Poet’s Playground – March winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Spring Fun
Olivia Lang, Cumberland EMC

Flying fast on your bike,
Windswept green flashing by,
Summer clouds in the sky,
You and me,
Tennessee queens,
and kings.

Blurry visions passing by,
Of Tennessee’s countryside,
Having fun,
Summer is coming.

Age 9-13

First Place
Ode to a Snowflake
Luke Barnard, Gibson EMC

Forged from freeze in murky mists,
A crystalline filigree falls
As soundless as a leaf to the winds
Yet all below, it enthralls.

A single snowflake, soaring swift,
Skillfully made in a frozen forge.
Born and borne upon the wind
With its hollow-sounding dirge.

Age 14-18

First Place
Inga
Kyrie Hall, Middle Tennessee EMC

More intricate than the most masterful cathedral,
complex as life itself
and just as delicate,
Snowflakes shimmer down
gently blanketing everything
painting the world hues of magic.
What was once mundane
has been elevated beyond itself
has been elevated past reality.
This is no longer the place we know
it has been stolen away by faeries
replaced by a changeling
queen resplendent in her austere majesty
frostifying our lonely world
sending icy gusts to douse
any flickers of revolt
But the biting wind brushes merely skin
it cannot stifle sparks within.
We may shiver today but
tomorrow we will melt.

Age 19-22

First Place
My Heart’s Desire
Courtlyn Martin

My heart longs for rolling mountains
Dyed purple by an autumn sunset.
For the song of the Whippoorwill
On a warm summer’s night.

My heart yearns for the fragrance
Of freshly cut hay drifting away with the breeze.
For the hot summer days spent under the shade
Of my favorite maple tree.

My heart’s desire is to spend one more day
On Mammaw’s porch breaking beans,
Under the ceiling fan that only stirred up hot air
While she told stories of days long ago.

I have traveled the world,
Visited countries overseas.
Yet Tennessee will forever
Be home to me.

Age 23-64

First Place
Tennessee Teacher
Michael Watson

So many notions lost to
Irresponsible memory.
Among them, whatever was
Said in class.
Instead of staying on shore,
It goes quietly to ship
Far beyond the reach,
The recesses, and the Red River;
And try as we might to
Call it up,
To summon it from its
Self-imposed prison,
It shies away again and
Again,
As a sly cat comes close,
And draws away before the
Touch.

Age 65 and older

First Place
January
John Mannone

Sometimes she comes early
before the warm
colors of dawn, her eyes

icy blue
with that wake-up look
of Tennessee sunshine.

She’s a cool lady,
and I’m no longer cold
when she wraps her arms

around me. My seasoned lover,
better than her hot sister,
Summer.

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