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Welcome to Estate 1007 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for the Poetic Idol contest ending January, 2007.

Where they are available, 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


Matt Beatty

Matt is currently finishing his English degree with an emphasis in creative writing. It shall be received in August. He works with fiction and poetry, and he's gathering his stories and poems to be put together in some form or another in the near future, along with progressive work on a first novel. He keeps busy with his wife and three kids (third just added in March!), works with computers during the day and writes through the dead hours of night like a vampire. All facets of life are inspiration.

The christening

This morning I rode home
through falling leaves and fluttering snow,
with crimson forearms and a drunkard's cheeks.
The clouds hung in black quilted cotton overhead,
dirty and heavy and close.

Stormwater stole up from the streets in a haze--
a low-lying steamy fog,
a locomotive apparition without an engine--
heated by the still-lit streetlamps
in the dim morning twilight.

Droplets fell from the trees on my face,
and brittle grains of snow,
like the white gypsum sands of New Mexico,
settled on my bare arms and I slapped at them,
stung them with wet palmprints.

But high overhead, far above me in the west,
a small clearing lay open in the sapphire sky,
and a star shone down on that sleeping city
(where industry often outshines everything):
Sirius, star-king of the night,
muzzle of the great dog.

And on his right I saw his master,
an unmistakable shape, those stars I knew by name:
the shaman, the peaceful warrior,
man of the mountains and of animals,
kin of Enkidu.

That celestial figure,
an arrangement so familiar to my love.
The name we had discussed,
that I had thought of as a boy,
that we had agreed upon--

because at home, her belly is
swollen like those hanging clouds,
filled and ready to burst, to release.
And the small boy within--
he is at once ours,
growing, fantastic, mythological,
and yet still one and the same
with that watcher in the sky.

As first place winner in the Poetic Idol Competition, Matt won a prize package that includes a $150.00 cash prize; an e-Chapook of his poetry (up to 20 poems), attractively created and published for his 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 his choice of Artella e-courses, the Artella eBook, "Behind the Veil", his choice of any e-Artella issue, and one month FREE Artella membership. Click here for contest details.

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Karen Stone

Mermaid Heart

I want my mermaid self.
I want to return to the chilly salty skin.
Feel my heart drift down to the deep places where it need only beat every year or so -
And be safe,
Float free,
In solitude,
In reflection,
Listening to waves roar on beaches immeasurably distant.

Myself to sit,
Skin a luminous lamp for those who know where to look,
And how to see.

To comb out my hair with driftwood.
Scatter green stars from my eyes.

I want that vastness in my gaze,
And the deep murmuring in my ears.
Strangeness -
In my own skin,
So that loved and friend look on me with the sudden fear of
not knowing.

Quite right.

They do not know even the smallest thing.

In my mermaid self, the distance between knowing and not is infinite,
And impossible to chart.

And in my mermaid self,
My poor, warm, beating, feeling heart can rest.
Remote and unafraid.
A mermaid heart.

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Deborah Gilchrist


Brilliant finery bends
in stark contrast
against the pewter sky

Mourners swaying in rhythm
bow their heads
to greet sorrow's damp chill

With such swiftness,
summer's passing... in her wake,
orphaned sunflowers weep

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Honorable Mention

Audette Sophia


The busy bees are gathering the nectar
Melting the gold nuggets into honey
Sweet silk in the throat
Singing prism source drops
At the tip of my tongue

And raining down in rhythmic dispensations Like moon phases Lessons find crystalline completion on pages That’s why sages are poets And birth love maps For ages of souls to follow To those sweetest of places...

The Alchemists strived to turn lead to gold Transmutation of elements Assisted transformation To partake and participate in the laws of Creation Boil substance to essence Distillation...

Branches are fed by the root
The seed contains the blueprint of the tree And the love of soil and sun creates the fruit The fruit of me is this poetry

That wild muse that inspires me
The slippery one that sings & skips & laughs And winks at me Between her giggles she drops great secrets Gives gems that dissolve as soon as you try to keep it Yet also stay and caress in unexplainable ways

Sometimes I yield to these irrational plays And follow shimmering threads through the dreary of days

Let my soul be pulled
Even as my mind strays
Into fantastic fantasy planes
Painting rainbow realms on top of the bleak greys

This is the transmutation of poison
We touch in the stretching imagination
Reciprocal story spell progression
Emancipation within expression

This is the bees making honey
Out of all the nectar they’re carrying
This is the humans making beauty
Out of all the blessings and the suffering

This is where compost feeds blossoms
And wings free seeds to travel
Maps curled deep within
Begin to unravel...

And the pressure makes the diamond
And the fire makes the heat
This is the bridge we build between
The bitter and the sweet
The head and the feet
The forest and the street
The clearing in the open space
Where contradictions meet
And friction fuels the wisdom
At paradoxes peak

So, Whatever you do
Don’t forget to seek
The beauty
That speaks through
This intelligently irrational
And ever divine
In You

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Honorable Mention

Mark Moss


Autumn winds chase golden children
away from the outstretched fingers,
setting their course
with a blow that swirls them
until they return,
gathering in heaps and huddling for warmth
beneath the barren boughs.

Across the street, the driveway fills with cars
that empty wind-blown passengers
bearing traditions beneath foil lids,
while bubbling, giddy children
brush the frost from the lawn with racing footfalls
toward warm, welcoming smiles
and gathering arms.

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Honorable Mention

Brenda Silberman


The journey began before my first steps.
Reaching the river
The currents - imposing and strong.
Like statues we waited,
Rooted on land,
Afraid of the water,
Drowning in habit,
And too far away to see the future.
Yet, like droplets feeding a stream,
As one we moved forward.
Cautious voices,
Quiet tears,
Hope clutched tightly.
Looking down, traces in the mud
Of prints barely there.
On the wind,
Melodies old and faint,
Familiar voices almost heard.
Raising my eyes,
Faces visible in the wall of water.
My youngest sister.
Our grandfather.
With the motion of the current,
One became another.
Grandfather's beard tangled in my sister's dark hair.
Faces dissolving and reforming.
Some familiar,
Others not.
An unspoken plea -
Carry us with you!
Walking forward
Stride more deliberate,
When at last my foot touched shore,
My step was light.
But it echoed with the strength of many others.
Carrying them still,
As the journey continues.

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Honorable Mention

Dawn Richerson


Punctured thoughts
fly from your page, splintered
like thorns that pierce clean through
my absolute obedience to no one,
this celebrated spirit of defiance.

Plainly said,
you get under my skin.
Throbbing, swelling.
Inner discomfort grows
as vulnerability is exposed.

I bleed forgetfulness.
Color floods my cheeks.
All at once, I remember I am.

Pleasure erases
pain’s trace, and I surrender.

Your questions
lodge themselves in me, press into
soft tissue, awakening me. I fold and fall
open as crimson petals; priorities
rearranged, essence pricked.

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Honorable Mention

Christopher Angell

Flower Shop

Somehow, kissing the tongue
from the pink palace of her mouth
Does not occur to me.
Suddenly we are in the doorway
in the doorway of a flower shop
after a giggly meal in a Chinese restaurant

We sit closer than our friendship permits testing the limits by leg angle, ankle swivel
Moaning with jokes that crack the armor on chests in the doorway, in the doorway of a flower shop wearing the wet shirts of flirtatiousness

She is so freckly and playful all my leaves sway a branch in my being arms my uncontrollable secret She is a petal that brushes my cactus without touching My clay pot is cracking from the uncurl of root This compost heart churns and steams.....

And these celibate brains in a bachelors cave for eighteen months of moldy nothingness, these Celibate brains burn candles down, drip hot wax Drip hot wax that hardens, my bellybutton, my bellybutton is a manhole cover holding snow white Snow white jellyfish flopping in a deep pond

Forgive me, forgive me in the doorway of a flower shop I am wanting to break in and steal orchids, swipe tigerlillies and present them in my mouth. Forgive me for plotting while you sleep, plucking daisies for luck, she loves me she loves me not, she loves me, in the doorway In the doorway of a flower shop..............

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