Please join me in congratulating Maria King Illich, a contributor to Through Layered Limestone: a Texas Hill Country Anthology (2019) and to purifying wind (2020) both anthologies for which I served as managing editor.
Maria won a prize for a poem that appeared in Limestone entitled “Cibolo Creek Addresses Humanity.” The poem won 2nd Place in the 2020 Press Women of Texas Communications Contest, the same contest for which MSSP has won a prize this year, 2021!. Judges comments included, “Powerful, imaginative, and concrete. Powerful imagery. Very nice!”
Congratulations Maria! I feel very proud to have chosen this poem for Limestone in collaboration with the other editors. Below is the poem. Read and enjoy!
Cibolo Creek Addresses Humanity I remember the shallow sea I fed eons ago when sea lilies swayed in my belly and trilobites tickled my throat. The dipper poured milk then, and Orion bore four stars in his bright belt. The sea receded. I diminished into a river. Ferns and cycads overwhelmed my banks, and titans pounded prints into my soft spine. Stars flared and fell. I dwindled into a creek. Ginkgoes swept the sky with trembling leaves as winds chilled my waters. Mammoths appeared. And camels. And you. Tamer of fire, namer of the seen and unseen. You persist, but for how long? Before you go, drink of my waters so you might recall from my many names the one we share, the name of a constellation of stars caught in muck. And this just in, Maria's short story from purifying wind entitled "Dark Phoenix" took second place in the 2021 NFPW competition. This short story is designated as an Editor's Award winner within the anthology as well. Great work, Maria! Look for Maria on FB here.