Poetry contest winner: Conar Rae Harris

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“The poem has a very clever title and is delightfully inventive from there on. The word choices are stunningly original throughout. This poem does what all good poems do: surprise and delight. The poem uses vivid details in lush and original ways. From the opening line: ‘The morning ripens,’ through to the end, it remains consistent in metaphor and continuously inventive. Some of my favourite phrases include: ‘the cabal of Spring gurgles,’  ‘cocoon of frost,’ and ‘grumble of the furnace.’ This poem renders familiar experiences in completely new ways. It is a thrilling poem to read and re-read.”

— Poetry Judge: Robert Hilles


The False Season

The morning ripens
to a bulging grapefruit
and in the lawn the cabal
of Spring gurgles
away the evening’s
cocoon of frost. Crocuses’
in miter hats rise to show
devotion to the coming
false season. On corners
crusty snow mounds
rest, docile as old porch
dogs. People jog down
the avenues. Children
kick soccer balls over
leaking dirt fields.
Winter waits, veiled in the shade of trees
on the playground’s edge
and by the base of the Beaufort
Range. Winter knows
this reprieve is a farce
and the sharp
bite of rime will cover
the shingles and pavement once more.
By late afternoon, people
return to their houses and
settle listening to the grumble
of the furnace. They hold
each other under thick quilts
and their faces glow under the flashes
of The Office reruns.
The coming dusk
plucks the sun out
of the sky and juices
it across the horizon.