2020 Poetry Contest Winners

3rd to 5th Grade Poems

Third Place
Fly High
by Evelyn Jones
5th Grade

Fly High

Leave dark
Find new
Up, up
Through you

Open mind
Dizzy spin
Flight find

Shut out night
Bring in light
Like wind
Take flight

Through mind
Through you
Grab on
Hold tight

Flow up
Glide down
Soar here
Fly there

Shut out night
Bring in light
Like wind
Take flight
Wind push
Cloud touch
Stay up
Keep going

Touch trees
Skinned knees
Fall down
Hard ground

Stay up
Fly up
Keep up

Life flow
Find hope
Leave evil
Find good

Shut out night
Bring in light
Like wind
Take flight

Second Place
Winter Winds
by Medha Ravi
4th Grade

Winter Winds

At the break of dawn I woke up deranged
My home has completely changed
The wind took the sun away
And with it went the light and warmth of May
The trees sway to his song
Like subjects loyal to their king

I looked around at the bare walls
And empty, austere halls
My heart filled with longing
To see my belongings
The moving truck had not yet arrived
For the wind whipped up a blizzard, unsupervised

I stepped outside shivering in my boots
My footsteps crunching over exposed roots
My heart filled with hope at a small patch of green
I plucked a plump dandelion, neat and clean
I blew it out and made a wish
Letting the winds of change blow me a kiss

First Place
What is Migration?
by Maanya Agarwal
3rd Grade

What is migration?

Migration is pain,
Migration is dismay,
Migration is intimidating,
Migration is torture,
Migration is transformation,
Migration is love that disappeared,
Migration is home left behind,
Migration is a new home,
Migration is a new hope,
Migration is new life,
Migration means it's time to move,
Migration is movement to find your bright, happy Sun.

6th to 8th Grade Poems

Honorable Mention
The Song of the Sea
by Elsie Kneas
8th Grade

The Song of the Sea

My head slowly stretches back
The water courses through my fingertips
A shocking chill
Refreshing in the unrelenting heat
My eyes flutter shut
As the sun beats down onto my already torched face
The sea softly sings to me
Whispering it's gentle melody
The roar of an oncoming swell builds
In anticipation, I tense
The beat drops and the waves roll over themselves
Two songs collide together
A soft hum pounds up and down
In the distance, the clamor of the surf
A rock concert
But here its rhythm fades
And the ocean speaks its sweet tongue
Barely audible
There nonetheless.

Third Place
They Said to Move
by Keira Ang
8th Grade

They Said to Move

I sit down, but they say to move,
As if it were a simple seat swap.
I move, just like they asked me to,
But I have longed for this treatment to be stopped.

The following day, I sat down in my normal seat.
They told me to move, but this time I didn't.
Some would consider this a courageous feat.
And everyone watched, while the "sin" I committed.

My act of rebellion was too much for them,
For I demanded my voice to be heard.
They didn't realize my offense was to defend,
And behind the bars, I sat alone, but stronger.

They said to move, and I didn't at the time,
But I soon realized I did their will.
I know that my silence was no crime,
Because I moved my country while I sat still.

I live in a time where things aren't right.
And from the ashes, my flame is born,
Because there's a thriving fire that wants me to fight.
And through the smoke, the idea of liberty is formed.

Second Place
Once Upon a Time
by Alexander Jakubowicz
8th Grade

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time in a country so divine
With its people happy and prospering with no troubles at all
With its people making a living while having enough to afford luxuries
With it's people hustling and bustling to spend their days happily working

But that's what they want you to see

Underneath a curtain of propaganda and oppression lay a nation in ruin
There are no luxuries
There are no happy families
People afraid to speak out lay low in the darkness
But then rising from the ashes
A new movement rose
It spread through the nation like wildfire
The masses became alive with the call for retribution
When all hope seemed lost
And then the tanks like vicious predators rolled in to keep order
The peoples spirit never broke, never wavered
The people kept their heads held up high
Marching in unison until their feet couldn't carry them anymore
They marched forward
Straight into the pages of history

First Place
by Kyle Blasi
6th Grade

As I Sit upon the mountaintop
Looking at the sky
I hear the roaring of the stream
As it passes by

Always moving
Always churning
Always flowing by

It never ceases in its movements
Always saying bye

Next to the creek there is a bush
Blowing in the wind
I hear the rustling of the branches
Above the city's din

Always waving
Always coplng
Always standing by

Perpetually finding ways to wln
Against the wind's long sigh

And on that very mountaintop
Like every patch of sky

Like every log
Like every hill
Like every bird that flies

There is a force that rules the world
Over what lives and dies

For this perhaps is the strongest flow
The force you can't deny

Always sobbing
Always laughing
Always getting by

As I sit upon the mountaintop
Looking at the sky
I hear the flow of life and death
And wonder at the why

9th - 12th Grade Poems

Honorable Mention
Her Yarns
by Rachel Hogue
12th Grade

Her Yarns

Her voice moves as quickly as her spindle,
For she is spinning
More than just a length of thread -

Of crying babes and of women growing wings
She sings. Lest we forget the weft
Of her endless tapestry - of yarns
The stories travel along as if in a song
Which falls from the lips of a spinster aunt,

A female tradition moving with time
To bind invisible pages of local, vocal rhyme.
Tales of old wives, a woven ladder for women to climb.

As the loom shuttle moves faster than her tongue.
Tales traveling from the old to the young,
Sold and shifted through the ages they go
Until finally resting for a moment or so,
In our hands the shuttle whizzing to move again.

We are their yarns.

Third Place
Life, Movement, and Destruction
by Grace Kushigian
9th Grade

Life, Movement, and Destruction

Rustling leaves and outstretched limbs swaying gracefully,
Putting on a ballet of elegance.
A field of tall grass moves like soft and gentle waves.
Uprooted, misplaced, thrown carelessly,
The earth is left in all forms of disarray.
An uncontrollable, mystical and invisible thing
Bringing life, movement, and destruction to everything it surrounds.

A stream of crystal,
dancing a simple waltz, eagerly flowing,
As if with some grand story it cannot wait to tell the world.
Crashing waves violently bashing against rocky cliffs;
Unforgiving, cold and harsh.
Serine, enticing, and unforgiving.
Bringing life, movement, and destruction to everything it surrounds

Heat and smoke flying high into the sky,
A fierce and powerful dance;
A ritual of sorts.
Freely giving light and warmth
Scalding heat
the earth up in smoke
Ancient forests single handedly erased
Comforting, necessary and evil.
Bringing life, movement, and destruction to everything it surrounds.

The whole earth is guided by movement
Wholly necessary and beautiful, yet
It leaves the earth in sorrow
Movement brings life and destruction to everything it surrounds.

Second Place
three ways to fall
by Jessie Lin
11th Grade

three ways to fall

1. down
like ashes, ashes,
she crashes to the ground
in a posy filled slump,
her brain whirling
like the spinning teacup rides,
the world
blurs and she is
happy free collapsing
amidst a field of poppies
with a basket of lollipops and
lace and
and and and -

2. in love
with the boy
who speeds on a harley
wearing midnight blue jeans
tighter than her own,
now a man
who calls his mother every
sunday morning
as if time would skip
without this
like a broken record -
the scratch against
vinyl sounds
just like
his voice.

3. asleep
with a half-empty
glass of bourbon
and liquid ecstasy,
her skull
a bowling ball lolling
against the granite of the bar -
striking herself
into the gutter.

First Place
To You
by Ye Zin Cho
11th Grade

To you.
Take me to you.
To the summer
A bowl of frozen grapes lay
Beside our bare feet,
Cold against the scathing heat
Of those summer dusks.
Smell of the freshly mowed lawn,
The sweet scent of green cooling our bodies
Music from the party down a block,
The soft thump echoing throughout the neighborhood.
Flavor of the frozen grapes, the tinge of sour
Against the sweetness lingering between our mouths as you lean over
Vividness of the sunset,
The glow illuminating the street in pink.
Chill of the evening breeze,
The faint mist from the afternoon rain embarking on a journey
It's the frozen grapes,
The cool against the heat,
That brings us chilly happiness
In the middle of summer.
It's the foggy dusks,
The countless scorching nights,
The melted grapes and overgrown gardens,
That takes me to you,
To that summer

First Place
A Weighted Stillness
by Nina Giraldo
11th Grade

A Weighted Stillness
She missed the way the thrumming keys swept through her body,
Or the way in which she was held ever so carefully by an invisible force that dissolved her limbs
into vapor,
Or the clacking of her shoes as she sprung nimbly against the studio floor.
It had consumed her: from her very fingertips to the soles of her feet
She had been completely encompassed by the way the clouds waltzed around her
Her mind had been quiet.

She was overcome by a gust of swirling thoughts
Her being, still dancing in the studio above,
She did not think as her boot fell ever so abruptly on the steaming road
She felt not the shock of the growling engine
Nor the road folding over her intangible presence
Only the gasping of the earth as her body lay frozen.

The invisible force in which she had been held yearned for movement
Her mind awoke and settled in despair
Yet her body remained unmoving
Her longing gathered, twitched, whimpered, and burst, begging for her limbs to evaporate once
A palpable unsatisfaction burrowed deep into her silenced soul
For move she could no more.

Last updated: April 27, 2020

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