Monday, October 14

Poet’s Playground – December 2017 winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
My Granola Bar
Anna Lasher, Middle Tennessee EMC

I chomp on my granola bar,
In my ole Tennessee,
I chomp,
I chomp,
I chomp on my granola bar.

My granola bar is crunchy,
In my ole Tennessee,
It’s crunchy,
It’s crunchy,
My granola bar is so crunchy.

My granola bar is yummy
In my ole Tennessee,
So yummy,
So yummy,
In my ole Tennessee.

My granola bar is gone,
Gone from Tennessee,
It’s gone,
It’s gone,
So long gone vanished from Tennessee.

Second Place
Tennessee’s Countryside
Christopher Wiles, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

In the waterfalls I like to play.
I could splash in them all day.

I like to hike to see great sights
as long as there are no bug bites.

I see wildlife from my kayak.
Sometimes I see turtles in a stack.

And what I like the best of all
is that my grandparents live here and they call.

Third Place
Blue, Purple, Yellow
Elena Hall, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Blue, purple, yellow
the irises bloom
as they poke out of the ground
reaching to the sky
blue, purple, yellow
their beauty is spotted
for miles and miles around
no one could dream
of beauty so bright
blue, purple, yellow

Age 9-13

First Place
The Cabin
Luke Banard, Gibson EMC

In a frosted field, solitary, half-buried, Was the skeleton frame of a home;
Yet, with it, myriad memories were carried Nestled deep in the wintry loam.

The glazed-over windows once lit up with fire
With light shining through in the spring.
The stone chimney smoke billowing higher,
Once laughter, now echoes ring.

Second Place
Emma Laymon, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Lay on your back
Put the sky into focus
You can’t
For autumn has come.
Try as you might
The colors
Nudge your eyes,
Your attention.
A symphony
Of color,
Conducted by
Like a flood
From sun,
Drowning all
Autumn arrives

Third Place
A Tennessee Dawn
Cassia Lang, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

A rabbit wiggles its tiny nose.
A deer smells a wild rose.
The wispy fog lies.
In the valley a fawn in running.
On a rock a turtle is sunning.
A meadowlark flies.
A snake rests calmly on a log.
Into the brook bounds a dog.
A rook harshly cries.

Age 14-18

First Place
Rachel Grant, Middle Tennessee EMC

Filling and leaving my lungs,
Wind that grasps the tallest reaches of the blue skies,
and the lowest depths of the morning sunrise.
Pulling and stretching tuffs of clouds,
over and under,
weaving them together as a blanket. Listening as it roars over vast hills and deep valleys,
causing trees to bow to its might. Hearing gently whisper through soft leaves,
humming its goodnights to the drowsy forest.
Dancing, bending, whistling through the trees.
Kissing the surface of creaks and winding bends,
cooling the rivers, and moving the waters.
And I know I am home.

Second Place
The Hypocrite Cycle
Reagan Honeycutt, Sequachie Valley Electric Cooperative

I had so much happiness
I could not contain;

In fact, I bragged a “bit”
And fell into my shame.
Though it humbled my soul
There was a reputation to destroy
What I thought people saw
Was their own decoy
Leading them into a field;
A field of faked concern
Causing them to lie;
At their own chosen turn.

They’re equal to me
And it keeps me sane
With so much happiness,
I cannot contain.

Third Place
Catching sun rays
Kira Cornick, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

I want to hold you,
enclosing your warm body into my all to delicate hands,
wrapping you tight in my clasp,
hoping you won’t disappear when the sky fades from blue,

I want you to stay,
for the day is not done,
but the waves are swallowing you whole,
and there’s no where else to run,

I want you to live,
but the darkness is coming,
casting you into the shadows,
before taking off and running,

I want to catch you,
because you opened my eyes,
but you have slipped through my fingers,
and whispered goodbye.

Age 19-22

First Place
A Miracle
Cricket Sands, Middle Tennessee EMC

Doctors cheered “It’s a girl!”
We welcome a new miracle to our world.
She looked to her father and cried, her eyes resembling the blue skies.
Her body covered with freckles that were like stars in space.
Nurses handed her to the mother, bringing a smile to her face.
The mother kissed the baby on her forehead.
“My love will always be with you.” The mother said.
The mother cradled the baby in her arms, Promising to protect her from all harm.
The baby now held calm
Today, a blessing brought together a family in our state of Tennessee.

Second Place
Thanksgiving is coming!
Holly Widner, Gibson EMC

Time is changing,
Seasons are shifting,
Temperatures cooling.

Fall’s arriving,
Messages sending,
Like days shorting,
And the leaves falling.

Excitement rising,
Holidays arriving,
Thanksgiving is coming!

Families gathering,
Story sharing
Memories in the making.

Turkeys roasting,
Pies baking,
And sides cooking.

Families planning,
Pocketbooks preparing,
Thanksgiving is coming!

Third Place
My Maw-Maw
Madison Butler, Duck River EMC

I remember playing in her basement Christmas Eve,
I remember splashing in her creek on summer days.
I remember singing “Rocky Top” every July Fourth,
And I remember those dumplings that only she could make.

I remember her quilts given to each baby at their birth,
She worked by hand to make each stitch while praying for that child.
But most of all I remember every hug, every kiss, every smile.
Because in those moments I could feel the love my Maw-Maw had for me.

Age 23-64

First Place
Seasons of Life
Terry Weaver, Duck River EMC

A drowsy perfect October afternoon.
He walks harvested fields…

Seeds planted in his springtime, Seeds of faith and character, Flourish.
And are saved to replant In younger fields,
Then saved and replanted Yet again.

Nurtured through summer heat With loving, leathered hands Watered through storms And gentle rains,
The sweat of his brow And often,
His reaping bountiful and blessed.

The fields are empty now, But gleanings abound.

Approaching evening nudges him Homeward.
Warmth of sun waning, Shadows lengthening …
Tomorrow frost will gently Quilt the morning.

A contented smile, For he knows winter Brings naught to fear.

Second Place
The Trampings of Winter
Scott Dockery

Behind the mountains
lifts the moon white
and cold, dusting
frost across the lawn
and lacing ranges
distant and removed
with splintered arctic crowns.

Cows huddle
in the pasture, hoof-deep
in silver grass and
costumed by cud-breath
hanging vagrantly
about their stupid eyes,
and they chew dully.

Children scamper
and mothers
watch, portraits
in windows and doors.
Newspapers crisped
with shivered air lie
unretrieved at driveways foot.

Pumpkins too cold
Page 2 of 2
to rot sit in nests
of withered leaf and vine
in garden rows forsaken.
Sleds with rusty rails waxed
wait now. Winter comes pulled
by the wind below the moon.

Third Place
Tennessee Folk
Penny Cook, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative

Hard working,
Sun beaten faces,
Kids at play,
Plenty of heys,
An exchange of nods passing by,
Neighbors leaning on one another,
Walk next door to borrow some
Break down?
Don’t fret,
Someone will be by in a matter of seconds,
Smile at us,
We’ll smile right back,
Friendliness we never lack
Lifted trucks,
Weekends in the mud,
Bonfires, family & friends,
You are welcome here,
Come on in.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Creatures Know
Kristie Beavers, Duck River EMC

Dragonflies hover, dart one way then the other, float over meadows and shining lakes, like an invisible hand stirred them awake!
Blue-tail lizards scurry over stones, escaping poured water in their flower pot homes.
Wasps seek safety in siding cracks, mounding upon each other’s backs.
Small yellow finches devour seeds from proud sunflowers, now dried up weeds.
While I sit and ponder changes in the weather, farmers gather their harvests together.
Creatures all know summer must end, but after one season another begins.

Second Place
The Farm at the End of the Road
Linda Clarke

We were the farm deep in the cove,
where the school bus turned around,
where the gravel road crunched to
a stop.

Nestled among green hills, open spaces
rounded, punctuated by creeks and
hollows, we farmed.

Spring’s crop of strawberries, red
luscious rubies, flourished on a hilltop.
Cows wandered the clover field next
to the creek where shaded white and purple
violets grew.

Whip-poor-wills sang us to sleep in darkness,
no city lights intruded. We were the farm at
the end of the road planted in Tennessee’s
awesome beauty.

Third Place
The Farm at the End of the Road
C.D. Bateman, Middle Tennessee EMC

Words that form verses,
That will rhyme.
Unlocking memories,
Etched through time.
Drawing us in and
Taking us along.
Just like the words
Of a favorite song.
Words that go directly
Into the reader’s mind
That paint pictures
Within the lines
But I don’t know,
Maybe it’s just me.
I was born and raised,
Here in Tennessee.


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  1. Where can I find the runner ups for this contest 23-64 age group. Mine was 3rd. Title Tennessee Folk.

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