Winner of the 2012 Poetry Prize

Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep interest in philosophy, the “Why we are here?” question that lurks under so much of our lives. Using nature as a mirror, she explores the way humans perceive themselves and their world. Her chapbook, Palimpsests, was published by Uttered Chaos ( in 2011. She is webmaster for the Oregon Poetry Association and claims her entire garden as her “poetry office”. 


Lucky Frog 
by Catherine McGuire
for Li Po

I begin to understand why poets become
wanderers, hermits –
why they disappear into mountains
sending back poems like autumn leaves
fluttering into town.
I see why the wind was a fine companion
and the shiny masks needed for city life
were – so gratefully – piled at the crossroad.
There is a desperation alive in the villages
that few except poets comprehend –
the pressure of so many glances
the hiss of a pot coming to boil.