is proud to announce the three honorable mentions of
the People Before Profits Poetry Prize 2001:
Nenia Weaver: It is Relative
Ann Henry : The Architecture of Bucharest
Cynthia Gallaher: Gulf Sheep
I COULD NEVER TRULY SEE BEFORE
152371 EMBLAZENED ON HER FLESH,
BIO: Ann Henry, which is not her real name, was born quite a while ago, and spent her twenties hating Ronald Reagen, her thirties going to grad school, and her forties drifting around Eastern Europe with little more than a camera, a notebook, and a little black dress for special occasions. She still has the notebook.
Gulf Sheep ©2001 Cynthia Gallaher The herds mill about because they have no pasture, even the flocks of sheep are desolate. Joel 1:18 To protect us from mines, the shepherd walks ahead instead of trailing behind to round up the usual stragglers; but what tent could he pitch tonight to cover us from the black rain? Who could count the hours foul wet tongues wagged their fury on our coats not even our master who judges days by the sun's passing' a copper circle, blocked and impenetrable as our smeared and crusted wool. We, ancient clouds absorbing modern mistakes, Q-tips in a misbegotten ear, cotton balls dabbing at a prehistoric oil pan that Paleolithic intentions would have kept underground even a dinosaur's rampage would only have taken a few of us at a time. And though we almost slid into oil lakes six feet deep, and saw birds fall out of the sky, we still could smell the earth beyond this desert, and greeen grass of the hills where we feed, somehow, in our hunger, memory, or faith in the shepherd willing to shatter bone for our thick, knotty hides, we still believed in green. And alongside the goats, we ate deeply, on green hills slicked with sadness, till the taintedness took our breaths away and extingushed us like fire. BIO: Chicagoan Cynthia Gallaher's latest book is a collection of animal and environmental poems "Earth Elegance," published by March/Abrazo Press. She is also author of "Swimmer's Prayer" and "Night Ribbons." In 1999, "Today's Chicago Woman" magazine named her one of "100 Women Making a Difference."