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BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS book winners: Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme


Yeah, yeah! I know this is two weeks late, but I have the list of winning poets in hand!

First Place goes to:

rockchalker52: congratulations, rock! you win for amount of entrees, bantering within poems and sheer enthusiasm.

jay_lo: in particular for the poem beginning....cup them, the children's......, and for your good sportsmanship, ability to rhyme and humor.

cait48: "The Wild Hunt" is hauntingly beautiful and I will read it again and again.

autie: humor always works for me.

DustyAcres: this is Kansas after all!

riverdrifter: for his astute eye for beauty and his love of Kansas.

ShePrecedes: because I fear I'll be struck by lightning otherwise! (just kidding)

roe: for his support in all poetic endeavors, good nature and his blogs in general.

Ron Holzworth: for writing poetry when he's told me he does not and can not. You outdid yourself, Ron!

lonelane_1: so she won't be lonely through the upcoming snow and ice filled nights.

A special thanks to my friend and fellow poet, Lee Mick, for his help in deciding on the winning poet. Rock is our winner, but Jay_lo came in a very, very close second.

Lee has a poem in BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas POEMS, "Having a Ball" as well as several poems in TallGrass Voices.

To receive your copy, please contact me through the ljworld.com site and we'll work out arrangements. Thank you for playing!


Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who reads, writes, listens to and appreciates poetry is already a winner.

It's the core in human communication!

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Indeed! Let me know how to gift you with your copy! Thanks always for your good natured support and creativity.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, golly gosh & gee whiz! That's quite the coup considering the competition. That was the funnest participation blog ever! I learned me some stuff from it about quality poetry. IMHO Jay_Lo is top drawer & I have light years to go before reaching his level.

Thank you, Ronda, for the blog & the encouragement to all. I'll be in touch.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

You are most welcome! Jay is indeed top notch competition, but Lee was insistent and he won me over to his opinion with good reasoning since I have none. Hehe.

You'll love the book. I started writing down a list of my favorites, but it didn't end!

Please let the rest of us know which are your personal favorites. This book will truly bestow the desire for more poetry within you. It's quite diverse and hearing these poets read their creations in their own voice is simply divine.

Jay_lo 6 years, 3 months ago

My vote it was cast In the original blog For rockchalker 52 As the winning top dog

As for the light years You think you're behind Well let me assure you They're all in your mind

It's oh so much better When we can all share A bit of ourselves With the others out there

So just keep on writing And enjoy the ride Let comments from others Warm you inside

When feeling poetic This blog's a great site To let out our voice With words that we write

Ronda's correct To make everyone winners Whether they think of themselves Old pros or beginners

With great leadership She helps to improve Our poetic efforts And keep us in the groove

You can do a lot worse I'll say it again Then to take some advice From ol' justbegin

So to all who entered Hope you had some fun And congrats to rockchalker From 52 to #1

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Jay takes us high With his wit and his words And just as quickly
Those words become swords He cut to the quick, I'm biting my lip, All he said was just fine Until be said 'ol' That brought me down fast That Jay made me feel lo

And I'm just kidding. Great poem and sportsmanship, Jay!

Jay_lo 6 years, 3 months ago

Thought I could slip it by If I left off the "d" But I guess those old eyes Are still too sharp for me

And so caught I am And the time it took little She sure can type fast With boney fingers so brittle

And all hunched up like that In front of her screen Who'd of thought the word ol' Had a chance to be seen

But now I'm the one kidding Young in body and heart With a nimble free spirit That sets her apart

For Justbegin Is so fitting you know 'Cause there's no way of telling Just how far she can go

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately for thee Far sighted describes me And I'm as nimble with my toes As I am with my fingers So picture me bony Hunched over like twisted macaroni But do imagine me fast It replaces any class For I'll be on your doorstep Faster than a bunny So turn off your porch light Grab your honey and kiss Your Jay_lo end goodbye!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

To be a poet is to communicate, finding thoughts that won't abate.

Time is what is passing on, we must ruminate thereon.

Far too soon we'll lose our friends, and that is why we make amends.

The saddest thought is to be alone, with memories of deeds for which we can't atone.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Amen to this one, Ron. So true. It's got to be one of the most difficult aspects of aging. You said it well, and your poetry is rockin'

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Ronda, it was amazing how fast that one came out. I think I had the concept already, all I had to do was think of some words that rhymed. I was in a "mood" at the moment, so it's possible that almost all of it was already there, in my subconscious mind. It's always going to be a mystery what exactly is going on in there. Especially with me!

But that poem does express some things that I'm dealing with, you know about some of that, and it expresses the way things seem to be for me.

Anyway, for that one, I never did worry about syllable count, iambic pentameter, alliteration, or anything like that. Just rhymes, that was it. And the meaning, of course.

Using rhythmic syllables in repeating accents with a certain syllable count and still expressing the concepts you are trying to covey is what really takes talent, because all of that restricts you so much.

And that is why limericks are almost all nonsensical or humorous, I think. That syllable count and rhyming structure in the English language simply cannot convey very serious concepts. Or at least, I've never seen one! It sure was fun writing them that day, though.

I think that for a poem to be really excellent, it should sound beautiful even if you don't understand the language, in addition to expressing and successfully conveying an emotion.

But, about that poem, I think it took only about five minutes to consciously write.

Maybe I should be a writer!

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago


Yes, poetry at its best does present itself as pure emotion. Words can be tweaked, but the underlying meaning and emotion need come across. Poetry is as base as a tear, a laugh, a scream, a death, a birth, loss, gain .....

It is a language separate unto itself - the core connection between humans. Dialect as different poetic forms.

Allow it to flow out of you - through you. The less thought put behind it in a controlled manner the better. Although, there are many approaches to writing poetry as there are people and their individual dialects or persona. .

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Does anything rhyme with the primal angst?

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Not that I can think of. You're free to invent words!

Cranktz Tanktz Pranktz

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 3 months ago

Why not put a poem on the front web page of the Journal World each day of the year, partly from this collection but also from others who submit a poem?

There should be a series of editors, so that a particular person's preference doesn't override other, very good poems, including poems from kids.

Eventually, art (from kids and adults) could go with poems each day, much like the Google page changes its logo to reflect the day's events.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago


I love your idea(s), but then I also think poetry should be on roundabouts! :)

I think it's worth checking on - I know the one poem per Sunday section isn't nearly enough in my mind. We have amazing poets of all ages in our fair city.

Super idea! I'll see what I can do to nudge it along.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Around and round the roundabout, until we hear them scream and shout!

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

I'd also like to organize a race around all the roundabouts.

People can start at any point in town they desire as long as they make it through every one in Lawrence. Each contestant has a different color of spray paint to leave his mark. :).

The winner owns the city for a week and can have the roundabouts removed. Hehe

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

In 1975, in California, I was young and dumb (imagine that!), and with at least a couple of buddies in my little car I went around and around an Interstate cloverleaf just for the hell of it, and also because we'd already been to everywhere in California that we could think of that we might want to go to.

I went around all four loops at least a couple times, and someone remarked that no one knew when we were merging into traffic and then exiting into the next leaf that we had been through there a couple times already.

As a result of that, I know how far you have to drive to go around all four loops of a cloverleaf intersection on an Interstate highway, it is 1.1 miles.

Another time, again with passengers in my car, I went down Lombard Street in San Fransisco, squealing my tires around every curve. Even then, I noticed that the concrete barriers bore the scars of many who had not managed to make it around those curves, which have a 10 mph speed limit.

22 years later, I went walking all over San Fransisco again, and I had not been there even once in all those years.

I looked at those curves and just could not believe I had been so stupid as to do that!

Even though Lombard Street is very well known, I'll toss in a clip and some pics of it:

Lombard Street is a street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns.

Here's some pictures of Lombard Street. Just imagine, I squealed my front wheel drive tires pulling my car around every one of those curves!

It's quite obvious, especially on the last picture, that you could never do that today. There just wasn't that much traffic in San Fransisco in 1975.




Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

Youth is truly wasted on the young But oh those memories of so much fun When I was drunk and you were dumb Streaking naked through McDonalds Pouring soap and jello in KU fountains Wait a minute, that wasn't me! That was some other girl or fellow!

Terry Sexton 6 years, 3 months ago

A short requested review:

“Begin Again”, a book of 150 Kansas Poems compiled and edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, the Poet Laureate of Kansas, is a fine book. It’s fine in the Kansas style of reserved yet proud accomplishment. It is an elegant book with unpretentious offerings, much like the state of Kansas. The more one lives and travels within its boundaries, also like Kansas, the more they are rewarded with a deeper appreciation and understanding. The literature of numerous locales is probably like that, but the whole of these many verses is the very definition of both essence and accuracy. The graphic design is simply readable and draws you in subtly and completely. Was that the plan? It would seem so as that what a Kansas experience can do. Folks should add these literary trails to their virtual travels across the Sunflower State.

I’ve only had a copy of this fine Kansas book for less than a week, but was also requested to mention which poems I have enjoyed the most. Every time I work on the list, I find more verses to include. If I’m not careful, I’ll just end up copying the Table of Contents. Here are some of the poems that stand out for me. I’ll list my favorite last:

I Carry Three Birds – Dennis Etzel, Jr.

Thump – Roland Sodowsky

Snowstorm – Diane Wahto

A Room of My Own – Brian Daldorph

with the knowing – Hazel Smith Hutchinson

Magnolia Tree in Kansas – Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Ebenfeld Churchyard – Elizabeth Black

Restored Victorian – Serena Allison Hearn

You Look Beautiful – William J. Harris

Western Meadowlark – Jonathan Holden

Dreams and Consequences – Jackie Magnuson Ash

Flint Hills Patriarch – H.C. Palmer

I was Living My Life – Iris Wilkinson

Having a Ball – Lee Mick

1942 – Max Yoho

My favorite poem, like a Kansas experience, may not be the favorite tomorrow, but right now it warms me as I can see myself living it at some point in time. I am truly hopeful that, if I do, I’ll maintain the disposition of the oldsters described in it:

We Read – Kevin Rabas

This is great stuff, guys. If you enjoy poetry and/or Kansas, please enjoy this book.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 2 months ago

Rock52, thanks for taking the time to recommend some of your favorite poems. I'm with you in respect to enjoying each and every one of them. It's a situation where I like the one I'm reading at the time best!

I hope the book inspires you to write more poetry. Keep your eyes and ears open; if there are additional local readings, I'll post the information here.

Meanwhile, I'm in the process of helping organize a NW Kansas tour of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems. I will actually be taking it all the way to St. Francis, Kansas, where I went to country school, junior high and high school. It's a thrill for me to give back to the community where my love of the written and spoken word began.

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