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Flapper Press Poetry Café Valentine's 2024 Juliet Poetry Contest Winners

By Flapper Press Poetry Café:

Love is in the airwaves!

To celebrate Valentine's Day, the Flapper Press Poetry Café announces our winning selections for our annual Juliet Poetry Contest!

This year, our prompt asked poets to create work inspired by their favorite songs. There were no restrictions on poetry form. Each of our five winners receives a $25 prize for their work.

As always, we are incredibly grateful for the many submissions that we received. It's always a daunting task to choose just five. Thank you to all our submitters, and congratulations to our winners! Stay tuned for our next contest!


Our winners, in alphabetical order:


Michael Brownstein

Song Inspiration: "Cherish" by The Association

Poem: "Cherish Is"

Cherish Is 

"Cherish is the word I use to describe"

the gentle wind through shades of green,

the ripple of smile in the current of the creek,

the scent of golden currant in spring—

this is how I know I love you,

not because when I stare into your lips,

not for a kiss, but for the wild dolphins at play,

how your eyes light up the empire of songbirds,

the soft blush within a skin of Carmel,

a sugar made sweeter with a tilt of your head

and lemons less tart because you are you,

yes, you are my movement dancing with joy.

"Cherish is the word I use to describe"

the plain growing into a blossom of mountains,

dolomite crystals lifting their colors sunlit,

the melody of the whispering pine—

and, yes, I do love you with soul's grace,

the strength of black tourmaline,

a grit that conquers the path through hackberry,

and the song within the rainbow's treasure,

a lullaby that rhymes with your essence,  

an empathy as strong as seraphinite

as if you alone can change the nature of conflict,

as if you alone are the sonnet within my heart.


Sherri Buerky 

Song Inspiration: "Sunshine on my Shoulders" by John Denver

Poem: "Sunshine"



Golden days walking among the trees bright hues of various greens

greet my eyes as I meander down the path towards the gurgling stream.

Breezes gently blow scattering scents of yesteryear's memories clearing out the fog of winter's icy webs.

Coming into a break in the trees I turn my face towards the clear cheery blue sky,

I smile,

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.

Sparkles beckon me onwards towards the laughing waters

Reminiscing as I travel of being at play on the water, skipping pebbles,

hopping on stones from one side to the other, collecting shells, skittish frogs,

and frantic turtles, in my childhood days.

I reach the waters edge and gaze at the suns reflection scattered and dappled across

the liquid surface.

I smile,

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely.

Winters cold bone has eased away,

The drab gray skies have gone as warmth saturates my hair and touches my skin like

a satisfying hug.

I smile,

Recognizing a familiar friend,

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.

Sunshine almost always makes me smile.


Pamela Hobart Carter

Song Inspiration: "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley

Poem: "Only Fools"

Only Fools


Did we rush?


Is rush an attempt

to describe the overfast

sensation in the chest

—bird wings, butterflies—

or the haste to consummate,

or the urgency of selves

declaring their attraction—

the zip of magnets

snapping together

with a satisfying click?


In-rushing could be

the ecstasy of mutuality.


More fools we

keeping silence when

the aim throughout humanity

ought to be a centering

on love. Oh, let’s express,

now, before the cold ground

covers our lonely skeletons—

choose to be thought fools

rather than sit all alone

in our separate rooms.


Alshaad Kara

Song Inspiration: "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston

Poem: "Darling"


If we ever got married, This is for you.

That love that burns every fright

You had in me, Darling

Is the adieu to a long awaited solitude.

The fulfilment in saying vows

Bring back the enthral

Which started our new journeys together.

Love despite being despised

When things go dry

Is the wine that is celebrated

In the joyous of times.

Thank you for staying with me, Darling

And I

Will always love you

Even when things turn into heartbreak...


Radhika Soni

Song Inspiration: "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts

Poem: "It Isn't Easy Loving a Poet"

It Isn't Easy Loving a Poet

It isn't easy loving a poet

For he will not love me with a look

Instead, write me in the pages of his book.

He will not hold me in his arms 

But bind me in rhyme that forever charms;

He will not bring flowers at my door,

Instead, inscribe our love in metaphor.

Though it isn't easy loving a poet,

There is little that I regret,

For if our love will be writ in his pages,

We'd be remembered for ages.

If he will bind me in rhyme,

Our love in the heavens would forever chime;

And though he may not bring me flowers,

I would dwell forever in metaphor's bowers.

And what would love be if it's a quest for ease,

For it does not slacken or seek to appease.

And I know God blessed the broken road

I traversed with doubts and fears,

For a poet's love from all aspects 

Is the one that truly adheres.


Presenting a wide range of poetry with a mission to promote a love and understanding of poetry for all. We welcome submissions for compelling poetry and look forward to publishing and supporting your creative endeavors. Submissions may also be considered for the Pushcart Prize. Please review our Guidelines before submitting through our regular Submission process!

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