by Trey Nosrac
Once upon a time, there was a strange little online poetry contest. Astonishingly, the contest appeared on these digital pages and took place via email submission. The first-place prize was a free breeding to a very promising harness stallion named Creatine. Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farms supplied the breeding. Adam and his staff are always inclined to fun and innovation in the sport of harness racing. The rules of the contest were simple:
• The aspiring poet needed to own (or have access to) a trotting broodmare.
• The novice poet needed enough courage to write an eight-line poem, one that might show up in public.
The contest proved to be great fun. The amount of participation was encouraging with over 60 poems, including several that arrived after the deadline. Diamond Creek accepted the submissions. A local writing group, a group that did not know a trotter from a slice of tiramisu, selected the winning poems and enjoyed learning about our little sport.
Read the original introductory and concluding contest columns:
Last week brought an update from the winner, Lisa Dunn.
“The breeding was successful. My mare, Chaka Kahn, gave an easy birth to a beautiful filly on May 11, 2018. I decided on the name Pure Poetry. It’s funny, sometimes, how the idea for a name comes to you pretty easy for some foals. This was one of them; I wanted to acknowledge the contest. My plan is to train her. I actually have two Creatine foals born during the 2018 foaling season. They are both good-looking babies.”
Obviously, the story of Pure Poetry is far from complete. We all know the road to the winner’s circle is long and many things can happen along the way. However, a beautiful young filly from a well-bred broodmare is a great start.
The Grandest Foal
I’ll lend you for a little while,
my grandest foal, God said.
For you to love while he’s alive,
and mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be one or twenty years,
or days or months, you see.
But will you, til I take him back,
Take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
and should his stay be brief,
you’ll have those treasured memories,
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over
in my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes,
with trust, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love?
Nor think the labor vain.
Nor hate me when I come
to take him back again?
I know you’ll give him tenderness
and love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you’ve known,
you will forever-grateful stay.
But should I come and call for him
much sooner than you’d planned,
you’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and maybe understand.
– Author Unknown
Let’s cross our collective fingers and hope that Pure Poetry has a long run, which she is poetry in motion on the racetrack and that she races like the wind.
What a wonderful story that would make, a story that would be of interest to audiences outside of our small little band of enthusiasts. A poem that evolved into a magnificent animal would make a magical tale (tail).
A good story such as Pure Poetry can be gold. A good story with a happy ending can be purer gold. Editors and digital producers in any genre are always looking for stories with legs and reach. This one would have both. A good story can break out into the big wide world. Pure Poetry could be a viral sensation. Poets might flock to watch her race. Who knows what doors opened with a horse, a dream, a contest, and prize money presented in a favorable light?
In addition, good stories often have sequels.
Another contest is in the early planning mode. Should the pieces fall into place, a sequel to the harness racing poetry contest might just be possible. This sequel would be literate, but not poetic; a contest the likes of which you have never seen. Many will laugh and a few may scoff. Keep your pencils and your wits sharp. Who knows what state, what sire, or what farm might be available. Who knows what madness lies ahead.
Like Pure Poetry — one step at a time.