Poet’s Playground – July winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
My Tennessee Home
Jenny Lee Sanders Duck River EMC

We have a garden full of greens,
That grows for days and days,
We have some flowers that bloom and bloom every single day too,
We have some birds that are different colors,
They fly around every single day,
We have a dog that’s getting older,
He likes to be loose every day.
We have a rooster that crows every morning,
We have everything in our Tennessee home.

Second Place
I Love My Fan
Michael Zink, Middle Tennessee EMC

I love my fan because it cools me off.
I don’t like to sweat.
It brings me peace. Air swirls all around.
Fans can be large but mine is small.
My fan swings side to side blowing air everywhere.
The sounds makes me sleepy.
I love my fan!

Third Place
Tennessee Adventures
Jeremiah Mills, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Tennessee, so wild and free,
Drink some honey from a Honey Bee.
Go fishing down the Tennessee River.
If you get splashed, you’ll get cold and shiver.
Go hunting for a deer.
If you find a bear, a scream you might hear.


Age 9-13

First Place
Daybreak
Luke Barnard Gibson EMC

Dawn blossoms as a violet
O’er azure mountainscape
And cloaks the misty slopes
With a stunning, glistening cape.

Jade green grasses ripple, soundless
Awakened and dew-spangled
Watery pearls on flowers unfurled;
Wondrous and new-fangled.

Dayspring’s glorious exhibition
Proclaiming a new morn.
Nature’s array in full display
As another day is born.

Second Place
My Tennessee Home
Hannah Watts, Duck River EMC

The fireflies glow in the late night sky
The sweet smell of honeysuckle
The taste of wild blackberries
Caressing my tongue

I see the grass waving in the breeze
I hear the frogs croaking
I touch the strong oak
Holding my swing

We hear the wailing cry of a bobcat
We smell Mama’s supper cooking
We taste the crispy chicken
Smothered in gravy

You plant the purple irises blooming every year
You see the ladybugs fly
You taste the iced tea
Made with love

All these things make up my home
Where I’ll stay
From where I’ll never roam
Tennessee

Third Place
I love you more
Brynn Harvey, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

Roses are red violets are blue , your eyes are green I love them too . The twinkle , the glow , the sparkle in your
eyes . The thought of me never leaving your side , I joys me always to now that you are my brother , and everyone
will now . The moment you where in the world I mistook you as a small baby girl . You laugh , you can cry you joy
me with pride . Just never forget that I am near , and I’m always here


Age 14-18

First Place
Beyond the Surface. Into the Heart

Cara Harrison Middle Tennessee EMC

“Hi”
Such a simple word composed of a variety of layers
The catalyst for a life-long relationship
Turning the knob which in return sends the door flying open
Unaware of what lies behind, but taking a step regardless
Finding a heart and soul so pure behind it
Scarred, yet unmistakably beautiful
The eyes of the beholder softens, no longer afraid
Ecstatic to experience unforgettable memories
Love. Hate. Trust. Deceit.
All that the door has to offer
The good and the bad And embracing it with open arms succeeding the initial stimulus:
“Hi”

Second Place
For Us
Hourglass Rose, Appalachian Electric Cooperative

Ready, set,
No,
Not yet.
Don’t lay down your final bet.
Don’t let the cars drive away just yet.
Wait.
Wait because we’re racing in black and white today.
Wait because we may.
Review the past mistakes,
Or else we race in vain.
Our race stopped being white and black,
Chains are the words we say behind each back,
Slaves are the ones who changed their names,
Because John was never born a Jane.
Wait.
The race is repeating.
The sounds that echo keep leading.
A chorus is pleading.
The drums are beating.
The Race of Humanity never ends.

Third Place
Summer in Tennessee
Syd Lilly, Holston Electric Cooperative

As summer rolls in
She brings our five senses to life
Our eyes start to spin
With the bright colors
From trees and flowers
Ours noses starts to smell the new rain showers
Bringing new life all around us
Our ears hear the tunes of birds as they discuss
How great it is to be back
Our tongues taste the snacks
That she is known for
Sweet apple pie and smores
And our bodies feel the great heat from being outdoors


Age 19-22

First Place
Just Kids in July
Marlena Jenkins Middle Tennessee EMC

The Ford Bronco hums in the driveway,
Inherited from a generation back.
Patiently in the distance, Center Hill Lake awaits.
Sunlight dances off her freckles,
While Springsteen echoes off the dashboard.

Moments like this,
Ones to remember,
Reminiscent of the chance snowfall in December.
Fireworks crackle in the distance,
A moment not to miss.

Wildflower landscapes
And a backwards glance
Encouraged the mixtapes.

Tourists walk with grins,
Passing, one says,
“They’re just kids”

Kids running down Main Street watching stars and passing cars.
With plans in their pockets, and love for their hometown,
The kids will always come back around.

Second Place
on a summer night in middle tennessee
Abigail Rhodes, Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative

he carefully placed the grass that he tore out of the ground
into his mason jar
the one with the shiniest lid
with some adjustments
made with a nail
the airtight container became supportive of life
a girl in my class made an ecosystem in a jar
he informs the provider of the shiniest lid
he wants the little lights to stay alive
but despite his care in its creation
the jar is but a poor imitation
of their real home
and the fire will die
they were designed to fly free

Third Place
Winter Dawn
Anna Kurschner, Chickasaw Electric Cooperative

Mountains rise majestically,
Shimmering in smoky haze.
Trees shiver with frost
As the cold sun climbs.
The rivers glaze
And slowly thaw neath wintry rays.
Unseen birds flit through fog,
Flying like fleeting fantasy
Into regions unknown.
Nothing stirs
But for branches snapping in bitter cold.
An insect whirrs –
Then falls silent –
Afraid of its own echo.


Age 23-64

First Place
Tragedy on Battle Creek
Timothy C. Looney Duck River EMC

One hundred years — and then ten more
A day in June — more yet
The seventeenth at half past dawn
A date time won’t forget
A clear, quiet morn on Battle Creek
The silence soon was cleaved
By twisting steel and sounding horn
Men’s lives would soon be grieved

The railway bridge at Battle
Outside South Pittsburg town
Would naught be built the girders stretched
Collapsed upon the ground
The gathered folk on this small town
Did all they could then more
To soothe the lives of loved ones lost
Along the creekside shore

Second Place
Remember When
Rhonda Law, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Remember when…
Life’s only certainty,
Was the limits of your imagination,
When the sun’s rays,
Dim against the firefly lights,
When echos of laughter,
Were the only sounds,
Besides the near silent whispers of the wind.
When all you felt, was joy,
Deep inside your soul,
From the innocence of being a child.
Bring back that feeling,
Of careless days,
And, nights of wonder,
Remember when…
You could sense the hope of tomorrow,
Upon the memories,
Of yesterday.

Third Place
Old Men Play Checkers
Jeremy McEwen, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Old men play checkers
in our courthouse basement
every afternoon at four.

Hidin’ from their wives,
n’ spinnin lies
‘bout fish they’ve caught
and wounds from war.

Spittin’ Red Man
in a Sun Drop can,
keepin’ their eyes glued
to the board.

Plannin’ their next move,
got nuthin’ else to do,
except sit around and
wait for the Good Lord

 


Age 65 and older

First Place
Tennessee
Mary Bishop

The native Americans called this “Tenasi,”
Which means, “A place to meet.”
The mountains, lakes, and rivers,
A wonderous place to greet.

How beautiful the ocean,
With waves that softly crest.
And amazing is The Yellowstone,
Where Old Faithful sprays her best.

Our Nation has many wonders,
We’re so surely blessed.
But home is where the heart is,
and we lay our heads to rest.

We can travel the world over,
And sights we’ll behold.
Some places very different,
Or so I’m told.

No more majestic beauty,
You’ll ever see.
Than what we have here,
at home … in Tennessee.

Second Place
Sand Pebbles in the Stream
Bobby Geans

A little boy perched upon a ledge
Over a winding stream.
Straw hat and a cane pole.

He was just gazing at sand pebbles in the stream.
I would have given anything to
Share his young dreams…

Was he on a Fantasy Island,
Or maybe he was climbing the highest tower
Or riding his bike at a hundred miles an hour.

Or maybe there is a little girl, — pigtails and lace,
Rosy cheeks and a little round face.
Or was he planning some childish scheme
Or dreaming of his big brown eyes
Like sand pebbles in the stream?

Third Place
Home to the Greats
Shirley Cooper, Duck River EMC

The Ryman Auditorium
Mother church of Country
Music. Where tourist travel
For and wide to see
Not just a building made
Of wood, she’s home to the
Memories where the great Ones
stood.
The boards on the floor
Creak with honor, for they
have heard them all
from I Fall to Pieces to the Wabash Cannonball.
Look upon her beauty and
Greatness you will see
Her roots are planted firmly
In Nashville, Tennessee.

Congratulations to our winners. Click here for details on how to enter The Tennessee Magazine’s monthly poetry contest. Please encourage our younger readers to participate. We enjoy seeing their work, and we miss them when they’re not here.

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