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Welcome to Garden 7001 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for December, 2006/January 2007.

Poetry Gardens of Fame Index

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fourth Place


Carl Palmer

dinner theater

into the menu your smiling
cheeks reflect candlelit
white tablecloth islands
amid the carpeted scurry
of busboys and waiters
in the backdrop of our night

tinkling laughter and ice cubes
accompany depths of conversation
overheard yet unheard
from couples in quorum
around the raised platform
at the center of the room

noises diminish with
dimming lights as
all eyes are drawn
to the spot center-stage
except mine
which are upon you

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Melissa Kulhanek

Winter Tale

In my window frame
Dark branches of a tree,
Like birds,
Pecking on my brain
And on breadcrumbs.

Gentle fingers knocking on the glass,
Calling for me to leave.

I long for Italy’s
Adriatic coast,
Where narrow streets are white,
Even the pavement.
Blindingly white
Against the bluest blue
Of the skies,
The ocean azure,
Sirocco winds from Africa.

In my mirror
Forever your hazel eyes.
I am, again, watching you shave,
Watching you
Put in your contact lenses
So you could see me better.

I am washing your long black hair
Long out of fashion;
We speak Russian,
Just for fun.

I am trying to imagine
What you looked like.
A little Lakota boy
Running with your summers
On the Reserve.

You went back to your tribe,
Now millennia old,
Your hair in braids.
You were too young
And I, Mrs. Robinson
Now dead to Italy.

You no longer read to me
From Purgatory.
You don’t tell me Yale college jokes,
You don’t slowly spin my head
With Milton.
We no longer read
Turgenev, Pushkin,
To each other
In Russian tundra winds.

My doctor Faustus left
For his tribe,
Now millennia old,
His hair in braids,
My Paradise Lost.

I would have given you all of my heart.
Now it’s broken in the Hart House.
My philosopher’s stone,
Is cold to touch, professor
And I am dead to the world.

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Jennifer Adkins

Feeling the Green Grass

My fingers sink, naked, into the microcosm.
Moisture sticks to the loam as it sifts like sand
Down into the waiting blades,
Sticks to flesh,
Rises up once again with the idle motions and falls again.
Living things, crawling things are born and die here.
Organisms so small they can disappear,
Teleport to exposed skin and strike, sending
the syrupy poison into unprotected veins.
I momentarily think of this as I sit here,
in the dark, eating fast food.
How unsanitary, how disgusting. But,
the world is right tonight and means me no harm.
I stretch my questing hand anew.
Twigs and unidentifiable objects. Specks, scraps,
odds and ends of the soft earth.
Remnants from another time. Artifacts that
fought for sunlight. Whose memory do I crush now
with an idle flick of my thumb?
The grass is unrelenting. It swallows the silky sediment.
I force my fingers through the roots, feel the gritty purchase underneath.
And beneath this, what else?
My hand presses, hard, as if delving into the depths.
I imagine the power, the light contained,
surrounded by cool, quiet rock. I imagine
my doppelganger, pressed against the other side,
mimicking my motions on the far side of the earth.
She smiles, I smile.
          Is real.

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Erica Staab Westmoreland


There is a gentle power, a subtle shift, a sigh, when we surrender.

The time when we are able to release what we believe, what we hold dear, what we are fighting for.

We stand tall in the knowledge that they will remain until we are able to pack them up again.

Surrender to the fatigue, the tiredness, the exhaustion.

Release yourself of the idea that you are the only one, that you are the one that this fight depends on.

Relax into the gentle arms of the one that loves you, of the soft pillows upon your bed, feel yourself gently slip away into the sudsy warm water of a bath.

Let it go.

This is not yours to carry alone.

Stop fighting, stop struggling,

silence the chorus in your head.


Allow yourself the break, or the fatigue will break you.

For the moment just






Find the strength in letting go.

You have permission.

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