Literary Arts

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Literary Arts Guild


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2019 Winning Poets


2019 Winning Poets


Back Row: Ala Khaki -Contest Judge,  Autumn Siders- Third Place Adult Category Winner, Mary Anker- Second Place Adult Category Winner, Gabriel Smith -High School Winner

Front Row: Lotus Gregory -Elementary School Winner, Tobin Smith -Middle School Winner, Katherine Leigh -First Place Adult Category Winner

photos by Robert J Popp

2019 Poetry First Friday Event

Ala Khaki -2019 Judge

Photo by Robert J Popp

Musician Carl Beverly


Dianalee Velie and Ala Khaki


2019 Winning Poems

The Universally Besieged

 Katherine Leigh, First Place Adult  

   Sad assignment, that of giving birth to a sterile baby 

in a barren world, all countries shaken to their cores.

   Takes a certain jaded courage to saddle up with only 

hope enough for the slight remainder of what was 

originally a full journey.

   Yet we travel, pay the hand to pass us through 

borders, open gates at night to the glint of coin and 

bullet over bodies of our daughters, bones of our sons.

      Listening to our plight has a color;

          help, a shade of grey.

   Carved into me is the bravery to move by moonlight.

   The ‘besieged’ talk around the potato table about a 

possible rebirth of remnants of family fled from damaged 

culture, in a faraway imagined-place we may, easily, 

never see.

   So to mold a new future, to hold onto old traditions, 

to carry embers of flame, to embolden sinew under the 

burden of relentless intensity.

   That is each waking moment if we curl for a drift of 


   We take time to thank Allah or Jesus or Quan Yin, 

the ancestress energy,  the generative offspring.

   Believers, we bend our bodies to include moon and 

sun, to reinforce as artists of our daily lives, of our 


           ourselves as stars.


cancer creations

Mary Anker -Second Place Adult

a mother recovers

her nine-year-old body

reacquaints itself


barely unspooling

pulls years out of seconds

bald head worn proud

trips to Boston 

pilgrimages pursuing

a holy grail 


in a chemo chair

alien face eyebrows and lashes disappear


inside elevators

fear stands 

elbow to elbow

hollow strangers


eyes do the communicating 

kitchen table 

a studio 

scissors, sayings

paint brushes, pens, journals, cards

watercolors, words



love holds 

after long nights 

of floating blue

the sky of light 


I Could

Autumn Siders-Third Place-Adult

I Could I could sit and watch 

as you scream and shout. 

I could back away 

and let you sort it out. 

I could hear those words, 

Muslim, illegal, fag, Jew 

but pretend they are just words 

not to do with me but with you.

 I could go home 

and just wait my turn 

until your hate becomes murder 

and these words boil and churn. 

I could wait until 

those screams turn to fists 

and look on in horror 

as blood fiercely mists. 

I could do all this 

but then am I to blame 

when the headline this week 

is another soul has been maimed? 

I could stand up 

and make my voice heard, 

stand beside a fellow human 

and push back your bitter words. 

I could stand up 

and you could stand down a

nd realize that differences 

are what make the world go ‘round. 

I could lecture you on love 

but you are just so full of hate, 

so instead I’ll show you love 

and all it can create. 


2018 Winning Poems

A Communion with Nature with Dave Anderson April 2018



 Molly VanVranken. New London NH
5th grade, Winner Elementary School

The forest
 is a mystical place

Where unicorns
And fairies fly

Where you are free
To imagine
And be at peace with the world.

The forest
Speaks to me through
It’s leaves and branches.

The forest
Protects me when it rains
It covers me so that
I’m not wet.

The forest
Is part of my
Soul and blood.

When I leave, the forest leaves.
When I go to school, the forest goes to school.

But at the end of the day
When I go to bed
The forest sleeps right next to me.


Clare McIntyre, Grantham NH
7th Grade, Winner Middle School

As I walk through the forest I am one with nature,

One with the birdsong that may sound chaotic, but if you listen closely you will find,

That it is a symphony of voices that fill the woods with meaning,

And as I walk through the many trees they talk to me, as I am one with them,

Telling me of the freezing winters where the frost crept over their bark,

And of the summers where the sun shone through their leaves,                                      

and cast a green light upon the ground,

The suns rays dance that are one with me, leaping off the water,   

and the mica in the rocks, 

then they twirl in the air and fill the sky with light,

the sky calls to the adventurous kind,

those who will stop at nothing to learn nature’s secrets,

The sky calls out to me as I walk through the forest.


Rhett Watts, Auburn, MA
First Place, Adult Category

Can there be ambition in the time of lilies

full on summer and me wanting

nothing more than to survey the yard?

Not inclined to be productive--

a hollow, mechanical word.

Off the clock, I slip into some burrow

and banked there, track a hummingbird,

tiny warrior. Emerald armor gleaming,

he attacks belled hosta blooms hung

from green towers. Scent of water on earth

and the back of my knees moist, I sit

in tree-time like the hemlock whose limbs

reach to stretch or praise. Lapsed,

my life is hidden as the stump cloaked

in weedy blankets on the property line.

 Ears fill with cicada rhythms--

droning Zen masters. I would flow like rain

 through the downspout hugging the house,

opening out where ground meets the grackle

who croaks his throaty name.


Jonathan Blake, West Brookfield MA
Second Place, Adult Category

Lie down with your shadow,

That long darkness that stretches

Across the yellow-gold of the newly

Mown hayfield. Breathe deep of that

Odor. Be patient and still.

Wait for the birds who will

Descend like a great dark cloud, who

Will cover you with their warmth,

Who will pick your house clean.


Henry Walters, Dublin NH,

Third Place Adult Category


New Year's Eve, & who else quitting the city

homeward & dipped in darkness with me-

(each other' s counterfeits, but each alone)­

saw in their mirrors all at once the mink

over the concrete median spill like an eel

into our red brakelight & down the road

after us a beat or two till it juked,

black ripple across the rearview pool,

& hid itself, no explanation, like before?


New Year ' s Day, late, no one else on the road

beside me, no one flooring it to  or from-

(those counterfeit directions, one & the same)­

saw into the headlights sudden & live

as wound or expletive the black eel-shape

over the waist-high median pour itself

as if a tiny weir in time gave way

& let, without explaining, all the beating

lifeblood out to fill the pools downstream.


Once in a year, whatever the date or road,

road or river it wanders with & hugs-

(a milder night when frogs start up again

& rain reminds the tar of its first hot stink)­

then to spring your shadow into the living light,

dipped in your eel-black fur, across the grain

of men & action, no one' s counterfeit,

so low to the ground the ground in its sleek pelt

clings & cambers to you, turns where you turn.


Upcoming Readings, Workshops, and Events

June 5th David Carroll


 Author/Artist David Carroll speak on the Courage to Create .  Bradford library (Brown Memorial Library) 78 W. Main St., Bradford.   7PM

June 10th Shoshana Cote


 Shoshana Cote, translator, author and poet  discusses her new book, Weavings of Departure: Rediscovering the Poetry of Nobel Laureate Nelly Sachs, and Sachs' “Courage to Create” at the Newbury Library. 

July 15th Mimi Schwartz workshop


 “Beyond the Eye: When Memoir Meets History” run by Mimi Schwartz co-hosted with the Newbury Library 

Register HERE

Literary Publications

Visual Verse Poetry Reading and Photography


The second volume of Visual Verse, a book of poetry and photography published by the Literary Arts Guild of the Center for the Arts, Lake Sunapee Region and Lake Sunapee Protective Association.  

Purchase HEre

Visual Verse


"Visual Verse" 

Art and Poetry inspired by The Fells 

Purchase your copy of 

at Morgan Hill Bookstore, or at The Fells 

or order your copy by emailing us HERE