Literary Hook: Two Rockford poets in Poetry Contest

The Rock River Times is pleased to feature the work of two Rockford poets, whose poems were chosen for honorable mentions in this year’s Rock River Poetry and Prose Contest: “Public Opinion” by Karen Gines, and “Rockford” by Callie Runestad. We appreciated the social commentary both of these poems offer.

Public Opinion (by Karen Gines)

Enthralled by drama

mind practices its

manic leech-craft on

politically unruly subjects.

It repeats,

with convent faithfulness,

a frillery

of white lies

written by



Popular grey fiction

told by fools,


hand over hand along

official barbed-wire fence,

carefully avoiding

any spikes



Rockford (by Callie Runestad)

A river meanders through the center

salting the frozen edges of east and west.

An orange structure screams from the east while

Fading whispers seek shelter in the Carnegie west.

A flowered clock reminds runners and mothers

leisurely strolling the river banks

of a child’s soccer game that evening.

Noxious fumes collide

with the reminiscent scent of the river

as a 1990 Ford Crown Victoria runs

to a west end auto store.

Saturns and Toyotas glide east

along urban sprawl’s super highway.

Sirens command the residential nights.

But the river keeps suggesting, to



Nonporous hearts call this place home.

We congratulate both Karen and Callie for their insightful poems. The Rock River Poetry and Prose Contest is generally held annually, depending on budget and space. For those of you who have inquired, the next contest will be held in spring of 2007. Guidelines are published in The Rock River Times and Poets and Writers.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

From the Sept. 13-19, 2006, issue

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