2018 Fall Contest, Traditional Form – Rondeau, 1st place

In Flanders’ Yard
by Dan Kaufman

In Flanders’ yard, Ned blesses weeds
with Rod and Todd, his Christian seeds,
  while neighbor Homer, his boy Bart,
  mow moral corners, belch and fart.
“Okily dokily,” Ned concedes.

The Simpsons conflict mostly leads
to bedlam at cartoonish speeds.
  Yet here dwells peaceful counterpart
          in Flanders’ yard.

Ned’s live-and-let-live neighbor creed
blooms from his daily Bible read.
  Though next door scams plot to outsmart,
  Ned cultivates “forgiving heart.”
It seems the meek indeed succeed
          in Flanders’ yard.

Judge’s comments
“In Flanders’ Yard” really had fun with the form, paying homage the famous rondeau “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae and shaking up expectations regarding the form. It’s surprising, funny, and tightly crafted.
—Angela Decker

Dan Kaufman has made his home in southern Oregon since 2013. An active member of the Rogue Valley poetry community, he has been a featured poet at the annual William Stafford Celebration. His work has appeared in Jefferson Journal, anthologies, and been recognized by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the Oregon Poetry Association.

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