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©2020 by The America Library of Poetry.

2019 Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 3-5)

Past, Present, Future
by Caroline Bahr

The windy moor holds my past
In the juniper and rosemary
As a breeze blows by
Skylarks grab it and fly away.
The cool forest has my present
The ash and maple trees shelter it
From the gentle rain
And deer wanting to take a nibble.
The quiet mountain hides my future
Within sparkling snow
And tall evergreen trees
With brown hawks soaring above.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Caroline Bahr

 

Daffodils
by Iman Athar

Daffodils are like shards of the sun that have fallen to Earth
Spreading warmth, among the days of gloom and despair
Spreading happiness, to those in need of it
Holding a priceless treasure, petals flutter around me
Bright yellow, a bit frayed around the edges
A picture of perfection

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Iman MAthar 

Morning
by Ellie Park

The cold touch of the wind
Skipping about me,
Grass rippling
Beneath my feet,
The clear, frosty scent of winter
Filling the fresh air.
The stars are bright
Like the hovering sparks
Lingering from July fireworks
Slowly fading as the night lifts,
A veil of darkness
Being pulled away
To reveal the rose-colored flush
Of morning.
And the sun
Begins to show,
Its new spun threads of gold
Peeking just above the horizon
Until the full circle of copper
Lifts its brilliant face.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Ellie Park

 

 

Division II
(grades 6-7)

Connections
by John Murrell

Fluorescent lights scream at him,
Clothing tags stab him like needles,
Insomnia lives with him, under the same roof, like a brother, like me;
I don't understand.
"Friends" are like the Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,
Words are either too baggy or too tight,
They evade, frustrate, and confine him;
I don't understand.
We stand in the same room;
Yet live in different worlds,
His isolation room is impenetrable;
I try to break through, I don't understand.
To connect we must plug in, charge up, escape ...
To another realm where diamond mines
And dragons exist;
In that place we speak the same language and triumph over
The dark shadow autism creates.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by John Murrell

 

Glasses
by Anika Ajgaonkar

Glasses and you - the love-hate relationship of the century.
From the water-flecked lenses that might greet you on a rainy day,
To the constant question of "Where did I put them?"
They're the very bane of your existence.
But having your glasses off is another story.
One glance at the mirror, and your every flaw melts away before your eyes.
The knots in your hair seem to have untangled themselves.
Your skin is clear, the blemishes vanishing into thin air.
And if you look closely, you can see each one of your delicate eyelashes,
Usually hidden by the thick rim of your glasses.
For a moment, you see yourself.
Timid, yet tough. Hesitant, yet bold. Average, yet unique.
And sometimes, if you look close enough, you can see a little glimmer of gold.
Of hope.
That maybe one day you'll look a little bit different.
But for now, all you can do is put your glasses back on
And have reality hit you like a
Ton of bricks.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Anika Ajgaonkar

 

Grandpa With Cancer
by Ezra Bradford

I look down at the small, frail body with the white skin.
I watch as he puts on his glasses to read.
His voice is low but crackly.
His hair and mustache, white as snow.
His eyes, green as a jungle.
He has a blue blanket, blue like the sky on a clear day.
He is in a hospital bed with lots of machines that look scary.
There are weird cords connected to different parts of his body
that look dangerous if disconnected.
He looks weaker than a wilted flower whose last petal is about to fall.
Before he was always on his feet,
and loved going to football games with his friends.
Now he looks like he might crumble into a thousand pieces.
But he's still full of jokes and a smile for me and my brothers.
Underneath all the pain, he is still on the bright side
even while everything seems so dark around him.
He is like a sun about to set.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Ezra Bradford

 

Division III
(grades 8-9)

Window Pains
by Reid Bushong

It was out of this window,
that I would watch for your car to come into view.
Betrayed by the opening of the roll-up garage door,
and terrified by the sounding of your entry.
For you to voice your utter disdain of my existence,
was by then an anticipated routine.
Like the panes of glass that would provide me with fair warning,
I too was transparent in your eyes.
My house of confidence and self-worth now torched,
my beams of trust colliding with the faulty foundation.
Your constant judgement,
became a leading catalyst for my growth.
The energy you drained from eradicating my optimism,
turned out to be a renewable resource.
It left me with the fuel necessary,
to finally break away from your suffocating ideals.
It was out of this window,
that I would search beyond the horizon for a better tomorrow.
This is where I learned to savor the sweet silence,
left behind by your absence.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Reid Bushong

 

Dandelion
by Haleigh Walter

She was a dandelion in a field of magnificent flowers.
She loathed her very existence.
The garden had convinced her she was a weed.
She had long forgotten she was the first flower I admired as a child.
Despite the beauty I saw,
she would turn white,
she would blow away.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Haleigh Walter

 

Felicity
by Alice Yang

Every Monday, Felicity waltzes in at 7 AM, sharp
The bells' tinkles resonate in the air,
creating a fascinating effect as her billowing dress floats through the door
I inhale the comforting scent of coffee beans which lingers about
when she leans in to plant a fluttering butterfly kiss upon my cheek
Her golden locks bounce from place to place
when she scuttles across the worn-out kitchen tiles
The dainty shoes placed upon her feet rise like a sudden breath,
kissing the ground only when gravity demanded so
And even then,
Felicity seemed to represent the essence of an ever-graceful, ethereal figure
The coffee cup she gifts to me singes my fingers
But I do not let go
Her soft, glittering voice echoes in my head, and I dote on every spoken word
But when I try to embrace her in my arms,
she simply slips away like running water
And her whispers fade with the ocean breeze
The sudden silence jolts me from my meandering thoughts.
I sigh, clutching at my empty coffee cup
Time trickles by slowly, and I, perched atop that crooked stool,
await for my Felicity to visit again.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Alice Yang

 

Division IV
(grades 10-12)

She Speaks In Cursive
by Irura Nyiha

She speaks in cursive
Every single letter from those pursed lips
A chrysalis of splendor
Little droplets, soft and tender
Speaks in cursive,
In melody, calligraphy
A voice that floats upon the winds
A perfect, formless entity
In cursive,
She paints a picture-perfect scene
A blossoming of harmony
Cadenza in soliloquy
Cursive,
A chorus of chirality
Her cry, a fading beauty
And her laughter, sweetened poetry.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Irura Nyiha

 

The Big Bang
by Christina Tillinghast

the words slid from her grasp and broke into a million blazing pieces,
glittering crystal shards exploding heavens onto the ethereal kitchen tile,
drawing blood
she had forgotten that the words were dangling dangerously
from painted fingertips,
forgotten how deeply they desired destruction, to kiss the ground
and remain eternally embedded in the discolored grout and dusty corners
part of her wished she could take them back, wished she could say
"I'm sorry" or "I didn't mean it"
but she wasn't and she did
she knew the Big Bang was irreversible, that the unleashed light
and celestial dust could no longer return to its high-density state
there was no going back to the pent-up objections and unspoken bitterness –
no – space was to constantly expand, spreading the matter and heat
through the breadth of time and across the kitchen floor
until they engulfed whatever was before and became all that had ever existed
until they consumed her parents' fallen faces and filled her own shaking lungs
and as she stared in awe of the wreckage, her nascent universe taking shape,
regret and relief playfully competed to sweep away at the fragments

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Christina Tillinghast

 

Atelophobia: Motaassefam, Baba

(Forgive Me, Father)
by Emma Tafazoli

I shot my world across the floor from a crystal cannon,
and tried to clean the mess I made with a broken brush.
You've come to hate my disarray; I know that you can't stand it.
I see the ire of cold contempt behind the green of lush.
The battle cry of haunting time hidden by a hush.
Clean it, clean it, clean it, so it doesn't show too much.
Spotless floors, charging Moors, the dust will find its casket.
Blood and tears from distant peers trade years in woven baskets.
He loomed and lumbered, the Persian King, who never had enough,
Down the track, he tore my heart and called it reckless love,
so with distaste pushed back inside she steps into the mess,
collects my body once again to lay it down to rest.

Poem Copyright © 2019 by Emma Tafazoli