Tuesday, October 19

Poet’s Playground – May winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
My Creek
Jean Baczynski, Meriwether Lewis EC

Outside my door lies a lovely creek,
where crawfish sleep in the deep.
Where when the sun is hot
my neighbors come a lot.
They come with lots of stuff:
nets, fishing gear, and water shoes because the rocks are rough.
The crawfish are sneaky and try to get,
but we always catch them with our net.
“Supper’s ready” we hear
across the street,
the neighbors say, “It’s time to eat!”
Now it’s just me with
my feet in the creek
waiting for tomorrow
when we can next meet.
When the sun is hot we’ll laugh and play
until the sky darkens and it’s the end of the day.
I love my creek outside my door.
I hope to play on it forever more.

Second Place
Welcome to Tennessee
Mitchell Collins, Middle Tennessee EMC

Welcome to Tennessee,
Tennessee is beautiful.
It is a great place to live.

Age 9-13

First Place
Sarai Clay, Middle Tennessee EMC

Strong winds,
Storms roll around,
Many families mourn for those lost and not found.
Houses ruined, where will they go?
How can we help?
Let’s find them a home.
Come on, volunteers, let’s take a stand,
Come to their aid, and give them a hand.
Gather around,
Let’s pray with each other,
Build up our courage, be better together.
Peace and comfort,
For you and all,
For families around, either big or small.
Peace and comfort,
For all you men,
For the women also, and their beloved children.

Second Place
A Nighttime Poem
Johnny Ferri, Middle Tennessee EMC

As I toss and turn in the sheets of my bed,
I hope for the living and pray for the dead.
I can’t go to sleep.
Thoughts have cells that go very deep.
Then said I,
“when is it, that I should find,
A way to sleep, and calm my mind.”
I can’t go to sleep.
Looking across the fields and hills,
The inky sky was very still.
The stars and moon caught my eyes,
With constellations across the skies.
My mind began to wander to a faraway land
Which on no maps is charted, though it is so grand
And peace I found in this faraway land.

Third Place
True Beauty
Megan DiCello, Southwest Tennessee EMC

True beauty doesn’t happen with make-up,
And it doesn’t just happen with luck,
True beauty makes your heart fluttery,
And it makes a permanent beautiful memory.
True beauty is love,
And it only comes from above.
True beauty is faith and trust,
And it is truthful, fair and just.
True beauty is selfless and humble,
And it doesn’t give up even if it stumbles.
God gave you true beauty,
And never forget that you are beautiful.

Age 14-18

First Place
A Couple’s Compatibility
Reagan Honeycutt, Sequachee Valley EC

Our separate conclusions vary from time to time
Depending on the moribund nature of loyalty’s prime
And we are forced to realize our problem of repetition
A problem that coexists with unrecognized omission
How unaware we seem to be of superfluous discussions
Discussions disguised as excuses for exchanged repercussions
And as we stand upon the platform built of reasons to separate
Climbing off that platform admits to our failure to communicate
And whoever decides to end it first carries the responsibility
Of an unsuccessful try at a couple’s compatibility

Second Place
My Home
Abbigaell Day, Appalachian EC

I cannot write of Tennessee as a patriot adorns their country,
a lover sees their sweetheart,
or a mother loves her child.

Tennessee isn’t my only home because that could be anywhere.

Anywhere coffee is made,
early in the morning and shared
in yardsaled mugs, will be home.

Anywhere my momma is,
her quick smile and witty scold,
is a place I’ll be welcomed.

Any house that has tiny feet and eager voices
running through and through it,
is my home.

The Appalachian mountains,
the violet sunsets between them,
are just the added perks of my home in Tennessee.

Third Place
To Be A Selfish Sympath
Hamsa Javagal

China’s distraught and in a panic
While more are reported “dead”.
Spreading uncontrolled and rapidly,
Their pleas for help, misread.

No solution reported from China
Leads to Italy’s despair.
Once a small and petty problem,
Now an international nightmare.

Still, no worries come from us-
Our alarms are left on snooze.
We know of no Coronavirus
Except for the one in the news.

But soon the US confirms its first case-
The affirmation seeming surreal.
It’s when the virus could possibly affect us
That problems become a big deal.


Age 19-22

First Place
Tennessee Sunset
Madison Apple, Duck River EMC

Golden hues blanket the hills,
The sun begins to sink
in the cloudless sky.
Chickens roost in their coop,
as the night begins to instill.
Crimson saturates the west,
The sun sinks lower behind the pines.
Workers lay their tools to rest.
Amethyst reflects upon the lake,
The sun has sunk below the horizon.
Mothers call their children in,
as it is getting late.
Prussian blue fills the night,
The moon shines her face upon the foothills.
Forests glitter as fireflies dance
in the soft moonlight.

Second Place
Tennessee Spring
Lane Mochow, Appalachian Electric Cooperative

When the sun hits the trees just so
I feel a wind of welcome,
a feeling of acceptance into
this world I’ll never fully comprehend.
No matter how many miles I walk,
I’ll always be surprised by the sound
of birds chirping,
of spring snow that turns to ice.
The magic that is in every nuance
of nature’s waking from
long slumber.

Age 23-64

First Place
Wanda Campbell, Caney Fork EC

Time is not the answer
for questions unknown,
Time is the answer
for when we should know.
There are no hidden mysteries
hidden throughout all time,
Only hidden answers
locked deep within our minds.
We have been provided
with all the answers for,
Whatever has been given
until the other side.
Each life being different
and sorrows to bear,
Not wishing for others,
just because they care.
Forgetting all too easy
in a sorrowed time
Help comes in sharing,
if were not to be so blind.
Help unlocking answers,
that only we can find,
Is part of the beginning
of our peace of mind.
The answers will come,
when the time is right,
When ready to except them,
that is where will find.

Second Place
Dreaming of Sunlight
Wendi Morrison, Sequachee Valley EC

I dream of a world,
Fearless of the sun.
A world that feels,
Warm and safe.
I can’t see that anymore.
A shadow cast by,
Distant mountains.
I see patches of light,
They can’t last long.
A faint sadness covers my soul.
I drift from one shadow to another.
Wake from nightmares,
I don’t remember.
Tell myself to stop wishing,
Stop dreaming of sunlight.
I can’t.
The sun is too beautiful,
I won’t forget.
This isn’t a poem.
It’s a cry for change!
I dream of a world,
Where future generations
Live in sunshine.
A world without crisis,
And war.

Third Place
Sunday Morning
Collin Massie, Cumberland EMC

Ends profound arrive from delights of morning
dew. A witness sings of a fierce fidelity;
the Spirit taps and the pastor’s sweat-stained
pulpit soaks in all of the brandished shouts of
hallelujah. Later, they ring along the
rim and dance within my whiskey glass.

The devil has his day.
Yet believe the mocking bird stays—so fierce and
gentle…God-tinged. Then will I kneel again,
low upon the midnight dew of God,
trails of grace laid utter bare.

For that, I sing. Sore from hurt,
I sing beneath shadows soft and cool.
In valleys deep,
yet still I sing.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Millie Ungren, Pickwick EC

Life’s clock
Has ticked away another month
The very scent of April
Lingers in the air
Valleys are filled with ditches
As compelling as waterfalls
And still I listen
The drum of rain clouds
Emptying upon rooftops
Through windows
I see splashing droplets
Rushing together in a steady stream
Where the red-eyed sun
A broken promise from
The umbrellaed weatherman
Where are the nesters
There is no room for birdsong
Only the wild geese call
Is this what Noah promised
There is a rainbow
In the eastern sky
Seven colors singing praise
It is enough

Second Place
R. L. Pete Wyatt, Appalachian EC

The sun rises between silo and red barn
Light floods my bedroom
through the window.
I feel the warmth
bathing me in bed.
Too good to leave
this cocoon of blanket and pillows.
Doves coo. Their day has begun.
The wrens search
for a spider meal along gutter’s edge.
Their toenails make a scratching noise
as they fuss & fidget.
I hear Red, my neighbor’s mule,
bray across the fence.
He’s alone in the pasture.
Red’s gaze is fixed
toward the red barn
the sun climbs higher.
He brays again in his solitude.
Nothing’s sadder than
a lonesome mule.


About Author

Trent Scott serves as vice president of corporate strategy for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. In this role, he coordinates the corporate communication efforts of TECA and The Tennessee Magazine and provides assistance to member utilities. Trent holds an undergraduate degree in marketing from Freed-Hardeman University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. Trent and his wife, Suzanne, have two children and live in Henderson.

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