Judges: Michael Curtis, Amy Foreman, Reid McGrath, Adam Sedia A few words from Judge Michael Curtis: In apology: If you, fair writer, did not win, take heart, This juror read for craft more than for art, And we both know that art can be subjective, So, tend your craft, in humor and invective. In censure: Careful writer, attend. Come hither. See you, there! Shakespeare's ear. It blisters! For: gold glitters not. No! It glisters. First Place 2b or not 2b by Martin Rizley 2B or not 2B, that is the question The driver faced upon his wife´s suggestion That in the mall´s garage, he´d lost his way, and needed to ascend to level “A.” Second Place Shall Rotten Death by Franklin P. Scudder (The Rape of Lucrece) “Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger?” Never! While Faith still lives and hearts are pure, The flame of Western triumph shall endure And courage strengthen where the odds are longer. Third Place Love and Listen by David Watt Love alters not with his brief hour and weeks, And works for introverts, as well as geeks, Who may not say a lot … but when they do! Each word of passion resonates as true. Fourth Place The Lady Doth Protest Too Much by Mark Stone The lady doth protest too much, me thinks. She still contests the vote and says it stinks that Trump won in an underhanded way. But who paid for the FISA dossier? Fifth Place Summertime by C.B. Anderson Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day That’s ninety-eight-point-six degrees and humid? I wouldn’t want you any other way, Especially when I’m hot to trot and tumid. Honorable Mentions In no particular order... Call Up Lord Stanley by James A. Tweedie (Richard III, V. III) “Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power.” The playoffs are pro hockey’s finest hour. Which team will win his cup? Which three will lose? The Hurricanes, the Bruins, Sharks or Blues? For Susie, My Editor by T.M. Moore, Vermont The lady doth protest too much, methinks: “Fix this, change that, delete this line entire.” My pride is wounded, and my spirit sinks, until I read, “Ah, this part lights my fire!” Who Wakes Me by Avery Miller Who wakes me from my flowery bed With funny face and downy head? No changeling of a fairy curse, But my dear baby come to nurse. “A Trove, by any Other Name” by Ben Berg My bounty is as boundless as the sea, The world’s treasure thou art, in time, for me To find, through seven tides, through gale and breeze — My love, an ‘X’ shalt I mark down for thee.