Ekphrastic Contest: Write a Poem on This Photograph The Society October 8, 2020 Culture, Ekphrastic, Poetry Contests, The Environment 37 Comments Above is a recent photograph of Chateau Boswell, a winery, vineyard, and tasting room located in California. It has suffered terribly because of the recent “Glass Fire” in Napa Valley. Write a poem based on the above photo and post it in the comments section below. You will then be considered for the $100 prize. WHEN: Now until Sunday November 8, 2020 midnight EST. Winners Announced November 15, 2020. ENTRY FEE: None WHO: Anyone in the world, any age or background, may participate. From within the Society, anyone, including Advisory Board Members, not involved in judging the contest may participate. (If you are outside the United States, you will have to have a PayPal account or a bank that accepts U.S. checks to receive the prize money if you win.) WHAT: Each entrant may submit up to two poems of any length. Entries are expected to be classical in style, meaning that they must have a regular meter. Rhyming and other traditional techniques are of course good as well. WHERE: Post your poem in the comments section below. PRIZE: $100. JUDGE: Evan Mantyk Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 37 Responses Alex Andy Phuong October 8, 2020 “Only in Name” A French castle Or Chateau Being a male lover Or a beau Courting women wearing bows Namely Names are simply identifiers Even Juliet knew this Because a rose by any other name Would still smell as sweet Reply James A. Tweedie October 8, 2020 How Quickly As dew-clad spring renews the thirsty land The live oaks stand serene on green-grass hills— A rolling landscape shaped by God’s own hand Where golden poppies dance with daffodils. The summer leads to fall, as contoured rows Of vineyards bear the fruit of nascent wines. As dry hills die, each grape and cluster grows And ripens on the gnarled vintage vines. Above the aging casks of Chardonnay And Pinot Noir the Chateau Boswell burns— Its legacy consumed and swept away; Its vine-clad walls now crematory urns. “How quickly,” Jesus said, “as in a flash, “Are lilies of the field reduced to ash.” Reply Norma Okun October 8, 2020 A Winery, a fire, and an old rose Upon a time came grapes They were green and red They grew happy and Turned to wine. On an unexpected day A wind so strong with Red and hot fire Burned the winery The old barrels The thing that stood Was the entrance to the winery It had a rose bush And the rose colored Bricks to this day stand together Brick by brick Waiting to see the return of the winery The folks who owned and loved her will bloom with hope As the summer returns And the earth brand new Will give birth to new grapes And the winery will again Be a place of birth, joy, and great wine. By Norma Okun October 8, 2020 Reply James A. Tweedie October 8, 2020 Though Charred and Wilted as a Rose The Silverado Trail on fire; The Chateau Boswell in its grasp, Stretched out as on a funeral pyre As flames inhale its final gasp. Though charred and wilted as a rose— Its beauty scarred and etched with pain— Within the stem, a new bud grows That, phoenix-like, will rise again. Reply Shola Balogun October 8, 2020 Rosebud What thunder grace safely sweetly wrapped is this I see in the flash essay shock proem of your eyes, Prized Orb, a bushel from your kiss, While I drink in your liquid skies? You spinning rain sun dance subtlest alchemist, The telepathic crystallographic mitzvah flights Lifted in the ninth biosphere mist, And your beads colour blinding lights Binding me to your astral body beats, Spark-tossed, unruffled multiple deepening ballet quantum leaped rhythms Into the space of you far beyond mathematical feats. I taste your voice in my midnight dreams And the liquor fragrance of you is dearer. You colour me with your poetical eyes of thunder. Reply Alec Ream October 9, 2020 A Rose Lament I bowed my head, when sad I felt, The burn and singe, which had been dealt, In tandem with redemptive love: Far worse was suffered, far above. Reply Sarban Bhattacharya October 9, 2020 The Burnt Chateau of California (A Mythological Interpretation of the Glass Fire) Apollo rides the chariot of the Sun, Full gay and melodious is his song, September halts his wain and stops its run, The dying summer dupes Apollo’s throng. The Muses follow him and love his lyre, But they are jaded by Sun’s gloomy rays, While Bacchus, god of wine, fumes with desire, In Chateau Boswell spends his tipsy days. His turquoise eyes and corrugated hair Attract the frenzied ladies to a sport, A game of youthful passion in his lair, Which makes Apollo envious of some sort. The Muses have forsaken long his trail, While his half-brother danced with ladies’ train In the plush grapevine of the Napa vale, So well nourished by Californian rain. Apollo brandished thus his bow one day, And aimed a burning arrow at the green, From Helicon he launched his lethal flay That kindled thunderous fire unseen. The serpentine flames poached the Rose’s life, She dropped her charred red petals in death-throe, While the vineyard that the other day was rife With purple grapes, is struck by a god’s bow. The elixir is dead and now forlorn Within Boswell, smouldering, effete, What if a new hope springs from death, reborn, From nature’s cradle yielded to defeat. Reply Terry L. Norton October 10, 2020 On the Glass Fire and the Chateau Boswell Winery If with a firm assurance I could state Those now scorched roses will come back A brighter red and those stones now charred black Will look as clean before a mordant fate Conspired with wind and fire to conflagrate Your vines in blazing storms of hiss and crack, The claim would any worthy meaning lack, No sparrow spare, nor set the crooked straight. Although they sometimes cast a magic charm, No words can conjure pleasure from past days Or undo heedless nature’s wayward harm. No rhyme or well-turned providential phrase That might by an auspicious chance be mine Can with pale lilac soothe a burned-down vine. Reply David Watt October 12, 2020 The Rose of Mourning Walls of stone are much more prone to fire than fragrant roses, Though one is soft and vulnerable: the other’s strength imposes. For when the rose’s scarlet clothes give way to black of mourning, We know in spring new buds will bring fresh flowers with the dawning. The walls, of course, have no recourse to self-regeneration, And every crack beneath the black begins a degradation From which there is no turning back without the intervention Of masons with a mortar mix for crumble circumvention. So view anew the rose which blooms from scenes of conflagration, Without the slightest bit of help, in blatant celebration Of Life and Love, blue skies above—whatever takes your fancy While sipping True Course Chardonnay beneath walls slightly chancy. Reply Carol Connell October 12, 2020 Standing Still Within your frame, my mind supposes, were spent countless days of wine and roses. Upon your verdant, well manicured grounds, delighted patrons have made their rounds. O Chateau de Boswell, of strongest stock, with skill you were hewn from solid rock. Though by fierce flames you’ve been impinged, your stalwart visage now scorched and singed, one gaze upon you, our hearts still inspire. You have withstood your trial by fire. 10/11/2020 Reply A Grumpy Rat October 12, 2020 a will to live Rose comes four seasons, Rose blooms striving in no need of one’s impression, Rose lives tasting lush as wine & scorch as fire, Rose withers but is stubbornly scarlet even beneath the ashes, so goes Rose— whispering: it feels great to be alive, again. Reply Ernesto P. Santiago October 13, 2020 But I Swear To Stand When in love fifty ways my flesh could bleed, like grapes loose grapevines thresh, and Good God knows the dead don’t bleed what life I am striving afresh. For gifts and praise, don’t miss, don’t miss— a heart ablaze, remate to peace full of footsteps with spring rebirth, a sacred bliss like a soul kiss. Unlike roses that overlook their prickles, I care to unhook by hook or by crook the color of my thirst from a prayer book. Feel it, feel it, Bartimaeus— that particles of light so pious; when lingering summer’s divine, let your senses be not confused. Ο, of old castle and fine wine, the impatience of fire that whine like lust, but if I must pick one— you, I pick for I charm what’s mine. In me, you free peacock belike; what your love anthology like I really don’t mind, and it can not change what it is—what I like. Whisper what womb am I supposed to pledge my seeds if as lost cause I am marked by self-blinded fool, yet to woes I let none expose. Reply hunter lynn October 13, 2020 this is the wall that haunts the maiden this is the wall of thee of horrors come lords torments for never end seldom have crossed in peace come forth, dear one as your bravery shall ring true though i must warn you must come without hopes of won for only the weak ones break through this is the wall that kills the girl for she, is the almighty her resistance is honored though her rebel belongs to another world the dream that let’s her dream face this wall without obedience for that gift is never free defy the dead they prize wither not, great one run long away, this way Reply Toni Newell October 14, 2020 Chateau Boswell A withered rose crowns a stem, Having seen far better days, Erect standing proud behind, Chateau Boswell clear of haze. The sandstone bricks emanate, Timeless beauty of an age, A rounded doorway now burnt. Making news on the front page. The structure was touched by fire, Surrounded by burned terrain, Wonder if the rose will live, And produce flowers again. Reply Roy E. Peterson October 15, 2020 Vines Still Have Their Roots and Stems Once there stood Chateau Boswell now in ruins burned away; Private estate of vintners of Bordeaux and Chardonnay. The steep hillside vineyards of volcanic soils, ash and clay are next to Glass Mountain where three fires joined and burned today. No one knows the cause, but they say dying vegetation promoted the “Glass Fire, “ and the chateau devastation. The Chateau Boswell legacy will outlive the fire. The healing vines of time with lava soil will soon conspire. Vines still have their roots and stems; The soil was made more fertile. The chateau roof will be restored. Sturdy walls remain the girdle. Burning has never conquered What the rest of nature does. Vintners will restore Boswell To the glory that once was. A half-burned rose in front of The chateau is half alive; Symbol of the soul of mankind That staunchly will survive. Reply Roy E. Peterson October 15, 2020 Napa Valley Vineyards Cringe in Terror Napa Valley vineyards cringe in terror. Consuming blazes racing down the hills. Harvested grapes in vats of the vintner Dissipating drops as each barrel spills. Chateau Boswell feels the wrath of nature Untamed because of man’s mismanagement. Vegetation dried the greatest danger Feeding a conflagration imminent. Bordeaux bottles burst as do cabernet; Favored by the sommelier tasting set. From roots, vines regenerate some spring day To face again California’s threat. Undaunted stands the half-burned rose in pain Surveying destruction as fires wane. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant October 15, 2020 The Napa Green Scene A flame-tinged, soot-singed, woeful stone château Slumps gutted in the Glass Fire afterglow. An ash-kissed rose has lost its lush bouquet To choking smoke and smuts that snatched away Much beauty and such fruity revelry With haughty hands of eco-devilry. As Bacchus bites the cinder-crusted dust, He slams all whiny warriors as unjust For treading grapes down Pinot pathways paved With piety. Shiraz cannot be saved With catastrophic cant – ‘twas virtue’s spell That torched the vineyard on the porch of Hell. A ban on keeping underbrush at bay Fills blistered vats with bitter Charred-onnay. Reply Jeff Eardley October 15, 2020 I am the man who bred the Rose, That by the Chateau Boswell grows, Obliterated by the flames, While my creation there remains. This Englishman of wealth and fame, With many letters to his name, Produces roses, strong and bright, By growing in Vermiculite. Or “Hydrous Phyllosilicate,” (It’s proper name I have to state) As used in many industries, For fire-retardant properties. This rose, I called, “The Desert Star,” The finest I had bred so far, I tried to light it with a match, But not one leaf or bud would catch. So now the wine has ceased to flow, And connoisseurs refuse to go, While all around is ashen blight, My “Desert Star” is shining bright. Reply Thomas Lindsay October 15, 2020 A Fiery Kiss A fiery kiss did this No this was no union of bliss A place where wine and taste did exist There came an unwelcome guest with a fiery kiss The house the vineyard dear lord there’s no quick fix Let replanting begin from the destruction of a fiery kiss Reply Thomas Lindsay October 15, 2020 The Wine Glass Shattered The wine glass shattered The people of Napa scattered By a fiery wall they were battered The joy of wine and song indeed mattered We were made sad as the wine glass shattered Reply Nanditesh Nilay October 16, 2020 Nanditesh Nilay 16-10-2020 Oh Grapes , dear grapes Your green cover Your black cover , Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes The fire around The fire outside You tasted both You tasted might You burnt within You lost the sight Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Your green cover Your black cover Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes Your green cover Your black cover , Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes The fire around The fire outside You tasted both You tasted might You burnt within You lost the sight Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Your green cover Your black cover Why undraped Why looking fade Reply Nanditesh Nilay October 16, 2020 Nanditesh Nilay 16-10-2020 Oh Grapes , dear grapes Your green cover Your black cover , Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes The fire around The fire outside You tasted both You tasted might You burnt within You lost the sight Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Your green cover Your black cover Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Reply Nanditesh Nilay October 16, 2020 Nanditesh Nilay 16-10-20 Bring that rain Chateau Boswell Not looking well The winery The vineyard All looking pale The Napa Valley Disrobed again Inside the door The lonely den Tasteless and dry Listening to your cry But emerge again Which brings back pride And cools that pain Oh! Napa Valley Bring that rain Reply Kelly Okoniewski October 16, 2020 Rebirth By Kelly Okoniewski A door I open to a better version Of the greatness we have lost To this task complete immersion Of my heart, my sadness tossed My flower singed and drooping But my stem is strong and steady Gather myself; regrouping For rebuilding, I am ready I look through a broken window-pane And see the vast potential down below From this loss we will gain A new love that we will grow Reply Shola Balogun October 16, 2020 Good morning, Frankincense I think of you, of fields of roses, and brooks of undiluted wines, Of new seasons, of poets and lyrical splendid lines. I think of your luster form, delicate spells, the rubric lights, the eyes Of graced, rainbow nectars and the thunder that fill up my skies. In a throbbing verse, of mild pomegranates, becalming winds and soul flights There I hear a woven jazz fluttering in sheer delights. I think of galbanum, of that unfolding scent, the falling rains, the screen movies Of our loud longings, of spinning body musical scores, and climatic kiss. I think of that mirthful summertime touch, and the vine-dews You formed as you pulled aside your clothes and your sacramental self melted away my flues. I think of that poetry, of those easeful words, and I know The same many passions of the piano. I tell you of granaries; I speak of wines (and brooks bubbling more) Of jazz, and poetry with no broken score. Reply Kathleen Farrell October 16, 2020 Lamenting Chateau Boswell Red was the rose, blushing and perfuming. Choice was the wine they were consuming. Sad was the day winds became unruly and flames torched the vines with a fury. Nature unleashed a season of pain. Now only silence and secrets remain. Reply Paul A. Freeman October 16, 2020 Chateau Boswell – Napa Valley (2020) The trees become complicit once the flames with tinder and the swirling wind are fed; an ash-and-smoke enveloped skyline frames the mountains and the hills which men have fled. The vineyards are a battleground unused to Nature’s rage, for newly in the fight they fall before a fire that’s amused how feebly we can douse its orange light. A bastion to Bacchus is no match for blazing, seething heat that cracks its stones, that chars its rose beds, burning plants like thatch, or acid stripping melted flesh from bones. Such scorched earth conflagrations are a test to see Mankind’s resilience at its best. Reply Linda Atkinson October 16, 2020 Chateau Boswell A chateau scorched, as was the rose, singed by a wall of heat and flame. The fire ignited — no one knows how or why or who’s to blame. Both blighted by the blaze and heat born on the shifting wind the blew became ravenous fire’s meat broiling the roses where they grew. The cruel nature of the fire wildly snatching as it goes — a door, a window — on the pyre– a woods, a winery, and a rose. All Napa glowing orange-red smoking up the fruit-filled vines tearfully the lifeblood bled toasting on the Boswell wines. Proud beauty more than forty years she stood with roses ’round her grown. She will not now sink down in tears tho’ all be burned except the stone. Reply Linda Atkinson October 16, 2020 Chateau Boswell A chateau scorched, as was the rose, singed by a wall of heat and flame. The fire ignited — no one knows how or why or who’s to blame. Both blighted by the blaze and heat born on the shifting wind that blew became ravenous fire’s meat broiling the roses where they grew. The cruel nature of the fire wildly snatching as it goes — a door, a window — on the pyre– a woods, a winery, and a rose. All Napa glowing orange-red smoking up the fruit-filled vines tearfully the lifeblood bled toasting on the Boswell wines. Proud beauty more than forty years she stood with roses ’round her grown. She will not now sink down in tears tho’ all be burned except the stone. Reply Cindy Hill October 16, 2020 Climate Fire Charred brown stone. The odor of burnt roses, red and lingering over desiccated stems, dead leaves, its beauty scarce abated, even as its essence decomposes, dissipates into the smoke that poses as a summer mist, a scene created as a reverie so long awaited, castle where a shattered dream reposes. This is how it is when fire rages in a nation’s soul. Denying facts kills just as surely as the woodman’s axe, and yet despite the evidence, naught changes. Perhaps this is the future we have earned, where castles, vinyards, rose gardens can burn. Reply Widaad Pangarker October 17, 2020 Temple Torch On star-strung bead of rosary a lumen light profane Repent in pose placebic rows in temple tomb arcane Ensnaring fevered frond afroth on kindled carousel Of bole and branch implore celestial spires shivered knell Lo trespass of unwholly soil once verdure vestal voiced Enshrined in azure symphony on wings seraphic hoist When flight and flame and orbic rain of elemental mar Besiege the viridescent verge by mortal vultures scar Harmonic hymn in terror toiled with venom vapours whelm Betouch by babel blistering an erst idyllic realm A sanctuary to leaf and loam to wild untethered beast Through teeth of ruination torn unhumankind unceased To sky with limbs in arabesque a yearning cry recourse Surrender sylvan sacrament when raked of verdant force A flickered fang aflame on skin of sapling writhed in vain In embers bake the bones of earth amidst assassins’ reign Those palmers praise to heaven sent now sunder world apart Renounce remiss to resurrect and reason a restart Enwrapped in woes of squandered deed while naught for Nature weep Who lonely in her ashfill crypt through ecocide asleep Reply Brantley Aycock October 17, 2020 If you look closely you can see Shadows of what I used to be But now I’m broken, bent, and burned Is this the point of no return? I once stood proud beneath the peak Adorned with steel and roses meek But now I crumble at your feet Struck down by smoke and reckless heat The world around me, still it spins On ignorant and careless whim I mourn my glory on my own Graveyards of ashes and of stones I wonder if it’s worth the try Or if the good things always die Reply Victoria Garton October 17, 2020 Chateau Boswell Burnt in Glass Fire Don’t cry for drooping blackened rose or for the chateau’s scorched stone or for grapevines in flattened rows or for the bottles shattered on stone. or for Dionysian afternoon long gone in burnt-out tasting rooms or for lost bees and paths flower-strewn or for oak barrels fire consumes. Cry, if you must, for 2020 vision lost, for smoky taste in wine after a burn, for beauty the rose no longer hosts, for grief ignored by need to soldier on. For spilled sun like wine on black terrain. For ashes, estate of man in ruin. Reply Talbot Hook October 18, 2020 Human ardor, human dreams — And all around us Nature teems — Reified in stock and stone, What’s lost in flames shall be regrown. Reply Carole Mertz October 19, 2020 Chateau Boswell Stands Alone What volumes written into reddish stone The turret stands beleaguered and alone And near the charred and heart-red savaged rose A line of time and beauty surely flows Time’s author spelled the heat of fire’s rages It licked the land and slurped the vineyard’s wages White of dust, or reddish, darkly jaded Bemoan the hour: Boswell’s been invaded Reply Paul A. Freeman October 20, 2020 I put my sonnet in the comments section on the 16th, but it has not yet appeared. Could one of the competition organisers help me out? When I tried to re-submit the sonnet, I was told that it had already been submitted. Reply Moderator October 20, 2020 Done! Sorry for the delay. 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