We are excited to announce the winner of the January 2023 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Monthly Contest is KB Ballentine with the submission “Season of Salt” and runner up is George Arellano with the submission “Appalachian Lullably.”
Season of Salt After the burn of summer was the letting go, sky unchained, learning a different blue. Fields pocked and clumped spilled scorched breath into the hollers, around the hulk of the mountains, far into its crannies and clefts. No tenderness left, no autumn abundant with the melody of leaves. No creeks kissing, tumbling grassy banks. No. Lifting our eyes to face the dark, we pause. Only the ruins remain.
KB Ballentine’s seventh collection, Edge of the Echo, launched in 2021 with Iris Press. Her earlier books can be found with Blue Light Press, Middle Creek Publishing, and Celtic Cat Publishing. Published in North Dakota Quarterly, Atlanta Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, and others, her work also appears in anthologies including I Heard a Cardinal Sing (2022), The Strategic Poet (2021), Pandemic Evolution (2021), and Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017). Learn more at http://www.kbballentine.com.
“Appalachian Lullaby” From red clay pillow, ‘neath the willow, now she cannot see the dragonflies and southern skies that used to set her free. Momma sleeps where Papaw weeps in the woods of Tennessee, and I’d like to know that when I go that’s where they’ll bury me.
George de Arellano writes nonfiction, poetry, and children’s books. He lives in Wildwood, Georgia with his son Julian.