Saturday, October 31

Poet’s Playground – October 2020 winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Giving Trees
Availea Harrell, Cumberland EMC

Fruit tree, fruit tree
what do you bear?
Fruit tree, fruit tree
you bear a pear.
Oak tree, oak tree
how do you know?
Oak tree, oak tree
how tall to grow?
Maple tree, maple tree
why are you sweet?
Maple tree, maple tree
so we can eat.

Second Place
Doggy is my Friend
Nithila Siva

My puppy is cute
It likes to eat my tomato fruit
My doggy does tricks and licks me
He is fluffy and goofy
We take baths with foam
and runs around my home.

Age 9–13

First Place
Personality
October Thompson, Southwest Tennessee EMC

We are all rainbows
I am a rainbow
Red is my anger
Orange is my hate
Yellow is my happiness
Green is my passions, hobbies,
and peace
Blue is my sadness, pain, and sorrow.
Purple is my fear.
Pink is my love, romance and crushes
White is my light
Black is my emptiness
Grey is my numbness
and brown is everything
Everyone has the same colors
But no two people have the same shades.
We are all the same but different
Our personalities are rainbows.

Second Place
The Woods of Tennessee
Harvest Harrell, Cumberland EMC

The woods of Tennessee
is where I want to be.
Where the foxes prowl
and bears growl.
Where bees buzz
and rabbits like their babies’ fuzz.
Away from the busy streets
and debris in heaps.
In the woods I’d have a family and farm
and there I’d stay without alarm.
I would peacefully watch the fish
and the trees swish
I’ll watch the herds of dear
and the birds I will hear.
And there I’ll be
in the woods of Tennessee.

Third Place
The Volunteers
Priscilla Lofton, Middle Tennessee EMC

Of First Responders,I know none.
But still,they help out everyone!
The grocers do the same thing too,
They give a grin and are not blue,
while shelving goods and scanning things,
They take to the car what the order brings.

These are people,though only a few,
Who together help fight COVID too!
So if you see them,give a smile!
Trust me, it’s worthwhile.

Age 14–18

First Place
How It Feels to Comfort a Grieving Friend
Abbi Day, Appalachian EC

I’m a coat hanger in the guest closet of
my own home,
The starch on my dad’s collared shirt,
the stiffness in Easter morning.
I think I just need a little sunshine.
I think I need to see your face.
I’m the cold sandwiches at a funeral
standing sentry in the hall,
the pastor’s dripping umbrella.
I haven’t seen the rose pews in two years.
I think I need a little cast-iron warmth.
I need to see you again.

Second Place
Tornado
Elijah West, Appalachian EC

The winds are as the brush
the hills and caress
the trees. The weather calms
leaving stillness. Birds take flight
running from an unseen monster.
Forest life seeks shelter in bellowing mountains.
The sky grows dark and winds
begin to convene. The sky roars as the fierce winds of
Notus toil. The spinning top touches down
and begins to wreak havoc across the land.
The ground is ripped, and the trees are thrown.
People take shelter from
the beast. Yet no one can truly
be safe from the wild nature of the Tornado.

Third Place
My Dying Star
Michael Boe, Middle Tennessee EMC

My eyes contemplate
the burning glow
of my crimson dancing friends
I enkindled them to live
as I never could
oh heart of pyre
and blaze of luminosity
extend your touch up to the night sky
we both watch and wait
and see our fate
as destiny grows nigh
now such a fire burns within
one of never giving up
and one of never giving in.

Age 19–22

First Place
As Life Continues
Cheyenne Lackey, Cumberland EMC

Got a little bit older.
And everything started moving a little
less slower.
The air tastes different.
The green blades sway with mumbling
chaos.
Though millions of people filter in,
The city begins to quiet.
Submissive to the tourists and passersby
with dead dreams.
The clocks volunteer their time to
mockingbirds.
And the quiet dies out.
The animals linger near edges of grassy
fields
Like those with time.
A cry echoes
New life has begun.
As do all who rise
Under the Tennessee sun.
And it is with displeasure, that cities
Become wastelands
And people
Seek chances
To rise again.

Second Place
The Railroad Any and Green Worm
Breanna Ray, Duck River EMC

The pitter-patter of the ant’s feet,
as he scurries along the railroad down the street.
The world is on his back, and a green worm in his grasp.
It amuses me how he moves so fast,
down the iron rail.
Wondering where he will go, who he will meet, and where he might be taking the little green worm in defeat.
His head is high and eyes wide.
North he marches with his prize.
The rusted rails don’t slow him down,
as he is northern bound.
Further and further away he goes,
the astonishing ant.

Age 23–64

First Place
Tennessee
John Young, Middle Tennessee EMC

Born of her…
The sights I see…
A foggy morn… a steamy night…
sunshine or rain…. beauty surreal…
Her fields out west…
point… to the hills of center…
her hospitality roots planted here… cotton
crops and barbecue dinners…
The horses… pastural views… move out
towards the
Smokies… such beauty… a cove full of
bears… a floating haze above…
Rivers and streams…leaves of golden
hues…
Her music and nature…the blues…
familial based tunes…
Her people unique…a wave…a smile…
I visit other lands…
Yet… for me I’m certain…the only place
to be…living here… my beloved…
Tennessee!

Second Place
Shucking Corn
Mary Hodges

Fingers grasp husks
where the silk hangs
like golden ponytails cascade
down the backs of church ladies
on Sunday morning.

Pulling back leaves feels
like opening packages on Christmas.

Once stripped, the yellow kernels
rest in neat rows, the reward for
battling pack saddles and yellow jackets.

The shucking goes on one after another
until hands are red and sore, and
the afternoon sun is high.

Green and yellow piles grow to reveal
a harvest for canning and
the promise of corn in winter.

Third Place
Cicada Serenade
Audrey Gregg, Gibson EMC

Warm brick under her bare feet,
she turns her head to listen.
She smiles when the breeze caresses her face,
and her eyes begin to glisten.
Iridescent hummingbirds
dance gracefully around the feeder.
Soon the veggie plants in the garden
will no longer need her.
As the sound of the cicada serenade rises
over the creak of the front porch swing,
she thinks how Fall in Tennessee is her favorite,
followed closely by Tennessee Spring.
While the late summer sun sinks lower
over the fertile farmland,
she thanks the good Lord for the
mighty works of His hand.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Autumn’s Splendor
Gene Nelson Isom, Duck River EMC

The mountains spoke
In their new clock
Their beauty proclaimed
At first autumn’s stroke.
With a sun subdued
The performance commences,
Scenes so spectacularly viewed.
With splashes of gold,
All sorrel hues there in wed.
A sight so splendor,
A catch of breath,
An unsolicited pleasure now rendered.
An act so old,
For eons displayed,
This scheme so pretentiously bold.
It is our ritual song
Before long winter’s sleep,
Where have you been so long?
The mountains spoke!

Second Place
Familiar Fields
Millie Ungren, Pickwick Electric Cooperative

CREEKSIDE TRAILS SPLASHED AND CLEAN THE DANCE OF LIFE REVEALED
LONG SHARP SHADOWS BECKON ME
I WALK FAMILIAR FIELDS

CRUMBLING OLD BRICK CHIMNEYS
A GARDEN’S OVERFLOWING WEEDS SOMEONE CARED·
THEY LEFT A ROSE
A LONELY SIGHT INDEED

I STAND AND VIEW THE RIVER’S DIAMOND ISLAND
TASTE THE WIND FROM
SHILOH’S NORTHERN SHORE
WATCH THE PADDLER GUIDE HIS BOAT ALONG THE RIPPLES
RAISE HIS NET, COUNT HIS CATCH WISH FOR MORE

AN OLD MOON SCARED AND SCRAPED
BY TIMES ERUPTIONS
REFLECTS IT’S JOURNEY
NEAR THESE STONEY BANKS
XHE HERON’S FLIGHT
IN SILENT CONTEMPLATION
HE SEEKS FAMILIAR FIELDS
WE BOTH GIVE THANKS

Third Place
This is Love
Jane Bryan, Middle Tennessee EMC

The tread worn tire hangs from the old Oak tree
Full of suntanned, freckled faces out for a spin.
This is love, tighter than a garden glove.
Everything is right.

Under the sagging porch is a hound dog,
probably part beagle, too, nursing her litter.

The house that’s attached to the porch
has seen better days.
It’s neatly kept and welcoming.

Nearby the farm’s livestock grazes peacefully near the barn with a fading “See Rock City” roof.

Husband and wife sit on the porch, quiet,
but in accord, shelling beans—tended all summer.
This is not just a rural family—no—
This is love.

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