Selected Photos, Art, and Poetry: Flights of Fancy

by Julia Campbell

For the next eight pages, we present the soaring talents of some of our contest winners. Our judges caught wind of what these artists, photographers, and writers were trying to communicate, and their talents definitely showed through. See if what they have produced doesn’t cause your own creativity to take off.

[photo] Contemplating Solitude by Joseph A. Ehat

Where I’m From …

I’m from the rough bark and tight
purple-red skin of cherries
in the summer. I’m from mud pies
baking on a hot aluminum slide
and crisp green beans.
I’m from the highest peaks, the
whispering aspens,
the trees with purple leaves, and
cracks in the sidewalk
that makes a continuing ssswump
sound when my bicycle goes over them.
I’m from the mud at the bottom of
puddles that stay all summer,
the smell of horses, and
brushing their sleek
bodies. I’m from a house
made of piles of crunchy brown leaves.
I’m from the knothole in the fence
where I could watch
other children playing, and the five-
foot-high tire that finally
brought them to me. I’m from huge
snowballs rolled by 20 children at
I’m from shady spots where I played
dentist, pulling out the rocks I
thought were the earth’s loose teeth,
and uniforms of plaid jumpers,
white shirts, and brown, black, or
navy blue shoes.
I’m from dandelions wrapped in soggy
paper towels, and Strawberry Short
Cake tennis shoes with Velcro laces.
I’m from bedtime stories of Pink
Nose, Orange Toes, and Freddy Fire
Engine told around a night-light.
I’m from the walk-in refrigerator that
keeps apples fresh. I’m from
backing a boy into a corner in kindergarten,
with every intention of
kissing him, because he owned the
most beautiful boa constrictor I’d
ever seen.
I’m from crying in my closet, because
no one loved me,
and from feeling so happy I couldn’t
even laugh. I’m from the smell
of warm pine, rain, and mothballs.
I’m from the satin feeling of toe shoes,
and the squishiness of blisters.
I’m from the sight of light and oil
that make dead rainbows in parking
and from sunsets, and weeds growing
through cement.
I’m from the silence of snowfalls and
the crack of thunder. I’m from
ripe peaches, and macaroni and
cheese, and parsley, and chives,

Two Haiku

Masterful writing
Of haiku ability
Has vanished from me.
I can’t write haiku.
I always end up with just
Too many syllables.

Poem for Day Number 7,029

The crisping wind
Tangles my blonding hair
And blows the breeze
To an almost uncomfortable chill.
The Sun is a recluse—
Invisibly hiding,
From some unknown specter
Or behind another
Wind-whipped cloud.
The greened-over world
Tips a gentle smile
At our walking ways
And the blue of your eyes
Increases to coordinate
With nature’s color scheme.


If I could pull from you
the child you were,
I would rock her gently in my arms,
and hold her hand
until it stops shaking.
I would sing soporific lullabies,
leave the light on
all night,
and whisper, “I love you,”
before I close the door.
She would not sleep
in a dark corner that reeks of booze
and sweat, or wince
at every sound.
I would send her to school
in a brand-new dress
and shiny Mary-Janes,
so her classmates wouldn’t snicker
or exclude her from their games
of hopscotch and tag.
She wouldn’t have to wear
long-sleeved sweaters, in the summer,
to hide the bruises from home.
I would make sure
she was happy and knew love;
then I would lay her in your arms,
and we would watch her sleep

[photo] Inspired Majesty by Joseph A. Ehat

[photo] Book of Mormon Chessboard by Lendy C. Perez

[illustration] Deborah by Lendy C. Perez

[illustration] Aztec Version of a Great Nation by Lendy Perez

Purling Lessons

When thinking of summer
My mind greets the cracked, hot earth
Like my grandmother’s hands,
Slipping two lightning-blue needles
Into my clammy white palms.
Her worn, yellowed fingers
Slowly molded my hands
Around the soft yarn,
Weaving twilight knots
That vanished when I was alone.
She brought out her basket,
A cloud of intricate designs
Whispering a woodwind voice in my ear:
“This one is for your family next Christmas.”
Her hands held a thin cobweb of cloth
Fluid and familiar as rich brown milk.
“Don’t tell them about it; it’s a surprise.”
I kept the secret (maybe too well);
Time wears hard on such things
After cocooning within it by firelight,
Finding a handy tent within its folds
Or mashing it together for a pillow;
Time can surely wear hard—
But I remember, Grandmother.
It rests on my bed now;
The fringe is no longer a feathered mist;
Its pattern waltzes madly about,
But I remember—
I remember needles dancing,
Reflecting the suns of summers past,
The bright sharp shards of memory,
And two gnarled hands
Creating beauty, like magic, from nothing.

New and Used

When I peeled away the plastic,
The cover was smooth and clean.
The pages were crisp, like an apple,
And the gilded edges gleamed.
The binding crackled as
I opened the pages;
The first breath of a babe,
Waking up from the ages.
The magnificent tome was unblemished.
And wouldn’t be useful till tarnished.
Years later,
The cover was battered,
And within it,
The pages were tattered.
Any one leaf
Would meet your gaze
With a flood of colors
Like the map to a maze.
Each little nugget
I’d found in my quest,
Had been marked and noted,
Then put to the test.
This book had a price, years ago.
Its value now? You cannot know.

[illustration] Tiger Eye by Jenny Curtis

[illustration] Tusks by Jenny Curtis

[illustration] Behind Bars by Jenny Curtis

[photo] Redwood and Leaves by James B. Comstock

The Anonymous Carol

The author’s name
Lost in time,
The carol shines
Without it.
But words and tune
Bear witness
Of his love for
This timeless praise,
Sung for years,
Brings no praise to
Its writer.
But if Christlike
Minds write such
Hymns, perhaps he
Prefers to
Remain nameless.

Memory #2079

Days when air conditioning escaped
our lint-lined pockets, I ride
a dusty Datsun with Dad,
arm wrestle the wind. I lose
when I want to, an arm frozen
in motion, gripping teeth and white
knuckles pushing to a rear-
view mirror. A hand wrapping
my thigh scares me into
letting go; I lose our war
this day, meeting him here
tomorrow, to scream at clouds,
to high-five my barrier,
to play.

[illustration] House in Watercolor by Nachelle L. Stucki

[photo] Ancient Stairway by Matthew T. Cook

[photo] Granite and Water by James B. Comstock


Earth’s gravity pulls my body
to the brittle ground,
twisting weak ankles and scarred feet.
Struggling beyond limits
my joints tire, until they
refuse to hold me upright.
I rest and read of Him
who healed the lame, let the blind
see the sun.
My body yearns for the day
when He will carry me
on eagle’s wings.
I will be in His arms and He will
lift me far from
the grasp of gravity.


Is a firework,
Climbing invisibly into the night sky,
Then bursting into a collage of color,
Whistling and shouting in frivolity,
Sparkling brilliantly as it falls,
Dying with the dazzle of a show-
stopping finale.

[photos] Kites by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki. Photography by John Luke.