Poet’s Playground – May winners

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Age 8 and younger

First Place
Sunday Morning
Asher Milsap, Mountain EC

When the sun comes up
It is time to get out of bed
No need to keep resting my head.
Because church is beckoning me
I get to be free and filled with glee
Breakfast has to be eaten
Though refreshments are served at church
Yummy orange juice is always there
At church, I learn about God
I like the Bible quizzes
My church has a nursery
The perfect nursery teacher is Pia
She always has a great idea
Sunday morning also means no school!
That makes it easy to follow the rules.

Age 9–13

First Place
The Height of Beauty
Emma Daugherty, Upper Cumberland EMC

Bark scratching my hands, my arms
Reaching up, up, up
Swinging my legs off of a branch,
Leaves in my hair,
Lichen stuck to my shoes.
I’m akin to a bird,
So high above the world.
The pink clouds brush
A baby blue sky,
The horizon ringed with warm light.
It’s getting a little chilly,
My mind is anchored to this task,
Right now,
Getting further away from Earth.
I didn’t know birds could be so loud,
Tree limbs so strong,
They could hold me forever.
I would stay.

Age 14–18

First Place
Battle Above the Clouds
Alexandra Bristol, Fort Loudoun EC

Lovely,
Old mountain,
Old memories too.
Kids playing,
Outside,
Up on the rocks.
Then,
Many soldiers
Outside.
Unwanted
Not surprising,
Trouble has come.
A battle fought,
It’s war.
Not kind to families, fathers, or sons.
History is making
Its home out there.
Seeing war
Take over the land.
Old and young.
Run to hide
‘It’s chaos out there,’
Cried many people.
Chattanooga,
In war
Vile war.
Losing many.
Without a single notice.
An end of beautiful lives,
Ruining families.
Mountain of history.
Etched by battle.
Memories there
On its sides.
Ruins gone,
In this place.
A battleground
Lookout Mountain.

Age 19–22

First Place
Mommy
Cordelia Moss, Gibson EMC

You taught me to read, write, and figure,
To know the difference between left hand and right.
You trained me to love brother and sister,
To show mercy and give up some fights.
You raised me to honor father and mother;
You modeled submission to the Father of lights.
You taught me to hate sin and love goodness,
To distinguish the wrong from the right.
You helped discover my strengths and my weaknesses,
The limits of my wisdom and might.
You held my hand through joys and through trials;
You let go so I could soar to new heights.

Age 23–64

First Place
The Voice of God
Ned Serleth, Volunteer EC

Three hundred feet under a Tennessee hill,
Deep within Blue Spring Cave,
A crystal lake lies,
Calcite rim-stone enclosed.
Covered in cave clay,
Sweating from exertion at fifty-eight degrees,
I rest.
Carbide light off,
I listen.
Silence.
Unchanged, millennial silence.
The sound of humankind’s continual
disgraces,
Unheard,
Unheeded.
Then …
A drop of water,
Perhaps rained down upon the earth before
Hiroshima, Gettysburg, Trenton, or even Christ,
Now cleansed,
Strikes the surface.
The sound waves spread,
Like the unseen ripples on the lake’s surface
And echo loudly throughout the cavern.
I listen, hear, comprehend,
Humbled before God’s word.

Age 65 and older

First Place
Old Graveyard
Martha Atkins, Southwest Tennessee EMC

Black veiled shadows prowl
Against a winter sky.
Old graveyards
Guarded by gray broken stones,
Stimulate thought
Of the thing we know
But do not believe.
Steel-chilled wind slices time clean
From breath to birth.
A single, dry leaf glides
Away from the bony earth.

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