Winners of the March 2002
WHC Shortverses Cinquain Contest
The Contest Theme: "Spring"
Judges: Denis Garrison (DG) & Deborah P. Kolodji (DPK)
In the Next Life
be the cedar
that slows the wind along
fences and welcomes back the birds
Judges' Notes: This beautifully crafted cinquain evokes the contest theme and looks at
spring from an unusual perspective. I can hear the sound of the wind in the slight "w"
and "s" alliteration as well as the longing of the poet's desire to be a cedar in the next
life. Bravo! ~ DPK
The very natural diction of this poem is appealingly sincere, and the message echoes the
magnanimity of Spring. Lines 1 & 5, "I will ... each spring", suggests an eternity of such
generous service. Line 5 has a fine turn, from the mere future to the endless hereafter.
For such plain-speaking to be so mellifluous is a real accomplishment. The title adds real
value to the cinquain. A truly wonderful poem. ~ DG
this certain light.
It wakes the greens, and paints
the air we breath with golden warmth,
Judges' Notes: Cinquains are often effective as short sentences and Laurene's is no
exception to this format. The poem flows well and deftly paints the contest theme in
the reader's mind - light after winter darkness, waking the earth. "Paints the air we
breath with golden warmth"...lovely! ~ DPK
The slightly elevated diction here is nicely supported by gorgeous imagery. For such
rhetorical language to flow so utterly smoothly is remarkable. The first line imparts
a fine immediacy to the poem. ~ DG
frame cherry buds
soon to break into bloom.
Though not for long - a good wind brings
Judges' Notes: Gary's poem also nicely conveys the contest theme as well as effectively
using a color connection between the first and fifth lines, "Blue skies...pink snow". I
smiled as I contemplated the image of "pink snow"! Nicely done. ~ DPK
The light touch of humor in the conclusion of this cinquain takes the poem beyond an
appreciation of the beauties of Spring to a fond comment on its transitory nature, which
gives a nice edge to the title. This poem is particularly rich in its vowel sounds with
well-handled alliteration. The more I read this poem, the better I like it! ~ DG
in a puddle
among seed pods and leaves
a child's blue origami boat
Judges' Notes: The flow of the diction in this delightful cinquain sails as smoothly as
the origami boat sails in my imagination. Lovely. ~ DPK
This beautiful cinquain is an excellent example of American cinquain as haiku, consistent
with the inventor's intentions. Stunningly delicate imagery - unforgettable! ~ DG
parched nature's thirst
and wake the dormant buds
make flowers bloom, coax birds to sing
Victor P. Gendrano
Judges' Notes: Another well-crafted cinquain with a nice connection between the first/fifth
lines, "You quench...spring rain". I like the way Spring is personified and Victor speaks to
her as if through the eyes of a man in love. ~ DPK
The title works well as a lead-in to the poem. The r's reverberate throughout the poem,
imparting a distinctive flavor. The diction recreates the urgency of new life superbly.
One word for this poem: Exultant! How perfectly to sing of Spring. ~ DG
remnants of the last frost,
these small green shoots and the promise
Judges' Notes: Naia's cinquain flows nicely and effectively captures the contest theme.
I can see my own garden in the small green shoots growing amid the withered clippings. ~ DPK
This poem also achieves a haiku-like diction. It seems to end in mid-air, leaving the reader
to finish it - a particularly fine example of the "objective correlative" technique. Seemingly,
it is a mere whisper of a poem, but it blooms in the reader's mind as a paean to hope. ~ DG
from winter's keep,
earth and air quickly dress
themselves in nature's unrestrained
Judges' Notes: I liked the image of the earth and air "quickly dressing themselves".
The diction flows naturally and smoothly. All and all, a lovely cinquain. ~ DPK
Conveys the urgency and profligacy of Spring - the extravagance of life unleashed. The phrase
"winter's keep" is especially resonant. A sense of warmly affectionate indulgence suffuses
this cinquain. It made me smile! ~ DG
We thank these fine poets for sharing their beautiful cinquains with us and likewise thank
all the poets who participated in the WHCshortverses Cinquain Contest. It was an honor
and a pleasure working with our fellow poets in the Cinquain Workshop. Their interest in
the American cinquain form and their fine poetry, both in the Workshop and in this Contest,
demonstrate the value of this poetic form and its amazing capability to carry a wide variety
of poetic expressions.
Our best wishes always!
Denis Garrison & Deborah P. Kolodji
Editors, AMAZE: The Cinquain Journal
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Return to the front page of this issue:
Amaze Vol. 1, No. 1 Spring & Summer 2002.
Go to the
Poets & Authors page for the poets' biographical sketches and email links.
These poems are Copyright © 2002 by their authors.