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2011 Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 3-5)

The Lilac
by Lilly Era

A Lilac blooms by the clearest lake
it sparkles in the sun
A purple so delicate 
it looks as if it would shatter like glass at the slightest touch
from this Lilac a whisper seems to come
like the faintest, 
angelic hum.
It never ceases, 
never stops.
And in the spring mornings,
come the sparkling dewdrops
like nothing in this world the drops reflect
and bend the world around them
but yet, through this dewdrop,
everything blurs 
in a magic with remarkable power.
A Lilac blooms by the clearest lake
it sparkles in the sun.


Poem Copyright © 2011 by Lilly Era

A Total Destruction of the Heart
by Chelsie Barrientos


When your parents die, it feels like someone you loved 
just decided to pick up and abandon you. 
At first, I denied it. I put up walls, sealing myself from the outside world, 
and soon, it became a distant memory. 
Eventually, I found myself making “deadlines” to when I would feel better. 
When the time came around, I would pretend to feel better, 
when inside, I knew otherwise.
Now, all I had left was my sister. 
Together, we maintained the faintest trace 
of hope that we would pull through. 
I felt like I had to comfort all of my parent’s grieving friends, and there was no time for me to grieve. 
One month later, my sister passed away, 
right when the feeling of loneliness in my stomach was fading away. 
I was jealous that she could just drop off the map when times got tough, 
and I was left to pick up the pieces. 
I felt like my family was unraveling faster than a ball of yarn, 
and everyone around me was dying. 
As I walked home on that dreary, rainy day, 
I decided that there must have been a greater reason why 
I was the only one in my family left, and I felt like I was on the verge of discovering it ...

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Chelsie Barrientos


The Ocean
by Kennison Amill

The sun sets golden pink. 
I sit so far from the city lights twinkling faintly on the horizon. 
The glossy water ripples as I touch it. 
The moon’s reflection glides over the stillness. 
A cool breeze makes me shiver. 
From above, 
the water looks frozen, 
but I know another world is alive underneath.

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Kennison Amill



Division II
(grades 6-7)

Wild Horses
by Jacob Chrestensen

They are in memories
and we have dreams of them roaming free
Their manes fluttering in the wind
The soft whinny that floats on the prairie that says we are free
But now the whinnies come from barns
and no one answers back

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Jacob Chrestensen


by Justin Faiella

Cigarettes are death wrapped in paper.
With all the chemicals inside,
You as might as well pick a fight with the Reaper himself,
A fight you will not win.
Notice how your friends and family mourn you when you smoke?
Because you’re slowly 
killing yourself
With an eight dollar 
pack of cancer.
Why would you start smoking
When you’re paying a fortune 
for your own slaughter?

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Justin Faiella


Look Fear In the Face
by Alexis Enacopol

They watch me as I walk upon the stage,
Thinking I’m going to fail,
To fall,
To regret,
As I go on, I show them, I can take what they throw at me,
I am much stronger than they thought I was,
I will not fall under the weight, the pain,
And as I step down, they slowly applaud,
They were not expecting me to achieve what my heart desired,
I looked fear in the face, and won.

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Alexis Enacopol


Division III
(grades 8-9)

The Forest of Athens
by Mahathi Ayyagari

Just outside the bustling city of Athens,
lies a forest full of surprises.
Flowers dance, branches sway.
Graceful centaur’s hoof beats are followed by whizzing arrows.
Satyrs persistently court giggling dryads
while the sleepy scent of the anemone poppies,
stained with the crimson blood of Adonis, envelopes your reeling mind.
You might just hear the nymphs’ euphonious laugh drift from the trees
and combine with the melodious tunes of the panpipes
or feel the roaring waterfall’s mist kiss your cheek.
Nearby, glistening sirens splash their tails in the cool water, calling to you.
You want to follow so very badly.
Pixies buzz around your ear, laughing at your foolishness,
but stop at the soft-hearted sound of a 
babbling brook in time with the lyres of the muses.
You find yourself lost in a magical world, where every turn brings adventure.
Welcome to the forest of Athens.
Enter if you dare.

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Mahathi Ayyagari


Ponies and Mustangs
by Katie Elks

Let them be ponies,
All pampered and pretty,
Yet harnessed to their master’s will,
I’d rather be a mustang,
Running free, wherever I please,
No one forcing me to follow,
Learning to stand on my own,
Not having things done for me.
Living for what is best for me,
Not just what everyone wants.
To be a mustang, and not a pony,
Would be the right thing for me,
Being free to be my own person,
Not harnessed to be something I’m not.

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Katie Elks


by Amanda Eunpu

 Her eyes search the form expectantly,
Trying to find the rules and regulations
That tell her what she may write about.
Voila! There it is!
The sky’s the limit.
Her hand takes its place poised above the blank paper in front of her,
Waiting for the inspiration that is sure to come.
It hits her like she knew it would, 
as hard as a rock and as strong as a hurricane.
Her hand flies across the page, 
jotting it down as swiftly as it comes to her
And then her hand stills.
She folds the paper slowly and seals the envelope hesitantly.
Though she may not know everything,
She knows it won’t win, but that is not the point.
She knows her heart was in it, and she knows
That is the only thing that matters.

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Amanda Eunpu


Division IV
(grades 10-12)

by Sinnea Douglas

                                                     These days I drench my dreams in
                                                     teething rings, turkey sandwich lunches,
                                                     school plays, and sports teams. 
                                                         Hang them up like southern laundry and wait for the scenes to play.

                                                     And across sheets of time - I see you -
                                                     A Bundle of Poetry waiting to be spoken. 
                                                     Your laughter - Jazz trickling from tiny spit bubbles. 
                                                     Your beauty - Lines of simile tightly entwined into locks of wavy hair. 
                                                     Your life - a motion picture whose release date has been threatened. 
                                                     But I’ve already purchased the tickets 
                                                         I know better. 

                                                                 I need you my child, 
                                                                 beautiful as the footprints the sun leaves across the evening sky. 

                                                                 I need you my child,
                                                                 as real as the congas that beat in my chest.
                                                                 You will breathe that first breath. No matter what they say. 

                                                     God himself sculpted you from the clouds,
                                                     Dipped His brush into starlight, and painted you into my womb. 
                                                     And this womb
                                                         will be a tomb to no child.

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Sinnea Douglas


by Chandler Ellison

Dawn is no dove
No gentle wings,
No melodious words,
Wrath rekindled
Decisive dawn
Severing the night
A guillotine,
Death bringer to darkness
Lighting the sky
A raging inferno
To crown the day
The revolutionary
Free, free
The world!
No merciful morning
No tiptoeing peace
Rise, rise
The falcon, Dawn

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Chandler Ellison


by Jonathon Barnett

 Anger builds behind this dam.
It boils and writhes and takes no form.
The dam bursts, blurring who I am.
The connections I made seem forever torn.
Pain strikes hard and fast at my core.
They say it’s only weakness leaving my body,
But it invades and rips down my door.
While behind it comes a shape, walking calmly.
Hope stands among the splintered wood,
Reaching down with a soft, perfect hand;
Her light washes away the searing flood.
I accept her grasp as she helps me stand.
But Loss rushes by stealing Hope from my arms.
Grief, an ugly, wretched woman, takes her place.
She whispers lies into my ears, “All but I will do you harm!”
My thoughts become corrupt, my words leave a sour taste.
A new light appears, a brighter light than e’er before.
This light I know nobody can take.
Love steps in and limb from limb Grief is torn.
A smile fills my heart, I know I’ll always be safe

Poem Copyright © 2011 by Jonathon Barnett

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