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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: Yard of the Month
By Beth LaBuff


A hamlet in the heartland where
One’s social rank was prized,
Lived Sam and Lisa Tarian,
Their yard was over-sized.
It took Sam hours every week,
To cut, with riding mower,
The grass that grew within their yard,
Some weeks his time was slower.

He’d never been awarded,
(Lisa thought ‘twas sure a snub)
The sign that read, “Yard of the Month”
From hamlet’s Garden Club.
Through Lisa’s kitchen window
A rainbow-world revealed,
Were robins, cardinals, butterflies,
And emerald-colored fields.

Obsessed over the “Yard” award,
Sam read in Lawn and Yard
That “Landscaping with boulders
Is the latest –‘avant-garde,’
And fountains are so
Transform a yard that’s stark,
Use boulders that are graded and
Scribed with our chisel mark.”

“The chisel mark tells quality
And where the stone derived,
The grade, the weight, the color
Have all been categ’rized.
Display the chisel mark with pride!
When in your yard it’s placed,
Your friends can view the chisel mark –
Reflecting your good taste!”

“Of course, the choicest colors
Will be ash and charcoal gray,
And that, along with weight and grade,
Determine what you pay.
Our boulders are exquisite,
That’s why we’re world renowned,
And at this price they’re selling fast—
A mere ten cents a pound

It took all of their savings for
The purchase of the boulders,
But worth it for the Garden Club,
The eye of the beholder.
More bolder with each boulder placed,
Sam’s avant-garde finesse,
“Yard of the Month” would soon be his—
The Garden Club impressed.

Soon every inch of yard was filled
With monolithic boulders,
Just one small patch of grass remained,
The width of Lisa’s shoulders.
And now Sam’s work with riding mower
Took quarter of an hour.
Yard, ready for the Garden Club—
A landscaped boulder-bower.

But Lisa was despondent,
Her window view devoid
Of rainbow-colored anything,
Sighed “Humph” – clearly annoyed.
Now all she saw was various shades
Of ash and charcoal gray,
And pigeons roosting on the rocks
Her “Humph!” displayed dismay!

The Garden Club met at their house
Upon their patch of grass,
Had tea and finger sandwiches
‘Twas hamlet’s upper-class.
A dream-come-true for Lisa’s Sam,
To hob-knob and rub shoulders,
Conversing, though proved difficult,
Words echoed off the boulders.

Oh no! Too late! — for Lisa saw
Their yard, though avant-garde,
That pigeons roosted on the rocks
Left pigeon calling cards.
Then chairwoman of Garden’s Club
In covert move (sort of),
Touched what she thought was chisel marks,
It came off on her glove!

A “Humph” released from high-brow lips.
She spewed her cup of tea,
‘Cause what she thought was chisel marks
Was pigeon graffiti.
“Yard of the Month,” – their hopes now dashed,
(If one can presuppose)
“Your yard appears,” mocked Garden Club,
“Like Stonehenge in repose.”

Their life savings wrapped up within
The boulders on the ground,
Sam swears they got a bargain—
The cost— ten cents a pound!
The “Yard” award did not transpire
Because of boulder mountains,
But bestowed upon a neighbor,
In his yard there was a fountain.

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This article has been read 1461 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Payne03/11/10
Fun read, made me chuckle.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/11/10
Oh Wow! What talent...and imagination...and humor. I wish I'd written it. Hmph!
Jackie Wilson03/12/10
Rock-solid poetry, yards of fun! A pleasure to read!
Joanne Sher 03/14/10
LOVE it. SOOO much! So cute and clever, with the best rhymes of all time.
Donna Wolther03/15/10
So much fun to read and so amazingly true too!
Lyn Churchyard03/17/10
I so admire people who can almost write a novel in poetry. This was amazing, and I chuckled all the way through, especially when I read, A “Humph” released from high-brow lips.
She spewed her cup of tea,
‘Cause what she thought was chisel marks
Was pigeon graffiti.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Edmond Ng 03/17/10
Very nicely written! A story within a poem that shows what it means to go with trends rather than what's practical and nice.
Sarah Elisabeth 03/17/10
What a fun read! Poor Sam, still didn't get his award
Ruth Stromquist03/17/10
Agree with the comments above, plus enjoyed the messages in the poem much -- how getting eyes on "winning" and impressing peers, diverted these people from all the beauty they had and were walking with, if they'd just opened their eyes to see it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/10
This is delightful. Loved the line about pigeon graffiti. Words just seem to flow from your fingers.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/10
There you go again! Woo Hoo!
william price03/18/10
Another poetic gem. Congrats again!
Dianne Janak03/18/10
I always thought the expression was "you who!" until I saw it written by others.. but I write it like the above! YOU WHO?? BETH THATS WHO!!!!!!!!!! Yippee .. I read this and LOVED it.. . :)
Carol Penhorwood 03/18/10
I'll say it again--you are simply an artist with words. What a gift the Lord has given you! I am a wee bit envious, I'll admit, but in the process THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINED!

Great job as usual!
Jackie Wilson03/18/10
Congrats, Beth, on EC!
Earl Taylor03/18/10
Only a Iowa farm girl that had to pick up rocks from a corn field would poke fun a paying 10 cents a pound for something so grand and beautiful as a rock! Great fun to read: I have a few of those neighbors too; I just don't let them walk on my mole hilled infested vestige of a yard. Pigeon calling cards!! I have a barn full of them with no return address.
Yvonne Blake 03/18/10
I could just see the horrified Garden Clubbers..giggle!
Congratulations, Bethy!
Laury Hubrich 03/18/10
Congratulations on your EC!!!!
Carol Slider 03/18/10
"Stonehenge in repose..." Love it! You are so amazingly creative. Many congratulations!
Rachel Rudd 03/19/10
LOL...Great! Congratulations on your win!
Patricia Turner03/19/10
Pure fun! Congratulations on your EC!!
Joan Campbell03/21/10
A belated congrats on your EC, Beth. You make this look so effortless and each idea is so unique. What a beautiful gift you have and how much pleasure it gives all your readers!