Monday, October 26

Poet’s Playground – August winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
The Blue Sky
Kaityn Smith, Sequachee Valley EC

The sky is so far away,
It’s blue always when I look at the sky,
And I like the sky because it’s nice always,
Forever I like it.
I like everyday that it stays blue,
But then at sunset it has a bunch of colors,
Like red, orange, yellow, purple, and pink,
And praise the Lord the sky is so pretty.
Sometimes it changes colors,
So I guess it’s not always blue,
And God created the sky.
Praise God that’s what He’s able to do.

Age 9–13

First Place
Karslyn Bradley, Middle Tennessee EMC

Racism, the visible but invisible demon
that haunts people who look like me,
Racism, the horrible being who haunts
our souls within
Racism, the enemy of peace
Racism, the cause of multiple, multiple
black men deceased
Racism, the demon that scares my people,
but most of all, me.

Second Place
Summer Blossoms
Beckett Smith, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative

Flowers are here,
Summer is near.
Plants must bloom again.
Colors of every kind,
Different ones you’ll find.
Flowers are such a good friend,
Their smells are so sweet,
Their petals are so neat,
They’re used as gifts by men.
Plants are big or small,
Small seeds make trees so tall.
All the plants God put detail in.

Third Place
Beautiful World
Lilli Edwards, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

I love sitting in my window,
It’s what I always do.
The view is so beautiful,
I wish I could share it with you.
Even when it rains,
Even when it’s dark,
It’s never less beautiful,
Because it lives on in my heart.
Even when the day is long,
There’s always room for a poem.
We are all truly blessed,
For the world we live in.
I thank the Lord,
For this beautiful world.

Age 14–18

First Place
Whispering Mountains
Katie Ritchie, Holston EC

The mountains surrounding me,
make me complete.
Each day I wake, they whisper my name.
The mountains surrounding me,
call out to me.
Each day they whisper,
calling me to come.
The mountains surrounding me,
need me within them.
Each day I hear them, whispering to me.
The mountains surrounding me,
longing for me.
Each day I long for them,
my whispering mountains.
Whispering mountains, yearning for me.
My whispering mountains,
I will never leave.

Second Place
State of Volunteer
Olivia Rush, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

During uncertain times,
When the worst comes our way,
We stick together,
Side by side everyday,
With many in need,
We gladly share,
And with everyday that comes,
They are kept in our prayers,
When others fall down,
We help them back up,
Fill their plate with food,
And pour drink in their cup,
We will do the Lord’s work,
Until the end draws near,
In the heart of Tennessee,
The state of volunteer.

Age 19–22

First Place
To Love
Cricket Sands, Middle Tennessee EMC

He walked into my life
with eyes so beautiful.
Ripped my heart out
and swallowed it whole.
Ravaged my lungs with a smile,
but I don’t mind.
With a snap of his fingers,
he cleared the skies.
The storm’s ceased,
the flowers are all dried.
That man and his passion
are mysteries unsolved.
Even though I cherish no hope,
I still get involved.
Clad in snow and layered in stars,
his ideal bride.
Others I have feared,
but from him I’ll never hide.
He locked me up
and threw away the key.
Yet up until now,
I’ve never felt more free.

Age 23–64

First Place
Yankee Candle of Summer
Rachel Blackwell, Middle Tennessee EMC

You ride through the streets you’ve
memorized like the creases etched within
your palms,
how they stretch, curve and bend,
where they fork away and into each
other like asphalt arteries,
past the trainyard,
pausing to read the cryptic messages
scrawled in balloon animal font graffiti
upon the stationary boxcars,
past the pool identifying its presence by
the aroma of chlorine and Coppertone
loitering pungently in the air accompanied by the reverberating shudder of the
diving board,
through the neighborhoods,
each house a cubicle separating one life
from another,
backyard-barbecue char in the breeze,
the original Yankee Candle of summer.

Second Place
cirsium vulgare (thistle’s bull)
Kathryn Voigt, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

a brilliant royalty
that prickly pear of languishing hope
beneath great needles of vulgar green
vanishing again
a repetitious doubt
like ether
floats alongside the exhaust
of summertime’s dreams
and hazy wishes, white lightning
licks the stalk,
poking precocious fur- filled mounds
bloom spindles of
burgundy turned violet
Poof! Et Voila!
bowed heads shriek wisdom
upon clustered thorny rows
curtsy curled thickets brush
the thin line between grave
and cradle-fall
rocked gently, a gully’s arms are not so wide nor so deep
they cannot close the hairline fracture of your bud

Third Place
Wind Whispers
Stephanie Sheets, Mountain Electric Cooperative

Sitting on the cool soft grass
Waiting for the stresses of the day to pass.
Mountains all around me grow
Streams glisten with the suns glow.

I hug my knees so much tighter
I feel alone but I am a fighter.

Over the mountains and through the trees
I could hear whispers in the breeze.
Down my cheek a tears did fall
The wind blew past me wiping them all.

The soft whisper tickling my ears
The wind wrapped around me taking away my fears.
The feeling of being alone didn’t last long.
The mountains was nurturing me with the winds song.
Only in Tennessee could you feel this kind of love.
The winds from the mountains embracing you with a hug

Age 65 and older

First Place
Every Thing Breathes
Cynthia Storrs

Every thing breathes in Tennessee.
The broccoli hills heave,
their green sheaves hover and hug
the air, cocoon the skin
warm, soft, mouth to mouth
cheek to cheek, like a midnight dance.
Walls breathe in Tennessee.
Corners that have been cleaned
spring to life with millipedes.
From sidewalks that have been swept
spring miniscule shins and shanks,
armies that sting and bite.
Cobwebs appear overnight.
Every thing breathes in Tennessee.
Every thing breathes in Tennessee.
The striped stream that ripples and curls,
turbid rills and furls,
hides the swish of a trout,
(Oncorhynchus mykiss)
and fat channel catfish.
Every thing breathes in Tennessee.
Foxtail and bittercress, henbit and oxalis
sway and shake, flaunt and undulate.
Restless with the breeze, they tease,
they breathe

Second Place
Spring Still Comes In
Kimary Clelland, Appalachian Electric Cooperative

Spring comes in while we are shut in
giving us color, smell,
and knowledge that life goes on
without us humans thinking
we are essential to nature
mowing and whacking
what we think are weeds
that are actually the bee’s food source
and Spring comes in
right in the middle
of the not so closely groomed yard,
showing off dandelions, buttercups
and a wild yellow random daffodil
calling for our attention,
or those purple wildflowers
pulled last Spring when they came in,
not knowing, but somehow sensing our need.
Spring still comes in.

Third Place
Jenny Strickland, Tennessee Valley EC

My vision sees the church – a multitude
of friends – a precious grieving family – ok
but I cannot comprehend this kind of
god-bye – you must not leave today – so many
flowers – no! That is not your name
chisled in that stone – just the way it is
on the mailbox – you mus be here for your
Birthday, to get my card – no one has packed
your suitcase – you cannot leave your boots,
cowboy had º the rodeo is this week – it is
in Tennessee this year – I know you will win –
I cannot tell you this kind of Good-bye.


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