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2012 Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 3-5)

by Ari Gebhardt

Sprinkling water
In the sky.
The fragile diamond
separates the silver spark.
Hits the ground,
and dies
Deep in the soft sun.


Poem Copyright © 2012 by Ari Gebhardt

by Stefanie Smolak


Dancing from leaf to leaf
Awakening flower from a beauty rest
Fluttering through the meadow
Sneaking around trees
Quietly creeping across the pond
Leaving a reflection on the surface.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Stefanie Smolak


The Night Sky
by Noor Khader

A silver bowl tilts month by month,
dropping golden raindrops,
enlightening the once barren sky,
threading its way around,
making shapes before my eyes.
In the night these sparkly structures light up the starry sky,
but they also light up my heart and turn the world into beautiful art.
And yet this art cannot last very long,
and so the silver bowl breaks,
and the golden drops disappear
and the world turns into dawn.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Noor Khader



Division II
(grades 6-7)

Nature's Ballet
by Danielle Scharfenberg

 Lilies swish their slender hips
Irises pirouette on delicate toes
Orchids wave their hands
With elegance and grace,
They waltz to the rhythm of the wind
The moon casts a spotlight down upon the stage we call Earth
Glazing its performers with iridescence
The orchestra strums out the smooth melody
Letting the sweet thrum of the notes linger in the air
Grasshoppers on cello, gently plucking the fragile strings
Crickets on violin, dripping raw emotion with every stroke
Starlings belt out the lyrics, flames of passion as they sway to the tune
Stars cast rays on the lovely dancers
As the performers take their final bow,
A sequined, hazy curtain envelopes the stage
The spotlights begin to dim, as the lights of the theater slowly brighten
Bringing with it a velvety, dew-stroked dawn
And the promise of a new day's birth

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Danielle Scharfenberg


by Katie Hanners

Remember the innocence?
The ice cream truck summers and huge box forts?
Remember when we wanted nothing but to be older,
everyone was friends,
and paintings were stick Mommies and Daddies 
with smiling suns and flowers?
Remember when looks didn't matter,
when you made snow angels and went sledding in the winter?
Remember being a little kid?
Not having a care in the world,
just living perfect, innocent lives.
Remember the way you lived?
Careless, happy, free, unjudged?
Too bad we didn't have a choice,
because I never would have given myself permission to grow up.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Katie Hanners


My Grandpa's Hat
by Landon Bailey

It was bought in 1950 before I was born
It’s considered a classic, and carries the name Champ
Tan and beige in color, featherweight, and made of felt
Some call it vintage but to me it’s just old
It’s spotted and stained and has a few holes
You’ll find the rim frayed and worn and a little thin
It kept out the rain and the sun’s rays
But day after day it was worn on his head
The brim told the mood of the man underneath
Turned up said he’s happy, his fields are prepared
Turned down said beware, he’s grouchy today
But never a day was it not placed on his head
My Grandpa’s hat all tattered and torn
Was given to me the day I was born
It holds many memories or so I am told
Of the greatest man I never got to meet
My featherweight felt fedora hat
Sits on a shelf next to a frame
A frame that holds a photograph
Of my felt fedora hat on my Grandpa’s head.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Landon Bailey


Division III
(grades 8-9)

In Memory of Him
by May Li

Crumpled leaves in piles of crimson,
Shiny coat and yellow boots.
Fist wrapped tight around his shovel,
As budding greens drip-drip with dew.
Heavy branches of starry apples
Sway and sigh in the morning breeze.
As drowsy poppies among the grasses
Await the company of summer bees.
Freckled cheeks and searching fingers,
A rolling ’barrow big enough for two.
The rustling hush of life below,
Whisper tales of excitement, of glory true.
Quiet youth just past the age
Of pirate ships and the rolling seas,
Enjoys an autumn day, down in the shade,
Where the sky is bright, and he is free.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by May Li


by Victoria Bush

Her nose faced upward, 
exhaling an air of arrogance that surrounded her like a thick fog.
Even though the country air tasted sweet, 
and the ground felt soft, not yet trodden,
and the fragrance of the flowers filled the air 
like the legato notes of a violin, seemingly infinite,
and the bright flowers stretching as far as the eye could see, 
and the melodic silence,
she couldn’t sense it, didn’t care.
She had one mouth, two hands, one nose, two ears, and two eyes, 
yet still couldn’t marvel
at the beauty of one flower, in one field, in one world.
She thought she was in darkness but she just hadn’t opened her eyes.
The eyes of the heart amaze one with a smile, 
the slit through which one can see the light from within,
beaming out with such intensity that it explodes into laughter,
and the mango sunsets, disappearing over the horizon,
melting into the unknown.
Just then she inhaled the perfume of a particularly fragrant flower, 
carried by the hopeful winds.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Victoria Bush


by Kaitlin Ford

 Deep brown eyes
That hold a century of wisdom
And thin, white strands of hair
Like wispy clouds
Drifting through the sky
A laugh
That is a twinkling bell,
Pushes a wide smile
Upon her face.
Years of worry
Are imprinted
In the creases
Of her cheeks and forehead,
but warmth radiates
from her frail body.
My great-grandmother's love
Washes down
On her descendants
Like a running waterfall.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Kaitlin Ford


Division IV
(grades 10-12)

The Rose Who Dreamed
by Lloyd Thomas Smith III

 I heard the whispers of beauty sing in the concrete jungle
How curious but stark was the raffish rose who dreamed
Passion red petals arbitrarily trodden and tattered
Thirsty and crisp, the stem stubbornly leaned left towards light
Black thorns gnarled from warding away careless, indulgent hands
Crooked stalk straddled on a fractured membrane of concrete
Cracks ruffled the jarred surface, spreading like a spider web
A deep crevice made home for the flower's weakly clenched roots
Neglected it stood, married to trial and abandonment
Gloomy blue dawns yielded bitter frost, yet the rose felt warm gales
Dreams all but deferred, the rose held bold aspirations at heart
Brave ambition gave the flower new hope, teaching it to grow
Breaking the black reaper taught it to fool the cruel concrete world
How charming it looked, a red spark in a sea of sullen gray
Until dark wisps in the sky, grew heavy with the tears of God
Dashing down dreams, rending stem from root, and petal from flower
Red passion washed away in a soggy pool of lost dreams
The sole shade of life, a sacrifice to the rage of nature
Blooming upon Elysian fields, the rose saw Yahweh breathe life
And tongues of fire fell down concrete cracks, warming young seeds

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Lloyd Thomas Smith III


My Hair
by Chelsea Edwards

It is the darkest of Ecuadorian chocolate,
rusty-copper leaves in Autumn,
It is a rosebush blooming in mid-spring,
a willow tree of leaves and runners.
It is a blessing in the winter,
a shelter, a place to hide.
In the summer, the tight coils
turn into a hot, tangled blanket of wool.
It is a God-given strength,
Like that which, two thousand years ago,
wiped dirt from His Son's feet.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Chelsea Edwards


Blossom In the Rain
by Josephine Kim

 A lone downpour, dripping onto busy streets
And tapping busy lives—one shoulder, the outline of a face, a hat.
The streets are streaked by glittering grease
As streams melt past islands of broken litter,
Traveling glasslike into drains—
Glossed city lights splash dull golden into shallow reflections.
A hand, two worn shoes, perhaps a head here—
Drops delicately dance, leap and cling,
Falling through the lashes of the world to slide andante
Across the luminous eyes of countless windowpanes
Which weep at the slick rough asphalt.
The people walk in the dreary drizzle
Plopping onto busy corners, bursting onto busy lives.
A lone umbrella blossoms in the rain.

Poem Copyright © 2012 by Josephine Kim

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