We were so pleased to have so many people participate in our April Poetry Challenge…and are happy to share the poetry received and “the winners.”
What the challenge was: participants were invited to choose from five sets of three words and the only constraint was that they were required to use (some version of) those words in their poem. Some chose, haiku, some chose free verse, some chose rhyming poetry. It’s all good! The poems were sent without attribution to our judge, Sylvia Gillberg, who functioned as a judge at many, many Poetry Jam competitions at the Namakagon Art & Music festival! She returned her favorites. The three required words are bolded in the poem. Here’s how it breaks down:
1st Place – AWAKENINGS – Stacey McKinney
As the sun rises, filtering through the leaves in the quiet essence of the early morning.
The verdant moss camouflages a croaking tree frog, announcing its awakening.
The chickadees begin to chirp.
The squirrels begin to chatter.
A woodland prince drums its presences.
The forest inhabitants awaken, gaining the warmth from sun to start a new day.
Perhaps Anonymous will reveal their identity, perhaps they will not! They did supply the photo that accompanies the poem.
2nd Place – Audrey and the Wish Frog – Donna Nickel
Audrey and the Wish-Frog
While Audrey was getting ready for bed
She wished she could be outside exploring instead.
Before her head hit the pillow
A frog appeared, green as a willow.
“Yikes!” Audrey managed to croak,
“Are you some kind of joke?”
“Nope,” replied the little creature,
“I am magic. Granting wishes is my strongest feature.”
He went on to say her wish had come true:
She could explore this whole night through.
Audrey slipped out into the night
And marveled at the moon, so bright.
Her nightgown was swirled by a warm breeze,
And she could smell moist old leaves.
Moss cushioned her toes
As she hiked wherever she chose.
Audrey prowled all through the night
And was awed when the Sun dimmed the Moon’s light.
The twinkling stars disappeared, too,
When overhead turned from black velvet to pale blue.
She has spent the whole night without a moment’s sleep
And felt as charged as an off-road Jeep.
How would Audrey ever explain
That sometimes, when you lose sleep, you have an energy gain?
3rd Place – Coffee Matins – Liz Peck
The fawn appears in a streak of sun framed by the window.
Time for morning coffee: a new brew on an old attraction
Wobbly and frail, she raises her head an inch above a log,
Shy, she ducks to hide her speckled sides.
To one cup I add cream and artificial sweetener, the other a dab of almond milk
“Just right,” he smiles. We totter toward new birth.
Juncos tweet beneath the pine searching for worms and seeds
The fawn peeks toward the house again
Baptizing the fifty-five years we’ve led other lives
Back together we sip the newness, the natural order.
Overachiever Award – Fame, Interrupted – Scott Smith
Scott Smith wrote a single poem, but used ALL THE WORDS!!!
A muddy, ochre hued stream trickled across the striated ridge carved into a glacial esker/
A gleam shone in the eye of geologist Pete Moss who was currently exploring the area/
Gaining elevation, he noticed a few azure stones, the very objects for which he had been pining /
His fellow rockhounds would soon be fawning over this treasured find/
Looking closer, the large pebbles appeared to be sprouting everywhere/
The elderly doctor fumbled with his smartphone in his haste to tweet out this epic discovery/
He envisioned, in coming years, colleagues, and eventually the public would flock to this area /
But just at that critical moment, a searing pain gripped his chest /
and as his device clattered down the rocky incline, he croaked!
Another Overachiever Award – Three poems by Karen Kuester
Karen Kuester wrote 5 poems, using all five word sets…and three of her poems were in the top seven chosen by our judge!!!
My current status: retired
I have had many jobs
But I gleam with joy in retirement
I sit by the azure blue Pacific Ocean and
Move clouds with my lava rock remote.
I have many channels to surf,
High surf to calm seas.
Humpback whales breaching,
Green sea turtles tossed in waves,
Nene flying overhead.
It’s a good life.
A flock of children gathered
By the ancient stone wall.
They chanted Ojibwa words,
to the heartbeat of the drum.
Their moccasined feet kept
Rhythm in the circle.
As the old ways began
To sprout and flourish again.
It was time.
No Foolin’ Award – Keith Richards – Shawn Quirk
Shawn Quirk is an old friend of Director Lendved’s…and another person who produced a poem for each word set. Most of them were alcohol themed and, sadly, none of them made our judge’s cut, but, Director Lendved thought THIS one was great!!!
A rolling croak
Gains no moss.
We offer our thanks to everyone who participated in the April Poetry Challenge. Winners referenced above win a Redbery Books gift certificate, excepting Mr. Qurik, who will be mailed a great book by a Wisconsin author. All other participants will win a Velo gift certificate that will, at least, cover an ice cream cone once The Big Dipper opens! We offer all other poems entered, below.
Nippy Namekagon River
The gleam of sunlight
dances on azure ripples—
spring current beckons.
Anticipation builds on this day in spring.
His stage is built of greening things:
Fern sprouts and ramps, within a stone ring.
Around it a choral flock of robins sing.
He weaves graceful steps, pauses, then springs!
The woodcock soars on hopeful wings.
In a pine forest
In Northern Wisconsin
The Chickadees began tweeting
The coming of spring.
A long winter melted
With the birth of twin fawns.
The ochre light
shines on evening.
The raccoon mother rests on the ridge.
She gathers her kits
for a bedtime story
and says good night.
The light trickles away.
Time to sleep.
A Walk With Haley
“Footsteps from a fawn!”
tweet small voices, hand in hand,
boots in snow and pine.
Mossy spots appear
Croaking Froggies Spring Concert
Not a part of the Tic Toc flock
Never joined a party stoned out
But I did cross the pond a time or two
So . . . call me a Brussel sprout.
Gaining hope peace here
Having finished planting
Lilies of the Valley, I
Drink Leinenkugels Bock certain
They will sprout in May,
A lamb white flock at my doorway, then
Comes a sudden snow in June
That lays them
Dead as cemetery stones.
The brandy, red as ochre
A trickle into the tumbler
Over the ridge of ice
One large cube, then a splash,.
And a dash of bitters, now
An orange peel uncurling.
Lovely you and Blue Curacoa
The night is heaven’s gleam
And you’re a luau to me, as we
Rock-A-Hula Baby to the current
Of the ukulele and sand and sea.
A bird’s beak cannot produce a tweet.
A pine is never ever lonesome, and
A fawn would never wear a leopard’s spots.
We paddle in sunlight
toward a shimmering horizon.
A ridge soars high above,
black and brown rock,
with color-bursts of lichen.
from the thin soil beneath white pines,
down through moss
and across the rock.
It deepens the ochre color
of stick figures
in a canoe
paddling in sunlight
toward an unseen horizon.
Sweet smooth sacred stone
Serene swans secretly flock
Spirits slowly sprout
The pine was teeming
with little birds
chirping and tweeting
in afternoon rehearsal.
The doe rested in the shade,
watched her spotted fawn
dance to the spring music.