Thursday, June 17

Poet’s Playground – March winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
April in Tennessee
Michael Zink, Middle Tennessee EMC

What is the weather in April
In Middle Tennessee?
Every day is different
Wait and see

Some days are weird
I don’t know what to do
It can be rainy or sunny
Or snowy too

Some days it’s cold
Some days it’s hot
But I like them all a lot!


Second Place
Joseph Franklin, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

Trees trees as they sway,
Trees trees praying by day.
As their arms go up to say a prayer
Robin nest in her hair.

Trees trees dark by night
Trees trees give you a fright
Trees trees up so high
Trees trees in the sky


Third Place
The Cow
Caroline Franklin, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

There’s an animal with black and white
That moos and eats grass.
I like to watch them eat and they
Are definitely not fast
There are thousands of them in the world
They swing black and white tails.
They look at me happily
Standing by their hay bales.

Age 9-13

First Place
A Life Once Lived
Reagan Honeycutt, Sequachee Valley EC

To my hand it’s nothing more than cold
It’s nothing more than smooth
It’s nothing more than hard.

To my eyes it’s nothing more than marble
It’s nothing more than money
It’s nothing more than an engraved name.

To my brain it’s nothing more than remembrance
It’s nothing more than company I’ll never enjoy again
It’s nothing more than wishes to have a second glance.

To my hand; something that can’t be touched
To my eyes; something that can’t be seen
To my brain; something that can’t be thought
It’s nothing more than a precious life once lived.


Second Place
Tennessee Villanelle
Micah Galicinski, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

As the red-hot sun passes behind the hill
The sky alights with beautiful color
The Tennessean landscape is beautiful in the chill.

A bird with a lovely black bill,
Flies off into the orange that grows ever duller:
As the red-hot sun passes behind the hill.

A lizard scampers across a ruined mill
Its nocturnal eyes alight,
The Tennessean landscape is beautiful in the chill.

A deer passes by and hears the bird’s trill,
It turns to watch two bucks fight
As the red-hot sun passes behind the hill.
The Tennessean landscape is beautiful in the chill.


Third Place
Emma Laymon, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

There’s nothing
But wondering as to
What specifically lies
Beyond the trees

They are just rising
And dipping forming
Folds of endless fabric
Shining in the ascending sun

Cars will disappear along
The winding roads
That fade into the mass of
Brush and flora

Seeming like an inundation
Of growth sweeping into
The land and grabbing hold
Of harvest colors

The crest is unseen
To most of man
Resembling islands
Drifting on an endless
Sea of clouds

A distance transforms the
Folds of trees into
Layers of blue and gray
Designing an elegant
Background complementing
The foreground

Age 14-18

First Place
That’s What It Means
Cassie Cummings, Holston EC

They ask me what it means to live in Tennessee
I told them it’s being the best me I can be
Then the day when the flames did arise
And thick black smoke filled the blue skies
Then they came from all around the state
To help ease the pain from this awful fate
Together we bounded
As one we would be
That’s what it means to live in Tennessee


Second Place
The Walking Horse
Madison Apple, Duck River Electric Cooperative

See how beautifully she gaits.
Round the ring as crowds cheer,
Her rider urges her to keep her rate.

See how smoothly she walks.
In the field and on the trail,
She listens to the calves balk.

See how eloquently she stands.
In her pasture by her foal,
She watches for danger over the land.

See how gently she nuzzles.
In her stall with her owner,
She nudges him with her muzzle.

See how proudly she represents.
For her magnificent state,
She strives to please in any event.


Third Place
Tale Down in Tennessee
Hourglass Rose

We’ve heard of things that go bump in the night,
That shakes us with fear and shivers with fright.
There are tales that’ll scare you and me,
The tales down here in Tennessee.

You can stop by Lover’s Lane,
Where a man was skinned alive and changed.
Tom accidentally made infidelity,
And now kills for adultery.

We count ghost in alphabet soup,
The ABCs and ones and twos.
Like ghost of Jamestown and White Screamer,
You can see them without being a believer.

We’ve seen and heard,
Now it’s up to you.
Are you naive,
Or believe what is true.

Age 19-22

First Place
The Hunt
Christina Lynn, Gibson EMC

I take a step outside
And breathe in the country air.
My lungs are opened wide
And the wind blows through my hair.
A hummingbird zooms past
And perches on the feeder.
This lunch might be her last
If my hungry cat could eat her.
He begins to set his sights
And prepares his legs to jump,
But the speedy bird takes flight
And my cat falls on his rump.
I laugh and pat him on the head
And offer him some treats instead.


Second Place
Anna Kurschner, Chickasaw Electric Cooperative

Sky mutters mysteries
Voiced only by the water,
Alone with self.
Ripples shove outward
Spreading secrets to far borders,
Only to bounce back and
Be reflected by the
Evening sky.


Third Place
My Father
Bethany Upchurch, Chickasaw Electric Cooperative

I’m not a poet or artist
of pretty words

I’m a daughter who loves
and trusts her Father

Who is he? A simple man
who speaks to his children and is heeded

He protects and offers help
When we most need it
Because we know of his
sacrifices made on our behald
And we are grateful
Thank you Dad

Age 23-64

First Place
The Old Baseball
Terry Weaver, Duck River EMC

In attic corner I sit.
My history written in scuffs and stains.

Carrying conversations across the yard …
You in Converse and Toughskins,
He in mill clothes, with callused hands
And weary, smiling eyes.
Echoes of smacking leather,
Soon darkness absorbs the cotton fields.
Playground afternoons
Being batted, bunted,
Spat upon, rubbed,
Thrown around the horn … used.

Tossed ceilingward repeatedly
As you lay prone in bed,
Dreaming daydreams late at night.

The kids found me today.
I am ready.
Ready once again
To foster daydreams
Inspire laughter
And ferry twilight conversations
Across the yard.


Second Place
The Wilson County Fair
Sherrie Lane, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

Taking it slow, reminiscing,
Holding memories past,
Embracing childhood days

Wishing departed loved ones were here
If only for a while, remembering their ways
Loving remembrances you bring back to life
Shimmering hope
Of once upon a time
Nice to see the past so dear

Country days from birth
Of this I know so well
Nothing brings loving memories
Than what you share on earth
Yea, and to what you give one’s stories

Fair of relics
Antiquated, simple, not so long ago
Ingrained from life you give
Rooted forever, taking it slow


Third Place
Bellevue, Nashville May 2010
Julianna Chaney, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

And the rains came
After a thousand years had past.

The waters rose
As swiftly as an intake of a breath.

And from our house on the hill
We watched our neighbors succumb.

As a child, whose whole world view was this,
It was clear the promise to Noah had been broken.

But after the services were said
And loved ones laid to eternal rest,
I noticed the water lines imprinted on the condemned homes
Had a likeness to a rainbow.

And from the hundred thousand hands of volunteers
There was hope.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Tennessee Rain Flies
Connie Knipper, Pickwick EC

Tennessee rain flies
a struggled beat
wings wet heavy
on a gravel street
and settles back the dusty heat
when Tennessee rain flies

Tennessee rain flies
a grassy kite
wings wet heavy
on a July night
and dampens summer’s fiery bite
when Tennessee rain flies

Tennessee rain flies
a feathered vest
wings wet heavy
on a summer’s guest
and finds her homesick song a nest
when Tennessee rain flies


Second Place
The Special Education Children Avon Lennox School Memphis
Millie Ungren

Daily we watch them
coming and going
like butterflies on windowsills
the “special” children
at Avon Lenox School

Glorious smiles
from the heart
like summer sunshine
busy minds like flower petals
a tiny biy more each day

Reaching out arms of love
needing hugs
to give and receive
their laughter echos
across playgrounds
their singing resonates

Line dancing in the gym
holding the flag in a parade
calling goodbyes to teachers
boarding busses for home
and another family
are they really so different

They are “special” education children
needy and expectant
becoming young adults
at Avon Lenox School


Third Place
Home Again
Mary G. Ballad, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Traveling from East to West
Tennessee country remains the best
Birth through school years we stayed
We worked, played and prayed
Grown, we left home; made families of our own
Years of visits few, but talked on the phone
Parents gone, laid to rest
I moved back; back to the nest
Family no more, relatives few
Technology’s here, everything new
People don’t visit, don’t call; they TXT
The older I get, I wonder what’s next
Barns are gone, farm belongs to another
The house remains; I’ll stay til I’m put under


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