Thursday, September 24

Poet’s Playground

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Nature’s Secrets
Cayleigh Elyse DiCello, Southwest Tennessee EMC

Creeping vines and blooming flowers
Wind and rain are some of nature’s
Adorable bunnies and majestic horses,
Following the creek to find its sources.
Colorful harvests with sweet smelling
Trees are truly nature’s chapels.
Nature is full of secrets waiting for you
and me.
From the crashing waves, to leaves
falling from the tree. Nature is so wonderful,
don’t you see?
God created nature for you and me.

Age 9–13

First Place
The Pool Under the Overpass
Violet Scott, Fayetteville Public Utilities

Under the overpass,
By the recycling bins,
Past the old garbage that homeless people
throw in the ditch, Behind Barleys,
Is a pool.
It’s nothing special,
No great sauna,
Or large swimming hole,
But the green,
And blue,
And the clearness of the water.
My mom wrote a book
Of a mermaid,
That made me think,
Would she live somewhere near here?
It’s peaceful just to sit there,
Hear the birds in the trees,
Listen to the dripping of the large pipe,
And just look into the deep clear blue,
Of the pool under the overpass.

Age 14–18

First Place
Leaves and Last Light
Luke Barnard, Gibson EMC

Sheaves all shuffled ruffled lie
Like leather lain in a tannery
Tinged tan by the wan light
Of the dying, sighing sunlight Glowing
in the west and I,
With paused pen, standing by
To view the saddening, sorrowful sight
Of the waning year and coming night.
Yet should I watch with woeful eye
For spring is nigh and day is bright?

Age 19–22

First Place
Lane Scoggins, Upper Cumberland EMC

A scrape — steel against aluminum in
the lining of the stomach
A scratching — fingernails against the
It’s almost 10 o’clock;
we’ve been out too long.
Let’s get out of here,
it screeches.
Feet pummeling the uneven earth, Let’s
get as far away as tomorrow.
I have bruises on the underside of my
skin, Get out!
I have blisters on the inside
of my ankles, Let’s go home.
We walk in step.
My legs are too slow
Run! It’s getting late!
It’s almost 10 o’clock.

Age 23–64

First Place
Changing Seasons
Shelly Marie, Cumberland EC

Red and golden hues
Paint the landscape
With their artistry
Autumn decorates
Her home
Making preparations for winter
Cascade down
in all their colors
The Earth Remembers
The trees,
with bare limbs,
to the sky
Bow their heads.
In reverence
to seasons past
When life was new —
The earth, young —
the spring of youth
in all her glory
Summer comes with all its vigor, the joy
of youth but with more knowledge The
hands of time —
Go round and round
Life, death and wisdom

Age 65 and older

First Place
Memphis Big River Crossing
Millie Ungren, Pickwick EC

Walk early
The big river crossing
When morning dew
Beads the ancient railings
Breezes ruffle the muddy waters
Patches of foam kiss
Tangled roots of green willows

Tugs move silently beneath me
Pushing big barges
Sunrise throws shadows on the footpath
Ghost of Old Frisco locomotives
Rumble over Harahan’s tracks
Flights of starlings
Ripping across my vision
Startles a single wild goose
Seeking a mate.

The chugging motor
Of a fisherman’s johnboat
Breaks the stillness
Changing course, pursuing
The restless fish
Mist from the river
Has hidden the city

I must walk again in moonlight


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