Age 8 and younger
Austin Bradford, Middle Tennessee EMC
Flowers, flowers, flowers
Bloom in the summer and die in the winter
but today is mommy’s birthday, and she’s our flower
and our flower is always blooming, and we always love it.
Lilli Edwards, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
When I’m sad,
I think of Tennessee.
I think of love,
And it’s where I’m meant to be.
It’s sunny and fun, so
Just turn that frown upside down.
Macy Sanders, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation
Going to Dollywood and riding a bunch of rides.
Listening to the Grand Ole Opry.
Watching fireworks in Nashville on the Fourth of July.
Catching trout at the Elk River.
Hiking at Fall Creek Falls.
Going on a tour at Jack Daniels.
Climbing up the Smokey Mountains.
Going to the Chattanooga Aquarium.
Watching a UT game at Neyland Stadium.
Going to the Walking Horse Celebration.
The Smoky Mountains
Emma Laymon, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Smoke blows in hazy gusts
It lingers around you
And swirls to create mystery
There are miles and miles
Of beautiful wildlife
It spreads and
Multiplies like dandelions
The roaring, rushing waters
Flow through the tall, thick
Trees and create curves in
The deep, dark soil
Families come to gather around
The blazing campfire and roast
Marshmallows. They sleep next to
Trees that cast eerie shadows
Folks lie down in the soft grass
And watch the bright, brilliant
Sunrise that ascends and
Blankets the mountains
Elizabeth Edwards, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
The sky is blue,
Every hill is green.
Nature is wonderful and true.
Now everything seems to beam.
Every sound that you hear,
Seems lovely and sweet,
Something is always near.
Exciting things can happen, so take a seat.
Enjoy a Tennessee summer.
Nashville the Great
Elly Colman, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
was the year it all began.
The city of Nashville was founded,
and the U.S was proud again.
The state capital position was permanent,
Nashville was the face of Tennessee,
and today it still is.
Nashville is the place to be,
with the Parthenon and music galore.
And don’t forget the Belle Meade plantation.
There are so many landmarks to explore.
The Wind Blows
Aayush Mathur, Middle Tennessee EMC
The wind rises
Under the stars’ wakeful eyes
It blows forward
Through air rung with sound
Singing and dancing
Of the beauty it found
Dipping and swirling
Through notes and chords
Weaving a tale
Of the hope love rewards
As the music fades
The wind continues on
In the innocence of mockingbird song
The wind climbs higher
Over man’s shrinking towns
Eventually blowing through
The clouds tell a story
Filled with magic and caves
A story within
The Smoky Mounts upon which they lie
Tennessee Plum Tree
In the lazy heat of summer
After a thunderstorm
I haul out the creaky ladder
And climb into
The old plum tree.
Leaves slap my face
Branches scrape my arms
Wet bark and raindrops
Cling to my skin.
I press on
For the fat, ripe fruit
To pop in my mouth
All around me
The vast, sprawling city rushes by
On ever-rolling wheels.
Life carries on
At a dizzying pace
But the old plum tree
Neither knows nor cares.
So I lose myself awhile
Picking sweet, juicy fruit
In the lazy heat of summer.
Grace Young, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative
Oh, beautiful spacious skies,
Bewildering mountain great,
What stories do you hold?
Oh shimmering lakes, raging rivers, and lively graceful streams,
How could you have been here all along?
What treasures could therein flow?
Oh wondrous valleys low,
With the greenest grass and rolling hills,
Beautiful and peaceful,
Of you, there is only one,
Only one place, with skies as vibrant blue,
Only one place on earth can be here,
Not another, but you,
Tennessee- America at its best,
Willing to give everything, for a place called home,
Giving it all, for a place our own,
Not another, but you
Lauren Sutherland, Cumberland EMC
Billows in harsh gusts
Or busy puffs
With it summer comes
Loud sunshine, blistering heat
Suddenly replaced by brittle autumn
Tranquil, teeming with
intuitionThen carries in winter
Then carries in winter
With its twisted, bitter fingers
Bite knuckles, slap cheeks
And spring melts
Air dripping with florals
Fresh as a rainstorm
The same gale
That sweeps the Chattanooga mountains
Caresses the gilded sphere of Knoxville
That carries a tune down Broadway in Nashville
Dusts the Jazz blacktop of Memphis
Hunter Keough, Pickwick Electric Cooperative
Stars went jumping in
feral ponds & mountains once:
legs replaced with selves.
Sprawled across the bedspread
like overflowing ponds,
I erode, (burn) star-leapt.
Such is Southern life:
We raise our “selves” to sky, then
wish for blank waters.
Tashina Atchley, Appalachian Electric Cooperative
There are many kinds of spirits here in Tennessee. Some that love, some that hate, some that feel better
once they’ve ate. The kind that run, the kind that walk, the kind that have nothing else better to do but talk.
Some spirits sing, some spirits mourn, some spirits that find peace while working in the corn. So many spirits
here in Tennessee. Praise God I’ve found my own spirit to be. I will serve, I will love, I’ll fly away beautifully
like a dove.
Charlene Shaw, Middle Tennessee EMC
Morning glories, dripping purple tears on gnarly dew-kissed vines.
Daybreak, spilling over city fences and reigning purple and blue along country roadsides.
Bumblers and hummers flit and flee, barely having time to return for another drink before those majestic five-pointed stars close shop early.
Blooms spent by the Tennessee heat of summer, collapsing before the noise of the day, only to be resurrected again with the following sunrise.
More than abundant beauty in the simple form of a flower.
Roxanna Lawdonski, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
The shaded winding road encircles the majestic mountain peak, like a snake, hugging it close. The brilliant,
pixelated waterfall carries the silt and sand and pebbles, down to the shimmering basin below. The persistent
sun peeks through the dark heavily wooded forest, as the warmed striped chipmunks, dig new found seeds,
in the sunlight. The large lemon sun rises quickly over the field, burning off the morning mist. While whitetailed
deer stand like statues in the field, as the broad-winged hawk circles above.
A Songwriter’s Life
Rose Skags, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Drawn by a dream,
Held by hope,
Will someone sing my song
Many have dreamed,
Many have doubted
But the music doesn’t stop
Will I stand in the circle
On the Ryman Stage
Or just serenade the sky
These are the questions
I’m drawn to ponder
As I write another verse
Heroes seek glory
Actors seek fame
Artists are drawn to a hue
Maybe the answer
Is hidden for me
In the words of my Tennessee song
Age 65 and older
Sunset at Fooshee Pass Cove
Late day sky above the cove
has morphed from pale cerulean
into sapphire and shades of gray.
Ridges of hardwoods and pine
accent the mural with summer green.
Clouds coagulate around retreating sun.
The sun sector of sky blooms
yellowish-gold, then rose.
A massive swath of sky flames
into reddish-orange in a slow motion
slideshow, gleams like a giant gemstone.
The lake shimmers, then stills to a mirror
reflecting a big blanket of orange.
The cove yawns, its eyelids
slowly droop down on the sky.
The woods retreat inside their house
of darkness and close the door on day.
Before the Franklin 4th Street Parking Garage
Nancy Fletcher-Blume, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
A half moon rising,
Beauty of some past Artisan,
Waits upstairs for death.
Under gray skies, we stand.
Respectfully we wait.
Sounds of shattered glass—
Yellow jaws take bite after bite
Crunching the brittle wood.
4th Street House moans,
Laboring under its last breath.
Pieces of history fall
Hitting concrete below.
We wipe away tears and leave,
Overhearing a young woman’s eulogy.
“Empty lot, fresh start
Thank goodness, the city saw it our way.”
The Other Side of the Tracks
Peter McNally, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
He with boy scout troop from Oak Ridge
Went upon the trip to Knoxville
There they saw the railyard massive
Saw the tracks and trains in motion
Here there were the turnabout shacksIn the shack on left of train track
In the shack on left of train track
On the switchman’s desk of vinyl
Under a sheet of plexiglass
Was a photo lying naked
Of our Marilyn Monroe
Cross the track in shack just like it
Was the desktop plexiglass
Under it a painted picture
Of a man upon a cross