Poet’s Playground – Winners for December

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Kindness
Asher Milsap, Mountain EC

There is the smell of kindness in the air;
Kindness smells like kittens, flowers and fur.
Kindness has a sound, also;
The sound is like kittens meowing,
horses running and sheep baaing.
Kindness looks like soft, fluffy clouds;
Kindness feels warm, fuzzy, and cozy.
The taste of kindness is special and yummy;
And can quickly make you feel chummy.
With all five senses you can taste, touch, smell, see, and hear kindness.
Don’t take a back seat;
Share kindness with everyone you meet!

Second Place
A Sonnet on Animals
William Moss

I like animals every day.
I also like to go to the Memphis Zoo.
Hippos, lions, and dogs that bay,
And there is a kangaroo.
There are some that swim
And some that crawl.
They move every limb.
Some sit by the wall.
Some live on rocks
And some live behind doors.
The animal cages have locks.
Animals sit on rocky floors.
I love animals
But some are cannibals.

Third Place
The Superhero Dream
Micah Wiles, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

I go to the movies,
And I see a dream.
I know what it is –
A superhero team!


Age 9–13

First Place
A Sonnet Concerning Life
Thomas Moss, Gibson EMC

The corpse is agitated and placid.
It has acid that gives information.
Deoxyribonucleic acid.
Reproduces a child or Dalmatian.
It can sense things, pain and the Sahara.
There are many different kinds of life.
Plantae, Animalia, Monera.
Life has lots of flowers, such as loosestrife.
Also lots of birds, reptiles, beasts, and pets.
Bacteria, pathogenic or not.
Reproduction brings another outset.
Some life is the size of a tiny dot.
Life was created in the ancient time
By the one who is entirely divine.

Second Place
The Austere Season
Emma Daugherty, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

Dead and bare
Cold and pale
Gaunt and bland
Winter.
No colors here,
No sunshine,
Only dark,
And wet,
And night.
The occasional day,
Warm as summer,
With a crisp breeze
And a touch of color,
And now it’s back to grey,
And damp,
And frigid.
But then,
What’s this?
A splash of green and red.
The feeling that your happiness,
Will never, ever end.
Overcome with bliss,
We forget about the blank,
And dim,
And dreary.
In just a week,
It’s back again,
Colder and fiercer
Than ever.
I’m bored of all the finality,
And expirations,
And resolutions.

Third Place
Tennessee Pride
Aaliyah Barbour, Holston Electric Cooperative

on veterans day we honor all
who answer to the service call,
soldiers young and soldiers old
fought for freedom brave and bold,
some have lived while others died
all of them deserve our pride,
and though we may not know each name
we thank all veterans just the same.


Age 14–18

First Place
The Forbidden Dream
Cara Harrison, Middle Tennessee EMC

Every night I lie awake
My thoughts
Dreams
Wishes
Hopes
Revolve around you.
Deadly curiosity
Creeping
Projecting glimpses of possibilities
Only to be torn away by harsh, raw effects of reality.
You’re captivating, I’ll admit like a drug.
Intriguing, new, mysterious.
But happiness with you isn’t eternal.
You’re untouchable
Unreachable
Unattainable
Because you were never mine to hold
… and never will be
This is why dreams are my fondest comfort yet greatest enemy.
They intoxicate me, leaving me wanting more.
But it’s now 5 a.m.,
And where my story ends.
… until midnight tomorrow
Then, the cycle continues.
See you then, dreamboy.

Second Place
Paradise of Tennessee
George Moss, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

He came across the smoke colored mountains.
He sighted the land looking for what he had heard:
Soil that could grow corn easier than grass,
Meadows to graze herds of cows,
Deer to feed his growing family
And furs to sell back east.
Daniel Boone his name was, an explorer and trapper by trade.
He hiked across the mountains from the east
Mapping the land and harvesting its bounties.
He found the paradise of Tennessee and brought his family to live there.
Living in the valley they fed off the land
Prosperous and content in that frontier land.

Third Place
I Met A Man the Other Day
Camille Floyd, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

I met a man the other day,
He walked and talked, he sang a song,
Smokey Mountain rain keeps fallin’
I keep on callin’ out her name
The words were wrong, his heart bled true
His eyes met mine, he smiled and said,
Dear one, one day, you will know that
Misery is missing home
He strolled away, as swift is quick,
He missed his Tenn, I yearned my past
All these places have their moments,
In my life, I’ve loved them all
I now say this, o’er streets and paths
Childhood is a blessing, home is a friend.


Age 19–22

First Place
The Sun
Lane Scoggins

We are careful with
the Tennessee sun.
We protect ourselves
from the fiery, burning mass
literally millions of miles away
with creams and sprays.
How much more careful, then
should we be with our hearts?
Fiery burning masses of
passion and grief; the kind
that swells and tugs and pumps.
I, having lost a dear friend,
know I ought to have been more
careful with this precious beast.
You know what they say,
“Hindsight is always 20/20.”
Now here I am, grieving for
a woman that isn’t even dead yet.

Second Place
Waving Hearts of Freedom (A Flag O’er the Meadow)
Isaac Horn, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Our hearts they wave for victories
Of goodness over bad
They wave to young and elderly
To lassies and to lads

They wave from inside windows
They wave from ‘top pontoons
Our friendly hearts wave to the sane
And just the same to loons

Our happy hearts are friendly
Because we know the truth
Our freedom state gives freedom both
To me and same to you.

Our friendly hearts, they wave like flags
Declaring freedom in the land
Inviting you to come join me
And wave your heart in Tennessee.

Third Place
American Holiday Hills
Jacalyn Thompson

Down in the valley,
I see you shining.
Up on the mountain,
I see you shining.
Under the waves of our Tennessee lakes,
Between the arms of our Tennessee trees,
I see you glimmer in sun glowing light
I see you shining through all Tennessee.


Age 23–64

First Place
Late November
Terry Weaver, Duck River EMC

The last autumnal hues remain,
Brilliant against skies the color
Of polished steel.
White clouds removed,
Ominous, foreboding,
Murky ones remain,
Mashed together into paste,
Spread across November sky.
Chilling, yet strangely comforting,
The rain descends.
Gentle, then pelting and stormy,
Easing languidly again.
Coffee flows as the rain
In town square diners,
Sheltered warmth mere inches
From morning storm.
Harvested fields drink deeply,
Rewarded for bountiful provision.
Thundershowers bathe away
The summer dust.
Sodden trees still hold forth
Their brilliance,
The contrast breathtaking,
Reflecting in lakes and streams.
Songs in the night …
Another purple sunrise
Soon to come.

Second Place
The Tree Farm
Beverly Moss, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

The little ones race uphill
Panting to be first
But my beloved and I,
Hand in hand,
Walk as we’ve always walked
To the familiar finish line:
The Tree Farm.
We wind through its maze–
An overgrown cypress
The size of our pickup,
A stunted cedar
Fit for Charlie Brown.
Then we spot it.
We take turns
Swinging and chopping.
The lucky one cuts the final blow
And all cry,
“TIMBER!”
We drag it downhill
With visions of light
And stringed popcorn and candy canes
Until our trophy
Claims its place of honor
In the corner of our living room.

Third Place
Quiet
Richard Carr, Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Winds are calm, the sun strong, it’s quiet.
I hear the faint call of a crow. A small plane makes its way by, but it’s quiet.
The dogs seem entranced by the silence; they too lie quiet.
Chimes make no sound nor do leaves as they hit the ground. It’s quiet.
My ears ring in protest; noise would balance the quiet.
To sleep or read seems impossible. It’s too quiet.
Stillness reminds me I’m alone to my will, my thoughts, the quiet.
Should I sing out loud and shatter the quiet?
No! I will write what I hear, Quiet!


Age 65 and older

First Place
The Explorers
Millie Ungren. Pickwick EC

We were nine and eleven
In nature’s wonderland
On Sunday
On imaginary journeys we drove
The rusty old Hudson Hornet
Forever parked at the wood’s edge
Tireless and forgotten
Except by swallows
Nesting there in summer
We climbed craggy cliffs
To Indian rock
Tops of tall trees
Held a grip
On sunlight’s last rays
Green and gold
Like confetti
After a birthday party
Shiloh Creek, far below
Meandering
Twisting, turning
Under wooden bridges
Depositing barefoot memories
Into the big Tennessee.
Swift currents
layering driftwood
on sculptured sand bars
nature’s invisible artists
designing a masterpiece
Exploring a vista
So grande

Second Place
Seasons’ Passing
Richard Lyles, Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation

Spring guides machinery placing delicate life-gems
Into Mother Earth’s furrowed cradle.
Her caresses gently awaken them.
She spoons nourishment for
Shoots of manna squirming toward air and light.
With hopeful expectations, He sighs,
Urging Her progeny to flourish.
Summer’s warmth and large sun
Inflame hidden codes to grow.
Carefully guarding Mother’s bounty,
He repels intruding flora and fauna.
Autumn’s shortened days usher in reapers,
Plucking white fiber from boll,
Shattering grain from pod,
Stripping kernels of gold from cob,
Returning spent coverings to Earth’s store.
Winter’s cold enables Mother’s fallow,
Granting relief and reward for Her TN Keeper.

Third Place
Enchanted Music
Sandra Fortune, Mountain Electric Cooperative

Joyous and majestic
Music for the ages.
Rapturous and soothing
Like the tinkling of sleigh bells.
Gentle echoes of enchanted music.

The sweet melody is completely magical
Delicate, captivating and sometimes classical.
The graceful flow of notes
Create a harmony beyond imagination
An ethereal sound of enchanted music.

Subtle or sublime notes
With a reverberating tune:
Exquisite beyond belief;
Elegant and often brief
Tap the heartstrings with enchanted music.

Simple and grand, the euphonic strains
A gentle touch on the emotion.
Fragile are the high-pitched vibrations
But the booming beat will be heard.
Comprising the magnificent enchanted music.

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