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2021 EKPHRASTIC POETRY WINNERS – BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM

Mark Maggiori
Once Upon a Time, 2020
Oil on canvas
46 1/2″x44 38″
Gift of the artist

Congratulations to the 2021 Ekphrastic Poetry Winners!

Thanks to these art institutions for sharing artwork from their collections for purposes of this contest. Their images and the contest guidelines can be found on the following links:

The Briscoe Western Art MuseumOnce Upon a Time, Mark Maggiori, https://www.briscoemuseum.org/?page_id=8979

The McNay Art Museum, Sarah #9 , Heidi McFall, https://collection.mcnayart.org/objects/19036

San Antonio Museum of ArtMama Ocllo, First Coya (unknown artist) https://sanantonio.emuseum.com/objects/7814/mama-ocllo-first-coya?ctx=1855b9cb-3df8-43b2-a632-425af12dbdde&idx=0

The Witte Museum, Apache Pitch Lined Basket, https://www.wittemuseum.org/national-poetry-month-contest/


Adult Winning Poems (in no particular order)

Two Horsemen of Mesilla
by Milton Jordan

I imagined Ed Dorn dismounting late
afternoon on the square in Mesilla
staring at the small adobe church 
standing in the last of that day’s sunlight
expecting the parish priest to step out
the door just as the sun dropped below
ragged roof lines along the square’s west side
where merchants still stood in doorways hoping
for late arriving customers  and I
rode past the church to tell the poet
Spielberg had offered three million for film 
rights to Gunslinger and Ed Dorn sitting
on the square in Mesilla said to me,
‘Tell Spielberg he can stuff his three million.’


Exodusters
by Jeanie Sanders

Night after night the man dreamed
     his sons were free!
Never would they be
      maimed by
         whips
             or
             chains.
But coated in self-determination
 with gazes that stretched
         to far horizons
              like music on
                 the wind.


If You Are Headed West on Route 66
by Sarah Colby

Stop. Get out of your car.  
Leave asphalt with its inferior mirage
for sun-smacked earth under high blue skies, 
distant mountains of clouds massing 
over ochre mesas, banded sandstone.
Listen for hoofbeats and the creak
of saddle leather. Breathe the tang of petrichor,
cattle-bruised sagebrush, and sweat.
Lose what you once were to the fabled West, 
its unbounded amethyst horizons of promise

******

Youth Winning Poems (in no particular order)

Lone Rangers
by Marin Blankinship

Lone Rangers 
Fighting For What’s Right
Riding 
Working Hard
Everyday
Never Stopping
Steering Horses
Day And Night
Always 
And 
Forever
Cowboys


Rebirth: Sky, desert, plants, and us
By Pia Nathani

I look at the clouds
They’re speaking to me
the sky turns gray
I understand,
Rain! I say aloud with a smile
rebirth, happiness, calming.
My soul echo’s

My friend smiles and looks down at all the plants tenderly
He smiles and gets off his horse,
He lands smoothly on the prickly ground
And bends down
He slowly whispers to all the dying plants 
“Don’t worry soon you will be reborn”