Age 8 and younger
Rachel Keith, Middle Tennessee EMC
She hops and she pounces
She leaps and she bounces
It’s so cute to watch her eat
And clean her little feet!
I show her my pencil,
And she likes the lead’s shininess.
I put it away,
But the next day,
She’s not quite as interested in it.
Isn’t it strange to know
Red isn’t a dog or cat,
But this intelligent pet of mine
Is actually a grasshopper?
The Beautiful Fall
Macy Sanders, Duck River EMC
Seeing the leaves turn red,
Yellow, orange, and brown.
Picking pumpkins at a pumpkin
Jumping in piles of leaves.
There are turnip greens in the garden,
Seeing the frost on the grass,
Going to pick up hickory nuts,
Watching UT football games,
Cutting wood for the fire,
Eating good warm soup,
Watching the Walking Horse Celebration,
Picking out which horse is the prettiest,
Drinking warm cappuccino,
Fall is amazing.
Prescha Bensch, Forked Deer EC
I took a trip in my dreams tonight
A place where I am happy and free
But nothing can be so sweet as Tennessee
The home that I call mine.
The trees, the birds, and beautiful water
To climb, to hear, and to swim in
Make me want to stay longer
And do it all over and over again
To cherish these little moments forever.
Dancing in Pain
Makinzi Robinson Meriwether Lewis EC
Twirl, twirl, twirling out of control.
Swinging, to the other beat.
Dipping, lower than you hoped.
Paying, at the wrong times.
Please go back to who you are.
Are you aware of the tears you cause?
Praying with an open heart.
My soul and mind being torn apart.
Lost and forgotten in it all.
Wet, weeping eyes, as I bawl.
Comparing it to a Tennessee waterfall,
falling into a streaming creek.
Wishing to be noticed and invited.
With no luck, it just gets worse.
I hadn’t realized I had volunteered
for Dancing in Pain.
Unique like Me
Reagan Honeycutt, Sequachie Valley EC
I wish to have
a thought of my own;
But the pencil hits the paper,
And the product is a clone.
What others may say
Is now a thought of my own;
But the pride doesn’t show
Since the product’s a clone
The idea I see
Is a copyright clone
Since the picture was made
with a brain of my own
And through that brain,
I only see
An idea of another,
“Unique” like me.
She is Tennessee
Syd Lilly, Holston Electric Cooperative
Her name means the meeting place
Her favorite flower is the iris
Why don’t you give her one in a vase
And even though it may seem absure
She loves songs by the mockingbird
She has the most beautiful views
Of mountains and lakes
She’ll play you some music
From country to blues
Maybe she’ll even be your muse
For art pieces of all kinds
She’ll be your guidelines
Lita Cavallino, Meriwether Lewis EC
In the crisp morning air,
When the senses overwhelm
Me with great sights and sounds,
The mockingbird whistles over
The colorful ridge. Painted
Perfection stays in my mind
Long after the masterpiece dies.
Speckles of rainbow fall to strokes
Of swaying green, while towering
Trees, penciled with spider webs,
Shudder in the playful breeze.
And in my heart, will forever be
The golden dog once at my feet.
Charlie Taylor, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation
When in time I left home becoming my own man,
Farewell beautiful Colorado,
On my way to see that promise land,
A land I know so very well,
The place I call home where my roots began,
Longing to reside again in that countryside,
Just me and my beautiful Tennessee wife.
My past is full of hurt and shame,
Gave my love to them but never received the same,
God spoke to me I wasn’t listening,
Blinded by love now my heart afflicted,
This depression has me pondering on my demise,
Pray my Tennessee wife can ease my troubled mind.
Beneath the Eclipse
Hunter Keough, Pickwick EC
We watch summer’s moon make false love
to the sun, kiss upon kiss falling into light
by which we cannot see. The farmer mends
his fences, the cotton still grows. Men
in business suits step out to catch a glimpse,
hands and sky dull with cigarettes. Now we
trace the spine of humanity where new and
archaic worlds intertwine. We call this a spectacle —
when darkness claims all else above. Clouds
float like ash beneath a too-doused flame.
And only the birds are left to remind us
how different the sky is from the ground.
Shiloh’s Nesting Birds
Christopher Lambert, Pickwick Electric Cooperative
From a cannon’s yawning maw
On Shiloh’s battlefield,
A wing’ed minstrel sings a song
From the home she’s built.
She’s laid her spring-time, speckled wealth
Within this tarnished bore,
Where men once thrust uncivil shells
Engaged in civil war.
Their “ten pound eggs” of iron and lead
Gave birth to rooks of death;
Today, we find, in their stead,
A wren upon her nest.
‘O birds! Who’ve turned
Destructions seat into creation’s throne;
Help us reshape mankind’s mistakes
Into our hatchling’s home.
A Place to See
Catherine Jackson, Appalachian Electric Cooperative
Native Americans once ran wild and free,
In a beautiful land called ‘Tanasi’.
From its fertile West, its’ Lowland, and
Rocky Highlands, they consumed only,
What was of utmost need.
Its teaming Flora and Fauna alike,
Was such a beautiful sight,
That even the Ice Age
Stopped at its gate,
And spared its wonders.
Only to make it a unique place-
Filled with natures species
As in no other place.
Parton’ voice still fills the land,
In her once humble home in the Highlands.
Now, tourists and others,
Traverse from far and wide,
To view and experience, the Tennessee Pride.
Age 65 and older
It hovers close to the ground
like a tethered beast.
Gray tentacles of cloud
cover the meadow,
slide down the mountainside
across ancient graves
and around cold stones.
It wraps the country church, until
only the steeple is visible.
It creeps along the roads and across
fall gardens, circles the locoweed
along the fencerow. It rises
hallucinogen-like, absorbed slowly
by the day’s warmth, its only enemy.
Tomorrow morning, once more
It will hide the spider’s web,
brush beyond the pumpkin patch
Linger a moment longer along
the creek. Imagine the horses, ghostlike,
munching the last of the summer grass.
Hiking the Natchez Trace
Kay Horn, Middle Tennessee EMC
That’s the sound of boots
Hiking on the trail
In the fall.
That’s the sound of brittle twigs
Screech … ah
Screech … ah
That’s the sound of the hawk
Announcing his presence
Above us all.
That’s the sound of a fleeing deer
Pushing aside the undergrowth
Of the woods.
That’s the sound of my voice
Whispering in awe
At God’s colorful creation.
That’s the sound of children
A True State of Mind
Mark Weissman, Appalachian Electric Cooperative
Autumnal haze shadows the
A memory of awkward winter’s
chill claims the peaks dancing
upon the celestial Smokies
Scented the showers of lilacs
cascade the valley’s early
spring while summer’s
shimmering orb encases time
Only the night transcends the
odyssey of seasons as
glittering drapes of starburst
gaze upon an unveiled new
An axis may turn the theater
comes and the theater goes
Always, in our endless mist
do we touch our true
“State of Mind”