Friday, October 30

Poet’s Playground – June winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
The Virus in Tennessee
Olivia Shaffer, Middle Tennessee EMC

Things that once made us glad are
making America sad.
Little things like hugging friends
Suddenly came to an end.
Hugging my friends is a real treat,
Now I’m having to do it from six feet.
It’s hard enjoying simple things like
sweet treats
While my friends have nothing to eat.
Going to the mall makes me happy
Now I’ve had to shelter in place for my safety.
Some of my friends have no food to eat
I pray for them before I go to sleep.
I pray for God to watch over us
Keep us safe and untouched.

Second Place
The Wind
Kaityn Smith, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative

The wind blows the leaves,
And when it blows the leaves they move,
And when the wind moves the leaves,
It all goes the direction the wind goes,
And I love the wind.
It’s so nice to be in,
And when the wind moves the leaves,
They go the right direction,
And it would be so nice,
If we could see the wind so blue,
I would love if I could twirl in the wind,
And Praise God the wind is so nice!

Third Place
Harper Jones, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation

Water splashes over the rocks
Rabbit comes by hop, hop, hop

Bees buzz from flower to flower
Gathering nectar hour after hour

Birds singing a happy tune
Sounds of summertime in June

Beautiful butterflies float by
Disappearing into the sky

Grass as soft as a bed
On my arms I rest my head

No other place I want to be
Summertime in Tennessee

Age 9-13

First Place
Jewels of the Sea
Thomas Moss, Gibson EMC

The waves lap freely racing to the shore,
Algae and kelp rest on the ocean floor.
Sand dollars and sharp shells
can be discovered,
Sunken treasure by seaweed is covered.
Dugongs and manatees you can spy,
Albatrosses and pelicans that can fly.
The sun bathes the sea
with a golden light,
The wind gusts cool on a peaceful night.
The tide comes in, the boats go away,
The sun peeks, welcoming
a brand new day.

Second Place
My Home, Tennessee
Leighton Gray, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

My home, Tennessee,
Is beautiful and green.
Hills dotted with flowers
And small bumblebees.

Raccoons by the river;
Deer in the woods.
Nature is very beautiful
In my neighborhood.

Long, long ago, we sent our people
To help win the War of 1812.
We became the Tennessee Volunteers.
We should be proud of ourselves.

Two hundred years later,
We are still volunteering.
Helping those in the tornados
To keep on persevering.

We have the best leaders –
Strong, brave Tennessee.
I’m honored to call it my home.
Tennessee is a wonderful place to be!

Third Place
A Feline Paperweight
Barbara Twopointoh, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

I need to read
To pick
The book
There is progress to be made, and I am running out of time
For when the book must be finished
Till my suspense wears off

But you see
At the moment it is unthinkable

For you see
Its edge resides at the moment under a cat
(A napping cat)
And I dare not disturb his perfect slumber
I dare not remove his pillow

Age 14-18

First Place
Fake Happy
Naomi Igbinovia, Middle Tennessee EMC

“I’m fine”

She’s not. She sings these words of fallacy to drown the constant ringing in her head of reality. A spoken remedy to soothe the knots forming in her stomach.
Knots of not ribbon but of rope.
Because ribbon frays. Delicate, it wraps up her insecurities with such grace, such poise.
Not rope, that tugs and yanks at her.
Never out of place.
They both are just trying to hold it together.
Some are just better than others.

Second Place
Luke Barnard, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Sprung leaks in Heaven’s dome shed light
To Earth, on earthly deeds and earthy loam.
Hope for Columbus! Light leads home.
Fear for Judas! He wished for thicker night.

Seek or hide, Man uses Them as guide
Yet often loves the dark for cover,
Dodging the Divine (the First Mover
Of Them) for Man would much rather hide.

We strive to touch Them or, perhaps, get
Behind them (the searchlights of the sky
Cannot spot us there). But why?
How quick fickle Man can forget
What lies behind Them.

Third Place
The Tennessee Hope
Amelia Robinson, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

With summer air proposing
The stores are all closing.
But something else is imposing,

As it welcomes isolation,
Also follows the shadow of fear.
It amounts without explanation
Just distant observation in tears.

Taking a deep breath in our mountainous air,
Realizing the change.
It’s just not the same.
A change.

As our change cries out, “ Hope is not without “
Maybe close.
Maybe near.
With distance and with fear.
But never without.

As the 6 foot rule applies,
We try not to be discouraged by lies.
We find away.
We find hope.
And this guides our way.

Age 19-22

First Place
Ethan Elliott, Meriwether Lewis EC

My home lies deep in the wood
So I can hear your sound
Your lonesome cries echo
So deep it does resound
Sleep gently fair whippoorwill
Carry not a heavy heart
Sleep gently fair whippoorwill
Though separated we’re not apart
Inside my tomb there’s a blaze of light
I scarcely feel the heat
I lay wilted flowers ’neath her tree
Where that night she did retreat
Sleep gently fair whippoorwill
In wintry light or summer’s day
I’ve always listened for your sound
Since the night you flew away.

Second Place
TN Strong
Ketsiyah Faber, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

The smell of Spring is here to stay.
The sun shines and then it rains.
March madness came to make all the world lose their way.
Thunderstorms cloud the sky, but the wind will blow, and the sun will shine.
Tornadoes came and made us cry but God moved through all our lives.
TN, we’re oh so strong. We’ll get through this one song at a time.
As April comes will stay at home but we know we’re not alone.
May, we hope brings more healing but life’s too short to be afraid of failing.

Age 23-64

First Place
Terry Weaver, Duck River EMC

In attics of memory,
Dusty, almost forgotten,
Are not just fading pictures
And yellowing letters.
But emotions.

Such is the pull of nostalgia.
Longing for simpler times,
For circumstances of life understandable.

Satisfying were the simplest things.
Sunny afternoons, a game of catch,
Homemade ice cream.
Evenings on the porch after supper,
Visiting friends, sunset breezes,
And the smells of approaching fall
And fresh baked apple pies.

Problems — simpler,
Storms — not dreaded
But somehow refreshing.
Mornings — clear, unhurried.
Summers — idyllic,
Accompanied by droning bees
And flapping, clotheslined sheets
On long, partly cloudy afternoons.

Second Place
Weathering The Storms
Martha Shaffer, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Lord’s creation shines,
Life once again chimes.
Evergreen branches saluting from the trees,
Surrounded by deep hues of orange and yellow beckoning leaves.
God speaks soft tones of courage and trust.
His creation an absolute must!
Birds soaring with ease,
Not afraid of this disease.
Cradling in God’s consoling chest,
Tennesseeans are truly blessed.
Tennessee has weathered many storms;
Resilience and strength now the norm,
Virtual hugs as we whisper hopeful songs,
Tennessee melodies make us strong.
Embracing one day at a time,
God-willing, the sun will soon shine.
Storms brought us to everlasting solidarity,
Surviving optimistically.

Third Place
The Letter
Lisa Riley, Chickasaw Electric Cooperative

Tap, tap, tap
Inky black gel gliding
Across crisp, cream parchment
Scratching with momentum
As words tumble and fall
Imprinted onto the milky canvas
“Hello, how are you?”
“Wish I could visit!”
Yet these sentiments aren’t enough
To make up for boarded up buildings
Empty streets once bustling with voices
Sailing past rustic barns
Across valleys and streams
Daffodil fields bursting with blooms
As birds scatter across a rumbling sky
The envelope travels on
Eager to reach its destination
Stories waiting to be told
For just a moment, everything is normal again

Age 65 and older

First Place
April 9, 2020
Robert Roman, Middle Tennessee EMC

positive tests in Tennessee.
Today it’s gotten personal,
that number includes me.

How was it I was exposed,
work or church or grocery store?
More important to me now,
how does my case progress from here?
Will my Covid-19 be mild,
will it become severe?
High temperatures, headaches, coughing,
shortness of breath,
none or some or all?
Recovery staying here at home,
or emergency room, then ICU?

I’m in the Healer’s hands now,
reminded that I always was.
And praying when it’s run its course,
my number’s in the column
labeled as “Recovered.”

Second Place
Attitude of Solitude
Belinda French, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation

Pretty trees- springtime in Tennessee,
Pear tree blossoms, buttercups galore-even more,
Wide-open spaces, a clump of deer over there
And the farm fresh air!

There’s a peace that far surpasses
The tweets on twitter, social media and dither
A peace and joy in the Lord
And in helping our neighbor!

There is “tweeting,” though
Among the turkeys on the farm.
They could be sharing
They are kept from all harm.

Even among turkeys
A safe haven there can be,
An attitude of solitude,
Bringing a peace and safety we readily need.

Third Place
Fred Foutz, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation

Through the winding woods
we’ll walk between the times.
Within the patchwork
what clearings will we see?

Will we be lost along the way
through the darkness?
Who’s to say? Not you.
Not me.

Then what’s the mystery
that ties us to this path?
Can you say? Can I?
No, in fact,

Each clearing holds the clue
to life for me, for you.
It’s up to you , to me,
to see each clearing’s key.


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