Poet’s Playground – Nov. Winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Mason Winfrey, Cumberland EMC

We love our Duke
’Coz he licks us
And he chases us
And he lets us pet him

He slobbers and drools
While we catch crawdads in mawmaw’s creek
And he sits on my daddy like a baby
He even tries to sit on me!

Every night when I go to bed
He lays next to me and protects me
He’s my dog, He’s my Duke!

Second Place
Frankenstein Needs a Band-Aid
Ted Chew

One day I saw Frankenstein
Walk into the woods
Followed by his porcupine
Collecting Autumn goods

They both got pine-tree needles
Insects, leaves and meat
Frankenstein are the beetles
Porcupine quilled his feet.

Third Place
Linny’s Story
Jane Rogers, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

One day when I got home from school
My mom told me the news
The two black dogs from across the street
Thought that my bunny looked good to eat
When Linny died
I really cried
I went to my room to hide
I still miss her but I’m better now.

Age 9-13

First Place
Goodnight Oh Day
Allyson Jamison, Meriwether Lewis EC

Darkness is falling over the hills
As the trees sway in their slumber
The crickets sing their moonlight song
As stars appear in countless numbers

Twilight seems to have left us now
Though the day disappeared so soon
I once looked up and saw the sun
Now replaced by the moon

Now I’m walking down a moonlit path Looking up at the sky
My heart so heavy I can barely say
“Goodnight, oh day, farewell, goodbye.”

Second Place
The Coke Ovens
Taylor Davenport, Appalachian Electric Cooperative

Oh what a marvelous sight to see
The Coke Ovens of Dunlap, Tennessee
Maybe they are lonely in the murky woods
They probably wished they were in the city hoods.

They are a part of our history
Building part of Tennessee’s machinery
What would it be like if we never had coal
No trains could have traveled at all
Although they sit unproductive now
They are still a part of history somehow.

Third Place
Quarter Horse
Aubree Dishman, Appalachian Electric Cooperative

Graceful and wonderful the stout quarter horse
Gallops across the lonely prairie
When it runs its beautiful mane flows in the wind
Its hooves digging deep as it sprints
Its coat is glistening and shimmering in the pounding rain
The silence in the valley broken by his splashing

Age 14-18

First Place
Tennessee Post Oak
Anna Stuart

Lazy twisting limbs
Dark and elegant
Cradle empty blue
With whispered lullaby.
Silvered emerald
Weaves with
Shifting shafts of gold
Mingling softly
Dancing lightly
Laughing to music
Of long-forgotten breeze.
Ponderous spiraled trunk
Vault of memory
Grooved in deepest meditation
Knotted trials
Mute and ancient wisdom.
Sentient monument
Of ages immemorialy
Fading glow
Time’s rush wind
Abandon you Soul of our soil

Second Place
Good Ol Tennessee
Ean Vassar, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation

O Tennessee, how you carry many faces. City ripe in culture and business, yet rural countryside living
But that is not all you hold.
You also hold the lives of all who live here, rich or poor, for you give them a place to rest.
Yet, you still have more.
You are home to thousands of years of history, hundreds in culture, and decades to families. And yet your humility shines far beyond what is due.
O Tennessee, may you continue to host those who live here and those who visit, for they rely on you for safe passage.

Third Place
Winter Wonderland
Lexie Stewart, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation

Autumn leaves have fallen,
Winter breezes blow,
Snow is around the corner-
Anticipating a Winter Wonderland.

Autumn is through,
Pumpkins are gone,
Cinnamon and spices depart from the cabinet-
Waiting to see a Winter Wonderland.

Autumn clothes are put away,
Sleds abandon the attic,
Sleighs leave the shed–
Staring at a Winter Wonderland.

Winter has come,
Snow adorns the ground,
Decorations embellish the streets-
Enjoying a Winter Wonderland.

Age 19-22

First Place
Pretty, Pretty Abuser
Wendi Morrison, Sequachee Valley EC

Cut you up, buttercup,
Butcher you, and love it too,
Ask you pretty, pretty please,
And bring you to your pretty knees.
Chew you up, kiss it better,
Cut you with a sweet love letter,
Say pretty, pretty nothings to you,
And give you pretty bruises too.
He’s a:
Narcissist with pretty eyes,
Abuser. twisting candy lies,
Pretty, pretty on the skin,
But pretty rotten deep within.

Second Place
Ashley Jeanette, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Home is where the mountains are
Where smokies can be seen afar
The yellows and reds and oranges of leaves
Simply make the perfect wreaths
The place where hospitality lives
And neighbors don’t think twice to give
Where spring, summer, fall, and winter
Are welcomed with no-one being bitter
Home is much more than a place with a house
It resides for me in the deep south
Where families always stick together
This will be my home forever

Age 23-64

First Place
County Seat
Linda Hughlett, Appalachian EC

Atop an incline, cupped by a valley, surrounded by businesses along an alley, with revolving purpose a door opens and closes, the brilliant employ of its people depends upon its stalwart, interventions … housingmulti-purposed. Solar plexus — warmth of crowds who meet each day — melts the heart in a special way. Epicenter — the hustle and bustle as life is played is at the center of our country mainstay. Extended arms reach into its towns … satisfying their needs in totality. Or by degrees. Feeds.

Second Place
Autumn Drive
Erell Reeves, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative

Swerving and curving
down the Houston County back roads,
golden sunlight
filtering through golden leaves,
reaching down
to kiss my cheek,
lovingly caress my arm,
pat my hand
on the steering wheel.

The trees
dropping autumnal confetti
on my fast-paced,
single-car parade.

The organic ticker tape
collects in the road,
only to skitter and scatter,
indignantly crunching
and swirling away
at my passing.

Third Place
Rhonda Cuffee, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

if I could paint a picture
of my home
I’d paint a picture of my husband’s heart
I’d color it with love of God and faith
Of glorious Tennessee morns and rolling hills
I’d spray essences of spice and simmering stew
And bring music to fill the space
I’d don my warm wool sweater
that belonged to Dad
and read the cards my children sent
I’d seal the picture
with my soul
And fall in my warm bed

Age 65 and older

First Place
Kay Fields, Appalachian EC

In late November of 2016
A mere week before
Chaos pounded on Gatlinburg’s door
And fire swept the area
Like a dragon’s breath
And left this mountain town bereft
A visitor from Texas came to see
The majesty and splendor
Of Eastern Tennessee.
Elkmont was where we chose to explore and envision those from Knoxville,
Maryville, Chattanooga,
Fortunate families of means who
Spent summer days in cool halcyon
Haze at this summer sanctuary.
We explored the Appalachian Social Club,
Then rocked in chairs on the porch while
We drifted back in time,
Caressed by a mountain’s breath.

Second Place
What Is A Poem
Dolly Kimbel, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

A poem is where
We can express ourselves
And not be intimidated.

Where we can reminisce
Of days gone by
And hope for days ahead.

A place where we can describe
The beauty and loveliness
Of nature all around.

A poem is the language of the poet
Where he can say what he wants to say
And how he wants to say it.

Third Place
The Winter Garden
Joan Lee Binkley, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

That Garden–so dear through bygone months–
It is not now as It was once.
Frost stole away Its sweetest scent–
–Consumed Its beauty and left It spent.
That garden whose fruit gently drew us near
Now laments with desolate frozen tear.
Its Tennessee dirt grown tired and weak
Now barren Garden lies stark and bleak;
Lethargic dormancy besets its base
So to Heaven It lifts a weary face
To mourn the loss of Its beauty so deep
But then thanks God for this Season of sleep.


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