Just got word via email that this poem was a runner up in the Free Verse Category of The Ontario Poetry Society's "Winsome Words" poetry contest! I get a chapbook for my contribution.
The contest involved 18 words that had to appear in the poem. They were: star, percolate, majestic, evocative, blush, fan, breath, gather, ebullient, land, safe, pool, meandering, linoleum, aloe, tender, elapse, and long.
I have to take my hat off to Ruth Latta, who won first and second prize in the Rhyming Category, plus had one that was a runner up as well. I struggled for about 2 months to produce ONE poem, trying this tack and that, before finally just writing lines that came to me for each word and not trying to link them. This resulted in the following:
STONES FOR THE FIRE PIT
On the beach where you gather stones for the fire pit
Stories percolate like coffee on a cold morning,
Stories as new as the first time you ride a bike
Or land a fish,
Old as how you couldn’t wait to get away.
But now you’re back to watch the sky evolve from blue to blush
And the first star shines as it never could in a city.
No fan of winter, each year you long for its elapse,
Grow tired of watching ice form on the pool behind the house,
Smooth as linoleum, slick as aloe on a burn.
Here, the wind has pine on its breath,
Stick-figure trees unfurl their leaves,
Stand majestic once again
Upon the new and tender ground.
The chitter of newly-fledged flickers in the apple tree,
The two-tone song of chickadees,
Evocative of every spring you’ve ever known
Delights you, invites you to dance
On this sun-parched earth,
Eubullient as an eagle on a thermal,
Satisfied as any lover.
You know you’re safe here,
Meandering through the seasons.
Home at last; there’s nowhere else to go.