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Welcome to Garden 409 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for the week of April 9, 2004.

Poetry Gardens of Fame Index

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fourth Place


Marilyn Hansen

The Fire Flute

Keening Tarahumari fire flute
richochets ancient sounds off the
adobe mission walls,
catapulting kindred spirits to early Mayan times.

Imagine—the old man, swaying like a flame,
piercing the night air with his music,
weaving the drama of the
roaring ocean and warble of birdcalls
into the tapestry of the night.

Seduced spirits shuttle across the magical loom,
laced by torch-lit shadows of
lavender, holly oak and cactus.
Language of old is reborn.

Listening with their fibers,
artisans weave their souls
together, honoring their craft.

While the wizardry of the loom and the reed on fire
transpire them,
weavers of the world unite in their cause,
the warp and woof in their lives.

Old enemies, divided issues become discordant threads,
scuttled aside for the creation of the moment.
Beckoned spirits follow the magic of the muse.

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Richard Hammer

Peace Now

And from that seeming place
of darkness and separation
a fear arose that

My brother is not like me.
He is different, and he
sees me as being different too.

In this mutually held unlikeness,
we strive in littleness, pain and sorrow,
pleading guilty to a disremembered act,

Pursuing diverging paths of rights and wrongs,
accumulating errors, and judgments
through the shifting mists of closing time.

But there is a mountain top of consciousness
beyond anger, strife, and creed,
beyond history, hurts, and greed,

A unity of brotherhood that now is
and always has been
known as Peace,

Where hate is healed
by recognition of the Light
of sameness

and Truth is seen
as the reality transcending
a single you and me.

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Makini Raziya Slaughter

Reminiscent Muse

As he delicately struck the keys
A minor chord began to echo in her ears
He rose off the podium and threw down his baton.
“Darling, remember the time when we ....”
Forced smile tells the epic story
vermillion blush covers sapphire bruises
cadenza of chortles is all that was heard
a once-perfect harmony, now disjunct and diminished
a wholeness subdivided into qu ar ter s
staccato statements from the remnants of his muse
improbable to know how this rhapsody will unfold
no accelerandos.
her life is in lingo like a breath-stealing fermata.
the conductor alone has the power
leaving this one-woman orchestra hanging suspense fully
unfinished symphony . . .

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Nikki Conleay

Dances on the Wind

A warm glowing fire sheds light
upon the darkened sky.
Drums pound in rhythm and
cast a hypnotic trance.
The smell of sage combines with the
crisp night air for purification.
And the voices of the tribal people
come together in chanting.

Arms raise in offering to
the twilight stars above.
In hopes of reconnecting with the
beloved spirits of their dead.
A feeling of unity flows through
each of the dancers' fingertips.
And their prayers are carried out
through the dances on the wind.

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