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Welcome to Garden 406 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for April, 2006.

Poetry Gardens of Fame Index

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fourth Place


Julie Arendt

Quite frankly, I forgot I submitted my piece until I received an email - "Hey Julie, you won!" I just got out of high school, fresh with the inspiration of my creative writing teacher (who forced me to submit my stuff), and I have a itching passion for poetry. I hope to publish a book of poems in the future, however far ahead of me that may be. I love Sharon Olds, Marge Piercy, and Homer.

Before Going Home

The glass-stained dragonflies played
mind games on a swamp’s haze
deflecting the light
and cutting dizzy rays
all through my eyes

one skipping stone away
from going home.

breath wilts in the heat
the oily lily pads
leak gas and hiss
dancing up to kiss my cheeks
with fever
from the swollen day.

but I caught one, and
beyond the pinking water
and the tears they rolled away from, laughing –
that crawdad was mine.

the hours spent
only told by the oil stain on the aquarium tank
and the red pressed into my forehead
watching you
suffocate in the pure water
crawl into your mud cave
and die.

Back to the swamp, back to the
putrid odor of rot and bacterial feces
back to where only poisoned pores could live,
I laid you
where you belonged with the muddy silt
That I wrung in my hands
one last time.

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Christopher E Earley

The Stairs

Thinking of those old, wooden steps,
Most days,
Their beaten treads,
Sturdy rails.
Thinking of the soles,
And souls,
Who have passed over.
The sea below them,
Calls out with waves.

Thinking of days past,
Seasons past.
Winters here,
Towering, angry seas,
Sometimes workable rights.

Days of no sand,
Hard blue rocks that hurt my feet.
Of cold, foggy mornings,
Seeing only the tops,
Of breaking waves.

Dog days of summer,
Not an inch to spare.
Children build,
Castles made of sand.

Offshore mornings,
Winds called Santa Ana,
From where they do not blow,
Spray onto your deck,
Wetting smiling faces.

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Robert Geise

His Kiss

It lingers,
like cigarette smoke
in hair and clothes,
stale and familiar.

It insinuates,
a drunken whore
uninvited to a party
but showed up just the same.

It’s a spider,
black and hairy
scaling the back of my neck,
threatening to pierce a vein with its bite
and inject a venom
that makes me cold,
robotic and static,
loving only him.

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Diana Bocco

10 Things You Took With You When You Left

the reasons for chamomile tea over coffee
the logic of walking barefoot on a floor of pine needles
the promise of long hair the next time I saw you
the tang of cinnamon curling in the kitchen
the only chance I had to ever play the accordion
the dog-eared paperbacks on Sunday evenings
the secret recipe for extra salty biscuits
the unfamiliar song we used to hum at midnight
the why and how of your pink linoleum floor

the pledge that you would never leave me alone

to face the monster

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