Poetry Contest

Announcing the Winners of the Sixth Annual Yule Love It Lavender Farm Poetry Contest

> Poetry Contest Winners Archive

Theme: The color of summer

Judge's bio:

Linda K. Sienkiewicz's poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, Permafrost, Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, The MacGuffin, Paterson Literary Review and Calyx. She won Heartlands poetry chapbook award, has three other published poetry chapbooks and a Pushcart Prize nomination. Her debut novel, In the Context of Love, has five finalist awards. Her most recent publication is a children's book, Gordy and the Ghost Crab, which she wrote in rhyme and illustrated. Her MFA is from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine.



To Draw a Rainbow

Pink florescence unfurls.
The tight loop, freed by arthritic hands
blue with cold, tickles the tannin-stained stream.
An old man imagines his grandson alongside, and together,
by his hand, teaches him to read the tributary waters they wade.

He watches. Gazes upon the opposite bank
awash in saffron nettles that sting exposed wrists and sees…
beyond the cattails, below the hemlock,
the cherry red of wake robin planted
beside a root beer float river
ripe with browns, brookies, coasters
and once, not so long ago, grayling.

In the dappled splash of apricot sun
an olive deceiver disappears. The tightness
of line revives the essence within.
Hand over hand, his rosary recited in solitude.

Here, in a place sacred to no-see-ums,
swarms of bronze mosquitos and cobalt dragonflies,
he bows, net in hand, amidst a jubilee tabernacle
of plum and purple shadows and vows:
The boy will learn to draw a rainbow from the river.



The Fun Season

In youth, I thought of summer
    as a 3-D kaleidoscope
    filled with colored, scented
    gemstones reflected six ways.
Emerald green cartwheels across the lawn,   
    fresh-cut grass tickled our noses
    and stuck to bare feet.
Orange push-ups, freeze tag, we giggled
    mad dash around the yard,
    while tongues strained to un-stick
    lips and fingers.
Sapphire blue pool, we swam circles,
    splashed chlorine tinged water
    as lips turned purple ‘til mom wrapped
    us in beach towels, poured sweet lemonade.
Tin-copper sips from the garden hose,
    moonstone grey days, fickle rain,
    sitting in faded jeans on damp
    wicker chairs by the smoky fire.
A slight turn of Michigan’s kaleidoscope,
    the gems that were our summer days
    would reset to another prismatic slice
    of rainbow joy.



True North

Do we have a language for the world of green
A synesthesia of the scent of pine
The gossip of poplars
Or fresh mown grass
The deep beauty of ferns giving depth
To the dusk of a forest’s edge

Every morning I watch
The fire of the Sun
Rise from his bed in a cobalt lake
Scattering diamonds across the waters
A gift, the heat of a summer day
The forever blue of the sky

Each August and usually in July
I paint my toes
That particular shade of tangerine
It glows against my summer tan
Framed by the shreds of faded jeans
Last year’s white sandals

Is there a word for purple
Where the sunset fades to dusk
Where berries stain our fingertips
Is magenta an electric name for hibiscus
Faces raised to the Sun
Bursting yellow at their hearts

Does the chorus of insects
Sing me to sleep
As the coals of my campfire
Glow red
Beneath a gentle blanket of smoke