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Welcome to Estate 1107 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for the Poetic Idol contest ending November, 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


Richard Hammer

Richard Hammer lives in Southwest Florida where he teaches yoga. He sees an existing, inherent wholeness and vibrancy in all of life and aspires to convey that in his teaching and poetry. Frequently, he incorporates poetry while teaching yoga, particularly yin yoga classes, and advocates the use of poetry as therapy, both reading of others and the writing of one's own. Much of his style of writing is similar to that of published poet and yogini, Danna Faulds.

Most recent book read, "The Zahir", by Paul Coelho.
Current daily practice book, "Transform Your Life - A Year of Awareness Practice", by Cheri Huber

Current Wisdom Quotes:
"Without action, without decision, you remain in possibility, which is safe and beautiful but eventually enervating and boring."
- Jennifer Louden

"Close your eyes. Feel your heart."
- Zack (age 3)

Richard has a website at

Earth Work

To touch the earth and smile. This is enough.
Yet there is that yearning for the wind to carry me
beyond this place.

I would know the perfection that is this moment
Yet allow the wonder of it to remain unclaimed.

I am consumed by the sun of my being.
It feeds upon itself unconfined, a burning
to create the light for each new step.

The questions of what makes this soil red,
how far the universe extends, and the possibility
of soul mates remain unanswered

While the inch worm works its way
along the edge of a nearby leaf.

As first place winner in the Poetic Idol Competition, Richard won a prize package that includes a $200.00 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 a two week FREE Artella membership, which includes a subscription to the Daily Muse. Click here for contest details.

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Kimberlee Gerstmann

Dinner Hour

Late-70s evening
watching M*A*S*H* in
front of a 19-inch
color Toshiba, sans cable;
antenna only.
Hawkeye Pierce,
    a surrogate father,
during the dinner hour.

In the midst of peaceful
noshing, a fight erupts
between the girl and the boy.
No one admits who
    It was the boy.
started it. Its evolution
no longer matters;
annoyance supersedes a
mother's patience.

Her children stare
as she tells them
what brats they are to
ignore the extravagance
of takeout food on
    her non-existent budget.
Hawkeye cracks a joke.
Mom does not laugh; her
temper glows mustard yellow.

Emotional fireworks
explode, culminating
with a splat.
Mom, feasting on rage,
    do you want fries with that?
flings a fist-squished
against the living
room wall,
shooting loaded syllables
at her children

who hear only three
out of every five
angry words,
(but feel the sting
that stays with them for years)
and watch
in wide-eyed horror, frozen, as
the one-bite-missing
to the floor,
leaving a bloody trail
of condiments
    and a straggling pickle
behind its bun.

the boy's (female) cat
runs to the wreckage.
Small white teeth
nibble eagerly
on the mangled victim;
licking beef-stained lettuce
from her fortunate
shag-carpet picnic.
    "I need a drink!"
Hawkeye shouts in his
tinny, non-stereo voice.

Mom starves
on the couch alone;
salty tears
washing down
her dinner while
    kids pass the ketchup in silent shame.
the final credits roll.

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Patricia A. Boutilier

Tres Leches


I bake a tres leches
for the Mother's Day feast,
cold, grainy, milky,moist,
a last, sweet promise
to my gathering family
that I can still nurse them
with the wisdom of God,
though my breasts are dry,
my belly slack.


Hours before, I stood
sweltering in the Florida humidity,
silently witnessing for peace,
meditating on what change
I can effect in the world,
watching a teen-age mother
wipe dandelion milk
from her toddler's sticky fingers.


Now, at twilight, the grandchildren and I,
dance ring-around-the-rosie
splashing in the pool
as we all fall down
under the Milky Way.
My daughter sits cross-legged
beneath the budding red-orange poinciana
suckling her youngest.
Above, I hear the humming
of all my great, silent grandmothers
streaming through the heavens.

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Special Recognition

Megan Davis

Friday Flowers

I stand in the center of the room
clutching books, clutching phone,
my Tuesday flowers in a corner of my desk
I never would have cleaned so soon
but for Friday flowers,
and where to put them?
I see rain sounds, hear water thoughts.
Some crazed bird purports to sing.
Some impetuous thunder
grips me up and down.
Windows open, and alone,
I stand in the center of the room.

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Special Recognition

Amanda Moore

King of the Mountain

This is where the armies meet;
swings now still in after-dinner gloom,
slides whose empty chutes gleam in young moonlight,
monkey bars lonely for monkeys.
Pavement pictures will be erased by overnight rain;
drop by drop, smearing smiley faces and animals
that only walk and stalk in imagination and chalk.
This is where you find friends
and lose them again to casualties.
This is where battles you fight for respect
and the right to play in the tower are held.
This is where you learn to fall,
and get up, and keep playing the game.
This is where you discover frogs,
the opposite sex, and life is unfair.
This is where you realize the meaning of life,
then it disappears with your childhood.
This is where that grassy hill in the meadow
that triples as a soccer or baseball field or another world,
is a mountain, and you could be king of where the armies meet.

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Special Recognition

Carol E. Ayer

Afternoon at Grandfather's

We drove past oil refineries
in our usual state of discord,
crossed the railroad tracks
in an argument with no caboose.

When we arrived we had snacks--
the cheese,
like the conversation,
too strong for me;
the dip an octave too bitter.

The others ate rum ice cream
while I watched the Brady Bunch
in a room long since abandoned.

I unwrapped a Hostess cupcake,
its artificial taste a reminder
that life, like this day, was only sweet
in make-believe.

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Special Recognition

David W. Clary

Carpinteria in Winter

The fire’s out.
Aways, down the beach,
over the dune that we used to lie on,
the waves slap the shore;
beat on it like futile condemnation.

I’m shivering from the cold
that crept in as the last log
collapsed and gave up
and the fog rolled in to shutter the stars.

Still, in the pit,
proudly dying,
the orange embers of this great
consuming fire

Hoping, as the life pours out
of them like marbled lava
that something - anything -
will come
summon the flames again.

But it’s late. And I’m tired.
And you went to bed ages ago.
I pour the water,
and watch love sputter and die.

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Special Recognition

Carol Moore

Mountain Moments

Sleep and I are dancing around
She has just not settled over
My mind
It surges with thoughts, things, and layers of emotions
Maybe too much caffeine
Or, just a menopause morning
Up before the starlings and cowbirds
Fighting over the copper birdbath
One-week an indigo bunting
The next week cowbirds

A robin has taken to pulling worms out of the garden
He comes several times a day
Two morning doves joined him
Eating seeds cast from residue of weed pulling
Cardinals, sparrows, finches, blue jays,
An abundance of birds call our yard home
Home to the largest holly tree in town
Home to a woman getting ready to pack art swaps
Before she crawls back into bed.

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