Poetry Contest

Student Category

First place:  “The Yellow Sink” 

Christina Williams

As I stand here at the yellow sink

and I gaze through the back glass,

I look out upon the yard

so meaningful to my past.


I cannot help but think of

those sunny summer days,

with all the fun and learning,

the laughter and the play.


Daddy taught me how to till the soil,

and grow food there on our ground,

amidst the litters of beagle pups

that always were around.


He taught me about bugs and trees,

to pitch a softball through a tire,

and how to gather the proper things

we needed to start a fire.


I learned to shoot an arrow,

picked ripe fruit from vines and trees,

and then, after a long, hot day,

we would sit down in the breeze.


Hard work, pride, and honesty,

Daddy taught to always do what’s right,

to love your neighbor as yourself,

and never start a fight.


I would very rarely give a thought

to the dreaded month, September,

back in those good old days,

when Daddy could remember.


Things have changed since that innocent time,

when Daddy taught me about the world,

but my children will hear the stories

of how Grandpa raised his little girl.


As I wash the dishes in the yellow sink,

which was once a hated chore,

though tears may fall, I’ll stand here proudly,

because Daddy can’t do it anymore.


Second place: “The Girl with Traveling Shoes” 

Dalton Linick

I want to travel to a different place

Like the desert or jungle or outer space


It is not time to leave because my mom said,

But she doesn’t know, I travel in my head


When she goes to work, I go to her closet

I check all the clothes and search every pocket


I still want to travel. Oh what can I do?

Then I look down, and I pick up a shoe.


If shoes go on your feet and feet make you go,

Then I can travel to places that I know.


I put on her snow boots, then I start to go

To a freezing place that is covered in snow.


It is called the Tundra, and it’s really nice

If you like no trees and grounds covered in ice


But I am too cold here, I think I should go

I will go to a place that never has snow.


On goes her sandals that were under a shirt.

Now with these on, I can go to the desert.


There are cacti and sand, but I need a drink.

What place has plenty of water? So, I think.


I think, and I think. I think in slow motion.

Finally I figure it out, it’s the ocean.


I find my mom’s flippers, put them on my feet

And now I’m ready to beat the desert’s heat


I dive deep and go to school with the fishes

Who don’t learn math, rules, or how to do dishes


I am tired from swimming, I need to rest,

And I think that under a tree would be best.


I need a forest to lie under a tree.

I grab her moccasins and tie them tightly.


I lie down and fall asleep under an oak,

When suddenly, I heard a noise and awoke.


It was a red fox with a look in her eye

I was scared and I didn’t even know why


Now I’m rested, and I am ready to run

I’ll go to a place that is close to the sun.


I’m ready to climb, with her hiking boots on

A mountain in the Taiga is where I’ve gone


On the mountain top alone is really sad

I think having a friend would make me feel glad.


I find my mom’s rain boots tucked way in the back

I go to the Rain Forest. I need a snack


I climb with the monkeys and eat what they eat

They eat fruit like we do that are really sweet.


I can’t see here, there are trees everywhere.

I’ll go to a place where trees are really rare.


With her running shoes on, I will use my hands

To run on all fours, like beasts in the Grasslands


I chase the Gazelles, I’m the queen of the pride.

Then I hear a strange noise, and I want to hide.


I know it is my mom, I heard the front door.

What will she do since the shoes are on the floor?


I try to put them away, but I’m too slow.

The door opens up, now she is going to know.


I’m worried my mom will be mad for awhile,

But when I look up, I see a nice big smile.


“I thought you would be mad,” I said to my mom.

She laughed a little bit, and then she was calm.


She gave me a hug, and a kiss on my head.

She put her face by my face and then she said,


“I can’t be mad that my child wants to explore,

so I think I should join, and we can play more.”


Now I play with my mom, and we can both roam

To lands we’ve never been, and never leave home.


Third place: “The Search” 

Anthony Hale

I still search for you in crowds,

In empty fields and soaring clouds.

In city lights and passing cars,

On winding roads and wishing stars.



Runner-up: “Soldiers in a Silent War”

Blythe Freshwater

“Don’t you do it–don’t fall asleep on me.”

Sleepless, my friend’s watchful eyes–

Shrapnel pierces my head–

Pressing in, we’re surrounded on all sides–

Chained, captive by the enemy.


Overcome by darkness–

Will we make it through the night?

Echoes in the distance–thunderclaps–

I reach for her hand–“hold me tight.”

Tangled in barbed wire blankets.


My strength is failing–

My compatriot breathes a weary sigh;

She has slept but little

As she sees me hold on for dear life–

The moonlight ever dimming.


“Don’t you do that–keep holding on,”

Fighting through the fearful night–

Slogging through the mud–

Holding me with watchful eyes–

Grasping for the dawn.


“Hold me, please just hold me.”

Doubts, questions, fears enter–

“I’m right here, I won’t let go,”

Tensing up–The enemy is near–

She caresses my head, cradling me.


Rank with fear, breathless fear–

Ranks of soldiers fighting their own fight–

My eyes white in panic–

All around, rank with ghosted eye–

Victory’s faraway banner.


Lines of worry creasing her face–

“Shh, shh, easy,” she reassures–

Trembling, thrashing, earthquakes–

Bruises, tattered, battle scars–

Stroking my hair, fingers laced.


My hands weak, heartbeat slowing,

Her hands strong, heartbeat sure–

“There, there, easy, dear one,”

Never before felt love so pure–

She suffered more, her friend holding.


Jumping at every sound–

Limbs quivering, shaking, tremor–

She shakes me awake–

Slipping, falling, face-down in the mire–

No strength to hold on.


Her eyes are worried, strong, lovely–

A thousand deaths my life pierce–

Bandages on my eyes–can’t shake them–

Turmoil within, turmoil around me–

The eternal struggle fierce.


Lines of people hurting–

“Hold my hand”–like terror’s vise–

Hands clasped in faith that

Perhaps the sun will still yet rise–

Dripped lifeblood fading.


The sun peeks over the horizon–

Bathing her weary face–

“Just hold on. Hold on.”

The fight is over–

The fight has just begun.


Runner-up: “Beauty”

Callie Brezillac

You see her

On that cover

Or in that movie

And your perception of beauty

Is being skinny

Or toned

But darling

Don’t you see?

It’s not about skinny

Beauty is neither a play

Nor a worldly display

Beauty is confidence

In the Creator Magnificent

Beauty not based upon how you look

Rather, beauty defined by The Book

Patience, kindness, joy, trust, and virtue

Not fake but true

To the God Who created you.


Faculty Category

First place: “Cautionary Myths”[Text Wrapping Break]Jerome Van Kuiken 

So long we longed to leave our low domain

To soar like eagles, mighty, proud and free.

Our boldest made the skies and Moon their claim;

But Heaven chastens hubris: in the sea

With melted wings like Icarus some fell.


Titanic in intention, we aspired

To seize the soul of atoms and of stars.

Promethean in prowess, we acquired

Celestial fire for lighting, warmth, and wars

And loosed on Earth the element of Hell.


Life’s double-helix weave now lies revealed;

We hold the skein we deem came from Fate’s loom

And seek the destiny therein concealed—

Through genomancy read to cheat the doom

Which all-too-mortal oracles foretell.


We fancy ourselves Heroes of Olympus,

Heirs apparent of gods obsolete;

Yet Challengers, Chernobyls, Hiroshimas

Prove our pompous posing indiscreet,

The stuff of cautionary myths as well.


Second Place: “The Past”

Jennifer Geyer

The past it haunts me in the night

It brings all evils done in sight

Though I should wish to bid them gone

Those ghosts they beg to linger on


Farewell you unsought friends of old

I go before the throne so bold

To seek the cleansing hand of One

Who commands those fiends to move along


Third place: “Elrond’s Lament (To the Tune of Clementine)” 

Jerome Van Kuiken

In a valley

‘Cross a river

Yonder where the Fair Folk are,

Lived an Elf-prince

Of Imladris

And his daughter Evenstar.

Oh my Arwen,

Oh my Arwen,

Oh my Arwen Evenstar,

You are lost and gone forever,

Dreadful sorry, Evenstar.


Through the darkness,

Through the danger,

Came the ranger Elessar,

Stole her heart and

Stole his daughter,

Elrond’s daughter Evenstar.

Oh my Arwen,

Oh my Arwen,

Oh my Arwen Evenstar,

You are lost and gone forever,

Dreadful sorry, Evenstar.


Now she wanders

Through the woodlands,

Far from fields of the Valar,

‘Cause her Man done

Died and left her,

Left her lonely, Evenstar.

Oh my Arwen,

Oh my Arwen,

Oh my Arwen Evenstar,

You are lost and gone forever,

Dreadful sorry, Evenstar.




i don’t want

to fall again,

but there you are

with open hands

& a heart full of

love songs.


;it’s frightening






i’m kind of tired of waiting

for love to find me.

i don’t think it likes hide & go seek

& quite frankly,

neither do i.







i’m the girl

with the paper

& pen

writing myself


feeling again.


;writer’s block








she talks in yellow

& dreams pastels

moves like sunlight

& ocean swells.




she drinks in roses

& blinks back rain

sings the lyrics

of her own pain.








for you,

words are nothing—

empty syllables on lazy tongues.


but for me,

they are heavy things,

boiling in the pit of my stomach

until they rise like fire

& thunder to the surface.


;words have power







the seas are raging

wind howling at the gates

the sky bruised black with

rain clouds

blotched with careless paint.


but here

my hope grows freely

i look up without pain

my fingers brush the petals

of the flowers that You made.



my fears go silent

there’s quiet in my head

the trees reach long above us

the darkness fallen dead.


walking in the garden

along the path You paved

hand in hand with Glory

knowing i am saved.


so let the storms go howling

whatever they may say

my ears are filled with singing

with You, Lord, i will stay.


;in the garden






i bit my tongue

until the taste of blood

replaced the words

i was too afraid to say.


;i will not be afraid anymore





i made it.

past the heartbreak

& bitterness.

through happiness

& pain.

through love

& the loss of it

through the trials

& the trusting.

i finally made it

h o m e.


& He was there to welcome me

just like He promised He would be.


;light & momentary troubles







what is it

to rest

in the Hands

of my King?

it is to be quieted

by love

and wrapped

in peace.

it is to laugh

with joy

in victory.

it is to leave

my fears

& past


and sink into

the deep



;i am Yours and You are mine






i buckled my tongue

to the roof of my mouth

and threw my soul in a vault

made of ice.


;but now both are loosed

& the words won’t stop coming.






there is wonder

in the wait;

a touch of magic

glowing dim.

there is beauty

trapped in space;

woven tightly

between ribs.


;my heart waits for you