Age 8 and younger
My Home in Tennessee
As I wander through the golden leaves,
In autumn, quite aglow,
I see the creatures crawling,
Down the hill, just below.
As I scurry down the hill,
Just like a little mouse,
I go to see my family,
In my little house.
I’ll go on adventures with my dad,
And I’m sure that now you’ll see,
I love my home with all my heart,
My home in Tennessee.
Amelia Pond, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation
Sitting in the car,
Not going very far.
What am I going to see?
Turkeys, deer, and family.
I think about happiness, music, and trains.
Going to Clarksville down country lanes.
I love Tennessee it is better than all the rest.
Tennessee is made of three divisions,
I love Tennessee.
My home I am so blessed.Maachi Baxter, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Age 9 – 13
The Ghosts of War
In a valley in Tennessee
Lay the fallen willow tree
Those who listen carefully
Hear the tale of an old Yankee
As the lads went to make history
Soon they would know life’s dreary truth
Following ol’ Johnny into that God forsaken war
Ready to knock on death’s eerie door
Their wretched souls would fight
All through the endless fraying night
Cursed for all eternity
For freedom is never free
Alexandria Roberts, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Our Tennessee Winter
Fear is grey
It sounds like blood curdling scream grasping air.
It tastes like a drink of thick salt water and sand paper.
It smells like sharp pieces of air being stuffed down your lungs.
Fear feels like needles piercing your skin and injecting liquid ice.
Joy is pink
It sounds like good news being yelled into someone’s ear.
It tastes like your favorite home cooked meal cooked perfectly.
It smells like crisp air with a hind of frankincense.
Joy feels like a gust of warm air on the coldest night or a cool breeze in a desert.
Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
The Overmountain Men
The overmountain men marched from their Wataugan fort.
When asked why, they would simply retort
“Why sit down and wait awhile
As they wear at your people like a file.”
Marching southeast they did go
Over the mountains in a steady flow
To where Ferguson had made his stand
Ready he thought to meet this band.
They charged up the hill on which Ferguson was camped
Until he must have felt might cramped.
And on that hill Ferguson’s blood did pour
To change the tide of the revolutionary war.
Anthony Regester, Mountain Electric Cooperative
Age 14 – 18
Splash of the Ram
As I walk through the road of life
I come to a place to rest my weary bones
I reflect as I rest
The splash upon my life
That wakes have caused
In passing moments is my life
When compared to the infinite of the universe
But in these moments do I exist
Ram standing proud on the mountaintop
Generates the biggest splash of all
The large splash causes me to wake up and see
That after generations I will still be drenched by this splash
It causes me to come from
Sapling to limber to sturdy
In my brief span
Within the tide of life
I shall continue to bob through it
Still being pushed
As I reach the bottom
By the ram upon the mountaintop
Wallace McCullaugh, Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation
Earth curls into valleys and hills
Rising beneath a winter sun
Til the red horizon is filled
With waves of layered rock and trees
Titan skies stretch o’er the Iris
Surveying with its three bright eyes
A land of hospitality
A mockingbird sings proudly by
Spreading her nut-brown wings in flight
Boasting her unique melody
That carries o’er a lush landscape
And mingles with our own proud song
Of history and victory
We are a king on a mountain
A blue and shining sixteenth star
Forever will it be our home
Marah Grant, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
The sight of a bright new dress on dark skin
Leaves old and worn ready to begin
The streams of crisp light through perfect clouds
The glow of sunflowers ready to be found
Dust and flight of a bumble-bee
The glow of a warm oven and children filled with glee
The spot of sun ingrained in your eyes after a long gaze
Number two pencils drawing a phrase
The sparks from the creation of a campfire
The rolls and bunches of old grass wound up like wire
Lemonade stands hope-filled with laughter
Lighting that instantly fills the dark sky and captures
The first bike I ever rode shaky and giggly
Pooh bear sheets and matching pillows
All these precious memories
In sweet Tennessee
Caroline Mabry, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Marching down toward New Orleans.
Their hands tremble but filled with pride
Their thunderous steps roar in strides.
The year was then 1812
The British then came in swells.
Looking for a fight but not defeat
Our brave men would not retreat.
Every British soldier went running for cover
The day the volunteers took over.
Adam Farris, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation
Winter Sunrise in Tennessee
An artist’s hands,
Bringing light in paint cans
A pink expanse across the sky.
A gift, unveiled, unwrapped on high
Give to me, given to you
An angel’s “Good morning.”
Shelly Marie, Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation
In the winter, we sat
huddled around the kerosene heater
Sipping our canned soup
flavored with a sense
of something long lost-
like wagon trails and those parts of the woods
untouched by human eyes
In summer, we ran wild
eating popsicles in swimsuits
Taking in the smells
of fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle
Our youth felt never-ending
As we lay with bare feet,
melting under the hot southern sun
It’s these memories of our years long passed
that echo throughout our lives
As we sip coffee and attend meetings
They’re the glue that shapes our now
Sadie Savage, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
*written on the occasion of my grandmother’s 100th birthday
Fragile as a newborn chick,
Hair white as snow held back with a child’s barrette,
Eyes, pale with age, observing life around her.
Ears that have betrayed her with age, leaving her in a silent world.The only daughter in a family of nine, now the last one left.
Born, bred, married, never leaving her beloved Tennessee.
Fiercely independent until no longer possible.
The matriarch to whom homage is paid at yearly reunions.
Her life seems so narrow from the outside looking in;
Perhaps memories are keeping her life larger than we realize.
Belinda Holcomb, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation
Age 65 and older
God’s Coloring Book
Just off some old two lane.
Of an old freight train.
Where only the creatures of nature might see.
While a yellow butterfly is kissing a red rose.
Tennessee is one of God’s coloring books.
Silence at Shiloh
Silent owls sought out the wood
Careless trails there beyond the homeplace
Consider here, how the soldiers stoodOld grey coats, buttons gone, torn asunder
Stone cold feet, mended boots, worn out hoods
Rusty rifles, silent, there beside them
Thoughts of home, no one understood
Here the peach trees now are blooming
Careless trails are asphalt paved, double lanes
Cannon’s thunder now is silent
The graveyard’s tombstones say their names
From fancy restaurants, we view the river
Hagys, Bill’s Botel, River Heights
Sunlight’s glaze falls upon Shiloh
Lives lost, years unlived, what a price.
Millie Ungren, Pickwick Electric Cooperative
I scatter grains of flour
Into my grandmother’s bowl
Hoping somehow this time
Her knowledge is with me.
Ashes tossed into
A mountain wind or across
A lake’s dark waters,
I want her to rise up, stand beside me.
Make biscuits, mouthwatering,
Reason-to-get-up biscuits, but
This is not a gene one can inherit, not
A family trait passed down like big feet
Those biscuits are impossible to make
Mine are never as big, as fluffy, as
Tasty, as perfect, as round,
but I keep trying, hoping.