We need three simple black and white or gray-scale illustrations for an upcoming anthology of cozy mystery poems. There will be one illustration for each of our top three poems. You can submit a JPG for your entry but if you win, your final version must be high definition (300-350 DPI or higher). If you use layers in Photoshop, do not flatten the layers. Each illustration should fit on a 5" x 8" page but the illustration does not have to meet the edges of the page. For MRS. LATIMER HAD A FAT CAT, the final line "Yawn … Meowwwwwwwwwww" can be part of the illustration. The illustrations should represent the themes of each poem or some aspect of them. All three illustrations should fit together thematically as representatives of "cozy or light mysteries." Here are the three poems:
1. MRS. LATIMER HAD A FAT CAT
Poor Mrs. Latimer, she’s dead you see
They found her lying under that backyard tree
There was no time for a decent farewell
She clutched at her chest and then she fell
The police are here and they’re searching to find
The cause of death which remains undefined
But I saw what happened, I know the truth
I should think it’d be obvious to any ol’ sleuth
She was a kindly lady who’d never hurt a soul
So I was shocked when he poisoned her soup bowl
It was her grandson, with the crooked smile
All this time he was evil, and so juvenile
It was her grandson, her last living heir
He’s pretending to be grieving over there on the chair
Now they’re saying that her heart just gave out
Of this they are certain, there can be no doubt
Now he’s hiding a smile, that despicable slime
It looks like he’s going to get away with this crime
He’s signing some papers and walking away
Goodbye, Mrs. Latimer, I’ll remember this day
I don’t know why they’re making such a big deal
When I’m just worried where I’ll get my next meal
They’re all refusing to come stroke my furry head
That’s purrrfectly fine – think I’ll just go back to bed
Yawn … Meowwwwwwwwwww.
2. THE BERLIN BAKER
They buried the Berlin baker yesterday -
full farinaceous honours and floral display,
a cob-shaped coffin and batons waved all the way.
In this great city he was born and bred.
He made his dough and now he’s dead.
He was put in a pit o’ local clay –
but that was what happened yesterday.
For it seems the baker’s been seen around
by the head teacher in the school playground.
So the digger is out unearthing the mound.
And here comes the box – crumbs! It’s dropped to the ground.
The top’s toppled off and there’s nothing inside.
Does the baker live or has he died?
Did he rise like his bread? I must decide,
though his death was definitely certified.
It will take a few days to find out the truth –
but I will – for I’m Berlin’s invincible sleuth.
3. THE TEA IS COLD
She sits warm in the corduroy chair,
The blanket on her lap guarding her from the world.
Her eyes tick across the page,
Penduluming from line to line.
She sips quietly,
The near-boiling liquid sending heat down her body and into her soul.
On the other side of the glass,
Thunder roars like some strange beast.
She struggles to keep her mind on the book,
But feels herself being drawn away.
Though she could’ve sworn she closed the window,
There’s a breeze and she feels the cool touch of water on her skin.
She rushes to the closet.
As the heavy-booted footsteps creep down the hallway,
She holds her breath.
Even the slightest sound or tiniest movement will give her away,
But she’s running out of air and her lungs are screaming at her and her heart is furious.
The shadow approaches the slatted door,
Blocking the moonlight that falls across her face.
She knows how this will end,
She’s read mystery novels.
When they find her,
The tea is cold.