Age 8 and younger
Ashlyn Allen, Duck River EMC
Let’s go to the Nashville Zoo
First, let’s visit the Hyacinth Macaws
The Stanley Cranes have really long legs
The gibbons are swinging from the trees
The meerkats always put their paws up
A kangaroo keeps its joey in its pouch
A tiger has beautiful stripes on its back
Watch out! The alligators might bite you!
The lemurs were roaming before humans
Do you hear the clouded leopards purr?
There’s the pokey porcupine peeking
around the corner
Flamingo babies start out white before
they become bright
The reptile room is fascinating
Now it is time to go home
And let the zoo animals roam!
Christmas Morning Fun
Kendall Taylor, Cumberland EMC
We set up the Christmas tree
So everyone will come look at it
Presents go under the Christmas tree
Wrapping some ribbons on the top
Everyone will come watch me
Open presents on Christmas morning
Christmas things are fun
Ezra Haney, Upper Cumberland EMC
Sitting and chilling in my backyard
I got a little bitty puppy and we play hard
Her name is Daisy and she loves home in Tennessee
Fall in the Foothills
Lilian Umbarger, Duck River EMC
Autumn is the time of falling flames of fire
Seeming to come from higher and higher
In colors ranging from auburn to gold
Defying the grip of nature’s hold
How do the leaves fall?
Like being plucked by an invisible hand
Spreading a flaming carpet across the land
In the morning covered with foggy dew
Across the wind they flew
On hazy wings of autumn glory
Never lasting to tell their story
Nothing but the skeletal frames behind
No sound or trace which calls to mind
The foothills are whispering the legacy of
Samantha McNabb, Tennessee Valley EC
There’s not a clearer sky at night
Than the sky of Tennessee
Stars stretch before your eyes
In a great light-speckled sea
Shards of white light fill the sky
All so huge and impossibly grand
Yet from where you stand on Earth
It seems they could fit in the palm of your hand
So few admire them, but if you do
Know you are lucky where you are
To be able to behold in Tennessee’s clear sky
The brilliant beauty of all the stars
Snow in Tennessee
Lincoln Clark, Middle Tennessee Electric
It rarely snows in Tennessee
but when it does I love to see
the beautiful landscape covered in sleet
to me this is a special treat
the phone alert lets me know
I get the day off because of snow
sledding, snowballs, snowmen, and more
hot cocoa and cookies galore
snow days fill me with glee
even though it rarely snows in Tennessee
Kendra Simpson, Meriwether Lewis EC
Like a crack in my spine,
the inevitable excruciatingly persists.
My mind plays tricks on me by
throwing me back in time and
Did things really happen that way?
Mixing dreams with reality, I stumble in
There are better, more professional ways
of thinking, I’m certain.
Ways that don’t hurt, but are pure,
untampered thoughts that the mind
doesn’t play with.
But what about us amateur thinkers?
How do we become pr-pr-professional?
Are we stuck in the deep thinking pit that
got us a little too deep?
Let’s make this a profession.
Abbigaell Day, Appalachian EC
You forgot your courage on the bathroom sink
I slipped it into your backpack in the hall
I forgot my appetite in your kitchen
So I’m never full without you
I gave my heartstrings for your roller-skates
You made your hair into a rope that pulled me from rock bottom
This is red-beans-and-rice love
“Will you come home?” love
”If we’re not married by 40, I pick you” love
Like we’re inevitable
Like I can’t picture life without us
My picture albums are full of you
For my everything, I choose you
Sarai Clay, Middle Tennessee Electric
Leaves falling from the trees,
Carried away by windy breeze.
Leaves fall in different shapes,
Different sizes, Different shades.
Reds, yellows, oranges, and browns,
Covers the grass along the ground.
Autumn winds make trees sway,
Swirling the leaves up, up, and away.
A cool, weathered season for all,
To make the heat of summer fall.
A perfect weathered season for me,
To run and jump in the colorful leaves.
This time of year only lasts so long,
For the call of winter is very strong.
This time of year is a vibrant and free,
Fall…the perfect season for me.
Mary Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities
They say, my past does not define me.
“Then what does?” I ask.
They say, I am not my mistakes.
“Am I my successes?”
They tell me I am what I believe I am.
“But how can I be nothing?”
They inform me that I am an adult.
“When did I grow up?”
They yell at me to become something, do
something, they tell me
“How can nothing do something?”
I ask questions but I receive no answer.
Nothing continues to exist the same as
Jessica Byrd, Caney Fork EC
Upon this grave
she lays her head,
For Hurt and sadness
she has bled,
The Silent tears
are born tonight,
Along with painful screams
that darkened the light.
The air is now cold
and filled with hatred,
For she just went down
to kill her elated,
Her feelings now gone
they had made her weep,
But she let go of the pain
when she drifted to sleep….
A Resolve For Winter.
David Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities
As sure as the sun rises every dawn,
the spring we’ve left behind we’ll see again.
And knowing this truth we must go on,
onward to the depths of winter’s snowy den.
Destined to use the last of our resistance,
In our own strength we must now confide.
Believing willfully we will make the distance,
broken but not broken on the inside.
Given over to the darkness,
yet Carrying a resolute force,
even the trees an empty starkness,
but regardless now we must Stay the course.
The Christmas List
John Young, Middle Tennessee Electric
Their names spoke out from echoes past…
Their voices singing…
and memories clinging…
While they are not with us now…
To mark them off…my Christmas card
List…a list…now so profound.
Seasons greetings are still the same…just
not as many on that list I found.
Their names ring back at me as I smile to
mask the tears.
You see…friends and dear ones lost…while
not here to share our joy…
Reach out to us from the past…
Our love bonds so strong…
A love that was so sound… a love to
From West To East
Here I’ve seen,
the once hidden tales slowly told,
those of the true southern spirits in the years.
Here I’ve encountered the transition,
met those newly arrived residents,
and shared what I didn’t know then,
until I came here myself.
Here I’ve talked with,
the rooted and uprooted,
native and newly transplanted people here,
from west to east,
across the South,
praying over the many I see regularly,
even those I barely know,
remembering the stories behind so many lives,
from west to east,
here in volunteer country.
Chris Williams, Cumberland EMC
Has a small population,
No need for an airport
Or Greyhound bus station.
Can’t be found on maps
With borders and boundaries,
And sly diplomats.
Has no travel guide.
There’s no trails or roads
To the mysteries inside.
Will never change gates,
On tarmac or concourse
I’ll patiently wait.
Not the end of my voyage,
But the start of the journey
Without need for luggage
Where I’ll never be stranded;
I’ll always be home
From the second I’ve landed.
Age 65 and older
The Perimeters of One’s Imagination
Ronald Butterfield, Southwest Tennessee EMC
Deliberately exploring the perimeters of
one’s imagination involves far more than
determining the direction of the wind and
the setting of one’s sails.
The journey requires the unleashing of the
meditative wondering of “What If?”
Possibilities considered options explored,
consequences taken into account.
Launching an excursion of the mind need
not be extravagant,
Sufficient being a soft breeze, a pillow,
and blanket under a billowing cloud, or a
However, supposing that this universe is
not flat, one must still be careful not to
fall off its edge.
A Touch of Music
Sandra Fortune, Mountain EC
“Turn the Radio On”
and listen to the music
Songs of all genres flowing
across the airwaves
Touch the musical app
on your cell phone,
for your preferences.
The T.V. has an
abundance of music videos.
An endless array of music choices
at your fingertips
In-person music may be a concert,
a worship service or marching bands
in the big parade.
Music near to the heart may be
the 10-year old learning to play
the violin or the high schooler
learning to play the drums.
No matter the source, add
a touch of music to your world.
God Bless the Truckers
Jeanette Elrod, Middle Tennessee Electric
God bless the truckers
For their long hard days
Separated from their families
To bring products our way
Through inclement weather
They brave all the storms
All of the road challenges
Are not out of the norm
Strenuous hours in the cab
Needing exercise, on their feet
Longing for their home time
Delivery schedules to meet
Long routes and long hours
Freight shippers and receivers
They arrive, on a daily basis
Meeting goals, high achievers
God bless the truckers
When on-time or delayed
Now home with their families
Until a delivery, on another day!