Melinda Cai, Middle Tennessee Electric
A spring symphony choruses across the state,
Yet there is no human in sight
Each musician has a different voice
Each musician has a different face
As they perch atop the dancing trees
Who are these mysterious musicians?
They are creatures of the sky
Some ruby red,
Others sapphire blue,
Yet one stands out from them all
In the sun’s golden spotlight,
The silver singer performs her solo
She stands out from them all.
She symbolizes cleverness and protection,
She represents joy and gratitude.
She is our state bird,
She is the Mockingbird.
Jude Helton, Middle Tennessee Electric
Tennessee is perfect
My favorite place to be
We have many grand cities
It’s just right for me
First we have Memphis
In the west side
Where people on Beale Street
Love to play and stride
Next we have Nashville
In the middle of the state
Where there is much traffic
Everyone is mostly late
Then we have Chattanooga
In its rocky place
And with its lovely train
It goes around at a good pace
Last we have Knoxville
The east is where it’s by
With the bright sunsphere
Shining in the sky
The Wonderful Things about Tennessee
Livia Castrillo, Middle Tennessee Electric
I love Tennessee,
Because it has wonderful things in it.
Tennessee is all green everywhere I see.
It has beautiful lakes, rivers, and parks to play in.
It has house animals and wild animals.
It has restaurants and delicious food.
It has friends and family that you can play with.
It has sports like basketball and soccer to play to get your energy out.
In my opinion the best thing is love.
Tennessee is filled with love.
The kind of love between families and friends.
The Dance of the Daughter of the Dawn
Megan DiCello, Southwest Tennessee EMC
The last drops of moonlight faded and the stars fell from the heavens overhead,
And like the morning glories yawning open, she too rose from the dreams that filled her sleeping head.
The brightening summer dawn shined on her auburn hair,
Reflecting in a golden light to frame her smiling face so fair,
Stretching deep, she breathed in the sweet morning air,
Singing along with the cheerful birds, their chirping morning prayers.
Springing from her bed, and bounding up the woodland stairs,
Her feet danced across the grass, as a bee upon a flower,
Twirling and leaping, like a fawn in the warming morning hours.
Alexandria Miller, Cumberland EMC
In the highest mountain tops
To the sickle valleys below
Weeds emerge relentlessly
Tearing through the majesty of the land
Infecting the soil beneath the earth
Hindering the growth of beauty
Darkness overcomes the landscape
Shadows wrap itself around vines
Thorny hands caress the treetops
Day by day petals fall
Trees fall to the wasteland
Minutes become days and days to years
Despite the desolate wasteland
Thorns and weeds that engross the land
A stem blooms
One of magnificent beauty
Petals unfurl and spring to towards the light
Showing even something beautiful can grow in darkness
Musings within the Forest
Samuel Moss, Gibson EMC
I ramble through the leafy forest
Stopping to rest astride a dead oak.
The beetles wriggle throughout the bark
That squirrels once called their tower.
Why don’t the birds sing mournful songs,
As the branch where they were reared
Crumbles, decays, and finally is no more?
As Mr. Ringtail wanders past the silent stranger
Considering perhaps a hollow once called home.
And, although I for one, never lived in a tree,
I too bemoan this poor oak’s loss.
But, as one side is sad to see him go.
Many woodlanders cherish dead trees
From termites to resting philosophers.
Lost in Tennessee.
David Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities
I was lost in Tennessee,
and she showed me all of her beauty.
I was forgotten in all the earth,
but not by Her sacred land.
lands that were deep, and high,
Her hills rolling and crisply growing life.
Her shining deep blue Sky,
it Soared beside the
birds as they sang in peaceful mirth.
The simple way her rivers drove forth through the forests fascinated my heart and soul.
And in this temple of the pine and oak,
I found myself made new and whole.
Molly Almon, Middle Tennessee Electric
The land is golden
And plump with gifts of Summer,
Only shadowed by Fall’s hand
Impatient upon my shoulder.
Life and death hang,
Balanced on the air,
Split by the sound of my car radio,
Clean-cut from the blare.
Road is well-worn
Cracked as the sky.
Still, the hot pavement,
Though no stars tonight.
I look over at you,
Your wide smiling eyes.
Turn down another road
With rows of young pines.
Freedom wouldn’t be sweet
Without wild muscadines
You next to me,
And a drive in September.
Same Old Season
Makinzi Robinson, Meriwether Lewis EC
For every person there is a place, for every place, there is a time.
Time to shoot up to the stars, or to sink to the ocean’s depths; or even to stand still in space.
There is more to “being” than you think.
Like heat to Summer, and cold to Winter
When blood boils, sense evaporates a slapping chill.
The pain numbs the bones deep within.
As seasons alter, so do directions.
All changes during the swells of time.
Choices are inevitable in this state, with all sorts of misunderstandings and regrets to add disruption.
How long does this season last?
Everyone Has a Story
Terry Weaver, Duck River EMC
Joyful as a mountain dulcimer,
Lonesome as a steel guitar,
Buried deep in the Delta blues,
Ebbing and flowing in an
Emptying into the river of Time.
A story as unique as each soul.
Softened, faded by time and tears.
A story of triumphant struggle,
Of laughter, contented memories
And often, of silent, anonymous heroism.
Woven in our very being,
Stitched in a patchwork of emotions.
The ink of our veins
Both dry and fresh,
Scenes and faces fleeting as the wind.
Well-worn pages, their bindings cracked,
Rehearsed, re-read, savored,
Yet with hopeful chapters
Still to be penned.
My Grandmother’s Hands
She held me close as a baby
Her hands, full of prayer and guidance
Paper thin, lined with wrinkles
Aged with wisdom
She soothed my cries
Her love fed my heart til it was full
When I was older
Running circles around the faded porch
She sat content, rocking chair gliding back and forth
Her gaze was never far from me
Crimson and amber sunsets
Perfect endings to summer days
I held my grandmother’s hand
As we walked across her Tennessee land
Bountiful and full of promise
I wish that time would stand still
But I know that someday she will only be a memory
Her voice distant and fleeting as the wind
Until one day when I catch a glimpse of my reflection
And see my grandmother’s hands have become my own
David Holland, Cumberland EC
Mississippi, Cumberland, Tennessee
Yield seasoned offspring
Ancient Watauga, wild Elk
Surging Harpeth, lazy Red
Treasured Caney, cascading Tellico
Scenic Big South Fork
Among many sisters
Shared water veins
Overflow with bounty, life,
Yet bridging untold gaps
On their journey and ours
Age 65 and older
Dolly Kimbel, Middle Tennessee Electric
She came right in
And took over the agenda,
Making it clear
She was here for the season,
And had the right and authority,
To do whatever she wished.
We knew that was true,
But it made us feel uncomfortable.
She closed the meeting
With a thunderstorm,
To emphasize the fact
That she was now in charge.
And we call her Summer.
Jenny Strickland, Tennessee Valley EC
The mailbox is still standing by the old dirt road
The address Tennessee
The name hard to see now
Rust and time have been friendless.
The beaten path to the front porch covered with weeds and grass.
The swing is gone
I sit on the steps.
Silence fills the air.
Oh but my mind is louder.
I hear laughter, singing, a barking dog
The dogwood tree still beautiful.
My eyes come to rest on the rose bush, yet to bloom.
Did I hear the front door open
A feeling of peace
Sunday Afternoon on Grandma’s Porch
Cheryl Cleek, Gibson EMC
Such gentle sounds
Surround us as we sit
On Grandma’s front porch.
It’s Sunday afternoon
The kitchen chores done,
We gather one by one
To relax in the gathering shade
Of the ancient beech trees.
The older relatives
Murmur the latest gossip,
Sometimes spelling words
Instead of pronouncing them,
Forgetting that kids
Grow up quickly.
Grins spread across their faces
As they recognize words they shouldn’t.
Funeral parlor fans try
To stir a bit more breeze.
In the distance a mockingbird
Does his best imitations.
Not much going on
Except a feeling of peace