Bill Snyder
Beep

Bill Snyder - Beep

Contest - 2nd Place
Bill Snyder has published in Atlanta Review, Poet Lore, Folio, Cottonwood, and Southern Humanities Review among others. He was the… Read more »
Mark Pritchard
Bullet in the Back

Mark Pritchard - Bullet in the Back

Contest - 3rd Place
Mark Pritchard is the author of two books of short stories, How I Adore You and Too Beautiful and Other… Read more »
Joanne M. Clarkson
The Stone Masons

Joanne M. Clarkson - The Stone Masons

Contest - 1st Place
Joanne M. Clarkson’s fourth poetry collection, Believing the Body, was published in 2014 by Gribble Press. She was awarded a… Read more »

The Stone Masons

Joanne M. Clarkson

Not out of faith, but stone. Two men,
atheists both, built the town’s
church. Rock rivered
to the smoothness of loaves. Heft
and sweat. The mortar.

This was no
cathedral. No tower for bells. No crimson
or indigo windows. In those hard times
they toiled for food alone and a place
to sleep where silence breathed
its deep calm. They seldom spoke,
yet there was always communion
between them. July sun
called the house of god upwards
though neither of them believed; the war
had been too hard.

They married
sisters. Lived in the city. And after
one of them lost his mind, the other
sat daily at the bedside, accepting,
while the women prayed. He recalled
then some remnant of Bible lore
from childhood when Christ, fasting,
was tempted by the Devil
to turn rocks into bread.
And he had refused. Let stones

be stones, indifferent to weather,
worship, what… Read more »