2008 Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 3-5)

First Days
by Manasa Atyam

Behind my back, soft words pass from mouth, to ear
Soon the whispers flow in the gentle wind to my lonely spot

As they pass, they drop those painful selfish words
They go down my back leaving shivers
They go through my stomach leaving butterflies

Soon they reach their destination: my heart
As they pass they leave a mark, one that I will never forget

So tightly it clutches that ball of feelings 
Breaking it into a million pieces
Not knowing where to go they stay inside of my miserable body

From time to time they whisper
And make me remember
The me that used to sit alone
On the days I first started school

 

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Manasa Atyam

The Midnight Sun
by Giridhar Srinivasan

 

Feeble aurora;
The midnight sun
A drowsing family on a silent cruise ship
No soul awake, except one
I prance from my bed
Head clogged with dreamy imaginations
Fantasies
Glimmering ocean 
Glaring sun
The landscape awes me
The light captures me with its solid stare
Its dazzling power
I clamber to bed;
The light has set fire to my mind

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Giridhar Srinivasan

 

A Peaceful Place
by Alexa Kane

The lilacs smell sweet 
And the daisies smell delightful
Just the kind to put in a vase
It's one big garden
With the sun's rays shining golden streaks across the pond
And a frog upon a lily pad
It is sitting almost happily, cleaning its toes
I rest on the bench, giggling away
With a butterfly on my nose
Then it flies to a tulip and sucks the sweet nectar down
When I realize there is no better place than here

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Alexa Kane

 

 

Division II
(grades 6-7)

Dementia
by Max Wallack

It gallops in silently on powerful hoofs
Snatching sweet, precious, forgotten memories
Turning true-blue loyal friends into treacherous strangers
Clogging synapses with emptiness
Crumbling trust into excruciating paranoia

With bleak darkness comes the anxious wakefulness of broad daylight
And bitter terror encompasses every living fiber
"If I sleep, where will I be when I wake up?"
The compulsion to run, the paralysis of fear

Mature, child-like dependence
Retracing youthful development, but in rapid reverse
Cureless medicines, meaningless conversations
Leading up to the inevitable

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Max Wallack

 

Reflection
by Marisia Hill

The cold breeze of winter hits my cheek
And there you are kissing me

In the fall, when leaves fall down on me
You are near

In the spring, when rain sprinkles across my arm
You are watching, and protecting me

I am thinking of you, and I show it by praying for you
Like I am right now

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Mariaia Hill

 

Into the Pages
by Meghan Hoerz

"Come, come to me," the pages whisper in my ear
They pull me in like a bluebird singing its song
I want to be back in the quest
Sailing the pages of adventure
Hearing the thunderous laughter of triumph
As I conquer the tall cascading words
If I was let loose to venture its pages
There would be no saying when, or even if, I would be back
But for now I must lay down my head
The book shall remain a mystery till tomorrow night
As I drift asleep
The memories of my adventure will remain a secret

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Meghan Hoerz

 

Division III
(grades 8-9)

Who's That?
by Veronica Biblarz

Her frail body moves inside the captivity of age
She flashes a faint smile at the sweethearts out the window
The lipstick, stained on her teeth, enhances her beauty
Her gray hair falls into her eyes
She wisps it out, leaving the smell of perfume in the air
She sits, she waits, she lives day to day
Her white shoes ache her brittle body
She reaches to the molded candy dish to soothe her pain
Her weathered hands can still hold yours
The corner of her rickety wooden home is filled with memories
A picture of me, a picture of you, a picture of … wait, who’s that?
She has collections of everything
Someone’s trash, was always her treasure
She now sleeps in the shadow of the world she is too small to face
Her kind voice will ring in the ears of loved ones through generations
The rocking chair in the den will bring sweet comfort in times of sorrow
She is free from captivity, instead, in an endless sea of warmth

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Veronica Biblarz

 

Sweet Death
by Brittany Short

Look at her face you can see her pain
She can no longer sacrifice her soul for your pleasure
When you look in her eyes you see only your refection
She carries your love like a burden heavy upon her shoulders
She cannot think unless you say
You control her life
But her love for you is so strong that she cannot leave
She would rather die

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Brittany Short

 

Nocturnal Loss
by Julie Blum

I'll never know what hit me on that fated, summer night
Of glimmering stars and glistening tears
And each icy second seemed to stab with fervid fire, searing and sudden
Every appendage was shattered and I lay sprawled 
Across the thin, bright yellow line with stunned, agonizing silence
As I waited for my existence to, at last, come to a doomed, impending end
The rusty, roaring, raging menace had materialized
No hesitation, no regret, cold and unfeeling
So now my heartbeat escalates, while expecting to plummet all too soon
Bringing its inevitable stop for all eternity
Fleeting visions arise; my meal waiting for me 
Back in my pleasant sheltered den
My numerous siblings all crowded around, waiting
My parents concerned at my late return from foraging
Their bushy, ringed tails wrapped around their unscathed, furry bodies
As the indifferent killer speeds away from me
Laughing with a black heart, at the eventual halt of mine

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Julie Blum

 

Division IV
(grades 10-12)

The Geography of Genetics
by Alexandra Winzeler

I hover in the valleys of your breathing
Praying and worrying the pause will stretch forever
Your skin is worn soft, like a stone
Against which waters' currents have run
Among the disinfectant of a hospital
The sigh of tulip soap lingers with you
In the solemn solidarity, I watch you sleep
Where am I in the map of your face?
There – over the wave of a cheekbone and across closed eyes
I am made of everything that came before: I am made of you
I once found it inconceivable that I would someday be 
A teenager, a woman , a mother – 
But the concept of time now fits within my mind
Someday I will be worn, soft like a storm-tossed stone
And a grandchild will watch over while I sleep
Surveying the map of my features, searching for her place
And while waiting in the valleys of my breathing
She will come to the crest of my cheekbone, the curve of my closed eye
And recognize herself
She doesn't know it, but in that moment, she has also found you
And everything that came before
Ringing somewhere deep and distant
Like a song she had never heard with her ears
But which felt so familiar in her heart

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Alexandra Winzeler

 

Old House
by Jeffrey Wellman

He became an old house
The front porch railing with its missing spindles
That made up his worn smile
The stiffened joints that echoed the creaking stairs
As he slowly ambled up to bed
And the vacant eyes with their shades closed
Detached from the living world
The yard and flower beds were left unkempt
Since he hadn't trimmed his beard in years
His furnace broke the day his wife died
The cold crept in and filled his bones
With a terminal ache and longing
Now all that's left is the leaky roof
Where the rain soaks in
And the memories seep out

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Jeffrey Wellman

 

Anointed
by Krystina Kelly

 Take these unblessed ashes and place them on your forehead
Anoint your sons and daughters with this dust
Hold this blackened Eucharist on your tongue
Construct a prayer for those who had no time to speak
A song for those whose lives remain unsung
Recall, as you inhale their smoke
The world, the way it was, before you woke
A yesterday when drums and bagpipes called us not to funerals
When snowy wafts of ticker tape announced a glad parade
To celebrate the "boys of summer" in their hour of glory
Give faithful homage to a game well played
By rules that every schoolchild agreed must be upheld
For that remembered world our parents made
These ashes are communion, or flesh and steel ignited
When a world, no longer young, witnessed unleashed terror
That drew our city's blood
A pain, that swallowed, made us stand as one
Take these unblessed ashes and place them on your forehead
Anoint your sons and daughters with this dust

Poem Copyright © 2008 by Krystina Kelly

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

©2020 by The America Library of Poetry.