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2013 Poetry Contest Winners

First Place
Category 1 (ages 7–10):

Fog in Pearl Harbor

by Iris Riverstone
Waianae, Hawaii

A misty day in the harbor
Fog is over the bay
A light, cloudy, sprinkling mist
On ships the fog did lay.

Blurry, almost as dark as night
Ships of lochs east and west,
Concealed is their strength and their might
They seem to lie at rest.

The harbor is starting to clear
The fog is sent away
Ships that protect the harbor dear
Strong, in the light of day.

Second Place
Category 1 (ages 7–10):

Makaha Heat

Iris Riverstone
Waianae, Hawaii

When the cool tradewinds cease to blow,
When the grass no longer does grow,
When the rain does not fall,
When everything is hot and dry,
When the hot babe begins to cry,
Heed the oceans cool call.

Third Place
Category 1 (ages 7–10):

Dinos

Jakob Wedel
Lakewood, Colorado

Back when the dinos would roam
You couldn’t use a telephone.
The T-Rex reached sky high
Its prey would wave goodbye.

They’d run and run away from it,
Until they fell in a giant pit.
The cavemen made that hole
And then they would eat them in a bowl.

They would make those bowls out of clay
And they made them in the middle of the day.
Now you know why the dinos died,
Because we ate them, fried.

Honorable Mention
Category 1 (ages 7–10):

My Haven

Esther Woelfel
Cole Camp, Missouri

Big, bright, beautiful sunflowers,
All nodding in the breeze,
Damp with all the dew and showers,
All buzzing full of bees.

And the peaceful little brook streaming,
Over the yonder hill,
And all the blue jays a singing,
Each puffing out his bill.

Oh see His works, ye sinful race,
Won’t He take care of all?
In this pleasant and quiet place,
God sees the sparrow fall.

Honorable Mention
Category 1 (ages 7–10):

The Crocodile

Leah Bowen
Clovis, California

I used to know a crocodile
I met him down beside the Nile
He almost ate me up!
I trained him now he’s very nice
Now he eats up all of our mice
I’ll never give him up.

First Place
Category 2 (ages 11–14):

Scotland’s Sounds

Catherine Chesebro
Millville, New Jersey

The streets of Edinburgh town
Are full of noises loud
Swish of a lady’s gown
The shouting of a crowd.

Sweet the sounds of Skye
Blue waves break on the shore
The call of a falcon high
And wind upon the moor.

The bens near the Minch
Ensorcell me with sound
The singing of a finch
Baying of a hound.

The braes of the Clyde
With cries of the dovekie ring
And by the waterside
The frogs forever sing.

Scotland’s sounds are many
What are they to me?
For I have not been happy
Since I parted with thee.

And I curse these ears sometimes
For hearing the death knell
Ever since that night you said
‘Farewell, love, farewell.’

Second Place
Category 2 (ages 11–14):

Sparrow in a Storm

by Mikaela Day
Browns Mills, New Jersey

Storm clouds roll above the trees,
Thunder parts the sky;
A wind comes down to blow the leaves
Into the cloudy high.

Lightning rips, but onward fly,
A blue furrow in the air;
Hunting shelter, still, to try!
Sparrow seeking there.

Blinded by the fierce, dark storm,
Feathers dripping from the rain,
Sparrow sees a guiding form:
“By your faith you will remain.”

Guiding Sparrow on his way,
In this storm he will not fall;
Watching o’er us, day by day,
God is taking care of all.

Third Place
Category 2 (ages 11–14):

Coal Dust

Alison Pataky
Newberry, Florida

I’m looking at coal dust.
I’m looking at black, I’m looking at grey.
I’m seeing the deepness of its dark.
It’s used at the end of the day.

It is a deep orange like a dark sunset.
The fire turns to embers, the embers become ashes.
They go away too fast.
They pound away at the coal with powerful bashes.

I’m looking at coal dust.
I’m looking at what covers this mining town.
We light it up at the end of the day,
When the sun goes down.

Now, I’m looking at coal dust.
And now that the morning has come for me,
The night is gone, but the dark’s still there.
And coal dust is all I see.

Honorable Mention
Category 2 (ages 11–14):

Symphony of Smells

Kaylee Spears
Falls Church, Virginia

The smells of the world
Get wrapped up in the wind.
Some scents are strong
While others grow thin.

The smells from the city
Are many and strong
Like the quick-trotting notes
Of your favorite jazz song.

From fried shrimp to hairspray
Each scent is unique,
But blend them together
And they all form a beat.

The scents of the country
Are wild and free
It smells of the grass
And the earth and the tree.

The flowers the high notes, the spices the low
And the steady, dull beat of the crops,
These scents with others form a melody slow,
A sweet-scented song that won’t stop.

The forever-blue ocean
Smells of salt, sand, and shore.
Its sea-weedy sonnet
Swirls sweet scents galore.

On the wings of the wind
These scents are carried along
And the smells of our world
Weave a beautiful song.

Honorable Mention
Category 2 (ages 11–14):

The Traveler

Charles Lockridge
Armed Forces, Europe

The hailstones raining on,
Pound down against his back,
The lighting storm, an awn,
Thrashes with fearsome cracks,

He treks through blazing sand,
Of torrid desert there,
His feet upon a land,
That burns the soring pair,

Each single thorny grain,
Severs his hardy skin,
The whipping wind again,
Whittles his figure thin,

The traveler dreams of,
An ocean wind aloft,
Bearing waves from above,
Yet staying ever soft,

But that fireball still sears,
His sunburned feeble back,
The sandstorm there still nears,
Chasing his faded tracks,

Trudging amid the pained,
Endless world of his own,
The traveler has gained,
Nought but mere aching bone.

First Place
Category 3 (ages 15–19):

The Color of Glory

Sheila Roberts
Chardon, Ohio

Her footfalls strike hollow against the world’s bones;
Long trampled to iron, the blasted earth groans.
A half-crumpled road twists away through the dust;
The old Road to Silence spins circles of rust.

She runs through the echoes, dust catching her feet,
A droplet of lace in a sea of concrete.
Around her rings chaos, red-ragged and charred.
She dreams of cool silence, but that dream is scarred.

Her feet drag her farther; the Road twists again.
It loops through a haze of black echoes, and then
Uncurls a dark River, forgotten and deep—
No rust taints its sapphire; no sound breaks its sleep.

Here lies the end of her spindling dreams—
A gash of dark water sunk deep in the seams
Of copper cacophony, meaningless halls:
A nerve-jarring jangle of iron. She falls.

Cold water slams into her; drags out a skein
Of glimmering bubbles: an upside-down rain.
They flit through her lips masquerading as Hope,
Leave nothing inside her but dark-pulsing smoke.

The water is icy and empty as Void;
The silence drowns memory: heart-flame destroyed.
She’s drowning and drowning—and then beyond breath,
Awash in red poppies, far brighter than death.

A flurry of flame to the River’s cold mire,
But sweet, cooling rain to the iron-etched fire,
They sing and Eternity fills with their thrum:
‘Awake! Hallelujah! The Kindler has come!’

The color of glory twines light through her hair;
Her scarred fingers dance with its carmine, and snare
A whisper of crimson. It weaves through the dark:
Light rising through shadowy foam like a spark.

Her heart-flame dissolves in a far greater Light,
But the red flower rises unchanged by the Night:
The color of glory weaves true harmony
To hallow the rust of a lost galaxy.

Second Place
Category 3 (ages 15–19):

Neapolis

Austin Zick
Armed Forces, Europe

Speak softly, raging wind, and calm the angry ocean;
washed up beaches, broken rocks, worn by your endless motion.
The night hangs dark and hot and listless, the silence smites.
Tread lightly, city spirits, and ride the wind’s playful crest;
Silence, Garibaldi, now the trains must come to rest.

Move gently, angry ocean, stir Brother Fish from slumber,
Fishermen are approaching, with nets and hands that grow in number.
The rising sun silhouettes the trees, as they were stained with night.
Wake quickly, dormant city, you have felt such peaceful sleep;
Now, Montesanto, let your trains engines rumble tunnels deep.

Guide them, fickle time, these men back to their homes.
These kings of weakened castles, unsteady on their thrones.
The noonday sun will drowse them and quickly strip their rights,
Feed them power, lovely Queens, then leave them obsolete.
And Montesanto runs on, for the day is not yet complete.

Kiss gently, sultry sirocco, usher in good soft night,
and wrap your wraith-like arms about me, close and never too tight.
The twilight is hot and listless, again the silence smites.
Raging wind and angry ocean, lie very, very still;
Listen for a train’s whistle, piercing darkness shrill.

Third Place
Category 3 (ages 15–19):

A Measure of Greatness

David Sargent
Chittenden, Vermont

Deep in the early dawn of life,
A man said to his son,
“Death comes to all, but some men live
Long after Death is done”

The boy went forth to run his race
And set his eyes on high
His goals were writ in starry space
Ambitions in the sky

He stumbled, fell upon his knees
The stars beyond his reach
He struggled, tottered to his feet
Spurred by his father’s speech

Then once again he saw the stars;
They whispered to him, “Run!”
“Run well the race, and you will live
Long after death is done”

He ran in silence through the night
When others sought their rest
And in the morning won the fight
When others hard were pressed

In time Death came unto this man
As Death must come to all
And through the evening shades of life
He heard his Master call

He left the earthly track he ran
With all his laurels won
But left a legacy that lived
Long after Death was done

Honorable Mention
Category 3 (ages 15–19):

The World I Live in

Michael Teoli
Guilford, New York

The dawn-rose flowers in the east;
The earth is raining grass
Up to the magic, sapphire sky;
The lake is living glass;

The dewy air and bloss’ming birds
Are soul-wine fit for kings;
My sister, Nature, holds my hand:
Oh God! Thy Cosmos sings!

Though Man has wiped his nose with the earth,
And made the sea a thrall,
Has torn the sky from off its posts,
And filled his soul with gall,

Yet still the earth is faerie-land;
The sea will burst its chains;
The sky’s a beast that can’t be killed;
And God will cleanse all stains.

And even if Man casts this world
Into a pit of hell,
Destroys all hope and makes vast space
One lonely prison cell;

Though Time itself is rent in two,
And Being falls to sand;
Still God will live, for He is Truth…
All else is Shadow-Land.

Honorable Mention
Category 3 (ages 15–19):

The Traveler

Lucia Morud
Warren, Oregon

“And where have you been?” asked a fellow of me,
Whose home was the globe, and whose life was the sea
(Well-knowing that I, still a freshly grown sprout,
Had sailed my boats once when the fam’ly was out).

Not wanting to seem like an ignorant chap,
I pulled up a chair, and unfurled a large map
Then said to the man, whose amusement was caught,
“The question, dear sir, is to where have I not?”

“Now here—near this spot—” I, with gusto, began,
Implying the place where the Nile River ran,
“Is where I met warriors, last Saturday night,
And fed the eight camels who aided my plight.”

The fellow was visibly shocked by my speech;
“Oh, come now, young man; I implore, I beseech!
Your humor is fine, but your tales I accost—”
Quite gravely, I showed him my fingers, uncrossed.

With vigor, I blithely resumed my address:
“This summer, in Athens, I witness the zest
Of archers; the Grecians, all aiming at me—”
So high were his eyebrows, I turned to the sea.

“The Indian Ocean was pirate-ship cove;
I fought a stout fight for my craft’s treasure trove,
But that was no match for the battle in France,
When rebels attacked at the young Dauphin’s dance.”

I opened my mouth to tell more (of a trek
Down the trails of Peru; of the snow in Quebec),
But the gentleman’s face was a shade of burnt red
That gave me the feeling enough had been said.

I bid him goodnight (though his answer was stiff),
And folding the map, I took out my toy skiff
Which sails like a fierce man-of-war—so it seems,
And takes me all over the world—in my dreams.