Poet’s Playground – Winners for October

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Friends, Flavor, and Fun
Olivia Lang, Cumberland EMC

I hop on my bike,
And ride away.
To my best friend’s house-
Brighton is her name.
And I will play there,
For hours at a time.
When I arrive,
I see a grand sight-
The ice cream truck is parked by her house!
I lick my lips at the sight,
And I think,
Just what a delight!
We all buy some ice cream,
To eat while we play.
And to think,
We made a memory,
That great wonderful day.

Second Place
Fishing
William Moss, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Grab your pole.
Get in your boat.
So that you can
Fish in the moat

You cast the line
That fish is mine

You go home
And sort the fish
And then you eat them
On a dish

Third place
Tennessee’s Trees
James Moss, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Climbing trees, falling leaves,
Apple falls, scraping knees.
Maple, pine, and oak,
Drinking a Coke.
I like Tennessee’s trees.


Age 9–13

First Place
Beauty on the Flipside
Emma Daugherty, Upper Cumberland EMC

It’s beautiful.
Swaying in the crisp, cool breeze,
Proudly soaking up the sunshine.
But soon,
It changes.
It no longer breathes in the glorious rays of light.
It is dying.
It will change slowly,
Like a person with age,
Once the color of fresh grass,
Now the soft yellow of a sunset sky.
Over the month,
It continues to change,
To a lovely orange,
The color of a pumpkin.
As the days drag on,
It becomes the brown of freshly dug earth.
It falls to the ground,
And fades away.
And no one even noticed it.

Second Place
Home
Grace Rook, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

“Home is a feeling
that tells you you are welcome
That invites you to stay
A place where you know
You are loved
And you know you’ll return someday”

The old man sings his song quietly
Leaning against the willow tree
In the mountains of Tennessee

On a porch, a crying mother leans
Her daughter clutches a suitcase with torn seams
She hears the man’s song
Tears roll down her cheek
Her heart turns to ice
Gives into pride
She walks away

The man watches the girl
She looks at the man
And runs away from home, suitcase in hand

Third Place
The Sun
Rebecca Hales, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative

Dancing in the sunshine,
I run laughing happily in the sun
The air is full of shouts and glee
The leaves are glittering from the tree

I chase the sun, it chases me
I look into the sky, a sea of blue
The sun, always shining bright and true
I wish I saw god lay down the sun
In the middle of the sky when it was done.


Age 14–18

First Place
Horse and Rider
Aislyn Owis

Together as one
Horse and Rider both
Each longing to run
Feeling the strength of the wind
In face, mane, and tail
Knowing each other’s true thoughts
They never will fail
Choosing imagination
One in mind and soul
Fighting to beat time itself
Their day has been full
Full of fun and excitement
Coming back for now
For dinner must be waiting
Each taking a bow
Promising for tomorrow

Second Place
Going South
George Moss, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Filling up swamplands, flooded fields and rivers
They come down every year.
Blacking out the sky in flocks of hundreds,
They head south for the winter.
Mallards, gadwalls, wood ducks, mergansers
They go from Canada to Michigan
And then to Indiana
Staying until they eat
All that’s there
And then come further south
Into Kentucky and then to Tennessee.
Feeding in the cornfields and oak flats, resting in the rivers,
The ducks and geese travel south looking for a better home.

Third Place
The Sun
Rebecca Hales, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative

Dancing in the sunshine,
I run laughing happily in the sun
The air is full of shouts and glee
The leaves are glittering from the tree

I chase the sun, it chases me
I look into the sky, a sea of blue
The sun, always shining bright and true
I wish I saw god lay down the sun
In the middle of the sky when it was done.


Age 19–22

First Place
Tear Drop
Makinzi Robinson, Meriwether Lewis EC

A droplet of Dew.
Beads of Saltwater. So curved,
Clear, magnifying the depths within.
A moment, the sea wells up and breaks way,
making a path down troubled.
It’s weakness? The logic
for the dewdrop;
during this swell of distress.
A sign that can; that will show.
Even though It’s just a watery substance, a drop.
Like a miniature sea, the drop that makes the
Trail down the sincere profile.
With intense feelings it’s hard to
Explain what it truely means for the
Drop, the dew, the spray.
The tear drop of a Sorrowful soul.

Second Place
The Blue and Grey
Hannah Depoe, Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

As I explore Pittsburgh Landing
Of the past, I gain a new understanding.
I now see the Blue and Grey clash
Many have fallen, returned to ash.

Brother against brother,
Neighbor against neighbor,
For their own demise, they labor.
May they receive mercy from their Savior.

Our ancestors, our countrymen
Fought not with the pen
As a consequence, they perished for their alliance,
On their own understanding, they had reliance.

On the final day,
The Blue triumphs over the Grey.
Families weep in their misery,
A victory claimed by History.


Age 23–64

First Place
Tennessee Selfie
Carole Arms, Cumberland EMC

Gregarious child,
Smiles flowers in Downy skin of dew,
Set on templed hills and mountains blue,
As creatures roam her wooded hair, Braiding in and out of view.
Preserves of wild,
Whispering sonnets of summer fruit,
On freckled cheeks blushing sunsets true,
Dancing in the fog, skirted in colorful hue.
Weather oft’ fluctuates as neighbors conversate,
“That’s the way it goes!”
But to me you’re neither too hot nor too cold,
Beautiful when it snows!
Crying shimmering waterfalls to lullabies,
You dream to the twinkle of stars and fireflies.
G’night, g’night,
Tomorrow’s present to be opened by your eyes.

Second Place
Daddy’s Hands
Sherri Ownby, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Rugged, capable
Calloused and worn,
Fashioned from dust, to tend and till,
Faithful to their calling of working the rich, Tennessee sod from whence they came,
Thus yielding the bountiful fruit of their labor.
Seldom they rest, ever teeming, creative, inventive,
The clutch of a tool, his Bible the same.
Fitted for the task,
Sturdy, tough, yet gentle and kind.
Never grasping for worldly gain,
Ever generous, humility their glove.
Rarely seen idle,
Save to embrace his bride, interlocking the two,
Or clasping his young, safe, secure.
Lifted to the One Who designed them to praise Him,
Their harvest invaluable.

Third Place
Ode to Grandmother
Susan Sheffield, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

I had a beautiful dream today. I was back at my Grandmother’s house as a child.
I remembered the smell of fresh sheets dried by sunshine and breezes.
I remembered the hum of the attic fan that drew cool, damp air in through the windows.
I remembered the most glorious scents:
Dew on freshly cut grass. The heady scent of her roses and gardenia bushes. The faint scent of manure from the pasture.
Good earth.
Oh, the simple, happy times of childhood.
I miss you, Grandmother.


Age 65 and older

First Place
Eclipse (pas de deux)
Michael Moore, Middle Tennessee EMC

The sky was blue, the clouds were lurking.
The moon was hiding in the glare
Of Sol, the mighty, steady working
From east to west, the solitaire.
Luna sidled up beside him,
Almost touching rim by rim.
The time has come, just me and you,
Our transcendental rendezvous.
Yet Sol did seem to be blind-sided
When Luna flashed her diamond ring.
He was not prime for such a thing,
And did not think himself like-minded.
And so he moved her to the side:
He would not have his “light denied.”

Second Place
Listen Closely, Sturdy Little Knees!–And Learn
Richard Lyles, Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Listen closely, sturdy little knees!
The beings wandering among us in awe
Can never know what Kalopin and Laughing Eyes saw.
Treachery–that, we can never understand–
Angered The Spirit and The Father til they sank the land
And sent raging water, giving birth to our home,
Our sanctuary,
Our all.
We sprang from rebellion, a great downfall.
Our roots burrow deeply into Spirit’s foot print.
Hear Kalopin’s sorry, little ones, his wailings of repent?
Now, anchor the towers, be strong–never defiant for goodness sake.
Remember, but do not disturb
The everlasting legend of Reelfoot Lake.

Third Place
Tennessee Thunderstorm
Frances Massey, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Thunder announcing early morning
Sounds booming, roaring, rolling
Heaven’s chorus, heralding hymns
Bass voices singing, humming, rejoicing

Lightning flashing, blinking, streaking
Rain showering lawns, gardens, and fields
Remembering lightning burning auntie’s house
Recalling the 2010 Nashville flood

Bassoons blowing, drums beating
Rolling loudly from the south
Celestial orchestra in symphony
Increase in volume, crescendo

Reverberating, staccato
Rumbling resumes from the north
Voices taking turns singing their notes
Rain pelting and rattling window panes

Tree limbs swaying and waving
Tempo slowing, storm completing movement
Birds chirping, humans humbling
Nature calming and in concert.

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