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2002 Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 4-5)

Dearest Dad
by Matthew J. Wren, Jr.

I have learned so much from you
I have learned to be honest and true
I have learned to love, not hate
And to never ever discriminate
I have learned that life is hard
And for every mile, I gain a yard
I have learned to be loving and kind
And that it’s okay to say what’s on my mind
I have learned to be helpful, patient and strong
And to stay proud even when things go wrong
I have learned to reach high in the sky
And to accept a hug without asking why
I have learned that it’s okay to cry
And to not hide pain with a lie
I have learned to laugh and to play
And that it’s okay to stop and pray
I have learned this and so much more
And without a doubt, it’s you that I adore


Poem Copyright © 2002 by Matthew J. Wren, Jr.

You're My Life
by Mayra Figueroa


Once, all alone, I was lost in a world of strangers
No one to trust; on my own, I was lonely
You suddenly appeared; it was cloudy before, but now it’s clear
You took away the fear; you brought me back to life
You are the sun; you make me shine
Or more like stars, that twinkle at night
You are the moon that glows in my heart
You’re my daytime and my nighttime; my world
You're my life

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Mayra Figueroa

Division II
(grades 6-7)

The Plumed Praises
by Karen Christopher

What religion is a songbird?
For I can hear them chanting out a capturing melody every morning
Casting a mystical aura over the hazy golden dawn
Do they praise the sun god Ra?
Are they lifting their tiny beaks to God? Or Allah?
Whatever the reason, they fly to their tall wooden temples to worship the unknown
Sending a mystery through the green stained glass windows of their vertical cathedrals
Fluttering them like feathers
Their notes cut a hole in the sunrise so their nameless deities will hear their eulogizing cry
That melts into sunbeams and shatters the dew like glass pearls

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Karen Christopher


The Wolf and the Moon
by Richard C. Kummer

“Oh Moon, oh Moon, why do you sing?” says the wolf, staring from a hill
“Oh Moon, oh Moon, what do you sing?
Is it a song of joy or sadness
Or just an enticing serenade, to lull the many stars to sleep
Ancestors, in days long past
Say it praises the Earth and exalts the Sun, the golden orb
Others, speak of it as a song that chronicles the past
So why, oh why heavenly sphere, do you sing to the world?”
And as the wolf leaves the gloomy hill to sleep amongst his kin
An ancient word drifts through the wind

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Richard C. Kummer


Division III
(grades 8-9)

American Pride
by Lisa Sanchez

America: symbol of freedom.  Cherishing life and liberty
Red, white, and blue; ever bold and true
In this country, we are free
America: melting pot of diversity.  All colors and races
Different people, different faces; representing many religions and opinions
In this country, we are unique
America: living in unity.  We work together for our homeland
Created equally; connected by our American pride
In this country, we are united

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Lisa Sanchez


New York City
by Edward David Schenck

He held a bottle to his mouth, taking swigs and acting rowdy
Guarding two or three tattered bags of the only possessions he owned
Tired, lonely, eyes wide and staring into space
In need of a bath and clean clothes for his body
He was begging for food and spare change
On the streets of New York City
He wore dirty clothes and shoes too small for his feet

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Edward David Schenck

Division IV
(grades 10-12)

So There
by Shira Stein

Happy vengeance 
Spit from my eyes
Nicking those in its path
But scarring its target
Now he knows 
Not to leave me again
With frayed emotions
And starving desire

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Shira Stein


And So It Was
by Princess King

Cool like the grass after rain
Were his hands in my hair
Running like the wind
Down the nape of my neck
Striking like a match
A sense in me
Never before felt
And never since known

Poem Copyright © 2002 by Princess King


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