Thursday, October 1

Poet’s Playground – February 2020 winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Predator and Prey
Brielle Smith,
Sequachee Valley EC

Predators catch prey,
But the prey run away.
Nature is sad, even for me.
Well the Predators eat meat,
It is sometimes joyful when they get away.
Some die, some survive, but some live for another day.

Age 9–13

First Place
Don’t Think Like a Poem
Disha Javagal,
Middle Tennessee EMC

I read it.
I read it again.
This is not much to spare.
This poem is trash.
Adults in control.
Always with more excuses than the kids.
Kids have a better idea of what the world is now.
Think some more.
Think even more.
Give up because you can’t think. Go to the bathroom.
When you’re out, run.
Run somewhere and hide. Never read that again.

Age 14–18

First Place
Luke Barnard, Gibson EMC

Four porcelain figures on the mantle rest.
The first: the father,
Joseph, on crooked knee.
Secondly, the mother,
Mary, by God blessed,
Her oriental hands clasped prayerfully.
The third: the Son of God,
humble in a manger,
His infant arms stretched outwards as a cross.
This child, new in life, to death no stranger,
Has entered in the flesh for just this cause.
And, looming just behind the family, lies
The loathsome tree on which the child died.
Though father and mother now avert their eyes
Upon it hangs the proof of “God provides.”

Age 19–22

First Place
The Shadow
Brandon Green,
Southwest Tennessee EMC

The fog crept in the dark morn as I sit on the porch pondering life.
The noises around me have the small hair on the back of my neck curl in fear.
I see a shadow, but was it mine? Or was it another?
The howlings of dogs echo from Northeast and Southeast,
as I sit smoke rings take flight as they leave my lips, but the sign at the curve is gone and in its place is The Shadow.
I ran inside, I looked out the window, and the Shadow was there.

Age 23–64

First Place
Season of Silence
Terry Weaver, Duck River EMC

Frosted stillness blankets the coves
And hollows of the Cumberlands
While shivering rivers tiptoe
Past slumbering fields.
Muted silhouettes blur into
Long shadows
As late afternoon
Creeps into darkening rooms.
Melancholy remembrances soften
Yet linger by the hushed crackling
Of embers in the glowing fireplace.
Weary evenings yield to
Crystal, moonlit nights,
Silent and deep.
The tiniest of whispered breezes
Sabre the soul.
Frigid and clear, sunrise breaks
With drowsy, silent yawn.
Jays and cardinals, resplendent
Against the pallet of pallid hues,
Rest their voices and
Await warmer days
Sure to come.
It is the season of silence.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Tennessee Volunteers
Wesley Sims

Many Tennesseans have shined
since Davy Crockett
defended the Alamo.
Untold thousands sacrificed
during WWII.
After the horrific 2016
Smoky Mountains fire,
folks lined up, signed up,
shucked up—money, clothes, time.
Dolly Parton gave many families
financial support.
She’s donated reading books
for years to millions of young children.
Countless folks serve Thanksgiving
dinners to the needy,
give Christmas presents
through various venues.
Salvation Army volunteers
ring their bells in the cold.
Music professionals stage
benefit concerts. Every day,
people hurting, volunteers working.
Generous givers heed the call,
many heroes, some famous,
most unknown.
We salute them all.


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