2014 Poetry Contest Winners

ADULTS

FIRST PLACE

Maple Tree

 

Past a curving trail of azaleas

and sharing the same sandy soil

is a stunted maple tree

captured between the roofs and roots

of its neighbors.

 

How long can beauty be denied

before sap-quickened limbs

slowly turn thin and brittle,

vanishing into the dark forest floor?                                                      

Seven years of good intentions

passed unrequited till a winter’s wind

left only memories

of one whom mended hearts.

 

A short morning’s work,

soil kneaded softly by a January rain;

an interment into spaciousness

where roots will spread freely

as her love did, for so many.

 

Judy Gottesman

Murchison

SECOND PLACE

One Night on the Neches

 

The sun lays down its head

As nature comes alive

Campfire gives off an eerie glow

I settle in for the night

Tonight’s gonna be a cleansing

My soul needs a breath of fresh air

One night on the Neches

I’m not leaving till it takes me there

The trees look frail and skeletal

Behind the light of the moon

Embers ascend up to the stars

Like tiny glowing balloons

Tonight’s gonna be my purification

My spirit needs to be found

One night on the Neches

I’m not leaving till I chase it down

My heart beats like a drum

Keeping perfect rhythm…………….

 

John Hobbs

Van

THIRD PLACE

Cocoon

 

My husband is up and gone

Off to conquer the world while I

Lie in my cozy cocoon of covers

Bare skin caressed by silken threads

Head buoyed by a bank of pillows

Mmmm…delicious, decadent do-nothingness.

A heavy, warmth settles on my chest

Purring –

My cat confines me even while coffee   

Beckons from the kitchen.  I take my time

And linger, luxuriating in my laziness

Surrounded and soothed by sunshine

Streaming in on dog-eared books

Piled on the bedside chest

I choose the nearest one and within

I am up and gone, off to conquer the world

As l lie in my cozy cocoon of covers.

Kimberly Tamara Sherrell

Athens

 

GRADES 9-12

FIRST PLACE

To Simply Be

 

Always pushing, driving, working, dreaming,

To be a better me.

To surpass my goals of yesterday,

To defeat internal enemy.

 

Does it end?

 

Little time to waste,

To rest, relax, enjoy.

Always moving, going, working;

No time to simply be.

 

Do I dare to stop and smell the roses,

When opportunity awaits?

 

Tirelessly I work, I push,

To reach beyond the stars;

To accomplish,

To succeed,

Will satisfaction ever come?

 

A drive to achieve does not pose threat,

Yet the road to success proves boundless.

Does triumph lie within my reach?

 

The meaning of life disappears

   into the toils of aspiration,

A cloud of regret in its midst.

In the constant struggle to succeed,

Do we forget to simply be?

Kaylie Hartman

12th grade, Longview

 

SECOND PLACE

Hallelujah

 

You hold yourself high above on a pedestal refusing love,

You never let yourself fall do you?

You run, you hide, you see the light,

But you shut it out, you prefer the night,

Where you can rest in all your hallelujahs.

Hush sweet child please hush now,

The devil hears what you speak aloud,

Silent prayers will shield your heart,

Your soul evolves when you choose the dark,

But you don’t choose the dark you live in do you?

Hide the hola with our golden hair,

Then angel cries if she sees you stare,

And on her face is written hallelujah.

You can climb the ivory tower alone,

But you can’t escape your own tortured throne,

The magic word will free you hallelujah.

The things you chase they’re all in vain,

Read the Book and say His name,

Close the door of unsacred lies,

Love’s at waste if it’s love you hide,

Share it with every hallelujah.

Claire Simmons

9th grade, Nacogdoches

 

THIRD PLACE

The Light

 

To watch the light fade away

Praying that it’s just a fluke, but it’s not.

Blown out in a matter of seconds, after burning for many years

To find out that the light that kept me sane is gone.

The darkness is like the depths of a bottomless pit

Sad, but the pain is evanesce.

 

To watch the light fade away

But to see the light return, like a ship in the night.

The light that was my candle on earth

Is now my star in the sky.

A start that twinkles at night,

Letting me know it’s still here, will one day beckon me back.

Eternal life is my hope of seeing that light again.

Brianna N. Johnson

12th grade, Longview

 

GRADES 6-8

FIRST PLACE

I’m Myself

 

I’m no damsel in distress

No little girl in a dress

I’m no princess like Cinderella

Nor am I vampire Bella

 

I’m myself, just me

I wish that only you could see

 

I’m no Beauty who knows a Beast

I’m not going to have a feast

No Ariel under sea

Has ever been compared to me

 

I’m myself, just me

I wish that only you could see

 

I’m no sleeping Beauty

I don’t drink British tea

I’m no Rapunzel in a tower

Nor am I a pretty wallflower

 

I’m myself, just me

I wish that only you could see

 

I don’t know a prince charming

Sometimes I’m not even listening

I’m no Angel from the sky

I’m no bird that flies up high

 

I’m myself, just me

I wish that only you could see

 

I’m no sensational rock star

I don’t even sing at a bar

But honestly and truthfully

I’m no one else but me.

Kayleigh Isbell

Eighth grade, Carthage

 

 

   SECOND PLACE

Playing With Flowers

 

Flowing, swaying, flying through air

dancing and playing in the field

covering the bugs from rain and from sun

talking and singing to the beats of the wind

always so happy to be there again.

Emily Richardson

Sixth grade, Mabank

 

THIRD PLACE

The Man

 

The man under the fan

In the room with the bed

I slept with the man under the fan

By his head in the bed

The man and I lie side by side

He worked cows all his life

Under his hat he would hide

He was loved by many but mainly his wife

I didn’t know him well

I was six months old

At the end of the year

He rose up to his next life

And I still think of the man under the fan.

Anthony Stewart

Sixth grade, Cushing

 

GRADES 1-5

FIRST PLACE

Evaporated Badness

 

The bad in the can,

Is the bad in my stomach.

 

The time I looked at it,

I SCREAMED!!

 

I try to run from it,

But it keeps coming in to my lunch.

 

Milk Milk No No!!!

EVAPORATED MILK IS MY ENEMY!!!

 

I HAVE TASTED IT AND I NOTICE IT

IS AN

INGREDIENT IN PIE. I HATE PIE AND

IT WILL PROBABLY MAKE ME DIE.

Jack Moore

Fourth grade, Tyler

 

 

SECOND PLACE

Mother Nature

 

If you look into the eyes of nature,

you will see Mother Nature.

She will take you in as one of her own,

‘cause you are a nature kind of person.

 

Abigail Barker

Fourth grade, Wills Point

 

THIRD PLACE

Wolves

 

Wolves

Strong, Brave

Hunts for Prey

Running with the Pack

Wolves

 

Zachary Fisher

Fifth grade, Fruitvale

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