Age 8 and younger
The Creation of Amazing Earth
by Rachel Keith, Middle Tennessee EMC
At first all was dark
As black as birch bark.
Then light came to be
And God made something to show you and me!
God made the planets and stars
He made the nebulas and the very red Mars.
He went into the Earth and made plants and trees
So we could see beautiful grass sway while we rested our knees!
God made the beasts and birds
And all the sea creatures simply with words.
He made man and woman
So that they could spread nations with children!
Let us love this amazing universe,
And we shall forbid any curse!
The Man from Grover
by Bella James, Middle Tennessee EMC
Their was a man named Grover
who lived in the town of Dover
along with his dog named Rover.
Everyone loved to come over
to visit in Dover Tennessee.
by Ava Biter, Cumberland EMC
Tennessee has had lots of snow.
I watch it blow and blow and blow.
I build a snowman.
Oh yes, I can.
I watch the snow grow
deeper and deeper.
I see the people
who are sledding go.
Are they fast or are they slow?
Age 9 – 13
by Samantha Rosencrants, Cumberland EMC
My five senses tell me we’re in Tennessee.
My! How much pleasure it brings!
My eyes see the bales of hay in the large, vast fields.
Like a lonely ship out at sea.
My nose, smells sweet apple pies, so sweet of an aroma, that
you melt inside.
My ears, hear soft chirps in long grass down by the refreshing creek.
My tongue, tastes delectable, crunchy chicken that was deep fried from beginning to end.
My hands, touch the frost that covers the
frost that covers the ground as if the grass was made of glass.
My! How much pleasure it brings!
Blooming in Beauty
by Emma Laymon, Middle Tennessee EMC
I heave a great sigh
It has finally come!
My branches tingle
They are blooming!
I can see the red stripe appearing
on the golden blanket of petals
The sweet smell
Starts rising from the seeds
In the conoid-shaped flower
It must be summer!
A placid wind rustles
My leaves and my new
I listen intently;
Yes, I can hear the children;
They are skipping toward me!
They lay under my strong
Limbs and lay on my roots
Why, they have come to visit me
On this very special occasion!
by Tate Thomas, Meriwether Lewis EC
There is a tunnel down on Main Street
that no stone or marble could ever beat.
In the fall a canopy of yellow and red
two of thousands of colors of Tennessee
hang over your head.
One summer they burned
feared never to return.
Then one then ten
then thousands of men
from around the country returned in stride
and planted a maple on each side.
Now upon the high tower
in the largest town in the county
exists a picture of a tree
to remind us that we
are stronger together in power
and that no real fire
could ever destroy the friendships of a volunteer.
Age 14 – 18
by Deepak Sundaramoorthy, Middle Tennessee EMC
Overture of rolling hills fills the air
Chorus of maple, cedar, and oak ensemble
Blues of the street, sit-ins in Nashville’s ear
New voices, sprouting from where the past stumbled
Uninterrupted, no mistakes, not one fumbles
God listening to the tune Tennessee played
A medley of history
Carrying over chords of Old Hickory
But Chickasaw beats lost in the rush
Notes we’ve forgotten
Notes we’ve forgotten Notes we’ve kept
Making a song
Of a state that’s never slept
by Anna Kurschner
The sky is gray, kind of murky
Like a stormy sea, and the clouds
Bare trees reach up, blending
Into the neutral landscape;
Leaves still cling
Snow never comes until January,
And then only in
Cold nights leave ice on roads –
And dangerous –
School is called off.
Normal days feel like Delaware’s October.
Kids play outside with light jackets
And run around in
A day below thirty is rare
And snowflakes are welcomed. But usually
Is just gray like the sea.
by Kelsey Watson, Meriwether Lewis EC
The sun raised over the horizon
like the ocean on the tide.
As Fall was creeping in,
the weather turned crisp.
The eternal scorching summer
was finally gone.
Pumpkin spice is a gift
to a grateful nose.
Carving pumpkins, creating
costumes, clashing family feasts,
Boxes under a tree.
The clock struck midnight.
Heart cards passed around.
Eggs are hidden, and
Oh wait! Oh my!
The eternal scorching
summer is finally here!
by Hunter Keough, Pickwick EC
Wishes — blades of grass,
that tire swing when
we were young. Do you remember
all the hustle or the child
you’d become? I can
still taste all the honeysuckles
sweat from where we rode.
On bikes and on our dreams,
oh how we drifted through the night
as kindergarten wolves;
eventually, some go
I walk these byways
lonely now —
those wishes, they cut deep.
I creep off into suburbs wrought
from Nature’s false antiques.
But here I see a tire swing!
There, honeysuckle paint
gesturing like a long lost friend
just one street down the road.
by Jasmine Pollock, Duck River EMC
The sun is on my skin
Warm as my grandmother’s kiss
As I walk through the woods,
Hers and mine
The trees wave hello
Welcoming back an old friend
To play once more among the branches and the brambles
The wind tousles my hair
And it drifts across my cheeks
Like her fingertips drying the tears of some scraped knee or scratched hand
In the heat of the southern summer
The air is full of honeysuckle and dogwood
And it lifts me up
And I soar across this stretch of land
The ground that raised me up
In the woods,
Hers and mine
I rest my back against an old friend
Shaded beneath the boughs
And I whisper to this ground
The one that raised me up
And I ask, that when my own leaves have fallen
And my branches are brittle and bare
That she might accept me once more
To be reborn into the trees,
Forever in the woods,
Hers and mine
In the Garden
by Adam Farris
There’s a flower in the garden
so beautiful so bold
cold storm can blow it over
and it continues to grow.
There’s a bird in the garden
with a coat of many colors
sings a song to all who listen
then it flies away with the others.
There’s a rabbit in the garden
you can barely see it move
looking for carrots and something sweet
It’s just looking for some food.
A raindrop falls in the garden
cool and refreshing
spring has come and love ’tis bold
like a wave when it’s cresting.
There’s a hummingbird in the garden
it nurtures the flower
like a kiss from a lovers embrace
for it is the only flower.
by George White, Duck River EMC
Sometimes you come up
On them standing
Like gray soldiers
In a briar thicket
By a small stream
Usually at the back
Of a holler
With no other trace of life around.
Others hide in fence rows,
Peering into plowed fields, a
Former forest first
Cleared by crosscut saw,
stumps pulled by mule
To make way for
Corn and a small yard for
Kids now grown,
A stonemason’s toil never dies,
Even after the
Stones are scattered.
One hundred years back,
A young boy mixes mortar
Listening to the
The mason, a
The Holy Order of the Union Gospel Tabernacle
by L.A. Story
I settle onto a pew.
Its surface worn smooth.
Old wood floors have
Born immense throngs of humanity
Coming together with a variety of agendas
For more than a century.
An incalculable roll call of needs.
Beams holding the edifice together
Have cured solid with the weight of
Voices to whom they bear witness.
Stained glass windows glow with holy light
Like the church the Ryman was built to be.
House lights dim – the show begins.
I join the Holy Order of
The Union Gospel Tabernacle.
Worship is still in session as long
As the congregation gathers.
by Ricci Hardow, Middle Tennessee EMC
There is a haunting stillness
that settles over the land
preceding her dark wings
that piously span,
Thor in his humble abode
commences to sound his symbols,
a cacophony, resounding musical mode,
She swooping downward
cast shadow upon open lea,
yet her wings stretch
from sea to sea,
Lower lingering pelting a message
from her talons to flowing rill,
A crescendo of lightning
intensifies to a shrill,
Veiling the whole of heaven
from peering earthly eyes,
her dark wings
stretch beneath darkened skies
Age 65 and older
Smokey Mountain Message
by David Clement, Gibson EMC
As the flaming red fire of your limbs is fanned by the frosty wind
the green prayers of summer give way to autumn’s golden amen
With a fall burst of glory you proclaim, unashamed, the Creator
lifting hallelujahs of color toward heaven
With each painted leaf you seem reluctant to part, but finally you shed them
to share their message, broadcasting a sermon on the wind
And as your bare, empty arms wave a benediction, the separation will soon be forgotten
for God will send another sermon as He outlines you in icy winter psalms of white
by Katherine Butler, Middle Tennessee EMC
I revere rivers.
My eyes follow the meandering
of the Harpeth as he creaks his old bones
down the Trace,
connecting the history of Tennessee
in one sweet sweep of infinite passage
through tiny river towns.
I dream of riding rivers
to the topmost stars,
Orion serenading me with water songs
while I drift, winding-sheeted,
my last miles downstream,
anchoring, at the end,
by one lonesome starside dock
where river birch branches hold me fast
in sleepy reverie.
Old Man Remembered
by Frank M. Smith, Holston EC
He said it was the hollow laughter
Of all the lost and lonely souls
That drove him from the cabarets
Where he often sought solace
From the daily grind of life
He said that he often wondered
About sands through the hourglass
And the swing of the pendulum
That has changed his life forever
And robbed him of small pleasures
He said that his time had passed
Like an eagle on the wing
Taking old friends and enemies
With an indiscriminate whim
That chilled him to the bone
He said that he was happy
Or at the very least content
Whiling away his final days
As the old man on the bench
Feeding pigeons in the park
in Rogersville, Tennessee.