Yesterday we published poems by Lauren Allen and Dianne Turgeon Richardson, finalists in the One Book, One Poem contest, which Jasper sponsored in conjunction with the second annual One Book, One Columbia program.
As we noted yesterday, we invited poets from the greater Columbia area to submit poems inspired by Ron Rash’s novel Saints at the River, and Rash himself judged the contest. The winning poems, by Will Garland and Debra Daniel, will be published in the new issue of Jasper, to be released Thursday, Nov. 15.
But we’re publishing the finalists in advance right here on the Jasper blog!
Again, congratulations to Lauren Allen, Rieppe Moore, and Dianne Turgeon Richardson, who were all finalists in the contest.
Rieppe Moore actually had two poems among the finalists, “Three Things One Moment Before Summer” and “Waters Remember (Keowee No. 1).” Moore is a southern poet who lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Cherith. He graduated from Columbia International University with a BA in Humanities. He is the author of Windows Behind the Veil and Letters to Ethiopia. While in his first year teaching high school English, he began writing his third chapbook to be published in 2013. He and his wife are the proud owners of a locally renowned Pogs collection.
Of his poems, Moore says, “Since reading Saints at the River, I’ve found Rash’s concept of the ‘thing past’ haunting my lines. In Rash’s fiction the past overflows with ghosts—failures, disappointments, urgings, and trials that his characters experience. During a recent photo shoot, I revisited a vacant farm in Blythewood , but when I arrived the farm had been harvested—only a few embarrassing wall frames and roofs remained. When I raised my SLR to shoot the rural wreckage I couldn’t even remember what I had initially seen there. I had lost the vision and the mind’s eye; I couldn’t find the right angles; I strove to position myself.”
Below are Moore’s poems.
* * *
Three Things One Moment Before Summer
The dogwoods are just gathering
clusters of innocence in their fists
as evidence that they got a
dull name. Redbud, jessamine
also answer to the viscid moisture
in air that is a stagnant spirit
summoning a god whose only
power is making beauty by calling
buds to open with the subtlety of
an alligator’s eyes that don’t surprise
as much as marvel vision at the door
of the coming season, when trees
will throw their petals to
the ground like constellations
loosed from gravity.
These spent garlands will mingle
with indiscriminate trashes
of brown paper bags and plastic
glasses (surviving the streets)
a throng of wastes, wasted of
similarities like many family generations
in a room all at once with dissonant
voices or like a stream always
speaking of every section of itself.
* * *
(Keowee No. 1)
Pearling clouds swoon
over lambent, lapidary
waters for a moment.
on Keowee don’t soothe
the lake’s eager thirst
but pass along with a chill
raindrops that wrinkle
from the Spring. Here
breeze speaks of that
inundated town since,
absconded from trees –
black graveyard fields.
Here trout drink want
for waste of currents in
mass waters remember.
* * *
Congratulations again to our finalists—Lauren Allen, Rieppe Moore, and Dianne Turgeon Richardson. And congratulations, as well, to our winners: Debbie Daniel and Will Garland. Be sure to pick up the new Jasper (released on Nov. 15) to read the winning poems!