The Ontario Poetry Society
- Presents The 2023 Ted Plantos Memorial Award Winner -

About TOPS








Members' Poetry


Ted Plantos






Lisa Reynolds

Here is what our Judge and Selector had to say about this poet:

I whole heartedly endorse Lisa Reynolds as this year's recipient of the
Ted Plantos Memorial Award.

The simplicity and beauty of her short elegies honour the subject of her
poetic threnodies. These lyrical tributes are moving and heartfelt.

- John B. Lee, Poet Laureate, Brantford, Poet Laureate, Norfolk County.

Poems by Lisa Reynolds

These Hands (anti-war poem)

These hands have touched the dead
Mothers, fathers

Little ones I can't bear
To speak of - but carry

Life should not be like this
Not end like this

Cries echo
Can you hear them

Hear their disbelief

(Featured at the International Festival for Peace, Unamos al Mundo, Mexico, 2023)

In Mourning, for Shannon

Light bends under weight
leaves the faithful faithless
as shadows descend like ravens
to peck on brittle bones

Mercy sought mercy found
through Hail Mary prayers
chanted on beaded chain
dangling from open palm

Lost is not forever gone
consoles believer
while beloved soul waits
to rise beneath the ground

(The Alchemy of Tears anthology, Beret Days Press, 2023)


I Miss Her
I feel the loss even though her memory is strong;
the way she'd say “up” when she wanted to cuddle,
the way she'd run through our house, her arms
straight back like Superwoman in flight.

I wish I could shake a can, pop the lid,
press the nozzle, and have a stream of glitter
wrap itself around her waist so I could
pull her back to me.

I miss her.

Now that I've shared these words,
what do I do to ease the pain they bring?

(The Alchemy of Tears anthology, Beret Days Press, 2023)


It is difficult
to want
but not have

Then she appears
left by her mother
in my garden sanctuary

And a familiar ache rises
to nurture
what is not mine

How blessed and unblessed, am I
to hover
like a parent in a doorway

(Poetry Pause, League of Canadian Poets, 2023)

Sweet Angel

You appear
after everyone is gone

Settle beside me
on stark sheets

Cold nose nudging
frozen hand

And in an instant
spirit adrift
anchors in sunny harbour

Nothing compares to this -

Here we are free to do
as we please,
all weeping is done

(Verse Afire, June 2023 Issue)

When It Happens

i no longer fight it
i let it do what it needs to

the cleverness i possessed is gone
replaced by a what will be, will be

she said it would be like this -
all heartache would come at once

then leave me in a sedated state,
where tears are merely droplets
that flow

healing has begun,
acceptance too

yes, acceptance - an admission
that changes everything
but nothing

my solo, a dance
twirling towards tomorrow

(Valiant Scribe Literary Journal, USA, January 2022)


I call it to me
like a lake pleads
for waves to drench
its desert shores

and it comes
not in pale drifts
but pearls of rain

draping me
with wet light
until I am smiling

(The Alchemy of Tears anthology, Beret Days Press, 2023)

You & Me

Caught in a circle of hellos,
we avoid each others eyes,
side hug and pretend we were
never more than we are now.
And yet, in that brief moment
when you drew me in,
I heard your breath hitch
the way it used to before we kissed.

(TOPS, Ultra Short Poetry Contest - Judge's Choice Award, 2023)


layers of regret
blues on canvas

(TOPS - Postage Stamp Contest - Honourable Mention 2023)

There Are Things We Don't Talk About

1. the gun he hid under the dresser in the bedroom he shared with Mom

2. how he raised it to his temple while standing in the bathtub

3. how we clung to each other on an orange tweed couch
    listening for the shot that didn't come

4. how she told us to tell him we were happy he wasn't dead

5. how we waited for the next time

(Anti Heroin Chic Literary Journal, USA, May 2021)


Rules and Guidelines for Submissions

Ted Plantos Dedication Page