20th Annual Poetry Contest

2018 Winning Poems

True Freedom
by Luke Dalton, 10 years
Winner, 5-11 Years

From the Baltimore sands we make our stand,
As British and Americans fight to the end.
What we seek is respect on the seas we defend.
Cannons rapidly flare; bombs scream through the air,
Soldiers dodge shrapnel streaking so near,
And the barks of the commanders is what I hear.
When all seems lost you look to me,
And you shall see the wars we've fought to set up free.
The battle is over, there is no show of fear,
For we know that the end of the war is near.
As the British flee,
I sight someone far out at sea staring back at me.
I later find out that this poet named Key
Wrote an exceptional lyric about me.
When my time was well spent,
I was then happily sent
To a large museum where my countrymen stare
And remember the day that I once flew in the air.
When you go to a game,
You might sing of my fame
And the National Anthem is its name.
I am America.  I am liberty.  I am the flag.

Wind and Rain
by Cayla Hensley, 11 years
Winner, 5-11 Years

We all long for shelter,
A place we can call home.
But right now my heart is hurting,
And I feel lost and alone.

We always see the wind and rain,
And no sun to calm the storm.
How is this life worth living,
If all we do is mourn?

Go henst now, Wind and Storm!
And take these troubles away!
And bring the long lost sun,
To help brighten the dark day.

We all long for a shelter,
A place we can call home.
But push away the wind and rain,
And you may realize you're not alone.

by Lola Schreck, 8 years
Winner, 5-11 Years

Leaves have fallen
Sun's gone down
For that not time, nor season has gone
But what shall we do when the sun is gone?
And the seasons have passed?
That's where happiness come son.
Everything is different in a way
But there is love everyday
And that's a way

Thoughts on Thoughts on Thoughts
by Claire Adams, 14 years
Winner, 12-18 Years

don't inflict me with your introspection
tap out of my headspace
my cerebral landscape is not a good place
   I don't need to think about my thinking;
metacognition is a fruitless mission

I'm telling you now

Get out
Get out
      Get out . . .

Terms of My Condition
by Gabrielle Isaacson, 15 years
Winner, 12-18 Years

Let spring keep its court,
And winter its dancing sprites,
Autumn, its flushing winds,
And summer, its welcome nights.
I'd be content in any season,
With just you and I.
For such a noble reason,
Let ensuing years come by.
For all the creatures of the earth,
And every precious thing
Is just another wasteful birth
Of a separate, wasteful being.
I need you to weather the season,
Needing it, you and I.
Just listen to my reason
And let your heart comply
Click accept

Teenage Persistence to Form the Resistance
by Shelby Morgan, 18 years
Winner, 12-18 Years

I ask you, please picture a school,
There is a gym, field, theatre, and pool.
Classroom upon classroom line the halls
And student art covers the walls.

Each desk has a target painted bright red
To make it easier when counting the dead.
And should the student next you die
We don't have time to say good-bye.

We have preparing to do for the next attack
We have hiding to do and fear to pack.
Listen to me, for I am the adult
Part of school is facing gun assault.

Us teenagers stand up, tired of dying
We'll do your job since you're not trying.
But we're just kids, what do we know,
Besides front row tickets to the gun show.

They call us "Whiny, needy, cry baby kids"
But our futures are decided by gun money bids.
When we scream, "Stop killing us!"
They tell us "Do not make a big fuss."

We don't ask for a ban, just some control
To justify the lives that they stole.
This time, we refuse to be quiet
This is a protest, not a riot.

We're tired of waiting for action
So brace yourself for our reaction.
Don't be deceived by our age and our lookds
This will go down in the history books.

by Mary Stuart, 76 years
Winners, 19 Years & Older

You're strolling 'cross the concrete bridge   This warm sweet sunny day.
Your ears discern a rumble -- faint,   And a mile away.
You're thinking, "could be danger".   You scan the distant hills.
A peckerwood is pecking with   Precisionary skills.
The rumbling sound grows louder,   No clouds are in the sky.
Where have you heard that sound before?   Decidely, it's new.
You're sucking in your breath to catch   A thought of "what to do".
You're peering up the dry creek bed,   Can't see around the bend.
"A coming storm?" you ask yourself.   But there's no trace of wind.
A calmness is unnervingly   Steadfast against a roar.
You're looking, "God!" -- you're looking!   And still don't know what for.
Then suddenly a water mass   Comes charging 'round the bend,
A water-wall that's ten feet high!   Or more as it descends!
The plunging, surging, churning mass   Of tree limbs, rocks, and mud
All crash the bridge on which you stand   With a resounding thud.
Too late to run, you wonder, "will   The old bridge pilings hold?"
They shudder as, in shock you watch   The great onslaught below.
You wish this moment could be shared.   Transfixed, you watch in awe.
As crawdad, sand, and terrapin   All plummet down the draw . . .
A powerful swift rivers flows   Where moments ago 'twas dry.
It's lazy-hot and peaceful still,    No clouds up in the sky.

The Sock Sucker Sleeps
by Robert Weekley, 69 years
Winner, 19 Years & Older

The Sock Sucker sleeps
On the basement floor;
Away from the light
And away from the door
He will wait forever
If forever he need;
To pounce on his prey
Among tangled sleeves;
No one has caught
This silent of thieves;
On his mission of passion
On his mission of griefs;
He drools with excitement
His hands rubbing fast;
He slides through your undies
Your jeans he will pass;
He hides by the basket
Of long waiting clothes;
With towels on his arms
And a bra on his nose;
His brilliance is stealing
Only one sock as his crime;
Creating this new fashion
Of wearing miss-matched socks all the time!

Can You Believe It?
by Catherine Weinland, 20 years
Winner, 19 Years & Older

You always love watching those shows
About the possibility of life
Existing on other planets.
You insist that it's impossible for us to be the only ones
And I believe you
Because you forgot my birthday once again and
Because you decided one recital was enough and
Because your mind is always on something else
Worth your time.

You believe that Bigfoot is out there
Stomping about in nature,
Only seen at a distance, barely known,
And still enticing all the same.
I mimicked the beast's techniques
Crunching every fall leaf with gusto
And hiding in plain sight, trying so hard
To be interesting and
Worth your time.

I found it odd that you always
Believed in the unbelievable,
Infatuated with the unfactual.
So, what did that say about me?
Was I never captivating enough for you
To turn off the alien show,
Put down the urban legend books,
And just believe for one minute
That your life and mine were still
Worth your time?

Winners of 20th Annual Poetry Contest
Catherine Weinland, Shelby Morgan, Cayla Hensley, Lola Schreck, Mary Stuart, Luke Dalton, Gabrielle Isaacson,
Claire Adams, Robert Weekley