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Karen Winterburn

Honorable Mention 2012 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Poet:
Karen Winterburn lives with her husband in Glenview Illinois. They have four sons and five dear grandchildren. Karen is self-employed and has enjoyed writing poetry for many years.

About this Poem:
"Paradigm Shift" was written when Karen turned thirty, under the title, "Paradigm Shift: Turning Thirty". It may be true in some way of every generation, and of every generation's wars.

Paradigm Shift

Where is everyone?
We were supposed to meet as grown-ups here
and take our places.

There was a war
and traces of it slipped like shrapnel
under the world's skin.

Once in the blood, it blinds us to old certainties
and grinds the brittle tissues binding us
to powder.
Nothing seems to last between us.

Husbands, mothers, citizens appear as broken tree trunks,
petrified and stark remains among the crumbling carillons
haunting inner landscapes.
Lovers, nuns and criminals swap hats
and forge each other's dreams.

Blind acrobats of social change:
will we learn to move again
through new shapes of space,
beg for stranger grace, and feel at home?

Time tip-toes slowly through its finite metered arc,
seeking to finesse our hope,
but poets climb the ruins and ring the changes,
play the tunes for us to fly by.

Poetry, first sad and angry,
rises through itself to the occasion
and becomes our eye.

Copyright ©2012 Karen Winterburn