All-Ages Poetry Contest: we have our winners!

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 4:45 pm

One hundred and twenty two people submitted their original, unpublished poetry to the Worthington Libraries' first annual All-Ages Poetry Competition.

We're excited that so many entrants shared their creative work! The poems were judged by a panel of authors, educators and literary enthusiasts. Below are the names of the winning entrants and their poems. Look for these poems the week of June 13th, when they will be displayed at Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library.

Children

K-3 grade

  1. Kathryn Mierzejewski

    Kathryn Mierzejewski wrote the following three poems:

    • As Sure As Squirrels Eat Nuts

      As sure as squirrels eat nuts,
      Spring will come and go.
      Summer's up, now Fall's ending.
      It's as sure as snow. Winter flurries by,
      now it's Spring again.
      As sure as squirrels eat nuts,
      It'll happen all over again.

    • Ladybug Ladies

      In the garden that I keep,
      I watch the ladybugs as they daintily leap from leaf to leaf
      as a ladybug lady, all delicate and neat.

    • Morning Serenade

      In the morning, I wake up to such a lovely sound,
      the robins, blue jays, larks, all serenading me so happily.
      I know I'll wake up to the same happy sound tomorrow
      morning, yippie!!!!!

  2. Mallory Hartsell

    Mallory Hartsell wrote the following two poems:

    • A World of Differences

      Black & White
      Dark & Light
      Sound & Silence
      Day & Night
      If we didn't have both
      And we only had one
      Our world wouldn't be complete
      And wouldn't be much fun

    • Wind

      Making a soft, whispery sound
      Gently tossing things off their mound
      Creeping slowly, not leaving a trace
      Rising and falling, visiting every place

  3. Tied for 3rd Place:
    • Andrea Drews

      The Pizzeria's Surprise

      Oh, Pizzeria, your cold tile floor,
      With peppers and mushrooms and olives galore,

      Your hot creamy cheese is oh so silky,
      Your ice-cream dessert is just so milky,

      The chefs always say "It will be just a while,"
      Soon they're at your table with a smile,

      Here is your pizza with extra cheese,
      May I see your credit card please?

      Every few seconds people race through the door,
      Soon, all of the people take up the whole floor,

      Then the chefs say "I'll have to serve fast,"
      Now guess what, some people start signing while
      they're walking in; they're called the cast,

      First they start singing, "Turn up the Heat,"
      Then they start singing Sesame Street!

      The chefs started laughing at the Sesame part,
      They laughed even harder when a member shot a blue dart,

      The customers were tempted again to eat the cheesy smelling pizza,
      Just then the actors sang a song by Wiz Khalifa!

      Boy oh boy were the customers hungry to eat their yummy treat,
      When the chefs served them, they saw a platter of small dinosaur feet!

    • Iris Gould

      Iris Gould wrote the following two poems:

      • Unicorn

        Gold spiral, wind yourself
        Out of the creature's head.
        With power you come to heal
        And give strength to those who need it so.

        Magic creature, a relative of a horse.
        Your pure white body gleams in the sun.
        And your mane twinkles all the time.

        Who am I?

      • Horses

        When the night sky comes
        The horses come
        Manes twinkling in the moonlight.
        Galloping in between trees,
        And neighing to the horizon.
        All different colors,
        In a big and beautiful herd.

4-6 grade

  1. Meredith Detweiler

    Meredith Detweiler wrote the following three poems:

    • Lashes

      Anger
      To the fingertips.
      Screaming
      Thoughts off of my lips.
      I just want her
      To pay for this
      Stupid
      Maddening
      Heartfelt
      Saddening
      Wrongness.

    • I Wish

      I wish it wouldn't hurt.
      I wish I couldn't
      Feel the burn.
      I wish that ripping papers
      Made it permanently okay.
      I wish I was secure—
      For more than just a day.
      I wish someone would hold me,
      Just hang on and not let go.
      I wish I knew
      When to jump at chances
      But you know
      I'm kind of slow.
      I wish I had someone to talk to
      Someone that would understand.
      Maybe then,
      (Well, it's a wish)
      My life
      Wouldn't be
      That bad

    • Almost Gone

      It's gone
      Like a dream.
      I don't think
      It a memory.

      It happened so fast
      An eleven minute cartoon.
      Average high school drama
      Ending by noon.

      The only thing left.
      Is that poem I wrote.
      It's proof that was real.
      It gives me false hope.

  2. Owen Burnham

    Owen Burnham wrote the following two poems:

    • Thunderstorm

      The rumble in the distance
      That many fear,
      The lightning flashing
      The storm is near.

      I spy the dark clouds
      I shiver in the cold,
      As the rain pours down
      I drop the things I hold.

      I take out a blanket
      And sleep for the night,
      I hope in the morning
      There will be light.

    • Willow Tree

      I sit and wait
      Under a willow tree,
      I feel sad
      And with no glee.

      The colors flash
      Around my head,
      But I feel so sad
      I can't go to bed.

      To explain the reason
      Why I'm sad,
      The death of the new
      It is quite bad.

      It came unexpected
      Unnoticeable too,
      It wasn't supposed to happen
      No one had a clue.

      All I realize
      Is sadness and fear,
      But the very next day
      I'm sure to be here.

      I let myself go
      Right there to thee,
      As my spirit flows
      Under a willow tree.

  3. Lizzie Croop

    Lizzie Croop wrote the following three poems:

    • Summer

      Singing, dancing playing, laughing
      Unbelievable sunshine
      Miraculous fun
      Magical times
      Ever so beautiful
      Radiant skies

    • Brothers and sisters

      Brothers and sisters
      They never leave your side, not ever
      I will always love you

    • Books

      Books are a story, a fairytale, a quest
      They suck you up into a magical world where you're the guest

Teens

7-8 grade

  1. Cora Reichert

    The Annunciation

    Above what you could ask or think,
    Beyond above to worlds unknown,
    Called God an angel to the earth,
    Directly sent from heavens' throne.

    Embers were his thousand eyes,
    Feathers clothed six burnished wings.
    Glorious fear strikes those who see
    Heavens' guards, the seraphim.

    In history, the seraph passed
    Just heavens' door to worlds still known.
    Knew the message clear did he, and
    Lo, to a dusty door he'd flown.

    Mary rose from the fireside.
    Naught she heard but sensed him, she.
    Opened the door, and through 't he glide.
    "Peace," he said, "God's grace to thee."

    Questioning overrode her fear;
    Relying on her God, she'd trust.
    Still, who was this to have faith in?
    The angel Gabriel, and she must.

    Under the door-frame Gabriel stood, and
    Voiced the age-old jubilant word:
    "Woman, thou hast found favor with God–
    eXceeding great joy, for prayers have been heard!

    You have been chosen to bear God's own son.
    Zeal for him have you, blest chosen one!"

  2. Carolyn Chen

    Carolyn Chen wrote the following two poems:

    • Romeo and Juliet

      Star-crossed lovers, never to be,
      Only in death could they be free.

      A war amongst bloodlines, Montague and Capulet.
      A love caught in the feud, Romeo and Juliet.

      A forbidden love, impassioned like fire.
      Unspeakable affairs, yet aflame with desire.

      Death and blood raged, to Death many would go.
      If the carnage ever stopped, only time would show.

      Everything seemed hopeless, but all was not lost.
      There was an escape, but one with the ultimate cost.

      So in the end, they promised to love forever.
      Hand in hand, they welcomed Death together.

    • Ethereal Dream

      I remember flying
      Through clear azure skies.
      A feeling ignites deep within,
      Within a dark forgotten corner, now luminous.
      A flicker,
      A ripple of long abandoned hope
      Appears like a blink of sunlight,
      Reflecting the colors that swim deep within an ocean.
      But like every fantasy, the sun begins to cloud.
      The magnificent colors begin to fade and vanish back into black menacing seas.
      Gossamer wings no more, I begin to fall.

  3. Tim Majidzadeh

    Tim Majidzadeh wrote the following two poems:

    • The Winding Trail

      The cavalry rode on and on,
      Upon the winding trail,
      Which called to them, soft as silk,
      Reach my end...if you can!

      The cavalry rode on and on,
      Upon the winding trail,
      Through twisted wood and tangled jungle,
      Earnestly trying to reach the end.

      The cavalry rode on and on,
      Upon the winding trail,
      Through arid heat and scorching desert,
      Obsessively trying to reach the end.

      The cavalry rode on and on,
      Upon the winding trail,
      Through the tall green grass, while stalked by lions,
      Mindlessly trying to reach the end.

      The cavalry rode on and on,
      Upon the winding trail,
      When suddenly the leader called a halt,
      And said, with a frog in his throat,
      "We're... We're back where we began!"

    • Creation

      What shall I create, I wondered,
      As I sat upon the rickety wooden chair.
      A myriad of possibilities
      Flying like bees around my hair.

      I could create untold horrors
      From glowing liquids and foul concoctions
      A monster with the strength of a million men,
      Creepies, crawlies, poisons, toxins...

      Should I create inventions?
      The floor to the ceiling covered in blueprints,
      Lasers, spaceships, robots, portals
      A key as thin as a fingerprint!

      Perhaps I should shape history
      Watch Egypt rise from its humble start
      Bask in the glory of the Renaissance
      Or see war tear Rome apart.

      I could go on an epic adventure
      As swords clash and arrows fly
      A tyrannical empire, a lowborn hero
      But is it necessary his friends must die?

      Maybe a magical fantasy
      Witches, warlocks, knights, demons, ghouls
      A mighty king's noble quest
      Yet how strange; everybody is a fool!

      Maybe I should be realistic
      I should try something that could happen today
      I could simply go through school, make a friend,
      And go to sleep after every day.

      Alas, too many choices, how could I pick one?
      Each has its merit, great things each has done.
      I know I must choose, but oh, the other is fun!

      After long thought, I pick the one that is greater
      Decision in mind, with long days ahead
      I put my pen to the paper.

9-12 grade

  1. Luke Williams

    Luke Williams wrote the following three poems:

    • Along the Thames

      The sunlight shone gold against the hands
      of the clock on the tower high
      the great gold orb of the setting sun
      lay dying in the purple sky
      the violet waves sparkled as they fought
      to be highest among their kin
      lit bright by the light of the setting sun
      in the midst of the twilight dim

      the waves of the river lay deep and dark,
      flowing fast like a charging horse,
      rushing swiftly, beneath the sun's last glow
      towards the great ocean on their course
      and all the clouds lay carelessly,
      tossed through the great domain
      by the hand of a Titan, or so it seemed;
      in stillness and rest they remained

      it was on this night, this glorious eve
      as I looked from the balcony
      out over the Thames and sprawling city
      to this great, wondrous panoply
      I beheld the roofs, their tops all gilded
      dark gold by the setting rays,
      the towers and spires of the churches,
      all aiming where heaven lays

      as the little lark whistled a sad farewell
      to the swiftly departing sun,
      and the last clear notes from the church's bell
      all faded away, one by one,
      I looked to the vault of the amber sky,
      and smiled and sighed the same
      as I sat by the edge of the balcony,
      by the side of the rushing Thames

    • The Alchemist

      Liquids green and gases blue,
      bubbling amidst eerie mists
      creeping vapors of every hue
      twisting, rising, turning anew
      trailing around, poisonous

      bottles; crooked, bent in shape,
      narrowing, widening until
      ending in open maws that gape;
      while their contents long to escape
      they long to be more filled

      this is the haunt of the alchemist,
      this is the heart of his lair
      pillars and shapes of noxious mist
      fill the interior of this,
      this pitiful cage of despair

      deep in the pit of his prison
      the alchemist lurks alone,
      sitting in silence, although within
      levers turn and gears spin
      and he can do naught but groan

      for the acme of his desire,
      the great Philosopher's stone
      cannot be found by earth and fire;
      his tries rise higher, ever higher
      but success lies dead as a bone

      so the alchemist lies and wonders
      upon the bleak road he has chose
      sitting amidst the mists, he flounders
      churning, his maniac mind ponders,
      as around him, the acid flows

      long ago, before he turned
      to the trade of metals cold,
      he lived simply; now he returns
      to the life he formerly spurned
      a life shining bright as gold

      no more now are metals cold,
      for he aches for a warm embrace;
      to free his mind of the maniac's hold,
      this is his longing; to enter the fold,
      and the love of the Maker's grace

    • The Chosin Few

      Like statues stand the sober trees,
      all clad in chastest white
      while frozen lie their symmetries
      against the stark black night;
      and falling snowflakes softly fleece
      the earth with chilling might

      unendingly the cold wind whines;
      the sky is mute and black
      the snowflakes fall upon the pines
      in hails of white-hued flak;
      while even treads engrave two lines
      upon the snowy track

      the crunch of boots upon the snow
      sends whispers through the pass
      with peering eyes the headlights glow
      beneath the tanks' low masts
      and forth the silent soldiers go,
      a group none may surpass

      metal upon metal sounds,
      of gun and hand grenade;
      each clink, jangle, thud resounds
      against uniforms frayed;
      the sounds of arms of war abound
      then slowly, softly fade

      for days the pass remains silent,
      and still lies every tree
      the wind blows on without relent,
      in bitter, cold degree
      pouring forth its sad lament
      for those it cannot see

      then softly, snow and trees awake
      as whispers sound again
      and awestruck breaths, all nature takes
      through barren plain and fen
      as sheets of crystal whiteness break
      beneath the steps of men

      the familiar notes again resound
      on snow and frozen mud,
      in silence ringing deep, profound,
      the men move in a flood;
      and gleaming dark upon the ground
      are trails and drops of blood

  2. Tied for 2nd Place:
    • Austin Washburn

      Austin Washburn wrote the following three poems:

      • the rain starts slowly

        the rain starts slowly
        drip-drop, splish-splash
        and then it pours and everyone is caught, unable to find
        a dry inch

        I laugh and shake the water from my hair
        she shrieks as the cold fingers of the rain
        seize her
        the water falls from my beard onto my white shirt

        "It's gorgeous!" I scream
        She glares but can't hold her anger for long she marches over
        and kisses me
        my flannel shirt and her plastic jacket
        melt together in an autumn red puddle

        cars rush by in a stream, a river
        humming incessantly
        the sidewalk cowers under the hotel awning, unable to avoid the
        splish-splash
        slung carelessly from the street

        the corner,
        This corner,
        5th and West,
        Is deserted
        except for me and her and the overcast 4oclock sky

        the gray makes the day seem much older than it is
        and
        I could already feel a soft sleepiness easing in
        and
        she smiled again, her hair glued to her face

        we walked home, two blocks south
        fell asleep on the couch
        of our studio apartment
        with gray walls
        and our clothes drying in the sink

      • noir sur blanc

        I like stories about boxers and bank robbers;
        thugs, thieves, villains

        the unlucky ones pushed to the bounds

        fighting every minute for money or success or a cigarette or a
        girl

        maybe just to escape

        doubtless, it always ends the same:

        a fall from grace
        a blast of silence
        a rivulet of red

        and the Hero I admire
        is dead

        sometimes I wish my life was
        just like those Noir movies I adore;
        swift
        black
        grim

        with a jazz soundtrack and too much to drink and a femme fatale
        and a shootout,
        always a shootout.
        could it end any other way?

        running away is never strictly symbolic.

      • the first time I went to New York

        the rain on the window
        the jazz rushing out of
        the car stereo

        a crisp, vibrant city
        seen (with weary eyes)
        for the first time

        a tattered rag of a city
        seen (with eager eyes)
        for the first time

        I waltzed slowly across the state lines
        and drifted amongst the
        skyscrapers & lust
        of Madison & 5th
        and felt a sense of wonder
        at the history, and style,

        and the rain feel like usual
        and Coltrane played like usual
        and I couldn't help but continue driving
        slowly
        in traffic,

        trapped in awe

    • Jingwen Zhang

      Jingwen Zhang wrote the following three poems:

      • Poor Adrian

        Sharp of mind and fair of face
        Was the lad Adrian, unrivaled in grace
        In a world of penury, scarce better than a pauper,
        Much loved only by a farmer's daughter
        Yet Adrian had been cheerful and full of mirth
        Light of spirit since the moment of his birth.

        It was a spirit that visited at night
        A spirit, a demon, that gave him fright
        And whispered words in to his ear
        Words he needed not, yet craved to hear
        "Be but unhappy, say your will
        And that I'll be certain to fulfill."

        Unhappiness sat on his brown unfittingly
        Yet he thought a plan accordingly
        Unhappiness? Oh how strange the word sounded
        But in the end it was found through his beloved
        With a whip-like tongue he lashed out at her
        With his head wished for gemstones, many in number.

        The beloved, she left, beaten out of her wits
        His relations and kinsmen now bore his fits
        He shouted and slashed, tore them apart
        All to make heated anger rise in his heart
        Grief-stricken his closest family fell ill
        And he left with his riches, unrepentant still.

        With gold he built the finest dwellings
        Silver purchased a horde of hirelings
        Gems paid wine and fine meats on his plate
        As well as the throne from where he ruled all day
        But though he was assuredly the richest in the land
        The poor lad Adrian would never smile again.

      • Six in the Morning

        Six in the morning
        Till seven at night,
        Their tiny hands work
        With all their might.
        They're whipped and told,
        "No, that's not right,"
        Six in the morning
        Till seven at night.

        Six in the morning
        Till ten at night,
        They sneak away in quiet
        To drink or eat a bite.
        But here comes the tall man,
        His face angry and white,
        Six in the morning
        Till ten at night.

        Six in the morning,
        Up until midnight
        Their fingers know to weave,
        To labor, to tremble in fright.
        They dare not slack,
        Behind their work they'll hide,
        Six in the morning,
        Up until midnight.

        Six in the morning—
        But never back again
        They fall to hunger, exhaustion,
        All their lifeblood drained.
        No one noticed their absence
        For there was no curtain call—
        But did they truly pass on,
        Or had they lived at all?

      • Home

        This is my home in the lights,
        Lights of neon-lit shops, lights of tireless vehicles,
        Casting formless red and green halos into my room at midnight.
        Walking down the street after sunset,
        Under the lights of the hotels and hair salons,
        I'm caught in the headlights of countless taxis,
        Taxis flying by at the speed of light,
        Eager to find a struggling pedestrian, eager to find the next customer.

        This is my home in the noise,
        The beeping and honking of angry drivers,
        Drivers steering recklessly through the knot of dirty buses, shiny limos, and fragile bikes,
        All glazed over with a haze of murky rainbow gasoline.
        Before dawn I'm awakened, bleary-eyed and ever so sleepy,
        By the unwelcome cacophony of storekeepers,
        Storekeepers below, advertising their items in resonant shouts,
        And the sound of the city awakening to face the new dawn.

        This is my home in the sky,
        Where I open the window in my room on the twentieth floor to touch the clouds,
        Clouds like thin cotton candy floating just beyond my fingertips.
        Microscopic cars crawl, a multitude of shiny dots on a thread of gray and white.
        Neighboring high-rises stretch out their limbs, their antennae, and reach up,
        Up to transcend the atmosphere,
        To pass the pale, glowing, sickle-shaped moon,
        To touch the far-flung stars shimmering in the distance.

  3. Amir Dada

    Amir Dada wrote the following three poems:

    • Spring

      I want to open the book of your face.

      Read pages that, as if dog-eared, fold and diminish—ebb and flow.

      When will I study the anatomy of your blushing cheeks?

      Winter has eaten them like strawberries, its seeds flying with the dry wind.

      Hair, your hair! When will it hatch more sand-colored snakes?

      There will be no blame for halting at your sight.

      I want the warm waves of your green seas—walled in by stony eyelashes.

      Your eyelids will crinkle at the rush.

      Your dry vines that assemble to your veined temple.

      I want that blue canal to carry life gently through.

      I want you to let me push back the ten, bare horizons.

      And watch the late sunrises on your nails.

      I want to see your spine—hills of stone lead a road to the meadow of your neck.

      I wonder how many have journeyed through.

      So when is the orientation of the rest of your body?
      When will you free the urgent hawk that pounds in your ribcage?

      I will help; yell—release its needy shrills;
      wait for the lasting wisps to become invisible;
      then, propel its wings north.
      Then, the blossoming of your legs and other landscapes.
    • A Tour Guide Explains Concrete Corn

      This right here is the result of when Dublin, Ohio used tax money
      to formulate a hybrid of corn and concrete.
      When the ears grew to people size,
      they had testers peel the leaves of all 109 and feast,
      but the concrete made it too hard to eat
      (which brings up the probable suing of testers for tooth damage;
      there's no record, but I have my suspicions).
      Anyway, the corn was left for art.
      And so since art calls for interpretation
      and since my ancestors never got a share of the harvest,
      I walk this field and make something of it.
      I pass corn ears and wonder if they
      listen to the decaying ground below.
      Were the green leaves really our green flags
      that testers pulled down from the cob flagpoles?
      I walk around and wonder why the kernels are so people-sized,
      so camouflaged behind the white of passerby.
      I wonder why they are opaque like rows of mirrors standing in uniform.

    • An Orphan Finds an iPod Touch

      The orphan cups its metal back
      With beggar palms scared her hands will veer too much

      (A hunk of her employer's cash shredding on the kitchen tile)

      Her thumbs meander on marble messages
      She can barely read but she knows royal floors
      Better than she knows mulch
      She even knows how many scrubs it takes to get a bonus

      She stretches her index finger to continue toying with it

      Her hands are rusty pennies

      Afghan music finds her and she clenches her fists in excitement

      Her knuckles are lavish diamonds

      She presses play
      Tablas and accordions flood her body like the river water she once bathed in
      Her feet begin to take quick steps, shoulders bounce, hands rattle it
      Dance engulfs her
      Her thrift-wear spins to silk, her wrists grow heavy with gold
      Scrolls of her green dress bloom to petals properly
      She is back home, no longer a maid—

      Then the oven beeps and the family's dinner is ready
      She blushes, cuts the music,
      And watches its screen become black glass
      The orphan puts it on the breakfast table

      As if serving a plate of food

Adults

  1. Nicole Gnezda

    Nicole Gnezda wrote the following three poems:

    • Solo Sweet Potato on the Counter

      Accustomed to death but unable to trash
      a wrinkled up grandmother yam, last Spring
      I, pall bearer, elbows against my sides, carried her
      to a dirty place between tomato sprouts and zinnia starts,
      an extra spot not used to growing.
      The yam lay there to rest.

      A traveling circus, the harvest moon performed
      last week then snuck away. Big Boys waste on earth
      while bony Icabods cast shadow lines
      cross frosted lawns. Headless
      stalks stand guard, perennially vacant
      as once they were opulent.

      In knitted wool, spade under foot, I
      rob a grave, look for treasure, curious about rot.
      Penetrate. Leverage. Turn soil over. Unearth
      buried extensions of stems relieved of leafing.
      Arthritic fingers poke up
      from the netherworld. Halloween underground.

      Yams of sorts, an effort at least.
      More fingers, toes, a fist ready
      for the big punch. Another hide-out
      another punch. More and more and more.
      Eighteen Yams! various as the human world
      hard and strong as hope.

    • Secretly Beyond

      One filament invisible
      but for a recalcitrant ray, reflection
      seen only from precise place, acute angle
      glint of a line in the air. What spider

      wove her life from garnet leaved Japanese Maple
      to brown ground in Ohio, up up
      and away to a crabapple's blush blossoms
      and across the sky?

      Her great web canopies my living space
      east to west, dirt to heaven, secretly beyond
      the spectrum of eyes, the boundaries
      of comprehension

      but for an improbable
      glimpse from an accidental
      twist of the head and a speck
      of light from the sun.

    • Potential of Flying

      The potential of a kite was too painful
      for me to enjoy the flying
      despite rich flashes
      of red or orange, slashes
      of rises and dives, ardent
      striving toward heights.
      The potential of my grip
      on string was tenuous, vulnerable
      to unexpected lurch
      when the kite would free itself to sky
      shrink in color, in quantity, to absence.
      I could speculate about a lost kite
      showing up, a place I could not name,
      visit, nor even fathom, still
      radiant with color, picked up by a child full
      of vigor, to fly again.
      Or suspended in branches
      close to the shimmer of sun,
      tail in grace with the air.

      Grown up when my son was born,
      I forgot the potential of a kite.

  2. Nolan Rindfleisch

    Nolan Rindfleisch wrote the following three poems:

    • First Snow

      Double Doppler Ten warnings;
      threats of storms, weather systems
      from the Gulf and Canada will
      clash near Cincinnati tonight.
      Squalls of thick flakes,
      the fireplace a cave
      of whistling wind,
      tangled tines of maples,
      sycamores in the bright night.

      My wife sweeps clear the branches
      of the junipers, feeds the birds
      sunflower seeds and millet;
      juncos, sparrows apprehensive
      swarm behind the rowdy jays and
      raucous crows; in every house
      in sight, families retreat
      to puzzles, songs and games,
      hot drinks, gas logs aflame.

      I feel again the bitter joy
      of melting snow invading
      wrists, unshielded neck,
      burning cheeks now tight with cold,
      of teasing rough touch dalliance
      with girls on hills of snow;
      my happy terror on the steep
      toboggan chute, a swift ballistic trip
      along a rugged mile long route.

      White manna of the soul, your cliffs of drifts,
      the fluttering rush of angels' wings, the
      children rolling hand-packed balls of thawing snow
      into larger globes of zeal, the crusty crunch
      of sleds that dash across the prickliness
      of frozen slush, those romps of girls and boys
      together in their thrill of wintry play
      astonish still. Now, all these sports seem fashioned
      by the risky bliss of sparkling ice on skin.

    • Dawn Moon

      The moon guides the rhythm of the tides.......Held with such nobility in the dome of the night, it offers an ever-ebbing journey of light. John O'Donohue, 2004

      We embrace in the obscurity of 4AM,
      too soon awake for ordinary usefulness,

      my restless wife and I. She whispers,
      "How I love to have you look up at

      this autumn moon with me!
      What if there were no moons

      bright in the morning West?" I reply,
      "We'd have to fancy lovers in the shrouding

      mist of moon-less skies with no more tides
      to yield along wide swaths of shore,

      the residue of aeons, calcite coated shells,
      algae, stranded fish and sand locked snails;

      no more romantic swoons, or honeymoons;
      nor times when babies's sea-like reservoirs

      will break; nor 'loonies' crying out from Bedlams
      their moonstruck sermons through the night;

      no more phantom lunar man to startle
      dogs and little boys; nor astronauts

      who dwell in awe upon their haunting
      by the moon's exquisite desolating joys;

      no more ghostly glow of 'borrowed'
      light brushing wintry seas of snow;

      nor northern lakes, their shadowed edges
      hedged by blackened boughs of pine;

      and no more knightly trysts like these
      in the chalky dark of time."

    • Along Alzheimer's road

      "...the poor old house is a house with a broken heart"
      The House with Nobody In It. Joyce Kilmer

      Posted on the sunlit face of this barn red shed,
      an opening of heedless glass; within cling flakes
      of desiccate cicada; webs encrust the panes,
      emboss dry insects' fluttering to death. I stare

      into this shade of mute oblivion, a dusty fuzz
      of absence; then glimpse a slight light stream
      as if of someone's dimming inner space,
      a plaintive sign there is no time to waste.

      I long to learn about the lost accounts of all
      those once alive who used to dwell nearby,
      stout cohorts of the kids who fed the hogs
      and milked the cows. With their leaving house

      and shed, dusky silence speaks its woeful piece—
      a house with nobody in it—in my memory
      a fellow nicknamed "Red", one time farm boy,
      long time friend, whose body struggled into Rest,

      his ashes flecked with weary tears; his head—
      a house with nobody in it for years.

  3. Olivia Varney

    Olivia Varney wrote the following two poems:

    • Night Swans

      They came upon the wind like sailing ships
      Cutting through the darkness like a sudden cry,
      Luminous as clouds against the cobalt sky,
      With broad, beating wings and blackened lips,
      And soundlessly they settled on the glassy lake,
      Dipping and dropping with a whisper's grace,
      Ghostly dancers gliding on the water's face,
      Silken ripples trailing shadows in their wake.

    • Albion

      With shaking legs we settled on this earth.
      We learned to prosper in these new-found lands.
      We forged a nation from the toil of our hands
      And forgot the cradle-country of our birth.

      But in sleep we dream of white cliffs and a white horse
      And misty dawns amidst the standing stones.
      The pull of ancient blood and ancient thrones
      Pricks our sleeping eyes with wet remorse.

      For far across the ocean we were born
      On that windswept isle beneath the sea-gray sky,
      And once we roamed the emerald plains that lie
      In the land of the lion and the unicorn.

      But long ago we left that distant shore,
      And like a restless youth or straying spouse,
      We turned and sailed from fair Alfred's house
      And left behind the days and dreams of yore.

      This great divorce has cost us many things;
      Our childhood haunts and gilded halls,
      A country where the quilted soil still recalls
      The footsteps of a hundred thousand kings.

      O Albion, where first we were begotten,
      Speak to us of when the world was young.
      Tell us of the great deeds done and old songs sung,
      Remind us now of all the things we have forgotten.

Our judges

Holly Antonelli, Fourth Grade teacher at Liberty Elementary School

Lisa Fuller, Director of Community Engagement at Worthington Libraries

Michelle Geissbuhler, board member at Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington and writer/strategist at Goathill Productions

Amy Greenburg, Residency Artist for the Ohio Arts Council and a member of "Artists-in-Schools" for the Greater Columbus Arts Council

Nancy Kangas, librarian at Columbus Metropolitan Library and Residency Artist at the Ohio Arts Council

Chiquita Mullins Lee, Residency Artist at the Ohio Arts Council and Project Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud with the OAC

Lori Poleway, Library Media Specialist at Thomas Worthington High School

Lucy Snyder, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of science fiction, fantasy, humor, nonfiction and poetry

Robin Troth, Language Arts teacher at Kilbourne Middle School

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