poetry contest

WINNING POEMS

The Monster Under the Bed

By Johnston Coleman, 11 years

Winner: 5-11 Years

Look at it grin with its gleaming eyes,

With spikes of silver sending shivers.

Scales of red under my bed.

I step down to the creaky floor,

Just to run to the door.

I turn on the light but see nothing,

It fled in the night

and left a trace of nothing.




The Snow Day

By Henry Preston, 10 years

Winner: 5-11 Years

Outside, snow is falling,

White as marshmallows,

I can hear it crunch under my feet,

And feel it, soft as silk, but icy cold.

I see the brown tree bark,

Feel it,

Rough as sandpaper,

Smell the sap of pine cones,

And pretty evergreens.

I hear the birds tweeting,

Soft and soothing,

One brown, one bright red,

Like a stop sign on a sunny day,

Hear their beaks pecking at the birdseed.

The poof of snow,

Falling from trees,

To the ground,

Where the animals are hibernating,

Dreaming of spring.

Quiet, quiet winds soothe my soul,

Loud, loud, and a tree limb cracks,

And with a fump,

Lands to rest,

On snow-covered ground.




Stuck Inside

By Katy Cavanagh, 10 years

Winner: 5-11 Years

There is nothing to do,

So, I sit down and play,

If only these things

Were going my way.

I want to see people,

Outside of these walls

But I only get to see them,

When we’re on Zoom calls.

I have to do all,

My classes online

I guess you could say,

I’m not on cloud nine.

I’m exhausted of drawing,

Especially with a mouse

And I’m frustrated with EVERYTHING,

In my very own house.

I’m watching tv,

I am in a bad mood,

And I can’t believe,

That I’m eating so much food.

I’m tired of Covid,

I’ve been here too long,

I’ve lost track of time,

THIS IS JUST WRONG!!!

I’m excited now,

That the vaccine is here

Because 2020

Was a really bad year.

I’m looking forward to,

Hanging out with friends,

We’ll all be happy,

When the quarantine ends.




Never Attend a Hick Wedding on a Hot Humid Day

By Bobbie Ridge, 72 years

Winner: 19 Years & Older

Here is a genuine preacher shocker

about a back-country-rang-tangling-slobber-knocker.

It happened around noon Saturday

at the wedding of Mary Ruth to Cousin Billy Ray.

They tied the knot by Lake Kip with the muddy shore

off County Road about ten miles or more.

The big event was a redneck magnet.

the blushing bride was four months pregnant.

It was hot and muggy with the crowd quickly growing

and the beer, whiskey and moonshine were flowing.

As Billy and Mary said their I do’s

over half the nosep0ickers were tanked up on booze.

Johnnie Sue Coop sneered, “Mary Ruth looks like a wrinkled old bag.”

Mary Ruth got mad and called Johnnie Sue a buck-toothed hag.

Johnnie Sue’s man, Bert, winked at Mary, just for spite

which provoked he and Billy into a bloody-snot-fist-fight.

Mary Ruth called Bert a loudmouth dud.

that peeved Johnny Sue and she and Mary started rastling in the mud.

I tried to step in to quiet the drunken throng

but it was too late the fracas was on.

My stupid brother Jake grabbed Aunt Roweena’s wig

and threw it in the pit underneath the roasting pig.

Jimmy Lee Jones slugged ole Jake

who landed rump first on the wedding cake.

With all the sweaty mob now liquor lit

everyone was looking for someone to hit.

The County Sheriffs tried to stop the mayhem

but some of the soused idiots turned on them.

They threw many in the hammer as we continued to yell

and our spouses are refusing to pay our bail.

Never “NEVER” attend a hick wedding on a hot humid day.

Like when Mary Ruth married Cousin Billy Ray.




Small Things

By Joyce McClain, 64 years

Winner: 19 Years & Older

Why can't I remember, re-live and recall

How life was exactly when my kids were still small?

How could years go by fast when the days were so long?

That sounded like nonsense - it had to be wrong.

The first little tooth, lost and re-grown

I wrote down in baby books but I couldn't have known

That milestone and others like baby's first step

Would be over in a blink, a minute, except

Here it is, staring me right in the face,

A past, decades long that can't be replaced.

All the small things however are here in my heart

And small things are often the very best part!

Every diaper changed, washed then carefully stacked,

The lunch boxes and bags, thoughtfully packed,

Sippy cups emptied and refilled hundreds of times,

(No wonder time flies – it boggles the mind!)

Uncountable errands, doctor visits and naps,

Three meals a day and unending snacks.

Reading Sleepy Time Story until the book was in tatters...

Perhaps it's the small every day thing that matters

Because these little things are in my heart overflowing

While I've been beating myself up over not knowing

How fast the years would fly by and then disappear,

The small things did not and I have them right here!

Safe in my heart, practically under my nose,

In the same place where all good things go.

The years will fly by – remember that part

And treasure the small things tucked away in the heart

The Final Goodbye

Kalei Sestan, 15 years

Winner: 12-18 Years

The scars on my arms are the history of my abuse.

The pain that nobody sees because I don't want pity put on me.

I wish I could be of service or of use.

But I'm a disappointment because that's what I've been taught to see.

The war in my head never surrenders.

My heart has been shattered into a thousand pieces.

I always manage to put myself back together.

But everyday I hope that my heart rate decreases.

Nobody knows the suffering I've endured or the agony I've faced.

Through it all I still manage to wake up everyday.

The deadly reminders of the past that show me I'm a disgrace.

They make me want to fly away.

In the end I hope to be free.

I hope that I've been let out of my man made prison.

I hope that over time you'll still remember me.

I hope to find peace in my decision.




Life on the Seashore

By Madison Townsend, 12 years

Winner: 12-18 Years

The sand gobbled up the shell,

The wave began to cry.

The wind blew itself back and forth,

And sighed in wondering why.

The sun gave off its sharp heat above,

Almost noon it had told.

Years ago the sun was created,

Through the years from young to old.

A castle of sand stood high on the beach,

Towering over its enemies.

The crab looked up and down its pillars,

And begged for mercy frantically.

Hours of wonder and question rolled by,

As the sun began to set.

The wind traveled to a new beach,

As fast as a newborn jet.

The stars above twinkled with happiness,

The moon at its full.

The beach below telling a story,

Never growing dull.

Once more the morn’ came again,

For the crickets’ chirps came to an end.

The seagulls high into the sky,

Flew wonderfully without a blink of an eye.

Colors of red, orange, yellow, and pink,

Filled the empty air.

Silent nor sound could be heard from afar,

Without the single thought of needing to care.

Years of friendship on the beach below,

Until it took its final blow.

War broke out and killed its creatures,

And not one to live as the young ones’ teachers.




The Songbird and the Cat

By Parker Iain Pfleegor, 15 years

Winner: 12-18 Years

Rising crescent moon

Sun casting its last bit of waning light

Through the branches

Making shadows on the white snow

Songbird with an evening melody

Sees the crust of bread

In the clearing

Dropped by a child;

Bird swoops down

And lands by the bread

The movement catches the eye of the nearby tom

Silently he stalks on soft pads;

Almost invisible in the shadows

Ever watching, never noticed

Creeping still closer

Prepares to spring

Wind changes

Prey senses predator

Cat springs

The bird flies into the wind;

But caught in mid-air

Is brought back down to earth

Blood stains the pure white snow

The songbird is no more




What’s Happened to English?

By Donald Strippgen, 88 years

Winner: 19 Years & Older

What’s happened to English that was sweet as a rose?

All I hear now is dese, dem, and doze.

Comin, goin, and whadaaya doin,

Gotya, getya, and why dontcha suem?

Sidown, shudup, goway and comere,

This lazy-mouth English is all that I hear.

It’s heard on radio, it’s heard on TV

It’s used by my grandkids, but never by me.

It’s taught in the classroom by highly paid teachers

It’s used in the pulpit by underpaid preachers

School kids talk about me and her,

But I seldom hear words like ma’am and sir.

I wish I was you, you wish you were me,

I’m so unkumpterl I can’t hardly see.

Who changed inter to inner, and enter to enner?

And why is “I seen it” okay?

Does anyone know when it’s proper

To use the words lie and lay?

I wanna go to the lieberry and read some of dem books,

Then do sumpten to improve my talkin and looks.

I doughno when to use better or when to use best

But maybe it no matter if it ain’t on no test.

My neighborhood friends say I should take the lead

By volunteering to teach eighth graders to read.

Who invented that terrible word gonna?

And who dropped i-n-g?

If I ever meet that so-and-so

There will be words between him and me.

So if your skill with the language is not very keen,

Just follow each phrase with, “Ya know wad I mean?”