Poetry Contest Winners 2010

enjoy these
winning entries
from Word Wise,
KDL’s 7th Annual
Teen Poetry Contest.
These winners were
chosen from close to
150 poems. With topics
from love and loss to music
rehearsals, or even boating,
there is bound to be
something in here for you.
I’m sitting in a corner,
My eyes open.
eyes closed.
Remembering the beeping of the
My life like a movie
reeling inside my head.
Having flashbacks of a time of joy
and comfort, but now the movie’s
The feel of the IV tube hooked up to
my arm.
The scratchy sheets.
The picture next to my bed...
Everything is gone.
...of him.
Remembering the way you held my
Remembering the memories flooding
into me.
Our fingers entwined together.
The road fading off into the distance.
Unfathomable. Unforgettable.
The tangle of leaves and branches
waiting to consume us.
The never ending downward slope.
Remembering the long and winding
The look of panic on his face.
Holding hands...never letting go.
Beauty everywhere.
A shower of glass raining down upon
Then darkness.
Then blood.
A crash.
Slowly slipping away, holding on.
Calling your name.
Remembering the way you were
holding onto my hand.
You let go.
The feel of your fingers slipping...
slowly, every so slowly.
Then darkness.
Slipping, slipping, slipping.
Never ending darkness.
Then you were gone.
Remembering your face inside my
Surrounded by a bright, blinding light.
Your hand outstretched toward me.
I reach for you.
Author: Emily Plants
Holding Back
She holds back the words
That itch to be released
That would tell how she feels
About him
Things that are better said
Not through a text message.
Things that are terrifying
Things that she means,
Lord knows,
But that she’s too afraid
To say.
To say such things like,
“Come back to me”,
“Be safe”,
Or “I love you”.
That she needs to have him hear
From her tongue,
Not with the metallic taste the phone
Would lend to the words
Author: Mollie Stahl
One Morning’s Rehearsal
As if you’ve been playing all these years, life flows from your fingers.
When you lift a violin to your shoulder, you take the bow on a
journey across the strings.
The baton raises in my head,
and my inner orchestra accompanies you.
“Moonlight Sonata” runs in your veins,
flats and sharps mix with your blood
and lend your heart its beat.
While I take in mere oxygen
you inhale a cadence
and lurch into an adagio waltz.
I’ll test your tempo
and run away with the melody:
a dolce dance of
violin, viola
as a symphony joins in my head,
rising in a grand crescendo,
while you sweep the solo
off the page
like leaves in an autumn breeze . . .
Author: Olivia Ezinga
Just Let Me Cry
They wouldn’t just
let me cry.
He had been in my life
for so long.
And now cancer was
slowly taking him
away from me.
When I got the news
I sat down and cried.
Not caring if my
mascara ran.
Not caring if my hair
got messed up.
Not caring if
anyone laughed.
Two months
two months
two months.
The doctors say
two months.
I say don’t put a
time limit on any life.
But what do I know?
I’m just a kid.
I don’t cry at school,
no one knows.
I can’t ever tell.
Food tastes terrible,
my eyes are always
over with tears.
Always sad it’s so hard
to put on a happy
face for
my friends, but I do.
I can’t just cry.
My life is charades.
I put on an act and
everyone thinks it’s
Only I know it’s not.
He’s gone now and
of him haunt my
My life in slow motion
as my eyes filled with
and one tear escaped
down my cheek.
And that was it.
I had cried all I could.
I didn’t cry when I saw
his pictures or at his
They said these are
happy times.
He is no longer in pain.
So no more tears fell to
the floor.
I don’t want to scream
just let me cry
Because I know he
feels no more pain.
When I got the news,
I just stood there.
Author: Leanna Gorney
her voice was a
whispering in the wind
she lay there
unable to tell me
that little secret
her hand grew cold
and she stopped shaking
I knew what was going on
but I didn’t want to believe it
so I tried to run
and chase
my problems
but that isn’t
in this world
because no matter
how fast you run
those problems
will be right behind you
trust me
I know
Author: Mary Verberg
The Cemetery Across
the Road Has Been
Filling with Fireflies
They land on gravestones and gather in trees to blink at us.
Once I knew the language of fireflies.
I knew how to tell if one was male or female, and whether one was hungry. That’s
long worn from my mind, but tonight there is no mystery about what they say.
The dead are not gone. Here, on the front porch we watch the souls we thought
far away all wrapped up in delicate tiny wings and lights, we watch them telling us
about the beauty of the oncoming dusk, how not to fear aging. One crosses the
distance between us
and lands on my cheek, wings gently beating.
Author: Patricia Schlutt
The shimmer of my extravagant
makeup, which is caked on every
inch of my body, makes me chuckle
as I wait anxiously behind the velvety
red curtain. The stage-fright-butterflies flutter from person to person, yet never
rest upon my stomach. Hummingbirds full of chatter and adrenaline instead
waltz cheerfully around me.
Every laugh from the crowd,
Every cheer from the audience,
All but helps the hummingbirds waltz faster.
Their swift movements strengthen me,
Along with the friendly stage’s delicate Scenery that seems to call me in, inviting
me to break free.
The spotlight beams on me as I daintily
Allow myself to glide onto the stage,
Bringing the hummingbirds with me.
My arms feel a gleeful sensation
As the spotlight hits.
My legs feel a twinkling excitement,
As the spotlight hits.
My vocal chords expand with joy,
As the spotlight hits.
And my heart skips a beat,
For it knows it’s back home.
Home on the stage.
Home, where the spotlight hits.
Author: Brianne Stephens
I wear porcelain skin
And break at the sharpest of words
All my fragile pieces fall
And clutter the floor
I have yet to feel a helping hand
One that’s not afraid of shards
So here I am
Picking up my pieces
One by one
I am covered in smiles
To steer their attention away
But my mouth is tired
Of tasting lonely flavors
Sometimes I am returned
And I feel okay
But just for awhile
Until time hits again
And takes me down
I am folded inside myself
Hidden behind a shell of pleasantries
All my thoughts remain inside
And dream a little dream
But words dance on my tongue
In need of a place to land
A place to be heard
Will anybody lend me their ears?
Will anybody even care?
Author: DJ DeSmyter
For me.
It will
Go into
All by myself,
Just like
One person,
Perhaps this
The horizon
One Rhapsody.
Tune isn’t just
For me.
Sinking lower,
Maybe it
Never Shared
To myself
Was meant
With anyone.
A tune
to Share,
Sinking low
That’s just
A melody
It is hidden
For me.
Inside me
Till my dawn,
My dawn
Sinks low
I walk alone
Maybe this
My dawn
On this road,
Was meant
Is done
On this quiet,
To be:
Dry journey.
This tune
I Stare
That’s just
at the horizon.
For me.
Waving like
The wheat.
A mournful
Dancing to
A tune,
And if
That’s just
A mournful tune.
I keep
For me
A tune
This song
That’s just
To myself
Author: Evanne Zainea
Starry Night
It all begins
I watch the night
Silent Night is no more
grow dark
The little stars
The town brightens
dance across the sky
The day glows
The clock strikes twelve
It is over
and the new bell rings
Only memories remain
Sitting in silence
and again
dangling sneakers
and again
above the city
I sit upon
the cool blue blades
emptiness remains
Shadows haunt
the slow
Goodbye midnight sky
city below
Author: Bailey Green
Dilemma No. 18267
Let us observe this man, this
Corpulent creature, this
Stout animal.
The metal boat lies upon
The wet sand, dimly expectant of
What is to come.
What is to come?
Man is to push
But man does not want to
Push the metal boat, this
Dimly expectant boat.
This time, Man
heaves his weight upon Boat,
The generous folds of his flesh warmly
Pressed against the cold hull.
Push, damn it, Push!
The task is now a prolonged fight,
Man’s strained cries and struggles like
that of A laboring animal.
The Man is Aching,
is Moaning,
is Panting,
Profusely sweating a fragrance of
Human and frustration.
He tries,
Hoping a meager
Push would do the trick.
Such a fight is an everlasting
deadlock, body and metal, Man and
Boat does not budge.
And, ah.
Boat breaks forth across
the moist sand, collides into
the cool waters.
Man had such hope that
Boat would move,
a hope that
Occurred before in his life,
a hope that
Perished in such situations as this.
Man triumphantly climbs into Boat.
And though he may not view
it particularly as such, Man’s
fated Dilemma No. 18267 is now
Author: R. Park
Kent District Library would like to thank David Cope for his work
in selecting the winning poems. Mr. Cope currently teaches
drama and creative writing at Grand Rapids Community
College. Mr. Cope’s personal publications include:
Quiet Lives (1983)
On the Bridge (1986)
Fragments from the Stars (1990)
Coming Home (1993)
Silences for Love (1998)
Turn the Wheel (2003)