KAKALAK Anthology of Carolina Poets: This annual anthology collects a sampling of the best poetry being written today by natives and residents of North and South Carolina. Each volume is perfect bound and priced reasonably. The editors have invested their own time and money to ensure the final product is truly a premier quality work of art.
The 2009 Kakalak Contest is underway! Don't wait to the last minute (the Holiday rush). Instead, sendyour poetry and art now. Acceptance dates are October 1, 2008, to January 10, 2009. Before submitting, read the guidelines posted on the website: www.kakalak.net.
(The editors of Kakalak, Richard Allen Taylor, Beth Cagle Burt, and Lisa Zerkle)
Kak•a•lak (kak ' a lak) n. [Colloq.] [various spellings including Cacalacky] 1. A folksy slang for "Carolina"--an amalgamation with "Appalachia". 2. an endearment of the Carolinas, especially by people raised in the area who have moved elsewhere. Conveys a tongue-in- cheek quality, a willingness to laugh at oneself and one's origins, while still remaining proud and affectionate towards the source.
This time, instead of commenting on the poems that I like in the magazine, I'm featuring a poem by each of the editors. Sometimes editors feel left out! They work hard, shuffling a lot of papers, or emails, struggling to make decisions, both editorial and financial, and they deserve to have their own work noticed now and again.
Richard Allen Taylor
First appeared in ken*again, Spring 2006
PUT YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND
Listen to the earth. Not just in its pristine
nakedness, but in its occupied state:
how it resonates, in harmony
with all its denizens. Hear
the root-thump and fish-croak,
footsteps of sparrows,
the low muttering of tall grass
whispered through water and rock.
The clicking of earthworms, sounds
you only imagined were there,
are there. If only you could listen
a little harder you would hear
the echoes of human hearts, the distant
jazz of joy sung in the streets and hummed
in a mother's lullaby, silent songs
made live again, celebration plucked
from a banjo made in heaven, music
woven into a carpet cut for dancing.
Beth Cagle Burt's Poetry
Plainsongs Award Poem selected by Michael Catherwood
First appeared in Plainsongs, May 2005, Issue XXV. Hastings College, Hastings, NE.
He sits by the small window, lights off,
watching shadows breath in passing car lights.
The men are out there, chasing him for two days.
Shadows edge closer. He moves from the window,
almost fading into darkness, but the cold .38
caliber in his hand keeps him feeling real.
At work the dye machines hum long and grind.
Sweat stands on his face as he pulls the levers.
The loud machines can’t cover their murmurs.
He feels their eyes on his back, but the blue dye
is in his blood now and makes him strong.
Spinning around he almost sees their faces.
Driving home, they ride his bumper, beeping,
passing him; bony faced truck drivers trying
to run him off the road. In the Red & White
they’re disguised as bag boys. In Hardees they
hide behind newspapers, sipping orange juice.
On the farm they scatter behind corn stalks,
signaling with crow calls. But at night
in the safety of his bathroom, he becomes
one of them, a shadow hidden and waiting.
Lisa Zerkle's Poetry
First appeared in Crucible, Fall 2006
Waiting For A Boy To Jump Off A Cliff
She Decides This Will Be Their Last Date
All afternoon he prepares
to be swept off his feet
searching for the moment
he could trust an unseen force
to carry him away
the heart pounding
he would soar
Back from the edge
she flicks an ant off her dusty leg
wonders if she’ll have to hold
his crumpled hand
in the ambulance
and act like she loves him
if he crashes
Finally he sees her
the wind isn’t right
so they pack it up
taking apart the glider
piece by piece
to leave the precipice
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