Winners of the January 2018 Poem of the Month Contest, Sharon Whitehall and Ari Gold

Every month, Cosmographia partners with to publish a "transcendent" poem plus offer the winning poet a $50 prize.

We'd like to share the winners of the January 2018 "Poem of the Month" contest, co-winners whose poems, juxtaposed, call to mind the motif of fire and ice.

This month's winners:

  • Sharon Whitehill: a retired English professor from Michigan, now living in Florida, writing poetry for the first time.

  • Ari Gold: an established writer and film director in California.

Prince Christian Sound, Greenland

by Sharon Whitehill

We shelter from freezing winds in sun-warmed nooks on the deck. Indoors, the crew ladles hot Dutch pea soup hunked with ham into bowls.

To starboard, mountains march past like a row of stout children with waterfalls pinned to their jackets. Their mountain neighbors, faces blackened with gneiss, torsos girdled in mist, wear witches’ hats on their peaks as if hoping to frighten the children away.

As we watch icebergs calve I think of the cow made of ice in Norse myth who nourished primeval Ymir with her milk. The calves birthed today are blue and translucent as premature babies who cannot survive.



Sharon Whitehill is a retired professor of English from Michigan, now living in Florida and attempting poetry for the first time.


Fire Dancer

by Ari Gold

My brother danced at last with explosions and fire— Not a helicopter, just mushrooms at Burning Man. I had Minha with me, accidental lover, former ballerina with a titanium knee, a crescent scar on golden skin. My brother had us, temporary parents so he shouted in triumph at the beauty of a bespectacled blonde dancer incoming from the skyscraper of flames. My twin let loose at last.

Got burning ash in my fucking eye! he screamed. So much for bliss. The carnival was now Hieronymus but I was not going to allow my hypochondriac brother to chain himself to the wheel in the sky.

My gold and silver velvet robe flapped open, sharp sand pierced my chest. I was a king. He was jealous when I bought my costume on Haight As though I had stolen it from him. A clump of soot, glowing orange, somersaulted jerkily across the desert floor A lizard on bad acid. Minha placed her hand on the back of mine. We should find a medic.



Ari Gold is a student-Oscar-winning writer and film director whose films are linked by musical and environmental themes. As a writer, his work has been serialized in the Serbian newspaper Danas, and he is completing both an adult novel and a middle-grade novel this year.

His new feature film, “The Song of Sway Lake,” has been selected as Opening Night Film at four films this month; he also directed the cult comedy “Adventures of Power” (“One of the funniest films in recent years” – NY Magazine), dozens of award-winning shorts and videos that have been presented everywhere from Sundance to Karlovy-Vary, and the short film “Helicopter” about his mother’s death in the helicopter crash that killed rock music promoter Bill Graham.

His most unusual distinctions include winning High Times Magazine’s “Stoner of the Year” award, and being enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records for commanding the largest air-drum ensemble on earth. His next major project, currently in development, is a game-changing action-adventure fiction TV series about ecology, war, shamanism, and the liberation of the human spirit.


To submit to the Poem of the Month contest:

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