Congratulations to our 2021 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 2022 contest!
Adult Category: 1st Place
“October” by Patricia Norrbom
The last of the leaves floating effortless in the wind
The autumn breeze caresses my face
My heart pounds as I walk up the steps
I ring the bell
The creaky door opens
There is a sinister looking man with a ghoulie smile
And he reaches in a bag and pulls out a treat
Thank God it is not a trick though my heart raced at the thought
Little does he know who I am
For I am in disguise
My face wears a mask and I walk away
snickering, about my snickers…
Adult Category: 2nd Place
“For Collin Who Loves to Read Dr. Sueuss” by Patrick Metoyer
Some people think I’m crazy
I think I’m crazy too
I wonder what my life would be
If I lived in a zoo.
I would swing in trees with monkeys
I would hop with kangaroos
I would strut with all the peacocks
Colored yellow, pink, and blues
I would squawk with turkey vultures
I would waddle with the ducks
I would swim with alligators
In the stinky murky muck
I would preen my feathers like a bird
I would tweet and fly all day
I would poop on all the elephants
Whoever came my way
If I lived among the animals
I wonder what folks would say
Would they think I’m just plain crazy?
Or just a little boy at play
Some day I’ll have to grow up
Become a man like dad
I’ll be so proud that I have changed
I’ll be quite happy – oh so glad
So, folks, next time you’re at the zoo
And the animals there make you smile
Remember the boy who lived there too
But only for a little while
He’s now a man – a grown-up –
With kids of his own == not one but a few
When they act up and get rambunctious
Dad tells them all: You belong in a zoo!
Adult Category: 3rd Place
“A Strange Name” by Elizabeth C. Bishop
When I see a butterfly, Sailing through the summer sky,
I always pause and wonder why they call this bug a butterfly.
Butter doesn’t fly – it sits on mashed potatoes and on grits.
Flies are icky insects which, when buzzing close, they make me itch.
But when I see a “flutterby” soaring in the bright blue sky,
I think that this name really fits the way it flutters and it flits.
I know we must be rather wary to change words in the dictionary,
But “butterfly” just isn’t right for this wondrous creature when in flight.
Adult Category: Honorable Mention #1
“Standing Still” by Kathryn Durrant
(Written for my Auntie Jean on February 22, 1995, Boston MA – the day her son and my cousin James Mattaliano was killed in the line of duty)
Like the North and the South, so constant and steady
so strong and so good, ever present, ever ready.
Now dark is the sky above in the night, and
gone is the music, the laughter, the light.
So, stop all the trains, the planes, and the cars,
and reach up and turn out the lights from the stars
harness the earth from spinning around
roll back the oceans……… shutter the towns.
Ask all the flowers to bow down their heads
to return to the earth and remain in their beds
for our son and our moon has decided to go
yet we remain, never the same, standing still in the snow.
Adult Category: Honorable Mention #2
“Ranch Wife” by Pat Martin
No book of instructions came with this life
To tell just how to be a rancher’s wife.
But she rose to the challenge as she always had
And learned to take the good with the bad.
For sixty-some years she was by his side
And now she agrees, it was quite a ride.
Her grandma had told her when she was young,
“A man works from sun to sun,
But a woman’s work is never done.”
For a ranch wife, that saying was doubly true.
Tho’ she’d never admit it, there were times
Her role was almost more than she could do.
She could change a diaper, change a tire
Fix a meal for ten, then rope with the men.
She trained colts and kids and brought ‘em up right
Knew how to juggle the books when finances were tight.
Though she’d rather stay cozy and warm in her bed,
She was “doctor on call” at the calving shed–
No matter the time, temp or weather–
No matter if the timing upset her.
First-calf heifers likely meant trouble
And long hours there seemed always to double.
She could drive a tractor, a truck, or a team
Plow a road through the snow
When winters were extreme.
A never-ending chore on her never-ending list
Was helping her husband with fixing fence.
To her, a “goldenrod” was not a weed,
But a handy tool that filled a need.
The lines in her weathered face tell a story
Of a wonderful life lived with no fame or glory.
Her eyes still shine with the confidence
Of a woman who knows her worth—
A living legend since the day of her birth.
She’s one of millions in this western life
Who is she, you ask?
Only a rancher’s wife.
Teen Category: 1st Place
“Lacuna” by Honor Blevins
Close your eyes, look to the mountains
They want to show you something
Not to worry
This is all temporary
Unlike the flower crested peaks
Of the mountains, where I’ll build a house
Of bush oak and Norwegian spruce
So I can see no more ghosts
We’ll all have our eyes covered after all
Teen Category: 2nd Place
“The Mirror Girl” by Kalea Potter
She sings her song in the early morning,
When the moon is barely gone
If you try and hear her
You’ll find the curtains drawn.
As your day goes by,
She sits up near the sky;
One look and you’ll be blind,
So your day goes on.
At night she’s at her peak,
With all the willow trees.
She may share a piece
So her heart does not cease.
But I’ve seen her all this time,
Sharing moments with the sea.
Some think she might still climb but
She has never felt more at peace.
Teen Category: 3rd Place
“Spring” by Payton Whitt
Ha, ha, ha!
The sun glows and glows.
Through the trees it shines
While birds make their homes.
Spring is finally here when the birds come back,
Time to set up the pond,
For the birds to take their baths!
The birds sing their songs all day,
While they watch their little eggs.
When the birds hatch,
They make you want to pray,
“Oh, God, thank you for the birds,
And such a wonderful day!”
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