Age 8 and younger
Olivia Lang, Cumberland EMC
The crackling of leaves.
Brings a new sound.
There are grasshoppers,
Chirping to the beautiful melody of the breeze.
All these sounds,
A woodland creature,
Could decipher easily.
Grace Rook, Middle Tennessee EMC
Check the clock
One more minute
Tick tick tock
Then out the door
Leaving blank room
Memorizing things I’ll forget soon
We move, we play, we dance
Nashville sings to us
And maybe we aren’t contributing
And maybe there is something we should be doing instead
And maybe we aren’t helping anybody
But for now
We are young
And this is all that matters
Milking every day for all that it is worth to us
In joy that will pull us away from our jobs
When we finally grow up
Catherine McBride, Meriwether Lewis EC
Trees stand poised, leaves hang white in breathless sky.
Dark rolls in. Wind sweeps the valley.
Dust catches breeze, stinging the eyes of watching life.
Calves run, dancing in the fierce air.
Ears prick to the echo of distant thunder, nostrils suck the wild scents.
Light spears the forest, naked power of atmosphere itself.
Thunder trembles through the ground.
Clouds unleash their burdens on thirsty world.
The sky calls them, the wind pulls over the ocean, and they go.
The sun watches as the world turns beneath it.
Its rays reach the dripping earth.
Calling water to the skies again.
Changing of the Seasons
Abigail Hirschmann, Middle Tennessee EMC
When I first met you
The mountains around us stood tall
And I saw your eyes
In the Autumn blue skies
The foliage was painted
A soft golden hue
As we dreamt in the grass
And the days went by
The snow stacked onto pine needles green
Softening them into a glistening white
And you held my hand as spring brought back
The missing sunlight
Which dusted our eyes
We splashed and explored
Our way through summer
In the crystal lakes of Tennessee
And through it all, it was made clear
That you and I
Were meant to be.
Jason Porter, Fayetteville Public Utilities
Legions in a field, standing row after row.
Uniform height of their spiked crowns
Altered only by undulating ground beneath their feet.
Each limb rolled in upon itself, sword-like.
Edges turning brown, a desperate attempt
To nourish the next generation
As the child’s hair turns from gold to amber.
A lone sentinel stands apart on different land.
Placed there by an unknown force
A bird perhaps, or a refugee from seasons past.
Towering in isolation above a disparate breed.
Limbs dancing freely in the breeze
Verdant, in a place with no competition.
Free to provide for both self and progeny.
Age 65 and older
Wild Eagle, Brother Eagle
Millie Ungren, Pickwick EC
They come in summer
Crossing mountains, rushing rivers
Our taloned relatives.
Knowing we expect them.
Like old salmon, returning from the sea.
From Northern lakes their journey begins.
Between earth and waning moons
We see their sacred wings
Reaching for the weathered cypress
Trees at Pickwick Lake.
Circling in a mirror of blue sky
Reflecting images of ourselves.
The circle of our life unwinding until our season ends
Our nest deserted, our kindnesses recorded.
With their golden heads,
Our stary crowns
Will we all mount up together
As the eagles at Pickwick Lake.