Bucks County Writers Workshop

Winners announced on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012

at 86West Restaurant & Bar, 86 W. State St., Doylestown -- 6:00 PM
Natalie Dyen coordinated our informal gathering

Super photo-essay on the TGIF by Alan Shils HERE

A literary contest for BCWW members only


    To write THREE haiku, each with a LITERARY theme: writing, authors, books, literary characters, style, publishing, etc. Why three haiku? To give each contestant more than one shot at it. The winning haiku were selected on the basis of cleverness, creativity (puns allowed), irony, and adherence to a literary theme.

    Judging the contest was former BCWW member Bill Donahue,
    editor of Suburban Life Magazine and Philadelphia Life Magazine. On his own, Bill awarded a fourth prize. See bottom of page to read Bill's tribute to Philip Roth.

    (Second Prize)

    Through the fog it came.
    Ere long it ate our food.
    I shot the ALBATROSS.

    Writing is mysterious;
    we'd like to have rules.
    Few pretend to know.

    The book is heavy,
    as the thoughts within.
    Sort them out.

    (First Prize)

    Tonight in the darkness I am alone
    without lover or moonlight to call my own.
    Tonight even my shadow has deserted me.

    I will no longer drink.
    Your lips are my cup.
    I am drunk on love forever.

    If I was only the God,
    no, no, I don't want to be.
    Can't tolerate the troubles I see.

    It lit upon Samuel Becket's spread,
    Crepe yellow bright and lithe
    Eaten along with the kipper snacks.

    Red red headprint against a white plaster wall
    Kerplop kerplop
    Long livid Hemingway is dead.

    This was no London surf a'comin' in;
    Tourquoise with sprinklings of potato chips;
    Jack was at the helm, snot glory on his eyebrows.

    paper burns at 451
    Montag fires his flamethrower
    ebooks rise from the ashes

    (Third Prize)
    Emily in her carriage
    Too rushed to stop for Death
    So Death grabs a cab

    Twenty-thousand leagues...
    Nemo ponders in the Nautilus under the sea,
    Pro baseball doesn't have enough?

    A book authors prize
    Reveals just the word needed
    Roget's Thesaurus

    Emerald City:
    Wizard unmasked! Witch melted!
    Click heels, Dorothy

    True friend, good writer
    Charlotte weaves her web: SOME PIG
    Wilbur wins -- no ham!

    Madeleine dipped in tea
    Lost memories came to be
    Did turn in early

    Endlessly waiting,
    Will this buffoon ever grasp
    Life's absurdity?

    Marlin in my sight
    With the marlin I will fight
    Three days and three nights

    She fell in a rabbit hole?!?
    We don't need no stinkin' rabbit hole.

    The Bible says
    God said
    Let 2H → He + E

    Hemingway takes another drink
    Hem-ing and haw-ing
    His-way a-way.

    Whores, drunks and bums
    Life's gaiety; revolving around Doc
    A universal deity

    Staccato, sharp and fast
    Pause, poise, and then meander
    The rhythm and cadence of slander

    Bold, frail, and eloquent;
    Paranoid, benevolent.
    Idiosyncratic writer

    Whirling in the mind
    Aching to be relevant
    Words land on the page

    (Fourth Prize)
    A hunger to tell
    An obsession throughout life
    The writer is born

    A mother at dawn
    Cherished wife by the moonlight
    A writer at heart

    What is it she loves?
    Misty, Flicka, Black Beauty
    Magical creatures.

    My mate Julia
    Poured beer at J.W. South's
    But McCourt never joined us.

    Rabbit represents
    Sadness of society
    Will it ever change?

    Artists have no bounds.
    Unless they're poets
    who keep close track of sylla--

    Musty books, the author loves,
    Hidden in shelves, what is that smell?
    The cat had died, and left its mark.

    For sale: baby shoes, never worn
    A size too small, even at birth
    Blame the mother, pj's 1/2 off.

    A treasured red purse
    Dropped aside the rumbling train
    Anna's last gesture.
    [Anna Karenina]

    The empty eyes of
    Doctor T. J. Eckleburg
    Observe Jay's folly.
    [The Great Gatsby]

    Truman's blood ran cold
    When prayers were left unanswered
    Holly, go lightly.
    [Truman Capote]

    The ghost of Poe laments intrusion,
    The Barbarians are now inside the walls,
    The Bronx that was is now an illusion.

    Paterson, Brennan, Bauer, and Bierce,
    Cell phone charged, water, Twinkies and batteries stacked,
    Snug but not safe from Sandy's rage.

    "Teacher Man" stands tipsy up on the bar, and drinks his fill,
    He cries, "A toast to Mao and his Chinese hoard,
    Because of them, I got bed, board, and the GI Bill."
    (This is a memory from Thanksgiving eve 1963, in the "Caves" on Staten Island, when Frank [McCourt] was teaching at the Tec.)

    composed by BCWW members but not entered in competition

  • Don Swaim
    Dorothy's not in Kansas
    Doesn't ignore the man behind the curtain
    Ass-kicks him with her heels three times

    For I had killed the bird
    And all the boards did shrink
    I rose sadder, wiser without flood insurance

    When the child asks what is grass
    Walt doesn't know
    As he celebrates himself

    Michelangelo etherized upon a table
    After eating a peach...
    Pit in throat

    Madness, starving, hysterical, naked
    How the generation's worst minds Howl
    No easy fix for the censor

  • Jules Winistorfer
    Avoid the word was.
    Spell out numbers in dialog.
    Beware of danglers.

    The Godfather rules;
    He makes hard offers.
    Sonny kills a cop.

    Number pages, every one.
    Justify left after breaks.
    Double space lines.

    The elephant is thirsty,
    her water tub long dry.
    Rosie kills August.

  • Daniel Dorian
    A nose is a nose
    But this one points like a sword
    That'll kill with wit

    My plan was a cinch
    I didn't want witnesses
    Had to kill them all

    What a miracle!
    Two enormous lumps of shit
    On a silver plate

  • Alan Shils
    Before you "turn other cheek,"
    prevent a re-attack.
    First break their arms and legs.

    In War and Peace
    you want me to bury the dead?
    "Bother," says Whinny the Pooh.

    Goodbye Mister Chips
    Hel-Lo Hi-Koo.
    Screw-you Chips.

    A spy came in from the cold?
    It wasn't that cold!
    Poor bastard was naked.

    Dr. Seuss
    did it with a moose.
    That silly goose.

  • Jim Brennan
    Inhale, exhale, tap, tap, pant.
    Dreams become words, and then a novel;
    The writer's marathon

    Brooklyn to Paris to the Nile;
    Cliffs of Moher, return to Manhattan, and then
    Warsaw; travels of the BCWW

  • Elizabeth Kelly
    I must go down to the sea again,
    To the sandy shore where my home should be,
    'Tis gone and nary a star can old John see.

    On Easter morn, Yeats wept for his Viking city,
    Inside the GPO, ink stained hands held Sein Fein guns,
    Victoria raged and rendered his Abbey mute.

  • Bill Donahue, our haiku judge, wrote his own haiku, a tribute to Philip Roth, who in 2012 announced his "retirement" as a novelist:

    Cannot bear it, says the jealous man-boy in tweed
    Another suitor at Consuela's gory moit
    It will never work, us, spare her the gleaming knife

    Indignant, no home for me, all rage and piss and fire
    Nobody knows, least of all me -- dot dot dot
    Best I die, unknowing, on a Korean vacation

    An Everyman's cemetery plot
    Overgrown with weeds, broken bgottles, discarded blunts
    Four more years, cries the peanut gallery; four more years, Mr. Roth