Congratulations to our 2020 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 2021 contest. We had planned on a poetry reading, but with the library closed, that’s a challenge! Stay tuned for information on a public reading later in year 🙂 If you have any questions, please email Cari @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult Category: 1st Place
“Like a River” by Janice Lawson
Time, like a river, flows steadfastly onward,
To collect at last in an ocean of history.
But like the river, time’s pace isn’t predictable.
The river must pool and wait in quiet stages
For a change in circumstance to motivate
The water onward to overflowing progression.
Or ultimately a frenzied dive into accelerating explosions of blurring speed
From a precipice where it’s very foundation falls away.
Perhaps the scientist must measure time marching rhythmically by,
Each moment equal to any other.
But you know it isn’t true.
Time, like the river, experiences the ebb and flow of the landscape of our lives.
Have you not experienced the slowing of the clock while you wait?
The drag of its hands when you are lonely?
The total cessation of time as you grieve?
And I pray you have known the joyous moments
Which flash by you like the flickering of old celluloid?
Those times when the slow ache of waiting
Ended in a blinding celebration you wanted to hold in your hands.
But like the river’s water at the precipice, those moments falling away
Before that precious memory could be etched in permanence.
Time does not march rhythmically by. It’s path, like the river’s,
Slows and pools, meanders and lurches as it surges toward the ocean of our history.
Adult Category: 2nd Place
“The Mania Comes at Twilight” by Caleb Ferganchick
The air was a cold Autumn silence
and moon bore a tumult
of dissociative ambition
into eddies of trauma.
The Freudians blame my mother
that I too wax and wane.
My eyelids are a canvass
stretched across a conscious void.
The spiritual leaders of the aluminosilicate age
command my attention.
I see the collision,
(an upheaval of childhood).
I am the Earth
Forming in the cosmic womb.
I hear Moon whispering memories
before the cataclysmic severance.
Is it enough to live only
in the shadow of the sun?
Adult Category: 3rd Place
“Tundra” by Ruth Greene
I’ll tell you a tale of Alaska
Of the cold, lonely place that it is;
Of the dark, barren Tundra that stretches
Over miles and miles without end.
Where there’s no life, no tree life, no man life.
Nothing living and yet nothing dead.
The only men who have been there are Natives;
The Eskimos, Indians and those,
Who make a living in this country,
By the dint of their effort-it shows.
And yet the country so lonely,
So bare, so quiet and still,
That even those men couldn’t stay there…
They’d come and they’d visit and they’d go.
They’d stay for a brief time and build them,
A shed, a shack out of sod.
And when they were gone…
Would return it
To the desolate land meant for God.
It couldn’t be meant for the living…
There’s no life there to be lived.
And yet it not for the dead men;
The ones not prepared for their fate.
It’s Gods land if only because it,
Never changes, no matter what comes.
It remains the same season by season…
A lonely land, an unconquerable one.
Adult Category: Honorable Mention
“Janus in the Attic” by John Anglim
Like the whisper of dust In a blade of yellow sun,
memories ﬁlter through me.
Up in the attic, late in the day:
A hornet’s nest hums in the ancient
window facing south. Bending beneath the
splintered beams and steeply sloped roof,
I am alone amidst the objects of my past.
Smaller now, they seem like my life, less real.
And here, I am stranded between worlds:
a hitchhiker on both sides of the highway.
Halfway between here and there, a ragged
incarnation of Janus, guarding the gates of
my befuddled city.
A hazy city skyline in the evening of its day.
Teen Category: 1st Place
“Where I’m From” by Ky Like
*Based on the “Where I’m From” format created by George Ella Lyon
I am from red sunsets
From mountains and winding hiking trails
I am from the towering trees outside.
Always reaching new heights.)
I am from the rail yard
The train cars
Whose loud calls rouse the city
As if they were alive.
I am from mosaics and pottery
Music playing at midnight
From the bonfires peers burned
In the summer
The scary movie dates Saturday nights.
Over the hill was a clubhouse
Harboring old memories
A slew of lost thoughts
To fade below the surface.
I am from those moments
Forgotten by the past
Struggling to find purchase.
Teen Category: 2nd Place
“Where the Road is Not Yet Paved” by Amber Wilkins
Where the road is
not yet paved,
the ground is
Holes in the dirt.
Weeds grow through
Wonders and adventures
Soon enough we’ll
make it there.
We’ll get to that
To pave it
To use it to our
If we keep moving forward
we’ll make it there instead
of what we used to do
Stare at it,
marking every sign of life
that we can
We were intimidated
by the unpaved road
but we are not
Teen Category: 3rd Place
“Words” by Abbi Wilson
Hope is God loving you
Music is letting go
Fear is nothing
Love is knowing someone cares
Sickness is knowing you’ve overcome
Loneliness is only the devil taunting you
Care is feeling important
Love is something never ending
Forgiveness is knowing it’s ok to make mistakes
Teen Category: Honorable Mention
“Take a Paws” by Nicholas Reyes
The heater wakes itself next to me
Her furry nose nuzzles the cover
Watching her stretch her paws gives me glee
As I get out of bed the cold makes me shudder
Face in the mirror is the one of a scrapper
Grabbing my brush I swipe through my hair
Fresh for the day as I now look dapper
Breakfast is next as I head down the stairs
I am greeted by my four-legged dog
My smile widens as she gives a big stretch
And I remind her that she is a bed hog
I give her a pat and tell her to fetch
Looking down at my fuzzy pawed friend
Whispering to her, I hope this morning never ends
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