Friday, February 21

Poet’s Playground – September Winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
My time is getting shorter
Beckett Smith, Sequachee Valley EC

When I’m older I’ll get a house,
Soon I’ll get my very own,
Goodbye I’ll say for I’ve grown.
Here as a kid I won’t be,
I’ll have my own family.
I want to cherish the time while I’m young,
Day by day that time will come.
Let’s not think about all the other things,
Just do what you can in your young age.
Still I will be head of household,
But that’s when I’m a little more old.
In the name of Jesus, the Lord blesses me that,
And that’s why we pray for another day.

Second Place
Kathryn Wade, Middle Tennessee EMC

Rain falls down
from the clouds
and pitter patters
against my windowpane.
All day long I hear
the soft pat pat.
Rat-a-tat of
the rain falling down.
The rain is wet against
my skin and wet against
the grass like morning dew.
Falling down like rain
early in the morning.

Third Place
Layla Green, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Mockingbird sitting in a tree. Are you tweeting at me?
Mockingbird on the ground. I’m on a trampoline, and I hit it with a bound. Mockingbird, mockingbird. Are you
tweeting at me?

Age 9–13

First Place
The Procession
Luke Barnard, Gibson EMC

With a sudden pounce and hurried pace
The busy Spring goes by.
Sanguine Summer in his place
Is never half as spry.
The mellowed Fall stalks slower still
At measured walk behind him.
And where is Winter’s steady chill?
In the churchyard you will find him.

Second Place
Wars for Wants
Nisha Javagal, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

In Germany,
people betrayed
of Hitler’s rule.
They prayed and prayed.

The Tabil people
came again.
can’t stop their men.

England with
its accent too
brought India
into their rule.

wanted no work,
and got Africa
without a chirp.

South Sudan
wants freedom and peace,
but the other half
wants them to leave.

Russian Spies
lerk the shadows
of America,
saying bad words.

Third Place
Nature’s Neon Light Show
Trevor Bailey, Sequachee Valley EC

As the setting sun grazes
at the mountain top then
steadily to the valley below
I sense pulsations of anticipation
of natures summertime light show.

Lightning bugs or fireflies
refer to them as you might
a simple looking insect that
entertains with awe
With a bedazzling show of light.

Dusk has now entered into
a darker shade of night
there, a quick flicker
of a signal rising higher
in flight, but never out of sight.

Bright yellow and neon
flashing silently
Beautiful Tennessee, what
communication could this be?
Majestic glow of tiny neon lights
Displaying a wonderous symphony.

Age 14–18

First Place
Just a Dreamer
Hamsa Javagal, Middle Tennessee EMC

Many moons have past
Yet I am still ignored.
Ignored for my clairvoyance
And the truth that’s unexplored.
My words, overlooked
And easily dismissed.
I am called a dreamer
They say ignorance is bliss.
Is it really though?
Is ignorance really bliss?
Am I truly a dreamer?
Should my words be dismissed?
I am a savant, but not a dreamer.
This solemn eye has seen all the cheaters.
Believe me, when I say the Ides of March is near.
Otherwise, don’t be afraid to ask Caesar.

Second Place
Making Memories
Anna Jones, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Walking into the stadium
hearing the roar of the crowd
as they yell for their team
you can tell they are proud

Smell the scent of food in the air
immediately improving your mood

See many colors on their shakers
as they move back and forth
and know it is good we have our Tennessee sports

Feel the excitement and be drawn in as we cheer
and scream for our team until the game ends

Third Place
My Mom
Grace Kelley

My mom is the best so great, I can not explain the rest.
She will give you all and want nothing in return, with a heart so full and true, makes me thankful to have a mother
like you

Age 19–22

First Place
To Not Gravitate
Makinzi Robinson, Meriwether Lewis EC

When you’re stuck between the open and the closed,
The bright and the dim,
The lost and the found,
You are at a place where the gravity has
died, so everything is up in the air.
So, you’re now also stuck between the
floor and the ceiling,
The ground and the sky,
The up and the down,
Searching and hunting, for that of a new
founded magnetic pull, to set you on
your feet.
However, on and on floating about,
knowing that stability will never come.
As you go on drifting through the dead space.

Second Place
Serenade of the Northern Mockingbird
Rebecca Case, Pickwick Electric Cooperative

In the silent corners of evening
where darkness veils arcadian trees
a nomad
gray-clad and gracile
saunters out and humbly
offers up a melody
to any curious ear
stopping to hear
the unending story
of life, of love, of loss
and contemplate the complexities
of what it means to be alive

Third Place
As I Dance the Tennessee Waltz
Anna Oliver, Gibson EMC

When I think “home” I picture Tennessee
the flat land that made me grow
the chant of “Good Ole’ Rocky Top” that I well know
As I hear the Tennessee Waltz

To images of home I cling
Along with the sweet sounds of BB King
I hear Minnie Pearl belting “howdyyyy”
My heart is suddenly filled with glee.

I hear the growl of Elvis,
immediately feeling helpless.
the Cumberland River flowing,
the sounds of blues music approaching.

Dolly’s lyrics come to me
“And I will always love you” I sing
As I begin to dance
The Tennessee Waltz.

Age 23–64

First Place
The Path Well-Trodden
Rae Ellyn Kelley, Middle Tennessee EMC

The path well-trodden
Futures downtrodden
All eyes were downcast
Hunted, haunted past
Fears well hidden
Tears unbidden
What? Good riddance?
The path well-worn
Belongings borne
Long trails approved …
Or were they now?
Sobs fairly burst
Memories,… the worst
Why were these cursed,…
Disembarked,… Dispersed?
Could fate be reversed?
Would not we have durst?
Tears come unbidden.
Is all forgiven?

Second Place
Small Town Journey
Julia Rotgers, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative

The world passed by our porch swing, as I learned what life really meant,
Together in a house full of love, hearts were broken then mended, not bent.

I got older and life got faster, the pull of the big town was strong,
Living the dream of “more” and “music”… the way back home felt long.

But as I grew, deep in my soul, there’s one thing I always knew,

No matter how far, no matter how long, no matter the tears that were spent,
I could always come back to that porch swing, where my heart repairs its dents.

Third Place
A Tennessee Spring
Mandy Cross, Duck River Electric Cooperative

The morning sun slowly crests over the top of the trees,
Shadows fade as the whiskey aroma is carried in the breeze.

Tiny buds begin to decorate the barren branches silhouette,
The air is filled with the songbird’s duet.

Sunlight ribbons through the tree line,
Dew on the grass sparkles like diamonds shine.

Foxes put on a show as they play and bounce one more round,
Rabbits cautiously surface from their homes underground.

Promise of life and beauty begin to bloom after the winter’s dance,
A pretty backdrop as the deer play and prance.

A Tennessee spring morning brings peace to the heart within,
Not a bad way to have the morning begin.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Unanswered Prayers
Emma Wilson, Cumberland EMC

“Please God, don’t let me be pregnant!”
The baby girl you couldn’t afford
The 10 lb. last and 8th child.
The Unanswered Prayer
I was there.
Eating out, attending park events,
grocery shopping, going to church,
political rallies, watching T.V.
Exercising, Christmas with family,
visiting Dad’s grave, walk in the mall,
telephone calls, spending the night,
having fun, doctor’s appointments.
I was there.
Assistance with care, prayerful moments,
regrets, missing you.
Return from California, Last Good-byes,
Wonderful memories.
A life well lived
Now in Heaven
See you again.
I’ll be there.
Unanswered Prayers?
God knows what he’s doing.

Second Place
Tennessee Moonshine Man
Frank Smith III, Holston EC

He came out of nowhere
Like a ghost on the plain
no one seemed to know him
not even his name

They called him two fingers
to match his right hand
his fame spread like wild fire
This moonshine hauling man.

His legend seemed to grow
on the tongues of every man
they awaited his arrival
then begged him to come again

Two fingers disappeared
as quickly as he came
leaving more than just a legend
Across the southeast plain

For those who just might wonder
about this ghost of a man
wonder no longer
Two fingers will ride again.

Third Place
Nightfall at Shiloh
Millie Ungren, Pickwick EC

The old bird soared high
above lightning blasted trees
a damaged wing caused him to tilt
sun scoured cattle bones
lay bleached below him.

Bald eagles rested
on outcrops of ancient rock
seeking sanctuary
along northern rivers

A thousand feet higher
the solitary hawk floats
on thermal columns of air
his mate seeks prey
diverted by movement below
she pounces
shook leaves rustled

shadows creep upward
steely skies promise rain
swallows gather under wooden bridges
restless doves coo in
wind worn cedars

The river’s gentle waves
are peaceful whispers
stars peered out
Nightfall at Shiloh.


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