Image © @Doug88888 (

Image © @Doug88888 (


#yarn5 Contest!

As you know, we traditionally hold a poetry contest during National Poetry Month–last year’s “Random Word Contest,” judged by John  Corey Whaley, was a smashing success.  We’ve waited all year to bring you another one!

This year, to celebrate our fifth year of publication, we are holding the #yarn5 Contest!  The #yarn5 is a poetry contest calling for any and all riffs on the number five. This could be anything from 5-line poems to 5-word poems to poems featuring five characters or the five senses to anything marvelously wild and creative and 5-relevant as it can be. Anything is game as long as it fits in the theme of five!

This year, our guest judge is none other than super-agent, YA author, and YARN alum John Cusick, who will be selecting the winning entries and offering the fab prizes outlined below.

Here are the rules and guidelines:

  1. Your poem/poems must fit in with the #yarn5 theme.
  2. Post your poem/s in the Comments section below, and be sure to include your name and contact info. Feel free to talk up the contest and your entry on twitter using the #yarn5 hashtag!
  3. Submissions will be open from April 1st and will close on April 20th 5pm EST.
  4. We will compile all the entries and have our guest judge, John Cusick – literary agent with Greenhouse Literary and author of the YA novels, “Girl Parts” and “Cherry Money Baby” – choose a winner and a runner-up.
  5. The winner will receive a 10-page critique from super-agent John, along with an audio book of “Girl Parts.” The runner-up will get a copy of the print edition of “Cherry Money Baby.” Plus both winners will be given the opportunity to have MORE of his/her fiction/nonfiction/poetry published on YARN!

What are you waiting for?  Ready….. Set….. 1……. 2…… 3…… 4……. 5…….!!!!

cherry money

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58 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Lourdes K. says:

    (I hope it keeps the format. If not, you can also view it here:


    five is too much five is more than enough five makes me ill

    five emails
    five friends
    five fingers
    five toes
    five kisses
    five punches
    five hugs
    five five

    i can only handle the one i can only bear with the one at a time






    so i can’t hold your hand and i can’t stand your feet and i can’t
    tolerate your kisses. i will hold your pinky though.

  2. Kerri says:

    Thanks, Lourdes, for that great example! (Note to Readers: All YARN staffers are welcome to contribute for fun, but won’t be entered in the contest!)

  3. Jordan Villegas says:

    Up high, he says.
    Skin against skin.

    Down low,
    Too slow.

    He smiles. I don’t.

    (All tooth and no feeling.)

  4. Sophie Panzer says:


    The age when we let our freedom flow through our
    veins and out our ears, dip cheap neon
    plastic bubble wands into soapy frothing
    mixtures of detergent and Kool-Aid, blow bubbles
    that pop into nothing quick as the memory of hiccupped
    laughter, weave through gossamer threads of
    moonlight and grin our snaggled mouths at
    fears, paint our lips with the sticky residue of cherry
    popsicles, pretend to be older and wiser,
    sixteen as far away as the moon.

  5. R says:

    Is there a cap on the number of poems we can enter?

  6. Kerri says:

    R–No! Thanks for asking!

  7. LPC says:

    Sons of Joe

    You may think mainly of the ones
    the love you save, those ABCs
    that I want you back, that I’ll be there

    You may recall their winning combos
    the Supremes, the chitlin’ circuit,
    the Regal, the Apollo

    Maybe they hit you in triple-syllable sets
    bubblegum soul
    to be loved

    Deke, Berry, Alphonzo, Freddie
    Never. Can. Say. Goodbye.

    they were one, two
    one two three four five
    these five suns you know
    these five sons of Joe

  8. Kristin says:

    5:55 P.M.

    In this silence
    the respirator breathes.

    We did not know
    his heart
    was still.

  9. Kerri says:

    Here is another YARN-staff “entry.” It’s an honest one, by yours truly!

    Five months late
    And five books short
    Is how 2015 feels so far.
    Six snow days
    Three sick days
    Doesn’t equal
    A month
    Let alone five.
    But parent-math
    And writer-math
    Are not compatible,
    Do not compute.
    Maybe the spring sunshine
    Will melt a month
    Or two

  10. He was five years old, and he was young, not too young, more of a premature soul perhaps?
    He was ten years old, insisting on coffee every morning at breakfast, spare the argument, he knew how to win.
    He was fifteen years old, curfew was catapulted in a lexicon of hopelessness.
    He was twenty years old, and his future was bright
    He was twenty five, his life ended that night.

  11. ACK Noyes says:

    Take 5

    5 little fingers
    5 little toes
    How could 5 little minutes lead to all those?

    5 times he asked me
    4 times were noes
    5th time’s a charm, I suppose.

  12. Another staffer “entry” for fun!


    I open the window
    and breathe
    the clean air of spring
    all sunlight and blue sky
    and the slightest hint of azahar.

    The morning is
    café con leche,
    pan con tomate,
    and the sweet-salty bocado
    of chocolate con churros.

    Red, yellow, yellow, red
    the flag salutes
    from the highest point
    of the Real Maestranza
    flapping above its red walls and yellow sand.

    Hands clap and heels tap
    as bailaoras swirl and swish and thump
    to ferocious rhythms
    that bleed through the floor,

    My hands are a bowl
    and I catch
    five orange blossoms and
    cradle them, tiny doves,
    in my palms.

  13. Megan Manzano says:

    We’ve been through five-
    years of what could
    have easily been five-

    A flash of your gaze,
    a meeting of eyes
    that pass in five-
    ticks of the clock.

    I’ve seen more than
    just five-
    of your flaws.
    You have seen mine too.

    But we have become five-
    moving pictures
    in the trails of my memory.

    There were five-
    breaths that you,
    whispered to me
    one night.

    There were five-
    beats of my heart

    Because there was a
    chance then,
    that you could vanish
    in less than five–

  14. M S Aarons says:

    One loves pirates, he-man, and space

    Two have food all over their face

    Three just long for a parent’s embrace

    Four are wise, so full of grace

    Five need homes, a loving place

    The common denominator – besides their age

    Can be seen in their eyes as they turn the book page

    One grew up different from three, five, and two

    But imagination saw them all through


  15. We’ve been through five-
    years of what could
    have easily been five-

    A flash of your gaze,
    a meeting of eyes
    that pass in five-
    ticks of the clock.

    I’ve seen more than
    just five-
    of your flaws.
    You have seen mine too.

    But we have become five-
    moving pictures
    in the trails of my memory.

    There were five-
    breaths that you,
    whispered to me
    one night.

    There were five-
    beats of my heart

    Because there was a
    chance then,
    that you could vanish
    in less than five–

  16. J. Rose Bluhm says:


    Five long
    pretty fingers
    Resting on folds of tulle,
    With fingertips draping
    like slightly wilted
    flower petals

    Five poking
    little vertebrate,
    stepping down her back.
    Her neck is pale like
    a strand of pearls
    but her hair
    is black.

    Five pained
    Un-breaking toes,
    shoved in satin shoes.
    Pretty, harmless little thing!

  17. MB Wilson says:

    The Beginning

    Before the beginning there was nothing.
    Only nothing could contain eternity.
    Then came the first breath, which blew the wind.
    The wind moved the stillness.
    And that was how it went.

  18. They are seeking refuge
    Hiding quietly, kneeling, eyes wandering



    It was five in the morning
    There were five men
    Five jumpsuits of a fiery orange
    Five fictional stories of their despair
    Five men that have forgotten truth, who have learned to lie
    Men who believe innocence and remorse are interchangeable
    Five men hidden in my house.
    Five cold-hearted men.

  19. Larry Fogel says:

    Pick a number, any number

    I hold my hand behind me back,
    all five fingers stretched out,

    If you get it right
    I’ll do anything you ask.

    My daughter looks up at me
    Eyes bright, full of hope.

    Three, she says.

  20. M S Aarons says:

    I Fear The Dragon’s Fire

    A beast, a monster with 5 scaly heads
    Approaches all people with malicious intent
    You run for your life as the reptile descends.
    You plead with your logic, you have to pretend
    That the five searing pillars will only burn them

    Smooth as silk from five tongues with ease
    The scorching flames travel the breeze
    Twisting and twining through the guard of trees
    Over the endless tear filled seas
    To reach their home inside your dreams

    You say that the flames just take you higher
    But that’s only after you’ve been burned by the fire
    The 5 headed dragon, he knows your desire
    To be loved by all, the one to admire
    But his flames, those words – are your choking wire

    Be not a fool, the situation is dire
    The 5 column heat will seek any sire
    Yes, oh yes, I fear the dragon’s fire

  21. Susan G. says:

    5 : 1

    Could the secret of happiness lie in simple addition?

    Life’s greatest happiness is the conviction
    we are loved for ourselves…
    or rather, in spite of ourselves.

    So said Victor Hugo.
    Which brings us to the 5:1 Losada Ratio.

    Losado was a mathematician and psychologist
    who claimed to know how happy relationships flourished.

    For each 1 negative comment, 5 positives must outweigh it.
    In this atmosphere, lovers, husbands, wives, children are cherished.

    So next time you stomp your foot…
    Look at your hand instead of your shoe.
    (And hope your beloved does the same for you.)
    Count on your fingers and opposable thumb
    5 words of love and encouragement for your loved one.

    Temper your annoyance, especially in times of stress
    with the mantra:
    “5 to 1, 5 to 1, 5 to 1” (no less).

    Losada’s ratio (whether it’s true or not)
    reminds us to live in a fashion
    that bathes human frailties in compassion.
    A formula to fill our hearts
    with 5 to 1 parts:

  22. Hannah H. says:

    Long Count

    Seconds I have left
    Sharp punches received
    Times I inhale…exhale…
    Attempts to stand

  23. Kathryn H says:


    They say it will get better when we’re older, we’ll be best friends even though we’re
    years apart

    They say it’s just brotherly teasing and I shouldn’t pay attention even though he is five years older and everything he says stings worse than the prick of a needle

    She says I started it first even though, isn’t he supposed to know better? Isn’t five years older supposed to mean five times as responsible, five times as mature and wise?
    That’s what you said, five minutes ago

    He is gone, five out of seven nights of the week, out with friends I don’t have doing things I can’t do
    Then he is gone for five weeks, five months, he is thousands of miles away but he is

    Because you can take away the person but you cannot take away the pain

    And you cannot bridge this five year gap.

  24. Jan Fenimore says:

    Winter at the Pond


    Jan Fenimore

    Ten winter ducks waddling on the ice
    One of them said, “Isn’t this nice?”

    Nine black coots basking in the sun
    One of them said, “Isn’t this fun?”

    Eight busy geese searching for their food.
    One of them said, “Seeds are really good.”

    Seven snowy owls sleeping in a tree.
    One of them said, “At night we can see.”

    Six lovely swans resting on the shore.
    One of them said, “Could we ask for more?”

    Five sleepy squirrels comfy in their nest.
    One slowly said, “Winter’s when we rest.”

    Four furry rabbits cozy in their home.
    One of them said, “At night we’ll roam.”

    Three busy beavers always hard at work.
    One of them said, “Work we don’t shirk.”

    Two daring hawks swooping through the air.
    One of them said, “The ground looks bare.”

    One lonely coyote slipping through the brush.
    Doesn’t talk to himself when he’s in a rush.

  25. Sarah says:


    For all my good intentions
    I could not quite design
    Verses on the number five
    Ending with a good rhyme


  26. Mary Malhotra says:


    Peace on Earth, Day 5:
    Doves cooed on an olive branch.
    Then Day 6 happened.

  27. There once was a little bee hive,

    Where the tenants did readily thrive,

    Along came neonicotinoid,

    Which they could not avoid,

    And now there are none left alive.

  28. Valarie Jensen says:


    He ripped up the carpet
    And tore down the walls
    A step back emanated censure
    Despite new installments and color.
    Unappeased, he reconstructed again.
    Though this time, he painted with poison.

    “Rarely,” would he redecorate,
    Or so the residence would reply.
    Though it knew he only changed his mind
    When it dulled a hue grayer
    And his breath reeked of liquor.

    He splashed violent reds
    And bashed it down
    Healed it with promises,
    Fabricating a house out of a home
    And loathed how it simply stood there,

    It took her five years to leave him.

  29. Patty Perreault Bennett says:


    1 – 2 Congrats to you
    3 – 4 Kudos galore
    5 – 1 Wishing you fun
    2 – 3 Anniversary
    4 – 5 Glad to be alive

    Directions for “writing” the number 5:
    Go down the street
    Around the block
    And put your hat on

    F irst place
    I n your
    V ery imaginative
    E ncryption contest of FIVE

  30. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Did my four poems go through?? I will enter them again.


    1 – 2 Congrats to you
    3 – 4 Kudos galore
    5 – 1 Wishing you fun
    2 – 3 Anniversary
    4 – 5 Glad to be alive

    Directions for “writing” the number 5:
    Go down the street
    Around the corner
    And put your hat on.

    F irst place
    I n your
    V ery imaginative
    E ncryption contest of FIVE

  31. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Do I have to submit them separately?


  32. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Four poems for the contest


    1 – 2 Congrats to you
    3 – 4 Kudos galore
    5 – 1 Wishing you fun
    2 – 3 Anniversary
    4 – 5 Glad to be alive

    Directions for “writing” the number 5:
    Go down the street
    Around the block
    Then put your hat on.

    F irst place
    I n your
    V ery imaginative
    E ncryption contest of FIVE

  33. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    OK. I give up. I don’t know how to get my four poems onto the list above. I typed them here twice, I think, and clicked on the “Submit Comment” button, but they did not appear to go through. Then I tried typing them one at a time instead of all 4 at once, but I gave up on that and clicked the “post a comment” button, Then I hit the submit button, but still did not appear in the list.

    Can you email me what to do? Thanks. Patty

  34. Leigh says:

    My Clock Has No Hands

    No one I know of speaks straightly; usually straitly but that’s the most. Five days is all I have; the gift—every day to live a dream. Today, it’s music and writing. Tomorrow, I draw and dance;

    My clock has no hands.

    Like an aimless beggar I peddle my thoughts and my words, my heart open and vulnerable no matter how much I hug myself and hold her inward. At least I have color and I have sound;

    My clock has no hands.

    I see you as you were, young, shy and sweet, squinting against your tomorrows and smiling with milky whiteness. Could we run with the wind? Would we? Tomorrow hasn’t happened; yesterday still can;

    My clock has no hands.

    I am who I want to be; there are no fetters in my mind. I can hear the faint clicking of falling pieces in a child’s kaleidoscope. Oh, there are boundaries, but I will place them where I will, after all

    My clock has no hands.

    Yesterday will become tomorrow. Today, I watched it arc over me in a graceful curve; I wait for your knock on the door. Hope does not spring eternal; it meanders. I let my heart graze wherever she goes;

    My clock has no hands.

    The wild headiness of roses and the heartbreak of wisteria. The breathlessness of orange blossoms and the danger of jasmine—and with it all I will ensnare you. I see your face in my clock because

    My clock has no hands.

  35. T. R. Robinson says:


    “Using our imagination
    Wanting to fly to the moon
    Always having fun
    Watching Saturday cartoons
    Being five was so long ago.

    Dancing with fireflies
    In the darkest of nights
    Not caring to get hurt
    Because mommy made things alright
    Wanting no school, to play in the snow.

    Always running around
    Seeking to hide
    Learning to swim
    Or even bike ride
    Being five was freeing.

    Laughing at everything
    Wanting to eat glue or paste
    Playing with dirt and worms
    There was no time to waste
    There was always a chance for singing.

    Learning ABC’s
    And 1, 2, 3’s
    Oh the magic
    And endless possibilities
    Being five…..a distant memory.”

  36. Karen Casale says:

    There was supposed to be
    five fingers
    five toes
    only grew four
    I will chop off my pinky
    and gift it to you
    So I will be the weird one

  37. Five fingers
    like to jiggle
    five toes
    love to wiggle.
    Two hands
    touch many things
    one sweet smile
    two angel wings.
    Five times the love
    to hold you tight
    two hearts
    shining bright.

  38. KT says:

    the first two were twins,
    different faces, different laughs
    but you’re both a world of fun

    the third was an old friend found all over again
    discovered in epiphanies of bonfires and country music
    p.s.– thanks for saving me

    the fourth just grew into a friend,
    kind words+smiles+that one time you hugged me when i couldn’t stop crying
    = friendship

    the fifth teased me gently
    and somehow i ended up trusting her
    (i don’t really mind when you call me a nerd)

    but there’s a sixth waiting in the wings–
    a girl who cares about others but doesn’t care what they think of her
    and maybe it’s time to move past five

  39. Ian Dominique Taping says:

    My heart beats faster whenever I see you.
    I have this feeling and I know it’s true.
    I can’t deny it.
    It’s getting harder to fight.
    Thus, I surrender with the words, “I love you.”

  40. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    (I’m sorry I sent so many copies of my first four entries…..)

    Is the number of
    Sides on a pentagon
    Points on a star
    Lines in a limerick
    Rings designating the Olympics
    Cylinders in the engine of a Volvo.

  41. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Five is good. Five is great.
    Five is the number of pops I ate:
    Chocolate Caramel
    Cookies & Cream
    And Marsh Mellow Dream
    Five is the number of times that I got up
    To trot to the toilet for throwing up.

  42. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Five little gold buttons
    On my dress shirt.
    Five big wide stripes
    On my wrap around skirt.
    Five little pink polka dots
    On my knee socks.
    Five funky black ribbons
    On my golden locks.
    Five honest friends
    On my flat roof;
    Five funny faces said
    “You look like a goof.”

  43. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Five things that actually smell better than they taste:
    1. Just popped popcorn
    2. Freshly brewed coffee
    3. Turkey roasting in the oven
    4. Waffles hot off the griddle
    5. Vats of salt water taffy

  44. Onomatopoeia Explained (in five lines)

    What is this strange word, I wondered, with vowels all jumbled together?
    Listen to me and I’ll tell you—said my cousin, the teacher, Miss Heather.

    If horses’ hooves go “cloppity clop clop”, you can hear the sound of their trot.
    And if rain coming down “pitters and patters”, that’s precisely its sound—is it not?
    So onomatopoeia is the use of such words and words whose sound can be heard!

  45. The fluttering of my heart,
    in five
    successive beats.

    Alight with a fire,
    that could fill
    five bodies.

    Chest surged with warmth,
    of five
    thousand suns.

    It’s been nearly
    five years,
    since I’ve had this.

    And I don’t want the weight,
    of five
    anchors crashing into bone.

    And I don’t want the darkness,
    of five
    pieces that my heart breaks into.

    The reflection of over,
    five memories
    that taunt and tease at their delight.

    Stay, please,
    for more than five –
    to fan the embers:


  46. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    What’s that you say?
    What rhymes with five?
    Dive and chive and hive

    Jive, alive and twenty-five
    There are not too many more
    Except all the numbers ending in five
    But who is keeping score?

    Five bees buzzing ’round their hive
    Five swimmers perched and ready to dive
    Five fancy ladies eating cream cheese and chives
    Watch the daring dancer as she boogies and jives

    I think this poem is over now
    Will the number 5 please take a bow

  47. Pam Vaughan says:

    “These Five Minutes”

    Five years of preparation…five intense months of training…
    come down to these five minutes…

    When my hands start shaking,
    My heart whispers, “Steady.”

    When my eyes say “No way!”
    My heart whispers, “We’ll find a way.”

    When my stomach feels queasy,
    My heart whispers, “That’s the fire inside us.”

    When my lungs start racing,
    My heart whispers, “Breathe.”

    When my gut says, “I can’t.”
    My heart whispers, “We will.”

    When my muscles says, “Stop.”
    My heart says, “We’re almost there.”

    When my body says, “I’m done.”
    My heart urges, “One more.”

    When my instincts say, “Impossible.”
    My heart demands, “Believe.”

    When my mind says, “I don’t know.”
    My heart insists, “Follow me.”

    In these five minutes, victory comes from the heart.

  48. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    Five, you are a number
    Equaling two more than three
    The space between reunion years
    For colleges, you see

    Five, you are a number
    Represented by a ‘V’
    In the set of Roman numerals
    Which are not used regularly

    Five, you are a number
    You are always 7 minus 2
    There are infinitely many ways
    To get the answer 5, it’s true

    How about the spelling?
    Five is four letters long
    F – I – V – E

  49. Patty Perreault Bennett says:

    (hit the wrong button….above poem finished here)

    Let’s break into song

    Any number ending in a
    Zero or a five
    Can be evenly divided
    By the little number 5

    The French word “cinq” for five
    Will be my ending thought
    How will you use number five
    For YARN’s anniversary plot?

  50. Gail Cartee says:

    Five Little Apple Seeds

    As I sat under the tree eating my apple,
    Five little seeds dropped on the ground.

    Robin took one to her babies.
    Then there were 4.

    Chipmunk hid one for winter.
    Then there were 3.

    Rain washed one into the stream.
    Then there were 2.

    Horse crushed one into the soil.
    Then there was 1.

    Wind blew one across the field.
    Then there were none.

    The sun shone. The rains fell. Time passed.

    An apple tree grew from every seed.
    – under the robin’s nest.
    – from the chipmunk’s hiding place.
    – beside the stream.
    – in the pasture
    – across the field.

    On each tree grew sweet smelling blossoms.
    Behind each blossom grew tiny green apples.
    In the fall ripe red apples hung from each limb.

    I counted the seeds from my apple.
    One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
    But I can not count the apples from my seeds.

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