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©2020 by The America Library of Poetry.

1998 Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 4-5)

Butterflies
by Eva Maria Pereira

Gentle creatures
Fluttering, searching, landing
Lovely colors, flashes of light
Miracles

 

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Eva Maria Pereira

Untitled
by Rebecca Lynn

 

Why do you give me choices?
Some are so petty, and others so immense
Why do you give me feelings I can't control?
Many that fill my heart with grief
Why do you give me a conscience I can't ignore?
Why do you give me all these things
That guide me through my life
When all I do for you can't compare
To what you do for me?
The only thing you gave me
That I cannot use, is freedom
For I will always bow down to you
On bended knee

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Rebecca Lynn

Division II
(grades 6-7)

The Life of a Dream
by Jing Cheng

Dreams are blown
By gentle pastel winds
From the fields of fantasy
And the meadows of imagination
Where they thrive and prosper
Fluttering and fair
Light as a cloud on a breezy day
Floating flowers are they
Drifting in the world
Until the rose fairies
Take them to the little boys and girls
Who sleeping peacefully, snug in their beds
Are given sweet stories by each petal
Rosy petals, bringing the happiness and joy of fantasies
That only dreams can offer
Settling the imagination of the last child
The petals slip back to the fields of fantasy
And the meadows of imagination
To carry the thoughts of other children 
Such a small task
Yet it brings delight to all

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Jing Cheng

 

Thought of Life
by Aaron Nelson

We walk through the world blindly
Missing everything not distinctly apparent
We possess senses, but barely use them
Then, at the edge of death
We contemplate our lives and say
"I've missed something"
And God's reply is
"Yes, you've missed a lot"

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Aaron Nelson

 

Division III
(grades 8-9)

Writer's Block
By Ryan Rancatore

Evil and motionless, the blank page scowls
The pencil tip stays sharpened, as the page awaits my thoughts
But these thoughts do not break free
From mind...to hand...to page
They are trapped in a suffocating net
Dying before ever appearing in the form of written words

Great ideas remain in my head, lost in a maze of dead ends
The page remains vacant
A deserted, barren desert, begging for rainfall

On the freeway from brain to hand, thoughts run into traffic
A stalled thought slows others
A six thought pileup delays traffic for hours
My light never turns green, or even yellow
So my great thoughts never appear on paper

My ideas are stuck in quicksand
My opinions wear cement shoes
My ideas are birds that can't fly, fish that can't swim
My brain is an Olympic sprinter with a broken leg

But maybe...
Someday, my light will turn green
My fish will swim, my birds will fly
The rain will fall for days
And my ideas will burst though the finish line
And onto the paper

...Maybe, they just did

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Ryan Rancatore

 

Meditation On a Shell 
by Lindsey Cadwell

I see a spiral galaxy, coiled in perfect symmetry
A baby's cradle, safe and secure
A winding road, curling up around a mountain
It is a cinnamon roll, glistening with frosting
I peer inside, and spy the top of a downward spiraling staircase
Or the entrance to a cave
It is a peaceful beach, spotted with the afternoon shadows of palm trees

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Lindsey Cadwell

Division IV
(grades 10-12)

The Familiar Stranger
by Sara Solaimani

Oh, foolish man
Did I not come to mind
As you drenched your liver in alcohol
And filled your lungs with smoke?

They have endless stories to tell
Endless pictures to show
Still, the temporary sense of pride I feel
Will never fill this empty heart

Could you not have waited
Just a few more months for me
Your first granddaughter?

They tell me you went peacefully
I never understood this
How could you?
How, knowing we would never meet?

But rest in peace; be content
I have no wrath for you
I remember, Baba Shaffi
The first and last words you said to unborn me
Through the telephone receiver my mother set on my little world…

Life is shorter than you think, little one

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Sara Solaimani

 

Wounded Pride and Happiness
by Gayane Demirchyan

With my selfish reasons once again
I've broken her pride and mine
Proving myself to be yet a child

I’ve shattered her happiness in a fragile time
In a time of forthcoming happiness and fun
I cannot change my words or actions
I cannot make them leave my mind

Wishing it was my spirit wounded
Her broken face flashing in my mind
Guilt staining my heart
Sorrow running down from my eyes

Only if my words of love
Would save her sorrow
My mouth, not worthy to call her
Mother…

Poem Copyright © 1998 by Gayane Demirchyan