poetry contest

The Jefferson County Library's Arnold Branch hosts a poetry contest every year. 2019 winners are: Annalise Dierker, Amelia Leicht, Avery McKinnon, Sadie Morgan, Paul Notaro, Kayla Presley, Shannon Morgan, Shelby Morgan, and John Weaver.

an image of our 2019 poetry contest winners

2019 Winning Poems

Treats, Oh Sweets

by Amelia Leicht, 9 years

Winner: 5-11 Years

Cakes and cupcakes,

What glorious treats.

Melted chocolate,

Oh, so sweet.

I love to eat cakes,

Until I have an awful bellyache!

Sugary sweets,

Are my favorite treats!

Flower Strength

by Avery McKinnon, 11 years

Winner: 5-11 Years

I am a flower

I stand strong and proud

I do not cower

When my petals fall to the ground

In the winter

It gets cold

I become tender

As my leaves begin to fall

When summer comes

I start to bloom

I am a pretty sight

Waiting for doom

Flower Drums

Inspired by the flower drum music from Feng Yar

by Annalise Dierker, 11 years

Winner: 5-11 Years

The music at the symphony was

loud but graceful

it made me feel I was outside

in the sunshine

With little red headed birds

flying through the sky

And mountains high

with graceful purple blooms

Swaying excitedly

ready to bloom bright

with the sun shining

Down at the ground

With drums banging and pink flowers


was China with flowers on towers, and laughing

Happy people

And as the little red headed birds fly through the sky it was like they

were sending a graceful message

that the pink swaying blossoms and

flower drums were gliding down the road

ready for a graceful show

Take a Look

by Kayla Presley, 15 years

Winner: 12-18 Years

Look through me

See what you can see

Am I like a telescope?

By looking through me do you discover shiny and beautiful things?

Or am I more akin to a kaleidoscope?

Does looking through me disorient and sicken you?

It’s a gamble to find out –

A world of stars versus a dizzying dystopia.

Come and see if I’m work a peek

If I Had a Nickel

by Paul Notaro, 12 years

Winner: 12-18 Years

If I had a nickel

for when there is love,

I’d be rich like the jewels of the earth

and the blue sky above

If I had a nickel

for when there is hate,

I’d be rich like the tall trunks

of lush green trees that stand still and wait

If I had a nickel

for when love is broken,

I’d be rich like the twinkling stars,

teary eyes, when last words are spoken

If I had a nickel

for when we kill for our gain,

I’d be rich like the deep spacious lakes.

We try, but Nature can’t be restrained

The Deadman’s Swing

by Sadie Morgan, 12 years

Winner: 12-18 Years

Welcome to the graveyard,

Where the perished leave their final scar.

But, tonight is a special day,

For it is time for all to swing and sway!

This is where all the skeleton’s bones

Rattle and shake,

And where ghosts and ghouls

Finally awake.

New Orleans air

Fills the atmosphere,

And soft jazz can be heard

From somewhere near.

Your favorite classic artists

Come back to life

And even the dead,

Feel alive.

Everyone at the graveyard

Is feeling alright,

As the Deadman’s Swing

Can be heart tonight!

A Tiny Tribute to the Twisted Tongue

by John Weavers

Winner: 19 Years & Older

When Peter Piper picked his peck of pickled peppers,

He could not know the challenge he would start,

The same with Betty Botter’s bitter butter

The twisted tongue, their troubles truly taught.

To quickly tell the tales of these two twisters

Completely ties my tongue in tons of knots,

Trained therapists who try to talk me through this

Are often, they themselves, left seeing spots.

And then to add the woodchuck to the table

The wood he chucked if he could chuck some wood,

Forget the girl who sells the sandy sea sheels,

I’d never buy them, even if I could!

To fail to mention poor old Fuzzy Wuzzy

Just solely cause he was a hairless bear,

It feels like such a travesty to justice

And even seems a little bit unfair.

The shoeshine shop where Suzie sits and shines shoes,

Is down the road from where this rhyme must close,

With rubber baby buggy bumpers out there

Its time I stop and get me some of those.


by Shannon Morgan

Winner: 19 Years & Older

I can label all the in betweens,

Child, school, girl, wife, mother.

These are the badges I have worn

From one side through the other.

Now, childhood’s in the past,

I’ve lost my school girl charms,

No longer the blushing bride,

And no baby in my arms.

What is my purpose now?

How did I lose myself along the way?

Self-identity seeped from my breast,

Name changed on my wedding day.

Where do you go when you’re no longer you?

When your name you can’t recall?

When you’re only addressed by Mrs. Or Mom

Until that identity consumes above all.

I had another name once.

I mean, surely, I must have, right?

I feel it on the tip of my tongue

As it drifts in and out of the light.

I know some day I’ll find it.

It will slowly rise to the surface.

I will greet it as an old friend,

And we’ll again find our purpose.

In My Family’s Use Car Lot, The Night After My High School Reunion

by Shelby Morgan, 19 years

Winner: 19 Years & Older

At work I star at a car,

that is more decoration than it is product,

trying to remember its origin.

I can’t stop thinking about John

and his bigshot job,

and how it has been 15 years since graduation,

and how I am still jealous.

John left town.

He took his diploma to New York

and found his place on Wall Street.

I stayed, and took over the family business

that is failing miserably

because of businessmen like him.

I’ve seen this car driving before

I just can’t remember where.

But I know I’ve heard the engine turnover,

seen both lights shine,

heard the music from its radio.

John drove a Cadillac, next year’s model.

I drove a 2003 Chevy Tahoe.

We parked next to each other last night

in the banquet hall parking lot.

I reminisced about the days

where we’d stay after school

our cars parked side by side,

we’d smoke cigarettes,

we were so cool.

That’s a distant memory now.

Now I am here, with a lot of unwanted cars

and this one, that I can’t stop looking at.

I know I’ve seen it next to mine,

Back when my Chevy was new.

I open the door and it groans

it hasn’t been opened in years.

I sit on the tearing leather seats.

It still smells like cigarettes.