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John Howard Reid

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Publisher:  Lulu ISBN-10:  0557022894 Type: 


Copyright:  December 5, 2003 ISBN-13:  9780557022892

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Tom Howard Poetry Contest for Verse in All Styles and Genres

This anthology contains 35 award-winning poems from the inaugural Tom Howard Poetry Contest; plus 6 bonus poems by John Howard Reid; plus a humorous poem by the Contest's current judges, John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad.



1. Jennie Herrera: “Fritillary” {First Prize}


2. Adam Wallace: “Jeremy Johnson Jackson the Third” {Third Prize}


3. Adam Wallace: “Bike Riding” {Most Highly Commended}


4. Pali Munasinghe: “No More Wars” {Highly Commended}


5. Trudy Davis: “An Alien in Cyberspace” {Short-listed}


6. Jean MacDonald: “Over the Road, Down by the Creek” {Most Highly Commended}


7. Evelyn Wright: “Ode to Politicians” {Commended}


8. Rochelle Manners: “Look at you” {Commended.}


9. Eve Ryfkah: “Eclipse” {Short-listed}


10. Nana Ollerenshaw: “Mackay” {Most Highly Commended}

11. Jade Walker: “War” {Short-listed}


12. Jacqueline Cooke: “End of Season” {Most Highly Commended}


13. Jonathan Elsom: “Dawn at the Cross” {Most Highly Commended}


14. Susan Kruss: “Midway” {Short-listed}


15. Michael P. Mardel: “South west down-under” {Very Highly Commended}


16. Rachel J. Johnson: “Words Elude Me” {Short-listed}


17. Michael Jones: “My Palm Beach Girl” {Short-listed}


18. John Irvine: “Dust Storm” {Most Highly Commended}


19. Allistair R. Clarke: “Colac” {Commended}


20. David O’Connell: “following” {Most Highly Commended}


21. Yvonne Schneider: “Forever Young” {Commended}


22. Agnes Craig: “Something in Common” {Commended}


23. Gavin S. Austin: “In the Garden” {Most Highly Commended}


24. Kristen R. Heyl: “Hindsight 20/20” {Highly Commended}


25. Su Nash: “Nothing” {Highly Commended}


26. Su Nash: “White Moths” {Commended}


27. Sook-Moy Yew: “A Mesmerizing World” {Commended}


28. Lahta Stephens: “Tiny Island” {Short-listed}


29. Kylie Hooklyn: “Shy” {Short-listed}


30. Aaron Goldsmith: “Lenni and I” {Commended}


31. Fiona Sievers: “when his father died” {Commended}


32. Pamela Blackburn: “A First Kiss” {Most Highly Commended}


33. Suzanne Edgar: “The Ring-Maker” {Highly Commended}


34. Suzanne Edgar: “Night-Shift” {Highly Commended}


35. Ann Tregenza: “Train Journey” {Second Prize}


36. John Howard Reid: “Escape to Paradise”


37. John Howard Reid: “The Actor Deprived of His Voice”


38. John Howard Reid: “Art Gallery to Circular Quay”


39. John Howard Reid & Dee C. Konrad: “A Lion’s Lion”


40. John Howard Reid: “Access Denied”


41. John Howard Reid: “Malalam”


42. John Howard Reid: “Magic”

Special Addendum: Some Guidelines for entering the Tom Howard Poetry Contest



by John Howard Reid

Here I am on View Point Drive
Holiday houses cluster two-a-penny
on this rich man’s gambol where private
wharves in winsome white and sleek lakeside
views combine the furled yachts of an ocean-honing
elite with the engine chugging whine of tawdry, time-torn
fishing smacks netting the lake-bed for the seasoned
professional processors on the co-op side of
the bridge. The scent of dollars is over-
powered and undone.

No gap, no track, no inlet
can I find to reach the water’s
edge. Each inch is overscored and
underlined, Private Property. Keep Off!

But secure, self-serving instincts of a camera
hound overwrite the puny stratagems of caste and
class. No coiled concrete compound, though zebra-barred
or horn-spiked can compete with sudden financial ruin for This
very night I shall demand thy soul of thee! Yes, after he’d
junked and demolished holiday home-away cottage
to build a castaway’s castle, he’d left his heirs
a benighted inheritance of scruffy, sandy
dunes, transfixed by hopeful weeds!

Staring blindly at swarms of affluent neighbors, loomed a mail-
box, crammed with screeds of advertising creeds and no-blows,
no-loss, no-money-to-pay-till-ransom-day catalogs, hand bills,
dodgers, junk mail.

Why fill a disconnected letter-box servicing yards of prosperous weeds
and a triple flight of concrete steps to a wharf of half-nelsoned pylons?

Not one to look a gift access in the mouth, I clambered down through
a waist-high jungle of juniper, dandelions and seed-tossed creepers
until my shoes sank into the speckled sand of the bay. Gleaming
gloating neighboring mansions frowned unforgivingly at my
intrusion. Ignoring their disdainful stares, I unstrapped a
camera and with a practiced air of cultivated disdain
I clicked all bird-song views at the water’s edge.

Shutting the shutter, I took my fill of the sea-
air: The stench of money lachrymose and
seedless; the squalid aroma of sewage
and sea-weed; the sweet perfume
of pinioned fish in the co-ops
across the blaze of haze-
strewn bays. An awe
a worship, a genuine
genuflection. Money
money. All is money
and reading a no-ran
Art is classless crass
Music no more than
mundane echoes of

How refreshing to
escape the views of
View Point Drive, to
walk on blithely past a
pillaried signpost. Color

Professional Reviews

Davis Davies in Davey's Do's and Don'ts #31
What is Poetry? That’s a question asked by the editor of this anthology in a brief article at the back of the book. A needless question actually, for the selected poems themselves all lend eloquent testimony as to what poetry really is. Mind you, I was puzzled by some of the poems, particularly by Jennie Herrera’s First Prize-winning "Fritillary". Admittedly, the Tom Howard Contest is one in which anything goes, but "Sweet bright grasses fringed about a secret cove, With little rasping voices, softer than the waves that curl, Softer than the winds that trill a harmony across the dunes, Telling tales… "
"Fritillary" is not the only surprise offered by this anthology. The Second Prize-winner, "Train Journey" by Ann Tregenza is similarly oddly rhythmical. But rather than the motion of waves, it conjures the movement of a train: "No need to count the sheep, I sleep,/wait again to the same heart beat,/ranges of mouse-backed hills each side,/a breeze to keep the windmill turning,/windmill turning, windmill turning."
Yet another surprise! That unpopular genre in most other poetry contests, the humorous poem, earns Third Prize for Adam Wallace with his "Jeremy Johnson Jackson the Third". Perhaps I should not have been so taken aback, for the judges themselves have contributed a humorous piece, "A Lion’s Lion". A weak pun, but nonetheless an amusing attempt at "licking limpid leonine lines to light."
And unlike most other lead-lined poetry collections, "End of Season" is so neat and well-designed, it’s a delight to hold and tempting to carry. It weighs far less than a Reader’s Indigest and will slip quite easily into a brief-case, knapsack, or even a capacious overcoat pocket. A pleasure to indulge at work or play – or on your next train journey!

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