2021 Teen Poetry Contest Winners
High School, 1st Place
D D Drunk with the elixir of flower nectar and fruit, yet still hungry, his tiny beak percusses like the needle of a sewing machine. He drones through the wood, tick tacking through the bark like a typewriter, in search of the termites, who live just to eat through the tree. Unbeknownst to them, they eat straight into the beak of the enemy. They reach the sloping, rigid beak, shining like damp black asphalt, and perhaps they try to fly upon their fragile, aluminum foil wings, which exist without functionality, and instead for the purpose of design. D D
High School, 2nd Place
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dandelion: After Wallace Stevens”
D D I. Enfolded in the vast garden of our Earth stands high and mighty the radiant, blooming sun of a dandelion. II. It whirls with the wind, its wings opening with delight as if to welcome me into its gleaming orbit. III. The dandelion’s seeds swirl using nature’s parachute to glide endlessly with no sense of place or time or feeling – just choreographed chaos. IV. I yearn to latch onto the madness that is its movement its boldness its blinding blaze among the sea of green. V. The grace with which it releases itself from the roots below is tangible – landing directly into my palms, carried away in the late summer air. VI. It brings with it memories of power of healing of strength as its scent and its body and its spirit settle smoothly upon my skin. VII. It ignites within itself an inner smile – the kind that burns with unprecedented vigor – as it lies with a new peace of mind. VIII. It is nature’s song for my eyes, providing warmth and care and nurturing without faltering or losing essence or brilliance, as only nature’s love can. IX. It is art unrivaled by the works of man, its yellow paint dripping down my palm like melting butter – fluid, thick, warm. X. It is the definition of natural feeling and emotion, free of preconceived notions and subjective thoughts, whispering to me in its golden-laced voice overflowed with compassion and purpose – a voice that is a flashlight exposing my woes, my fears – as if my Confidant. XI. But the dandelion is also ephemeral, fleeting –– its taste soon becomes sour to the tongue like an overripe lemon perspiring through its softening outer skin, dripping into the soil below. XII. For as the weather cools from its warmer notes, and the shining yellow of the dandelion’s petals buries deep under the fresh blankets of snow, the dandelion becomes lost. XIII. And yet it doesn’t want to be found until it can glow vibrantly again and provide illumination following the wintry cold of Connecticut. D D
High School, 3rd Place
“I Wish I Was a Girl Who”
(Hall High School)
D D i wish i was a girl who could join a conversation with ease, smoothly inserting myself in a group of anyone in my classes or people i haven’t talked with for years. but i fear that i’ll never be that girl because i think too long and speak too much. i don’t want to isolate myself to only one group, but how do i branch out? i’m not a tree, programmed to stretch towards the sun, but a girl unsure of the direction to turn to. D D
Middle School, 1st Place
(King Philip Middle School)
D D I am from music constantly drifting through the air, never too far away to hear. The soundtrack of my life The melody to my memories. I am from Disney and daydreams, pound cake and ice cream. The happiest place on Earth I am from old movies and tv shows only half remembered. Years ago and yesterday I am from colored pencils and hours by the windowsill Worlds created and found. I am from the words written messily on a page, hidden from view. A palace built by paragraphs, stretching towards the sky. A soft place to land. I am from anxiety and poetry, land and sea. Different, yet all the same I am from potholes and pancakes. Broken and whole. I am from family lost, and a family found along the way. The past, present, and future that I’ll make. D D
Middle School, 2nd Place
“A World of Pollution”
D D I had a dream In the middle of a land, not a speck of green to be seen. I had a dream I inhaled a breath, but it caught in my throat. I felt something drip onto my face, and looked up only to see the choked sky crying black tears. I had a dream, Not a star to be seen, the air was thick and grey, but not with fog nor clouds, Something else, More sinister. I had a dream. I was looking in a stream, only to find a black reflection. As I looked on, a ripple disrupted my view, and I looked up only to see, The sky crying black tears. D D i
Middle School, 3rd Place
(Sedgwick Middle School)
I will not succumb to easy Like the frost that pulls itself back At the first sighting of the sun I will be in failure as The crisp autumn leaves Singing their last tune, Mournful but not remorseful Then to fall gracefully And lie there for Others’ feet to pad across gently Then sit forevermore on the path To watch as life moves before me Or perhaps to be carried in The wind’s arms To brush by splendor in the driest of deserts To be alive, truly, in death And sing my song still, to the earth i D D
Summer Writing Contest 2020
High School Poetry
“Familiarity at Sea”
(Hall High School)
I see myself in the scattered items along the beachfront,
Those deemed too mundane to occupy one’s gleaming collection.
I am the abandoned husk of coral in the sand,
That catches one’s eyes in a fluttering moment of curiosity,
Only to be kicked aside by shuffling feet
When my desiccation becomes clear.
Maybe someone will cast me into the sea,
Where the tides will weather my brittle shell.
I am a shard of brown glass in the sand,
Not quite delicate enough to be called sea glass.
My harsh hickory color wards beachgoers away,
After all, I’m so plain,
With greens, lavenders, and blues proving so alluring.
I am a broken sheet of slate in the sand,
Too jagged and frangible to skip.
I splinter the moment I kiss the ocean surface,
Better left concealed by the grainy dunes. And even though my luster may sparkle
under the summer sun,
Nothing parallels the sheen of pearly clams and glimmering granite.
Despite my perpetual state of neglect, though,
I find comfort in the embrace of the crashing waves.
Unlike the scrutinizing glare of human eyes,
The water envelops all without question.
Once cycled out to sea again,
My rugged edges smoothed,
I am endowed with another opportunity to find a home beyond the shore.
Middle School Poetry
(King Philip Middle School)
Do or die it’s a state of mind
Look close, truth will materialize
We look’in at the world through American eyes
Living in this beautiful country that was built by lies
We fight with other countries, leave our soldiers traumatized
Come home hope to God they don’t commit suicide
Chris Columbus came to America and invaded
Takin’ the homes and the lives of most of the natives
This country balancing the weight of Democrats and Republicans
Teetering and tottering like a swing in the wind
This pandemic hit hard like a meteor, mass extinction
Climbing to the top, come from a town with no great distinction
Sending my message across I got no restrictions
Can’t be trapped I’m escaping like a magician
Mumbling your words coming in and outta transmission
Trying to one up other countries– world’s a competition
Innocent lives taken cause they think he fit the description
Change is coming, I’m not even using my intuition
Still they benefiting from pain inflicting
and contradicting the jurisdiction………
that’s America’s definition
High School Short Story
(Conard High School)
Middle School Short Story
(King Philip Middle School)