur. There is neither window, nor door. No clocks. No breath. The spires on the tower vibrate in quick brushstrokes. The sun is a smeared slow burn whispering fire to deaf blue gray. To be the violet bloom of nothing that floats above the river. To be boneless. Swept up, yellow blending to rose. Rose tossed in blue-green. To be water unbroken by oars, time unshaken by bells. To have just enough light to be certain you are somewhere.

- Claire Kinnane

BARTER

What a rivery tree money is
What a stringed balloon.
Loose change could care less in your pockets
Silver just drives away
And figures with zeroes act exactly like they smell.
If confidence results at all
It only results from something like a steamy pie that’s slatted.
What a noontime smoke money is.
What a splotty peach.

- Hiram Larew

April Haiku

Last day of April:
Cold rain falls from the night sky.
A small moth floats up.

Cold spring night: The creek
whispers over its shallow bed;
sibilance of tires.

- Gregory Luce

Wild Angels

Wild angels are my favorite kind.
They have no idea where they left their haloes,
And they let their robes run through fresh mud.
They show up and change tires on highways,
Sit down and have a beer and listen,
They come to hospital rooms to tell bad jokes,
To food pantries when it’s the end of the month
And the money has run out.
They believe in revelation unfolding,
In the sacred scripture we write between each other.

- Laura Martin

At 75

I am frightened,
constant,
wily, and I
have survived    legions.
I am neither
rich nor bitter. Rare
is the day
I do not kill
a spectre.

- Naomi Thiers

Stars with Blazing Hair

I’ve watched them there, flaming over the earth,
circling and whirling on orbits still uncertain,
arcing, wheeling, scattering sparks that blaze
and crackle all night, forging constellations
we’ve never seen, we who dwell beneath….
Even those who flicker, flame out, leave
trails of ash that linger in the sky,
stinging to tears our rapt, upturned eyes.

- Katherine E. Young, Arlington County Poet Laureate

2017 Honorable Mention Poems

The Archivist

Ten feet underneath the Smithsonian by
the industrial fan (all summer in sweaters) surrounded
as he was by fourteen cabinets each
containing three to four hundred drawers
he counted out
three hundred thousand
slides of African royalty
and placed them
in 500 rows
in order.

- Margaret Biser

I Lost My Feet

i turned off the bed…and rolled out of the alarm clock…
i tripped over my balance…and lost my feet…
i gave God my knees…and fell to my prayer…
i brushed my breakfast…and ate my teeth…
i lit a shower…and jumped in the candle…
i combed my shirt…and buttoned my hair…
i fed my pants… and zipped up the cat…
clightly sonfused…cut i bon’t dare
i looked up at the earth…and laid on the sky…on cloud 9
after leaving you

- Melanie Joyce Johnson

Ode to Fairlington

Brick beside brick, we keep it together.

Hoses turn on like tiny mouths.
Roads wind about seamless.
Dog walkers up early as blue jays.

Trees speak like quiet women.
We whisper in cotton blends.

The children are sleeping.

- Sarah Lilius

Flowers (excerpt)

I love the woman
who brings lilacs to the office,
the city woman
who gives storebought roses
vodka when she gets home
because she heard they like it.
I love the woman
who wears a flower-patterned skirt
the first warm day.

- Rachel Michaud

Leftovers

Build a poem
around turkey bone.
Add bay leaf and thyme
for flavor and rhyme
and the last of the carrots,
though they’ve hidden in the earth
long enough to grow hermit’s whiskers.
Shave them, then, with a straight-edged knife
And drop them, slice by slice
Into the stock.

- Madelyn Rosenberg

The Planet of the Blind

You really can hear a pin drop,
mirrors are for aliens,
the sun tastes like red velvet cake,
your lover’s voice is a cashmere cape,
a clown’s smile smells of orange blossom
and ashes.  You are your own shadow.

- Kathi Wolfe

"The Planet of the Blind" was originally published in "The Uppity Blind Girl Poems,” by BrickHouse Books in 2015.

Did You Know?

Each U.S. rush-hour auto commuter spends an average of 50 hours a year stuck in traffic.

League of American Cyclists

CommuterPage.com News
One dead, three injured in Lanham crash

October 23, 2017, NBC Washington

Fatal crash in D.C. Monday

Dana Hedgepeth, October 23, 2017, Washington Post

Plans to widen area highways have hit barriers before

Katherine Shaver, October 21, 2017, Washington Post

Pedestrian killed in Rockville

October 21, 2017, NBC Washington

More News & Events

Upcoming Events
County Wandering Walking Tour

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Champion Trees Bike Ride

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Car-Free Diet at the Columbia Pike Farmers Market

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Events Calendar

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

View Counter Data
Year to Date
7551608
About Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counter Program