Age 8 and younger
Snow in Tennessee
Grant Hayes, Cumberland EMC
The winds blow, and there are rows of
Here comes Santa, ho ho ho!
When you go outside, the snow is cold
especially to hold!
Making a snowman is fun!
So get out there and run!
Kanshikaa Vijayakumar, Middle Tennessee Electric
Christmas, Christmas carols are sung at my beautiful city Franklin,
Hills are decorated with trees, oh how Christmas is a breeze,
Rats and mouses celebrate too, come I will show you how Christmas feels like,
Ice on the ground, oh it’s slippery everywhere,
Santa flies in his sled to give the presents to kids on Christmas night,
Trees are decorated with different and different ornaments,
Merry Christmas for all,
All the kids round up the Christmas tree in the hills and light the star,
Santa, Santa sneaky Santa riding his sled!
Paulina Trout, Duck River EMC
As the red fades
And the sky darkens
The first star will appear
The moon is bright
And night is here
Shooting stars race across the sky
As the dew wets the ground
The flowers are hidden
The birds are not singing
And the fawns are not playing
All are asleep
Except the stars
For they are dancing in the breeze
Watching over you
Music and Poetry
Joel Slusser, Duck River EMC
Music and poetry are so much the same;
The words of the poem are the notes of
the song —
They both flow or march so happ’ly
With measure and meter and rhythm and
With phrases and feet and tempo and time,
They can comfort a heart or kindle a
Music and poetry are so much the same.
Abigail Tesfagiorgis, Middle Tennessee Electric
I’m a Cherokee flower that witnessed history through many generations
My name changed, but my identity remained the same.
My home changed, but my native roots remained the same
My home was one, but now countless
My clan was gathered now were scattered
My eyes were isolated but now we’re united
My beauty was treasured now is coveted
I am Holy and Sacred, I am the symbol of the Crucifixion
I am the Ocoee, the Cherokee flower
Sleeping out loud
Mary Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities
Sleep, my only solace.
When dreams become nightmares once I
The ghosts from past mistakes become
stains in my soul.
Scars that bleed.
Nothing cleans the shadows left from
who I’ve been.
My past is my future.
Broken hearts may mend, but broken spirits
never grow back the same.
Lost is my way.
I can never go back to who I’ve been, the
innocence of a childhood gone for good.
Hurt is my name.
Pain is my signature.
I will never be the same.
Sleep, my only refuge.
Life’s Back Pages
Ethan Elliott, Meriwether Lewis EC
Like ice upon the soil,
Like the stillness of a tree,
Sit I here in the dull canal
For only sun to see.
And down upon my shoulders,
A wind as thick as dust,
Showers me in remembrance
Of things now stained with rust.
The thoughts of day do linger,
And those of yesterday flow.
Like rivers in the desert,
And the falling of mountain snow.
But the past is never dead.
Not every line is straight.
And reconcilement cannot grow,
From the deadly wounds of hate.
In the end, what’s most important to remember,
Is the importance of forgetting.
Cara Harrison, Middle Tennessee Electric
How do I stay when everything is pushing me apart?
How do I remain firm when my mind and heart are at constant war?
And how, little one, do I say goodbye when I barely have said hello?
I know this isn’t healthy,
For we will drive each other mad.
Nothing but agony will seep through the cracks as reality smacks us backhanded.
We cannot make it.
It simply isn’t in the cards.
So, before it is too late, I release you, young lion.
Return to your safe habitat,
Far away from me on my barren island.
A Tennessee Morning
Alexandra Bruse, Plateau EC
Sunrise filters through leaves flirting with
As shadows dance with roots and dirt,
Acorns and twigs.
Spider webbings become jeweled palaces
of light fragmenting
In the dewy drops of the morning.
A thick humidity,
The forests’ exhale,
Fills nostrils and lungs,
Sticking between goosebumps and wool.
Birds sing the sunrise into action,
Scavengers light up the forest floor with a
symphony of crackling, happy leaves
A s a squirrel jolts awake the fingers of
the birch tree.
Mountain Laurel stretches as the weight
of the dewy blanket melts away
And another Tennessee morning begins.
Emily Wright, Forked Deer EC
Rain quietly trickles down my purple raincoat.
I look up, noticing that I cannot see the rain coming down
from the black sky. Yet there is clear water hitting the sidewalk,
bouncing off of it. I stop, raise my arms, lifting my face
and smelling newness as the cold drops touch my cheeks.
Two women pass by, trudging with hoods up to avoid the
wetness. At first I don’t want them to see me, afraid of
what they will think. Yet…I’m a writer.
I continue walking, my arms outstretched and face upturned,
gazing at the night sky where the invisible rain falls from. Water
washes my cheeks and my nose as I marvel at these tears that are not mine.
Cindy Jackson, Cumberland EMC
Parton me as I sing a Dolly song
By the Brooks, I sing a Garth song
Underwood hidden, I sing a Carrie song
I stand Strait to sing a George song
Picking Paisley flowers, I sing a Brad song
Watching beautiful Robbins, I sing a Marty song
Swift waters passing by, I sing a Taylor song
Tennessee Pride lends to sing a Charley song
Catching blue Gill, I sing a Vince song
I sing these songs for fun
I don’t Owens anyone a Buck
For Cash, I’ll sing a Johnny song
There’s a tip jar in my truck
Age 65 and older
Kay Smith, Meriwether Lewis EC
First the spirit of the land
summoned kindred souls
with mockingbird’s call,
charmed them with sunlight
on poplar leaves,
mesmered them with scent of cedar.
Then the stories of their lives
and lines of greats and grands
began to twine like maypop
vines around the hickories and oaks.
They tilled limestone spines of ridge
and valley troughs, they smoothed the rocky
tops of smoke-veiled mountains with
fervent hymns, and set
the river’s rhythm by the pumping
of their own bold hearts,
until, in time, the land became
its people and now
the people are the place.
Carl Lowe, Middle Tennessee Electric
The storms last week
splintered the winter solitude
that had been closing in
on cold memories.
And when the angry night winds,
hail and hard rain
explained the power of rotation
with a crushing unreasonable logic
nothing could dissuade
their predetermined motivations.
Today’s soft sunny afternoon
is all the more mournful for its
gentility. The trees still standing,
shorn of leaves, pause with bare limbs
and faultless memories to reconsider
the afternoons and nights to come
until it’s time to regrow leaves
and discover new reassurances
in summer breezes.
Clay Derryberry, Duck River EMC
I used to help my father cut wood
When I was younger.
We let the cold wind cut our
Faces, and the roaring saw shake our hands.
The solemn swoosh of the falling trees
Began the drama of dissection,
And when it was finished
We knew every piece;
For we handled them at least twice.
There were vines and shrubs, and trees big and small.
And, there was an unspoken fellowship between
My father and me.
But, as in each of our lives, there comes separation;
And now, I don’t know the pieces that lie in the woodpile.