Poetry Contest

Announcing the Sixth Annual Yule Love It Lavender Farm Poetry Contest

Stalks of sunlit lavender
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.

Poetry Content Guidelines:

•    Open to adults, one poem per person.
•    Poem must relate to the theme and general audience (no profanity or reference to alcohol or substance abuse).
•    Poetry of any form.
•    30 line limit.
•    Printed in Times New Roman 12 pt font. Please DO NOT include your name on the poem. This will disqualify your entry.
•    With your printed poem, include an index card with your PRINTED name, poem title, address, email, and phone number.
•    Mail to: Poetry Contest, PO Box 61, Lakeville, MI 48366.
•    Deadline: Postmarked no later than FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021.
•    Winners will be notified via phone by June 14.
•    Winners' poetry will be published on www.irisfarmandletters.com and in the Tri-City Times newspaper.
•    Awards will be mailed to the address on the index card.

Awards: First Place: $150, Second Place: $100, Third Place: $75

PDF of contest guidelines

Person in white hat and blue shirt tending a garden.







2020 Poetry Contest Winners

First Place: Liza Young, Sterling Heights, Michigan

A Consequence of Warmth

I am leaning into the melon,
ready to wedge the red fruit
for lunch, the voices of my grown
children laughing at memories
formed in this sanctuary, contorted
in time and I ease into a smile.
A summer breeze whisks the wind
chimes edging the deck, the tune ethereal
and pleading, leaves of the sugar
maple barter an answer, and I smile
at the mystery of language. The pop
crunch of an apple skin, the rip tear
of celery, the suck slurp
of watermelon, the symphony
of food, manna passed hand
to hand like a last supper. The last sputter
of the pot brewing coffee, its nutty
roasted aroma wafting
the room, the sullen saxophone
of a Dexter Gordon CD and I lean
into my husband’s shoulder. We share
a smile watching the quiet camaraderie
of our children, a benediction
at day’s end. And later, slipped
between his chest and arm, soaking
in words he has whispered
Again and again like a covenant,
I breathe to the beat of my husband’s heart
and wonder at the fading cadence of this hosanna.


Second Place: Jack D. Ferguson, Auburn Hills, Michigan


Brunch is best
with family, friends
and winged pollinator,
Papilio glaucus.

Eggs over grits, asparagus
coffee and melon;
a common meal deemed ceremonial
by a butterfly
ruffling marigold petals.

Sunlight coaxes nectar.
Pollen pistils scrubbed clean
until, in dappled shade,
beneath leaves lent
by a gingko,
we rest, restore, recreate
in quiet Sabbath repast.

Third Place: Joyce Harlukowicz, Rochester, Michigan


I drift down the front porch polished wood steps,
settle on the bottom tread
a choice seat in the evening’s amphitheater.
The sun’s candle fades in the west.
The leverets emerge from safe harbor in the wetlands weeds,
lap and gnaw the lawn’s new grasses, under the doe’s
sly watchful gaze. So much beauty, so much love.
Overhead, the gulls soar in onshore breezes, kites without strings,
celestial buoys, eastward to open water
and safety for the night. The slow song of another kingdom.
Mare’s Tails soften the receding light, brush strokes
of devotion in the descending coolness.
Shorebirds rattle and call, lay claim
to secret places on the beachfront. So much given,
so few who know. The black rags of loneliness
Cleanse the temple.

Do not hurry. The calendar has nothing to do with it.
We are here, in this place, at this moment, the quick wings of twilight,
near the satin water’s edge, like a hundred
or a thousand other places this evening. I stand to stretch.
It is time when time itself stops to visit and say,
linger, tarry, sit down, I have something 
plenary for you. How long is there room for love
in your heart? Does it settle under
a watchful eye? Does it seek safety on
the shoreline of hope?

Robins will still sing down the eventide.