Saturday, 8 July 2017

The seventh Moon Prize* goes to Jill Crainshaw's poem "Biorhythmic Resistance"—backdating to the full moon of March 12, 2017. A reminder to live and breathe in difficult times. Congratulations on a shining poem of hope, Jill Crainshaw.


Biorhythmic Resistance
by Jill Crainshaw

The waxwings visited today. They
know when at winter’s spring-ward edge
to harvest our backyard cedar’s frosted
blue berries. Sometimes the luck of
wildness calls my eyes skyward, and
I see them, masked urban foragers
warming naked Jack Frost trees with
ephemeral browned-butter flames.
And then they are gone. They brush
still-cold blue skies with tails dipped in
sunflower yellow, leaving no sign 
they were ever here at all. But as I
watch them fly away, an ancient promise
caresses my face. When an uninvited
stranger occupies our terrace, holds minds
hostage to chaotic rhythms, desperate
to rewire fragile dreams to his own 
narcissistic gravity, this is how we
resist. We synchronize our wings to
creation’s pace and breathe in and out
the spiraling balm of hope. And then we
live as people who remember, who
know in the marrow of our bones:
the waxwings will visit again.

* * * * *
Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She enjoys exploring how words give voice to unexpected ideas, insights and visions.


* The Moon Prize ($91) is awarded once a month on the full moon for a story or poem posted in Writing In A Woman's Voice during the moon cycle period preceding a full moon. I don't really want this to be competition. I simply want to share your voices. And then I want to pick one voice during a moon cycle for the prize. I fund this with 10% of my personal modest income. I wish I could pay for each and every poem or story, but I am not that rich. (Yet.) For a little while only there will be two awards each month, on the day of the full moon and the day after, until I catch up with past postings.

Why 91? 91 is a mystical number for me. It is 7 times 13. 13 is my favorite number. (7 isn't half bad either.) There are 13 moons in a year. I call 13 my feminist number, reasoning that anything that was declared unlucky in a patriarchal world has to be mystically excellent. Then there are 4 times 91 days in a year (plus one day, or two days in leap years), so approximately 91 days each season. In some Mayan temples there are or were 91 steps on each of four sides. Anyway, that's where the number 91 comes from, not to mention that it's in the approximate neighborhood of 100.