Poetry Society of Vermont
founded in 1947



1st place          Due Date                                  Alexandra Crivici-Kramer                                2nd place         Shadows                                  Inga M. Potter                                                  3rd place         Reparations                             Cindy Ellen Hill                                                4th place         Come Spring                            Marta Rijn Finch                                            5th place         Between the Stars And Me   Sarah Dickenson Snyder                    


These poems will be published in the 2022 Mountain Troubadour, and will appear here later this year.






I know the smell of oak and pine,

Of wood smoke mist and dandelion,

Of summer sweat and autumn air;

This is the scent of my son’s hair.

About his head of marigold

Are maize and corn silk gently rolled

With nacre shine of northern lights,

Comet tails and cirrus whites.


     I know the depth of evening blue

That sparkles from my boy of two,

Who sobers me at forty-one

That I might not have had a son.

My heart expands with father’s pride,

The universe is simplified—

When all the stars in all the skies

Are but a speck in my son’s eyes.


David Stauffer, First Place




We dreaded the corner room

in the brick schoolhouse,

windowed if we stood—which

we couldn’t—pinned to wooden desks,

pencils suspended in half cylinders

of carved oak

until she told us to fill in mimeos.

Each day a test. Her desk in the back,

unnerving us

facing the chalkboard wall.

Behind me sat Kippy,

she called stupid whenever he gave

the wrong answer, though he tried

when she stomped down the row,

slapped his desk, as if

intelligence was a whack away  

in 7th grade.

Shy kids stayed home Mondays,

stomach-ached, missing Mrs. Drebelbus

who got us out of the room

for sit-ups, rope climbing,

didn’t notice I hung at the top

as long as Kippy held the rope.

He held it long

because he hadn’t gotten in trouble

the day we had state capitals

when I slid my paper

so he could see.

I loved capitals. I knew them, I was sure of it.

I wrote in large letters:

Augusta, Lincoln…

and the one fact I remember

from grade seven,

that Big Rock

is not the capital of Arkansas.  


Judith Janoo, Second Place




A fat black nose, followed by my hound,

snuffles through a color guard of windrows.


Perfumed with late cold rain, wormless dirt,

early autumn dark, the piles of leaves seem


like daily journals, crumpled and cast aside

by pin oaks and sweet gum– discarded work:


all those poems that were lacking any point.


The trees pose naked in un-consciousness.


Their roots bind them tight to hard ground,

barkened arms are pulled up by cutting wind;


crucified between here and there they hold

heaven and earth balanced in place. Words


fall beneath their crowns like winter-broken

limbs but their rough skin sings in my hands.


P. H. Coleman, Third Place Tie




If I could take you anywhere

I would fly with you

upon the wings of the snow-white swan

back to the gardens of the Princes

of Perouges.


There you would sit in the Garden of Love.

There the sun would shine down upon you

And the Prince himself would gaze at you

and listen to your song

and smile.


And there within those ancient courtyard walls

you would breathe the air

of frankincense and myrrh, spices and herbs, roses and lilacs;

And all good things of earth

would come true for you, my Love,

And it would be as you have always wanted it to be

for all the days of the earth.


That is what I would wish for you, my Love –

That is what I would wish…



Dan Close, Third Place Tie




had I not crossed

the room at just

that moment


had I not glanced

out the front window

and slightly to the left


I would not have seen

the poem

in the crabapple tree ¾


its branches flush

with robins, barn red

against unexpected spring snow


then gone, swelling the sky

with meter and rhyme

all their own.


Brooke Herter James, Fourth Place