Age 8 and younger
Emilia Seegmiller, Middle Tennessee Electric
Sometimes the days are windy
And the flags show their faces
In all the places that you can see
And people start thinking of Tennessee
Our dear state
Red, white, and blue
Just like you-know-who
Three stars and a stripe
Tennessee’s the best, it’s true
Who knows this?
Sara Beth Fouts, Middle Tennessee Electric
Although I love my parents
and Heavenly Father, too,
I was really raised by Tennessee
and her Smoky Mountain view.
She nursed me from her earthy breast
and nurtured me with love.
A child resting at her feet ’neath sunset
Eyes lifted upward into hers.
Better known as sky.
Haven of the soaring birds.
These truthful eyes don’t lie.
Her hair is the billowing wind
Highlighted by the clouds.
Her voice is but a whisper,
Barely an audible sound.
Clothed in stars and stripes.
Her skin shimmers in the sun.
Sweet Mother Tennessee
Her story’s far from done.
Audrey Rodriquez, Middle Tennessee Electric
It seems as though the cotton fields
Were blown like dandelions
Scattered across the blue
Visible till the sun sets and the moon is in view
Painted white on watercolor
Illuminated by the sun
A blinding reflection on water
A lump of clay shaped by a potter
The backdrop to the skyline
Or the sunset on the Smokies
Slowly floating across the sky
Way up high where birds fly
Sometimes it drizzles,
Sometimes it pours
But then comes the rainbow
Beautiful from high to low
And beautiful are the clouds
Back Home in Tennessee
Claire Zhang, Middle Tennessee Electric
As the clock ticks eight
The waning summer sun
Colors the sky in a blurred kaleidoscope
Foreshadowing the autumn soon to come
Perched upon my roof
Eyes skimming over black shingled houses
To see the gleaming white spindle of the church
Striking the sky, announcing its presence
Reminding me of my beginnings
A sanctuary in which to gather, a beacon to follow
And when the sun’s light fades entirely
Lulling the town to sleep
My weary eyes travel towards the moon
Stopped by a blinking red dot—the radio tower
The lighthouse that
After a long journey
Tells me, “I’m home”
Rachel Ramsey, Tri-County Electric
Chilly winds sweep the hills
Trees shed their leaves,
A blanket of shades of
reds, orange and yellow,
Fall where they please.
The scent of pumpkin spice,
cinnamon and wood burning
Fills the air,
The sound of fire crackling
Jack-o-lanterns light the path
To trick or treat in neighborhoods.
Next November will come to visit,
But for now we enjoy October’s stay
And Halloween’s spooky spirit.
The Last Play of the Game
Thomas Moss, Gibson EMC
The moon reveals a field of green,
The score, displayed on a bright screen.
The golden goalposts loom at each end,
Five hundred in the stands attend.
The score, tied with one second left,
Twenty-two players line up, strong and deft.
The pigskin, snapped and one player turns,
Running from the blitz while his body churns.
He fires the ball in a spiral downfield,
Over the head of a defender who yields
Into the hands of the receiver landing prone,
Secured in the corner of the end zone.
The referee signals the win,
And the crowd roars a loud din.
A Mockingbird Found Guilty
Mekyland Williams, Pickwick EC
Mockingbird let’s begin your trial.
You’re being tried with the accusation
of scorn. Your ways are deceitful.
Your song is a knockoff. You sing the
song of the birds, not of your heart.
But you sing of innocence. Words
desirable to hear. Your fragile frame
is an admirable sight. How could
aMockingbird ever hurt a worm such
Mockingbird you’re found guilty. Your
feathers full of lies. Your heart isn’t of
innocence. Your song in disguise. Yet
I bury myself in the earth. Where the
quiet is suffocating. For how could a
worm be on the winning side?
Mary Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities
On top of the world, I feel so big.
The cascading hills beyond my casted shadow look so small.
Rocky and sloped, mountain grandeur perfection.
There is no better season to gaze upon these hills than the one I am in.
I look to the sky, it’s darkening, blue shade mesmerizing my view.
I feel as though I could fly.
How infinite I feel as I inhale all of this glory.
Knowing I am only a speck of dust in the midst of it all, but,
today I feel like a giant gazing upon a masterpiece of beauty and art.
Mere men can build skyscrapers.
But a true artist builds Tennessee mountains.
Cheyenne Lackey, Cumberland EMC
Cicadas captured me from the
Pressed flowers of spring.
Broken by heated air
The sun binds and burns me
Like you did.
More light isn’t always a good thing
Perspective changed everything.
Grass collapsed and ached
Blue jays balked at the cries of their babies
And sought shelter from the sweltering heat.
I used to belong to no one but the concrete
But in the afterglow of the spring
I only become an accomplice
To the state of deceased weeds.
Whispers of winter drench the ears
Of the trees.
Relief soon to come
But only for me.
A Minute With A Mockingbird
Holly Fister, Middle Tennessee Electric
Today I heard a bird call,
so I stopped
and craned my neck
to catch a glimpse
of the artist perched aloft.
For a moment,
it paused to consider me,
puffed its chest
then tipped its chin
and belted a crystal melody
that lilted to the heavens.
The song had wings,
I know it,
undulating high and low,
with enchanting strains
that would fluctuate
from haunting to joyous to plain.
I felt embarrassed
for intruding on the show,
so I strolled away,
with a new song in my soul.
Mikayla Young, Caney Fork EC
Tennessee the volunteer state where
Every corner holds a place that brings the
Neighbors and farmers to unite to look out for one another and the land that gives and takes and the
New beginnings awaiting among the rising Tennessean sky as
Each person holds a story to tell of the small towns and cities that make up the
State we each call home
Stories told and held just like memories of
Each day and night bring everyone together in the state of beginning and ending of a day’s journey
Each person tells a different tale, has a different view of what makes Tennessee home to them but one must see for themselves what makes Tennessee the place people call home.
I Long for Tennessee
When life gets hurried and I feel worried
When stars are hidden and deeds forbidden
When hopes are broken and regrets unspoken
I long for Tennessee.
Where miles of green restore what methought existed no more
The simplicity I’ve missed like the memory of a kiss
The warmth of its embrace and the preaching of God’s grace
I long for Tennessee.
Why’d I move away just to wish for yesterday
Where tea warms on a sill, where home is sweeter still
Where air is moist and clear and hospitality dear
Lord, grant me but one wish: my return to Tennessee.
Age 65 and older
Entertaining Angels Unaware
Kay Fields, Appalachian EC
In record numbers newcomers flock
to Tennessee. Not as tourists, but as
settlers. Some are jubilant, some
broken-hearted, some retired,
some in dire straits, some
rolling in dough, some fleeing
mounds of snow, a few just
desperate for change, a couple
innocent, but bloodthirsty.
None of these newbies are bland,
or boring, just in a hurry. In a frenzy
of fresh air, these visitors from the planet
of success are blown hither and yon.
With spontaneous grace, a welcome
mat is placed, a hand extended,
a smile offered.
We are the Volunteer State,
and don’t tolerate hate.
Sandra Fortune, Mountain EC
Any Sunday morning
as the church doors
open and the parishioners
gather to sing praises,
worship through prayer
A soft serenity settles,
over the worshippers.
Quietly, sitting in pews
with heads bowed or
standing to shout praises,
A weekly ritual that resonates
through the soul.
Joyful moments in time.
memories for the week.