Synkroniciti is thrilled to announce that “Wild Horses” by Jennifer Maloney has won our Wild poetry contest. Jennifer captures the energy of a memory that rides the edge of domestic violence, treating it with vividness and vulnerability. We see a woman threatened in a toxic relationship. As her hopes for this relationship collapse, she reaches out to the space around her, in this case a pair of carved horses on a cabin staircase, for shelter and defense. The driving, dare I say galloping, rhythmic accents, marked by anapestic groupings and rogue iambs that turn sprung rhythm backwards (the groupings, or feet, often ending in stressed syllables rather than beginning with them, although they flip with great impact), as well as the heightened imagery, serve the emotional core of the poem well. I found myself visualizing those carved horses and feeling the sweat collect in the dimple of my lower back. When poetry transports us so completely into the experience of another it is nothing short of magical. The roots of poetry lie not only in emotion and communication, but in incantation: it enchants, warns, protects and preserves. It wills new worlds and realities into being by daring us to imagine them.
Thanks to all who submitted poetry for “Wild.” This was our most competitive contest to date and we are impressed not only with the amount but also the quality of the material we received. The eight finalists were: “Walk on the Wild Side” by Beth Copeland; “_ _ _ _ FLOWERS,” ” _ _ _ _ FIRE RUNNING _ _ _ _” and “_ _ _ _ HORSES” by Mark Hendrickson; “Ode to Weeds” and “Wolverine” by Tara Iacobucci; “Wild Horses” by Jennifer Maloney; and “i look you back from looking through me lone wolf” by Jonathan Yungkans.
Jennifer Maloney writes poetry, short stories, and plays in Rochester, NY. Find her work in Panoply Zine, Ghost City Review, Litro Magazine and several other Journals and anthologies. Jennifer is the co-editor of Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Film (Before Your Quiet Eyes Publishing, 2021) and is the author of Don’t Let God Know You are Singing, Stories and Poetry, forthcoming from the same fine press in Winter, 2023. Jennifer is also a parent, a partner, and a very lucky friend, and she is grateful. For all of it. Every day.