2009 Lyrical Passion Poetry Micro-Fiction Contest Winner

First place winner and honorable mention.

“We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.” – William Butler Yeats (1865- 1939)

MICRO-FICTION Competition – Winners!

1st Place, Dustin Putnam “Liminal Realm”

2nd Place, Ruth Schiffmann “In Ink”

3rd Place, James Tipton “Summer Picnic”


1st Place Prize – $ 200.00 (US) & Certificate
2nd $ 70.00
3rd $ 30.00

Honorable Mentions:

Dustin Putnam, “Back Country Bonanza”
James Tipton, “Lovers”
Grant Flint, “Once I Saved My Son”

Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine © 2007-2010

Lyrical Passion Poetry


A custard yellow and grey-green mottled hard-boiled egg yolk hangs low on the horizon, a pockmarked nightlight in the sky illuminating stray wisps of clouds pinned to the star speckled frontier overhead. Myriad facets of an agitated sea shimmer.

Hunched over my surfboard shrouded in a monk black wetsuit, I bob like a buoy staring into the void of night sitting chest deep in the wintry Pacific. Shivers vibrate from my bones sending shock waves through my body. A frigid offshore wind whispers in my ears and stabs at my back taunting patience, discipline, and endurance as I clutch my biceps straining to hold in warmth, and hold out against the creep of hypothermia.

Swells born in the oceanic wilderness thousands of miles away pass beneath me pounding the nearby rocky shoreline, the energy from a distant storm grinding the edge of the continent into cobblestones and sand like crumbs from a cookie. I float up over crests and down into troughs to the rhythms of the ocean, a babe in the cradle enjoying the motion. And wait.

A swell rolls out of the depths of night. Everything else ceases to exist, the wave a vehicle to an alternative universe. When racing down the face of a wave the world is left behind. Like slicing a nick in the fabric of time and entering another dimension for a fleeting moment before piercing back into reality. I slip into a liminal realm where the space between seconds stretches into something that matters. All burdens and concerns vanish. Where there is no cold. No problems. No pain. No job and no responsibilities. Not a worry in the world. There is no world. There is only a single minded focus on the wave and my relation to nature. And nothing else matters.


The blazing ball of fire in the sky beat down mercilessly searing the landscape. One by one they fell to the parched soil seeking refuge. Into the nooks, crannies, and crevices along the south facing slope, they hunkered down to endure the seasonal swelter in a timeless existential bout. Life squared off against the elements. A sparse scattering of pine and oak trees cast shadows across the golden hills, but in their exposed location provided no respite.

The year’s longest days dripped by like chilled honey. As summer faded into fall the promise of seasonal rains crept closer. Lying silently and unseen they waited.

After six months of oppressive heat, the only moisture that of morning dew, the rains came pattering down. Creeks gurgled to life. Grasses felted over the hills in a lush emerald carpet. Replenishment arrived, but they remained hidden amidst the flush of autumnal growth. Ingrained within their nature was an acute sense of timing. Their lives depended on it. To emerge too soon meant freezing to death as the depths of winter approached. Too late and they might fail in their sacred mission.

The approach of the vernal equinox signaled their “short dance in the sun” had arrived. Their shells, swollen with the waters fallen from the heavens, split. Their roots struck out burrowing into the stony mountainside seeking sustenance to sustain an ephemeral burst of colorful life. Their green shoots sprouted skyward reaching for the sun’s radiance. The shriveled, desiccated remains of last season’s kin disappeared; their neutral tones fading into the vibrancy of the next generation. In harmonious unison buds formed and popped open. As if the creation of a master artist, the once drab fields wavered in a glorious profusion of apricot and cobalt colored petals. The poppies and lupine once more triumphed.

* * * * *

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