Congratulations to our 2019 poetry contest winners! As usual, we had lots of great submissions this year. If you missed entering this year, keep an eye out for our 2020 contest.
On May 21st at 5pm, please join us at the Central Library to hear the winning poems from our 2019 Mesa County Libraries Teen and Adult poetry contest!
Winning poems from this year can be found below:
1st Place/Adult: Ruth Michels, “PROSILIO”
We fly by. An enormous world beyond our
window. Trees, rocks, winding roads, become
a chessboard of towns all leading to unknown
geographies. The cataract of sunlight mirrors
faces with erased features, leaving behind
holograms of former selves.
Steel wheels on steel rails moving
ghosts to phantom destinations.
Nameless costumes disguised as life, made
of parchment, existences hidden in obscurity.
Decay that lies beneath, swallows light.
Quenched silence measures sorrows.
Like a diorama in a lighted case, one slips
into a deep sleep and all reality liquifies
into a runaway train.
2nd Place/Adult: John Anglim, “Moon cycles”
When the moon is full,
we wrestle with our dreams like elves
tumbling down some dawn
dappled hill. And below a sentient
sky, shadows sizzle on the cold
In the waning days,
the dimming light flows through
the window like mist and we slumber
alone. Then all time stops, and the night
whispers secrets to the tree-tops.
And we stop too. Frozen. Listening.
Hoping to overhear their secrets.
On the night of no moon
at all, mad processionals move
through our sleep,
trumpeting their messages
of gloom and glee.
In the morning we chase after
them, following the warming
sun all the way back to evening.
And when at last the splash of silver light returns,
The weeping willows laugh and the birds sing all night long.
The owls go hungry trying to sleep.
And little cats grow restless
In the deep and dreamy, pacing night.
And finally in the fickle light
of the moon just before morning,
where shadows swim
and brightness dims,
all my reworked visions
Too moon-heavy for the light of day.
3rd Place/Adult: Phyllis Moorman, “The Gate to My World”
Crooked-er than the cracked sidewalk beneath,
the weathered gate swung back and forth,
its creaky, rusted hinges keeping beat
with the wind whistling overhead.
Bare pickets swung and clacked
against one another,
nails long ago loosened by us kids
wriggling our feet between the planks.
Summers were so easy then;
we played within our gated yard,
often scraping sticks along the boards
as we dreamed beyond our boundary.
We couldn’t imagine such
innocent ways to wile away time
in the shade of the old cottonwood
would loosen or damage the fence.
It was my eighteenth year when
Mom decided the fence needed fixed.
That summer, the days seemed without end,
but not in the easy way of my youth.
Tediously, I replaced the loosened nails;
I scraped, and I brushed, and I primed
and I painted what seemed like
thousands of scaly gray pickets.
Dad repaired the gate that summer, too,
and it now swung outward when unlatched,
and closed swiftly behind you. It was what I thought
I wanted that year, too; to leave and not return.
But, only years later,
when I saw the rickety fence
surrounding an empty lot,
did I understand
the home I thought I left
had been merely a house;
a home can only reside
deep within one’s self.
1st Place/Teen: Ab Gandy, “Afraid”
What are you afraid of?
Is it the wind that carries the seeds across the field?
Or the homeless on the streets claiming they are in love?
Could it be the pill that molds a mind?
Or the knowledge that a bad man could wield?
Perhaps you’re afraid of the kind;
and how the rich throw their money away.
Or maybe you’re scared of being alone;
or what the news is today.
Maybe the house on the hill with a soft moan
could scare you to your dismay.
But no matter what scares you,
everyone is always afraid.
2nd Place/Teen: Indi Dobbins, “Once Upon A Time”
Once upon a time, I looked into a story,
And realized, they could never get out of their glory,
All the princes, witches, roses, and hounds,
Were stuck there forever, in the pages, without sounds,
Stuck in the minds of anyone who read them, and remembered them
Never leaving, always there, the stories sometimes blank and bare,
Or packed with too much to hold,
Dwarves and snowflakes and molten gold,
And still the tales never get old.
3rd Place/Teen: Colt Hansen, “Genesis”
Puzzle pieces submit to Newton, hellish gas births a future home, dramatic collisions as soil is gathered from the heavens
Hot rock under foot, molten land churns with ignorant hostility, the sky ablaze with the heat of Hades palace
Impact, alien water meets familiar rock, a boiling cauldron of the future, the seeds of a thousand forests fall with not a soul to watch
Puddles bubble and foam, caverns of the deep feed a new hunger, the cancer creates life as it spreads
An explosion without fire, a rapid expansion of blood and eyes and hearts, no corner of the world is without pulse
Friendly air invades the lifeless sky, roots dig deep into the land that once evaporated the water they seek
Titans wander, small feet scuttle across the damp ground, the earth is truly alive
Warm blood surges through the forests and deserts, eyes not only see but understand
Spears pierce the flesh of woolen beasts, ice creeps from it’s lonely den, forging the creatures of tomorrow in a frozen blaze
War brings heat and death to the docile refuge, plagues replace earthen fields with course bones and forgotten dreams
Trees of steel tear into the sacred blue, eyes look not to the horizon but to the viral, the past is but a lesson
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