Age 8 and younger
Come See Tennessee
Mabry James, Meriwether Lewis EC
Tennessee is a great place to live.
A volunteer state
with Smokey Mountains in the east.
and the Mississippi River in the west.
It has lush green hills
that take your breath away
A place to play
with colorful flowers
and interesting animals.
Big cities and small towns.
A place to visit
for fun adventures
and good times with your family.
Tennessee is a great place to live.
We call it home.
At the Campsite
Damien Quillen, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative
My best summers are spent camping.
I hear boats zooming.
I see birds flying.
I smell hotdogs on the flame.
Instead of roasting marshmallows,
I like to eat mine plain.
When I catch a fish,
it makes me feel happy.
I would be lying if I didn’t say
it’s the best way to end a summer day.
Our Beautiful Reality
Marleigh Parker, Middle Tennessee Electric
My mind always seems to turn
to the fantastical things
that I have created.
My own little world.
Then, my mind averts,
back, to where my creativity originated.
To the rolling hills,
To my sweet Tennessee.
And then, to the stories,
the ones I’ve heard
and the ones I’ve read,
created by others, just like me.
Sometimes, I say,
“I like fantasy, where I’m not restricted
by the bounds of reality.”
But you know what?
I think I was wrong.
’Cause reality’s just as good
as fantasy, if not better.
Our beautiful reality…
our wondrous Tennessee.
Rita Butkevicins, Middle Tennessee Electric
Whilst some dream of daring adventure
Of bold and audacious schemes
Found only in imagination
And in their intrepid dreams
I silently ponder
In long midnight wander
If ever I will know
How the fireflies glow.
Son of a Tennessee Stray
He goes stalking through the purple Irises,
Leaping at the striped Zebra Swallowtails as they flutter by.
Lazily chasing flashing Fireflies and lovely Ladybugs,
Batting at the Smallmouth Bass darting along the water’s edge.
Always on the lookout for pesky Raccoons,
Resting on the cool Limestone,
And hiding among thick branches of Eastern Red Cedars.
Sleeping in the shade of the magnificent Tulip Poplar,
Awakening with the gentle Mockingbird’s cry.
Then lapping up some creamy milk on my back porch,
The adventuresome old cat has found a new home.
The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword
Hannah Hughes, Southwest Tennessee EMC
People say wars are fought with swords,
But I think pens can fight just as well.
While swords may wound, pens can heal.
Swords bring more fighting, more hurt;
Pens pour forth peace from the hands of
Swords are helpful for strong bodies,
Pens are helpful for strong minds.
So are pens mightier than swords?
Yes, I believe so.
My Job as a Future Teacher
Alexandria Miller, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
My job as a future Tennessee teacher is not one of glamor. It does not pay millions or gold bars. It is not the talk of the town, and does not receive praise with my name in lights. BUT my job as a future Tennessee teacher is worth more than all these things combined. The bustle of innocent chatter along with the excitement of the classroom. While I educate the future generation of doctors, artists, and engineers. All these things and more is why I am so excited to become a Tennessee teacher.
Morgan Zukas, Appalachian Electric Cooperative
Your smile glows bright like the first light at dawn, accompanied with the sparkle of your lovable eyes.
Your cheerful laugh brings a humble joy upon me, which spreads through my veins like rapid fire.
Your unique, quirky personality always brings a lively aurora to whatever room to which you stand no matter the
drury that may be.
Your competitive and adventurous spirit never stops you from being the most compassionate and caring person you can strive to be.
A trickling solitude
David Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities
There is a place I go. A Tennessee
stream that sways my heart. A shy river
that never peeks its head out of the
forest long enough for any man to fully
see its beauty. I so desperately long to sit
next to this sanctum of nature
whenever my anxious heart finds fault
with the brutal world around me. The
pebbles that lay under the passing
water shimmer and remind me of all
the wishes I have cast into this hopeful
Brook. And there, where no other body
is, I find all the comfort I need to commune
Cara Harrison, Middle Tennessee Electric
How do I unleash my inner wildfire when nothing but ashes and ruins remain?
For I have been drenched by the insults, the inquiries, the harsh truths that have been spat in my face.
Once coming to terms with my sense of self only to have it ripped apart and completely diminish.
I must change, but how much? how long?
And if I do, am I changing for me or to satisfy those closest to me?
For I feel as though I have chosen their contentment over my internal happiness,
dooming my future before I even have yet to bloom.
Old White Oak: The Birthing Tree
Grace Young, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative
I curiously pass by you every day.
Who are you?
But I don’t ask, I pass by.
I can’t stay.
With a crown of 130 feet, touching the groundjust
inviting people to sit, and talk, in Solidarity.
The Question is this: Who will come?
You: A Solitary Landmark.
You hold Engrossing Stories of those in wait of their Promised Land,
and you’ve even earned another name:
Because life happened here.
Even if I don’t pass by there anymore-
I will always return.
So, here is my promise:
life will happen at the White Oak Tree.
Tennessee-Someone Else’s Dream
I dreamed of mountains in Montana,
Dipping my toes in the Rio Grande,
Seeing Oklahoma from a front row seat
Going anywhere that wasn’t where I am.
Little did I know in Boise, Idaho
Someone was dreaming just like me.
How great to see the Smoky Mountains,
Ride an old school riverboat down the
Two-step in the honky tonks of Nashville,
Or walk in Memphis through the palace
of The King.
So, be thankful if you live here
In this grand ole state of Tennessee.
’Cause every day your home sweet home
Is someone else’s dream.
Debra White, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
She speaks to me.
Teaching me of the land she knows so well.
She worries not for tomorrow.
Her confidence unnoticed by all.
She sings to me.
Her melodies carried by the breeze to my ears.
To be her for only a moment.
Closer to heaven, and further from myself.
With me only for a moment
She is swept away with the wind.
She speaks to my soul.
The Great State
Reny Sanluis, Middle Tennessee Electric
At church, on a Sunday, where we bask in God’s grace,
On the green rolling hills where the battles took place,
In our national parks hear the mockingbirds sing,
Just sipping sweet tea on Grandma’s swing,
Blue suede shoes walk the city streets,
The rhythm and blues, the Nashville beats,
A friendly smile, a helping hand,
Our volunteers do all they can,
Heritage, loyalty and pride runs true blue,
Feel the love in our hearts, it’s waiting for you,
There’s no other place you’ll want to be,
Than in this great state called Tennessee.
Age 65 and older
Millie Ungren, Pickwick EC
I believe when God created earth
sea and sky and universe
Looked around and said “I see
a place where I will make a tree”
I think those tall majestic trees
have souls beneath their bark
When spring breaks forth
with a thousand throats
singing voices all in chorus
In shiloh’s sacred lofty woods
cobwebs hang like bridges
straddling broken piney boughs
butterflies fill the radiant skies
with colors that confuse our eyes
winter’s bitter freezing winds
take away the withered leaves
softly shakes them back to earth
the singing birds have flown away
old trees await another spring
Nancy Poole, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
Beautiful virgin country road
Asphalt hot where flowers stood
Light poles and telephone lines
Cannot erase beauty of mind
Pacific Coast Highway breathtaking and thrilling
Around every curve waves crashing and roaring
Piercing my heart like the blade of a sword
Rossview Road now a fake
Earth battered and gouged
Some call it progress
Others, environmental rape
Trees cut down, weeds by the way
Houses grow where once children played
Cherokee moccasins respected the path
Waiting in stealth for deer to pass
Time cannot reclaim beauty lost
Traffic so heavy, never alone
Keep looking onward
While traveling home