The city of Palmdale’s Public Art Committee has selected “What Beauty Holds Us Captive Here,” a poem by Lancaster resident Mary Denning, as the winning entry in the inaugural “Walk on Words” poetry contest.
Denning’s poem, which reflects her thoughts of living in the Antelope Valley, was selected from a pool of 58 entries to be the first cast in concrete at Poncitlán Square as part of the city’s public art program. Entrants were asked to submit original compositions that were no more than 12 lines long, including title, with a maximum of 35 characters per line, including spaces.
“I am very honored and grateful for this,” Denning said. “I feel very fortunate to live here in the Antelope Valley. There’s so much beauty here. I look at the sunrises and sunsets and all that beauty. We didn’t have that when we lived in Northridge.”
An Antelope Valley resident for a decade, Denning began delving into the arts after she retired. “I first wrote a children’s book and did the illustrations,” she said. “I also did some oil painting and then joined the AV Writer’s Association and started writing poems. I write a new poem every week.”
Below is Denning’s winning entry:
What Beauty Holds Us Captive Here
Might the ancient Antelope know
Or ask the smart Black Crows
Windy echoes from long ago
or ghostly herds of deer that flow
But stopped to graze and disappear
Kitanemukes of old revered
Snowcapped mountains so near
And Joshua trees and cacti rare
Where golden poppies fare
And mix with Blue Lupine to pair
They said a rainbow led us here.
Honorable mention winners in the contest included Vince Pirozzi, Linda Hamilton, Elena Pimental, Rosemarie Giron, Kenneth Wheat, Salma Fawzi, Stephanie Estanislao all of Palmdale; Dave Ostman of Littlerock; and Carol Hill of Lancaster.
Palmdale created its Public Art Committee earlier this year to explore ways to better engage residents in the arts and provide avenues for those creative expressions.
For information on the Public Art Committee, call (661) 267-5611.