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

 

37 Responses

  1. Alex Andy Phuong

    “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
  2. James A. Tweedie

    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
  3. Norma Okun

    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
  4. James A. Tweedie

    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
  5. Shola Balogun

    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
  6. Alec Ream

    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
  7. Sarban Bhattacharya

    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
  8. Terry L. Norton

    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
  9. David Watt

    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
  10. Carol Connell

    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
  11. A Grumpy Rat

    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
  12. Ernesto P. Santiago

    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
  13. hunter lynn

    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
  14. Toni Newell

    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
  15. Roy E. Peterson

    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
  16. Roy E. Peterson

    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
  17. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    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
  18. Jeff Eardley

    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
  19. Thomas Lindsay

    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
  20. Thomas Lindsay

    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
  21. Nanditesh Nilay

    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
  22. Nanditesh Nilay

    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
  23. Nanditesh Nilay

    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
  24. Kelly Okoniewski

    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
  25. Shola Balogun

    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
  26. Kathleen Farrell

    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
  27. Paul A. Freeman

    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
  28. Linda Atkinson

    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
  29. Linda Atkinson

    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
  30. Cindy Hill

    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
  31. Widaad Pangarker

    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
  32. Brantley Aycock

    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
  33. Victoria Garton

    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
  34. Talbot Hook

    Human ardor, human dreams —
    And all around us Nature teems —
    Reified in stock and stone,
    What’s lost in flames shall be regrown.

    Reply
  35. Carole Mertz

    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
  36. Paul A. Freeman

    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

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