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Pushcart Nominees

Each year the CQ editors nominate especially fine poems

from our published CQ issues for the Pushcart Prize.

Congratulations to our 2017 Pushcart nominees:


I Left My Front Door Open Last Night by Mike Faran

                    from CQ Vol. 43, No. 1

Marine Layer by AE Hines

                    from CQ Vol. 43, No. 1

Birthday in October by Nicola Waldron

                    from CQ Vol. 43, No. 2

Fool's Gold by Brian Kirven

                    from CQ Vol. 43, No. 2

It May Be by Mike Dillon

                    from CQ Vol. 43, No. 3

Devoted Strangers by A. Dearborn Goldsmith

                    from CQ Vol. 43, No. 3


We present the six poems in the pages below.


I was hoping
for someone with compassion,
perhaps death
or someone with
a long rich life with interesting
I was longing for
someone with the slight odor of
with a basketful of kittens without
homes or sight
a basket with just enough room
for another

                               Mike Faran

                   Ventura, California


When my time comes to dissolve,
to let go of form, let me be water and air
so I might slide freely across the rough surfaces
of the earth, not stuck in rock, or dirt
or hewn stone.
Let me be mist—rolling across mountaintops
in the bright morning light,
crawling the valleys and crevices,
kissing all that cross my path—
precious or reviled.
Let me circle the earth, a marine layer,
to make the moss and ferns grow,
and wrap my diaphanous arms
around the alder trees,
cloaks of gray-green lichen
climbing up their trunks.
Let me push patiently out to sea,
and spread myself low and thin above the waters.
Let me stare down at my own reflection
and wait for the sun to rise and rise
and lull me into the nothingness
that is everything that was.

                                        AE Hines

                                        Portland, Oregon



If I sit in my chair, journeying motionless toward the ragged shore

of this age I thought I’d never reachthe number
that belonged once to my mother,
and the ones
who came before, I can see dimly
into the dogwood outside this southern window,
its leaves now, as on every birthday, bleeding softly into fall.
We’re ready, they tell me: just moving through our time. You, too,
they say. You too. Do it gracefully, with dignity, so quietly
the passerby will hardly know
you’ve gone
                              Nicola Waldron

                             Columbia, South Carolina

fool's gold

      Nicasio Valley, December 2016 

Over hilltop yonder,
the oval moon glow
leaves a golden arch
crowning its outlines
like Christmas lights
along a distant roof line.
Flipped over,
it would make
the sliver of a smile,
but in reality it’s a frown.
In that next valley
looms a golden bowl
where I pitch
what’s left
of my hopes and dreams,
gold coins
to plant in dark soil
beyond what can be seen,
what will still beam
after everything
comes apart at the seams.

                                        Brian Kirven

                                        Point Reyes Station, California

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