• Carl Sandburg Home and Barn

    Carl Sandburg Home

    National Historic Site North Carolina

2013 Poetry Contest Winners

Scroll down the page to see results for all grade categories


3-5th Grade Results

First Place
The Harvest
by Vincent Wilson

Summer
The rooster crows, proclaiming daylight's arrival.
The sun tans the workers' straining muscles.
The horses and oxen pull the plow with juggernaut force, rocks in the way surrender,
Soon the sun abdicates Its throne to the stars.
The workers trudge off, the crickets insist Incessantly
That they are now the rulers of the land.
As the oxen snore steadily, the farmer looks over the plowed fields,
Reading the landscape like a new book.

Fall
Leaves parachute, landing In puddles.
The bare branches shiver.
The sun hastily retreats. The moon shows of its fullness.
It is a giant grinning jack o' lantern that wants to swallow the sky.
Bears eat ravenously as they get sleepier and sleepier, the squirrels memorize
Invisible maps of where they stored their food.
The farmer locks the barn door. He gazes at the harvested fields,
Thanking in silence the tireless workers and the temperate weather.

Winter
The fire in the hearth lined with family heirlooms blazes, shadows dance on the old chairs.
Outside, the fields wear quilts of snow.
The crescent moon glows faintly, a blade hanging over white hills and still forests.
The farmer gathers his children telling them stories of weeping trees and magic wells.
Their mother stirs the steaming pot of soup.
A deer and Its fawn leave their signature, cursive lines in the snow.

Spring
A rose unfolds its origami petals. A butterfly resurrects,
Leaving behind the coffin of its cocoon. Worms play hide and seek
In the rain-splattered mud.
Curious cubs squint at the sun and stretch. Fledglings open wings like umbrellas.
The farmer gazing at the fields holds his infant on his lap.
He can hear the pulse of the earth and his future.

2nd Place
The Sun's Depression
by Alexander Griffith

As I look up at the Summer sky,
I look up and see the sun,
crawling down the world,
in a purple blaze of glory.

How I wonder
why it stretches its beams,
down to earth,
to brighten peoples days for centuries.

For the sun has not met us yet,
because the Winter winds are blocking him.
And as I look up at the Winter sky I see the sun,
crying light on the world,
in a turquoise shimmer of defeat.

How, I come to think,
that the sun is a handsome young man,
but we people still do not know
for the Autumn mist is blocking him.
How I look up at the Autumn sky,
to see the sun,
fading from the world,
in a yellow tint of depression.

How I dream
of the sun,
finally reaching us,
not getting blocked from the Spring pollen.
As I look up at the Spring sky,
I see the worn out sun,
trying to rest in my hammock,
in a black night of sorrow.

Now the sun
never thinks
of the Summer days.
where he shows his inner self,
by crawling down the world,
in a purple blaze of glory.

Third Place
Cycle
by Mae Myers

The wonderful snowflakes
are snowing tonight
their wintery whiteness
goes far out of sight
now I wonder about their
symmetrical ways
oh great glittering nights
and sparkling days

The swift falling raindrops
are wet on my skin
as I stick out my tongue
you see my wide grin
and now I can feel them
the wonderful things
the glorious droplets
each spring shower brings

The sun's rays they glisten
they bring all the light
I run outside playing
oh summer so bright.
and now they are right there
on back of my neck
the wonderful weather
gets one great big check

My footsteps crunch fall leaves
I walk through the night
their great moonlit colors
a beautiful sight
as I walk I wonder
oh how could this be
a great wave of color
in a medley

The whole year it cycles the weather so great
I think I will rate it
an eight out of eight
first winter then spring and
then summer and fall
in one year a cycle
will give me it all


Honorable Mention
Little Brook
by Madison McDowell

Trickle little brook
With leaves like jewels
You gurgle in your bed
Leaving behind clues
Trickle little brook
With an autumn breeze
Blowing in a tune
Of fall colored trees

Trickle little brook
Downward you flow
You freeze into ice In the winter snow
Trickle little brook
With snow sparkling on you
Your ice may crack under my shoe

Trickle little brook
You always gleam
I stand on your rocks
Like a balance beam
Trickle little brook
With moss at your side
You spill over the rocks
Filled with spring pride

Trickle little brook
You sparkle so bright
Happy and warm in the summer light
Trickle little brook
You shine like the sun
Playing in you is wonderful fun

People's Choice
Farming Seasons
by Abbegail King

The air is fresh, new and alive,
Chickens stretch their wings longing to fly.
Fresh sprigs of green grass- ready to eat,
Hens happily scratching in the welcomed spring heat.

Not long until the days feel like fire,
Busy bees zooming around as if they never tire.
Important work on the summer's garden blooms,
Brings sweet golden bee syrup and much canning to do.

Fall air becomes crisp- the breeze gets stronger,
Goats have no greens to munch any longer.
A bright, blue sky surrounds painted trees,
Hooves run to eat newly fallen, colorful treats.

Days turn frigid and the air gets quiet,
Ground becomes covered in a layer of icy white.
The hens slow their laying, while the goats take to the barn,
The bees meet in the beehive to keep themselves warm.

All patiently waiting, while the winter moves on,
Hoping they see renewed change- before too long.


6-8th Grade Results

First Place
THE FROST SERPENT
by Jay Groh

Ice daggers hang like fangs of a snake,
Water drips down like deathly venom,
A shuddered breath like an escaping soul
Flees from your body,

A billion diamonds line the grass,
Like sprinkled confectioners sugar,
Gold embers warm the room,
They bring light to the cold unforgiving night
I wait for the frost serpent to strike again

Second Place
Autumn Morning
by Sami Townsend

Crisp cold air hits my face,
scents of dying leaves drift through the air,
sending cold shivers down my spine.
Frost covers the ground
to be melted away by noon

until the snow comes
to bless the earth with a white blanket,
to hide the smell of crumbling leaves.
Boots and hats are dug from closets,
sleds fly, snowmen rise

to melt away in the springtime sun.
Flowers emerge, covering Earth in another blanket,
a blanket of color and comfort,
to be picked and woven into daisy chains
and tossed away, until,

like the frost, homework and math melts away.
Thoughts of fun and sun dance in a child's mind.
Sunscreen and bug repellent replace books and pencils in backpacks.
Beaches combed, bikes run ragged under the summer sun,
until crisp cold air hits my face...

Third Place
WRITING ABOUT SEASONS
by Casey Yarborough

Write a poem about seasons
my teacher says
Make it at least 10 lines
my teacher says
Use alliteration
my teacher says

So many rules
So many requirements

Seasons are sporadic
Seasons don't follow rules
why should I?

They don't have due dates
They don't have deadlines
why should I?

Seasons are spontaneous
Seasons don't follow guidelines
why should I?

Poetry is a fragile thing
It is creativity that can not be contained
so why would I?

Honorable Mention
Black and White Snow
by Abby Walton

Snow. Falling on the ground.
What every child wishes for.
the slippery slope filled with sledding kids.
But it is no more.
The mines, they crash and burn, break and create.

And on the ground, is black and white snow.

The factories and fracking, rearing and roaring.
The Earth's blood it spills black.
The children weep, for they too, are bleeding,
bleeding sorrow and loss.

And on the ground, is black and white snow

Then comes the Sun, the bright yellow Sun,
it takes the white and colourless
and leaves the black blood.
The workers, they shrug and shudder
They cannot heal the children
from the sorrow and loss

And on the ground, is only the black snow

Then comes the white, the clean, the cold.
It comes and washes away the blood and tears,
and leaves the blank, cold white
the children laugh and play,
unaware of the repeating danger,

And on the ground,
is black and white snow

People's Choice
The Fall
by Savannah Simon

Leaf by leaf they slowly fall down
To the deepest realms of the forest floor,
The mighty hibernation cave of the leaves.
Covered in hundreds of patient leaves
Waiting like cats about to pounce.
Lost in a world of hope they dream of coming back
After the blistering season of winter.
They hope to once again sway in the breeze of their condos
Of buds and branches in the warmth of the spring sun,
A light shining on the souls of the trees and the earth.
To lay in the trees and bask in the scorching summer heat
As they provide shade for the souls below
Would be their greatest love.
Then back down they fall
Through the soft autumn breeze
To once again die off in the snow
And revive in the sun.
For continuous years they go through the cycle of life
Just as you and I have done
And will do for the many years that we may encounter,
As leaf by leaf they fall.


9-12th Grade Results

First Place
Concerto for Trumpet and Summer Rainstorm
by Ariana Yeatts-Lonske

before the song begins,
i sit alone in a pew
and realize that the musicians collected
in this wooden room
could burn the whole church down
(if talent were as flammable as rage)

and then,
we are all sitting in the pews alone,
hushed,
as he stands near the pulpit
and starts to feed us
plump, luscious notes
one by one

once the starving trees notice,
they bash themselves jealously
against the blue stained glass,
weeping and wailing that
they have never known such sweetness

thunder and lightning emphatically agree,
competing for our attention
with bright, staccato bursts

by the time he finishes,
the windows are shattered,
the pews are drenched,
and we have all lost something
and found something else

he stutters shyly at us
from the front of the room-
i think-there's-there should be
cake in the foyer

Second Place and People's Choice
Winter's Song
by Chelsea Harris

Winter, winter
come to me
Sing me your song,
trickle your melody through the barren trees.

Sing me your song,
I long to hear It,
Sing me your song
'O great winter spirit.

Sing me your song
so I can learn to dance.
Sing me your song,
as I partner with your frosty stance.

Sing me your song
from the very start,
Sing me your song,
the chill of Its rhythm awakens my heart.

Third Place
SENSUAL SEASONS
by Casey Yarborough

My spirit becomes cold like the night chill
Of a winter storm, my heart burns as if it was frost
Bitten.

My smile warms the room as a spring sunrise
Her fragrance sways in the air like a new blooming
Rose.

Look into my eyes and see the
The hot burning fury of a 1000 suns and
Feel the energy when I walk in and brighten the
Room.

As the day ends and starts to get
Cooler my mind comes to a
Calm state and fades away like
The leaves leaving the branches of
Trees.

Honorable Mention
Reminiscing from Another Yesterday
by Destinee Panyasiri

The rickety swing
Overlooking a brilliant lake
Sways and groans while I sing,
And the lake is aglow from giddy sunlight
From summer, fall, winter, and spring.
There seems not a single woe,
The seasons frolic by
Like a cinema show,
It's such a joyful ride.
But the time flies,
While the wind sighs,
The clouds churn grey
And mommy says no more play
So the swing stills at bay
With me tucked in bed until the next day,
Waiting to further swing and play.

Did You Know?

Book recycling

The Sandburgs were experts in recycling and reusing. The museum collection is full of repurposed objects, such as envelopes cut on three sides to form filing folders and this law book that was converted into a cookbook to hold recipes.