Applause, applause for all the entrants of this round of the Petlitzer Prize contest! You put us judges through our paces and made decision-making quite difficult, which is a tribute to the quality of the poems entered. But, alas, such is the nature of these contests, and not everyone can win.

Below, please see the 3rd-, 2nd-, and 1st-place winners’ poems. These will be read live on Dog Works radio on Wednesday, Nov. 16 between 9 and 10 p.m. Central time, and the show will be re-aired on Sunday, Nov. 19, time TBA; thereafter, I will post the archived recording on this blog for all eternity (or thereabouts) so all your friends and family members can have a chance to listen in.

Congratulations, winners!

Third Place: “Shilo’s ku” by Ron Palmer

A husky,
Second of three dogs.
On a walk,

she howls
acknowledgment to
all we pass.

Red and white,
she hopes all she greets
provide treats.

When back home
blue eyes, mouth laughing
stolen bone

Second Place: “A Conversation with My Cat” by Victoria Raphael

Oh cat, soft and beautiful,

you are so graceful…..

poised and alert, your dainty footsteps

tiptoe around my chair.

Your playful side emerges

as you chase the catnip mouse

until it slides under the cabinet,

then forlorn, yet utterly charming

your begging eyes plead for assistance.

I set my book down to retrieve your toy

just because I love you,

yet knowing you’ll reward me

 with some stolen moments on my lap

when we can perform our duet and meow at each other.

Dear cat, so full of mischief

you make me laugh as you run about

intent on cat business,

jumping into my suitcase when I am trying to pack it,

tapping me softly with your paw when you want attention,

or sitting by the table and eying my dinner…..

You always understand the importance of being “cat-ly.

Heavenly creature, so dignified and self assured….

I wonder what you think

as you sprawl across my quilt

keeping me from pulling up the covers.

Don’t worry. I won’t disturb your slumber,

even though I know you will wake me in the morning

with the tickle of your whiskers.

Instead, I will reflect on you, the beauty of your perfection.

and the purpose of your being.

You are friend and companion,

chair warmer, entertainer,

alarm clock, door keeper and often therapist.

Dear pet, the presence of your energy is mood altering.

In a difficult moment I can always manage a smile

just thinking about your cat antics

as I go about my day and the business of being human.

First Place: “Rescue Dog” by Lisa Sellman

I completely loathe the hours that I spend at work;

I file papers and type all day and my boss is a jerk.

My life was destined to be exciting, unique & thrilling;

Instead I spend my day longing for a job that is fulfilling.

I was a Fullbright scholar in my youth;

I was envied by all, if you want the truth.

My parents demanded that I attend law school;

Instead I became a mime and thought it was cool.

I adored Mercel Marceau and planned to be a star;

I stopped going to classes and told my teachers, au revoir.

My days were spent doing the art that I so adored;

Instead of reality, I lived via my vision board.

I only am now happy when I leave my desk at the DMV;

I rush home as fast as I can like a just released parolee.

My home is shared with someone who finds me perfect;

Instead of co-workers ready to judge my intellect.

I used to come home and my only friend was Judge Judy;

I now am languished by kisses from my dog Rudy.

My wit is amazing and my sense of humor divine;

Instead of a boss that hates me, I am loved by this canine.

I found him by accident while looking on Craig’s List;

I was taken with his beautiful eyes and could not resist.

My heart was so broken and needed repair;

Instead of me rescuing him, he was the answer to my prayer.

Submissions for round six of the Petlitzer Prize Poetry Contest can be emailed to me at any time, but the deadline will be May 15, 2012. See Petlitzer Prize Rules for more information.—Sid

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