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Welcome to Estate 106 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for the contest ending January, 2006.

You'll also see photos of the top three winners, and read their biographical sketches.

Poetry Gardens of Fame Index

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Honorable Mentions


Kathleen Ivanoff

Kathleen Ivanoff is a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University, in the Women's Studies department. She is also an instructor at Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is currently working on finishing her first book, Mercury Grayce and her first film, an experimental documentary on Women, Romance and Obsession that incorporates her poetry and prose.

Anatomy of the Star Goddess

She's wandering in a fog of evaporated desire.
It's like dry ice, or the exhalation of a film noir siren
smoking alone in a blue room.

There is not enough gravity to fasten a plan.
She makes notes to herself and pins them to things
But they fold into a flock of speckled birds
with wings that say 'to do' and 'today'
then wave good-bye
lettering the sky.

The hyperbolic chambers in her heart puff and toot
and beat algorithmically to the north,
always north!

She longs for a sad southern swamp.
The old crocodile voodoo:
Something to want.

When the mask of her sex is removed,
She quits smoking and becomes droll.
Invisible, she doesn't need to sneak
but she keeps the habit

of ripening clouds with enormous sighs:
Peonies, cups, wedding gowns,
fainted ladies, a fountain.

The tunnel to heaven is
decorated with hiding,
elapsed lists,
and chants, enchants and chance.

As first place winner in the Poetic Idol Competition, Kathleen won a prize package that includes a $150.00 cash prize; an e-Chapook of her poetry (up to 20 poems), attractively created and published for her personal or commercial use; public status as Artella's Poetic Idol in Residence; a feature interview in an issue of e-Artella; guaranteed publication in an e-Artella issue; free enrollment in her choice of Artella e-courses, the Artella eBook, "Behind the Veil", her choice of any e-Artella issue, and one month FREE Artella membership. Click here for contest details.

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Tara McDaniel

Tara currently resides in Norman, Oklahoma, where she writes and gobbles novels in her off-hours. She is a Young Adult Librarian in Oklahoma City, and is working on a masters degree in Arts and Literature. She has recently won the Peuterbaugh student fiction award for her short story Fourteen Blooms. This is her first award for poetry. Tara's poetry is inspired and informed by Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, and Richard Siken. She plans to certify for poetry therapy after graduation, and to attend an MFA program in Vermont.

The Harvest


You're pulling me down
& it's peeling
the skin off a plum

that thin, soft whisper
laid over my tongue
like a blessing

of the Eucharist.


I lay my body down
at the edge of the water.
I'm dreaming

that your torso
is an undulating wreath
of blossoms

atop the blue surface.


And I am all the time wondering
over the hothouse
of my own desires,

looking for a book of fruit
to dissemble your texture,
the taste of opening

my mouth inside
your own.


You remind me of redder days,
the way you've always upended
how I thought the world would be

honey bees
striking their bodies
internal chambers
pistons and shallow boxes
wild buzz echoing
along the slender tendril of the willow

weeping its dress into the long grass.


I wanted to know
what is warm to the touch,

then you parted the curtain,
became the thought
behind the veil, oh,


how the skin gets blistered over
on your honey dew

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Ingrid Goff-Maidoff

Ingrid Goff-Maidoff is a poet, inspirational author, and book artist who lives with her husband and two daughters on the island of Martha's Vineyard. She has a delightful web-site full of splendid articles, books, and gifts for heart-centered living. Her "Portions of Joy" e-newsletter is enjoyed by thousands of subscribers.

Fever Or Forgotten Wings
(title from Poetry, by Pablo Neruda)

And then Poetry came…
And there was no money in it…
Still, some clouds parted
while others grew richer in hue.
The night sky invoked diamonds,
blood, velvet…
The ocean: cascades of sapphire,
liquid jade…
Sometimes it was the wind
whispering in the trees,
Sometimes a mosquito's whine,
or a crow
raucous in the compost
at dawn.
There were days I heard everything,
and still days
I could not bring myself to listen.

There were mornings I awoke dissolved
by an apparent parade of dreams…
And afternoons of fever,
when my hair went uncombed,
my pockets overflowed
with paper scraps hastily scrawled,
each word a fragile branch
at the precipitous edge.
It was an exhilarating madness,
fear laced
with ecstasy,
the wings of a schoolgirl's crush.

And I had thought I was alive
before, but saw then
just how shallow
my breathing had been

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Honorable Mention

L. Darlene Simmemon

(A pantoum)

We sleep beneath ourselves -
In our undisclosed torment -
This room hiding echoes
Our hearts soon absorb

In confidential torment,
We launder the night;
Our hearts skillfully absorbing
Our own soulish whispers.

We launder the night
And listen intently -
Our own soulish whispers
Have no place to go;

So listen intently
As we garner dead branches
(Having no place to go)
And spread them like linens.

We gather dead branches,
And lie down upon them
(Having spread them like linens)
Wishing for softness, we absorb one another.

We lie upon branches
(Asleep and beneath us)
Wishing for softness - absorbing one another;
This room hiding weakness

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Honorable Mention

Sherrell R. Wigal

Funeral Roads

I think it was Glenn's new wife that said something 'bout the road.
I smiled, a weak smile, because it was a funeral, and I said,
"This is the way we bury our people."
Twenty, thirty, sometimes forty miles we come.
Off the main roads, out the paved roads,
sometimes beyond the rock base roads.
Through the gaps, through streams,
through fields,
we come this way, this lightly traveled way,
because here where our blood began,
where the dead can sleep with family.

In bad weather, and in winter
those with city-cars or no cars, pile in with us
who know the way to drive these roads.
Know how to "run" a snow-covered hill,
how to "ride" the ruts, how to open
and close a cattle gate.
Sometimes we come with wagon teams
and boots and overalls.

This is where we lay the bones of those we love.
Our women hold the dying, through the door of death,
slip watches, rings and memories into their apron pockets.
Our men go early for the digging,
pausing at the other markers,
remembering, with the turn of each spade,
this one, and the others who made our lives complete.

This is the way we bury our people.
We bring them home across these roads,
these hard funeral roads to remind us
that this living and this dying are not easy.

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Honorable Mention

Sue Neufarth Howard


Milky blimp clouds scuttle
on a windy romp
     cavort on egg blue lawn
tumble roughneck
like gamboling schoolboys
     play tag with the wind
          revel in hide and seek
                    with buoyant kites
                         translucent stars
     tussle in a tug of war
     with a sun ray
          pinch angel wings
crawl belly down
to touch the tips of mountains
          suck lemony candy
          of afternoon moons
playful air show
     hammock view

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Honorable Mention

Megan Elaine Davis

Fascinating Creature

It is nice to think how one can be recklessly lost in a daisy!
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Recklessly lost in a daisy, she said.
But I think the daisy was lost in her.
A fascinating creature
she should have made a study of herself:
petal by petal, the intricacies of her mind.
We go all our lives not knowing who we are
until we find we rhyme with someone else.
I wish I could have known me
while I was still alive.

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Honorable Mention

Shelley Klammer

The Pages of Books

Liquid lines
Resting into wrinkles
Life is too kind to laugh about.
Drawing my hands
intricately to my face
My fingers touch wide places.

Around my edges
a careful unfolding.
I smell like sleep.
A good rest.
My mind the pages of books.

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Honorable Mention

Barbara Burtchett

Cries From Within

Spirit of the mountain
run wild, run free
Seek ancient power hidden
in deep whale eyes
Arise from darkness
of great parting waters
Waiting, I follow your
last footprints in snow

North winds beckon us
into a land of seven dreams
Wolf moon lights our lonely path,
waves carry us on restless seas
Two souls forever drifting
leaving dry desert bones behind
My winter bird sings
deep in the belly of a whale

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