The Louine Schaufler Youth Poetry Contest: HS Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the HS portion of the Louine Schaufler Youth Poetry Contest! Thank you to everyone who submitted to the contest. Thank you to our judge John Nelson. Enjoy the poems 🙂

First Place

"Remember Poem"

By Mary Feliz

Remember
Even when the weight in your chest is all consuming
When you look in the mirror
And cannot recognize the wide eyes staring back
Do not let the muffled noise
The numbness in your limbs
Distract you from what is real and true

Remember 
Remember you are real
Flesh and blood and bone
Remember the tight squeeze of anger
The times your eyes shone with tears
Remember the smiles
The laughter
The moments you feel, so powerfully
It seems your chest might burst
Into an explosion of words
And music, and light

Remember the happiness
in moments when you are just you
When you drive home 
And feel yourself slipping
Remember the way the setting sun
Clings to the sky
Painting the earth in gold

Remember the way your heart skips a beat
As the light catches just so
And it hits you for the thousandth time that day
That the world is beautifl

Remember the sadness
The dull ache of loneliness
The sharp, stabbing pain of love
Remember the thundering of your heart
As you close your eyes against the dark of night
And dream

Remember poetry
And music
And dancing

Remember the feeling of being alive
Remember

Second Place

"The Things I Understand" 
By Sydney Campbell


I understand the feeling you get 
when you cross the finish line 
and I know why people take walks 
on cool fall days. 
I understand the importance of 
family time
and doing your homework honestly. 
I know what it’s like to get love 

and to give love. 
I understand why people do sports 
and why you shouldn’t walk on other
people’s grass. 
I know why people listen to music
and write poetry. 
I don’t understand
what it’s like to not have food 
or knowing you can’t pay the bills. 
I don’t know what it’s like to 
be confined to a wheelchair or
have a prosthetic limb. 
I don’t know what a riot 
looks like 
or what it’s like to live in fear 
of the government 
or your neighbor. 
There are many things that I am 
familiar with and 
there are many things that I am not. 
I know that I will have a different 
experience 
and a different story
than every single person 
that I pass on the street
and meet in the store. 
I’m grateful for the comfort I know
but am blessed to see the persistence
of others in trials I may never grasp. 


Third Place 

"Drift" 

By Jackson Paslay

Drift
In’ 
Down the
Street at night
In the cad-ill-ac
With no rhyme or reason you past protestors with signs
Ignoring their signs of destruction, violence, and death near
Yet you keep speeding up, faster and faster ignoring their signs; ignoring their candlesticks
Until you realize your coveted ride is sent up in space like Blanco on chilled August
Enclenched in the hands of the elders, the tentacles began enlacing over your cadillac; this thanatophobia never felt, be--
fore--even in your weirdest situations of xenophobia and racism. Despite being the proletariat for thy whole life you managed to embrace embourgeoisement comparing yourself to the ants now you’re myrmecophilous in the face of the brobdingnagian
Creatures. Entering the darkest void of the unbeknownst universe with 5-dimensional beings, filled with the weeping Old Ones that endlessly cry blood, lead, and cries from the myrmecophilous creatures under their brobdingnagian skeletal structure that plead to them, scream to them, and beg for mercy from the knees of murderers. 
Thrown from your Cadillac you are face-to-face with Yog-Sothoth, the keeper of the gate; the binger of the Old Ones. Yog-Sothoth beckons to you, waiting for a word but you are nothing but a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious mere mortal. Yog-Sothoth understands this and throws you into the Court of the Linen Woman, a one willowness, cries, lead, and beauty. 
You try to make sense of this beauty of cosmic imagination and humanity yet she is in no mood for your mercifully cries of compliments. No fake-ass prayers can pray away what shall happen to you; what will happen to you. Catching your fawn, she gives you a Thanatognomonic look filled with brimstone of tears tainted with lead, flint, dirty water, and rust. 
The Linen Woman opens its mouth, but nothing but bullets come out--at first and the screams of the sirens yet just like the protestor you cover your ear and tie yourself to your internal mast like Odysessus. The bullets finally cease their existence and the river of tears begin to beraid harder and harder as the volutportus Linen Woman begins to formulate vowels. You begin to stare harder into the Abyss of her gorgeous blue eyes while she prepares to speak with unparagonble horrors and sentences never heard by your ears. 
“You’ve come to the Old Ones, yet you can’t even speak to us crying Ancients nor can you speak or give anything worth of value to the crying ones from your own dimension; the weeping willows as myself; the gaspers of air--crying from their choking last breaths; the crying of people with holes in their gaballas; the crying of people floating above the ground; the cries of the ants as you yourself would see yourself above. But here, in the Court--you’re nothing but some incomprehensible schizoid man that has caused us to cry oh so many tears of elements, items, and fluids that you yourself would’ve filled people with or rather ignore that they were ingesting.” 
Here, in the Court, the Linen Woman endlessly stares at you for at least some quiver from your lips, but you’re not but a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious granular spec who, back in the past dimension was the brobdingnagian creatures that reign over your existence. 
“Follow the spiral down, down the spiral you must go for your atonement or whatever you shall receive from following the spiral of the infinite numbers--down to the very last one. Will you die? You shall think of death every single microsecond. What shall your epitaph be? Confusion? Nihil? Fear? Embourgeoisement? You never had or do have anything of remote value to speak and for that your epitaph shall be determined: Nihil.”
From behind you, you hear the children of Dagon open the cellar door to the endless spiral you shall approach and get closer and closer and closer to
Looking
  D 
     O 
         W
             N
This S
  P
    I
  R 
     A
L
 EADS DOWN 
AND DOWN
DOWN YOU MUST GO
DESCEND LIKE THE NAVISON DID
 H 
   E
     A
        D
            O
                  W
                        N
                            T
                                   H
                                         E
                                   S
                                      P 
                                  I
                                        R
                                 A
                                         L
Honorable Mention

"The Place for Me" 

By Roman Slack

birds sing their fall songs 
as the forest animals scurry across the floor 
my shoes lightly crunching the worn leaves 
as I walk through the woods 
my eyes are drawn to the amber rays of light 
as they shine through the seasoned trees 
walking slowly 
I feel the wind flowing freely through the forest 
as it spins and twists loose leaves on the floor 
I hear the distant calls of a Robin 
As its songs echo the woodland. 
I taste the coming of fall in the air HO
as I continue my walk, I know, 
this is the place for me

Honorable Mention

"Pumpkins" 

By Em Kimball

Leaves
made of gold and amber
Rain down on the country road.
They carpet the ground
And crunch beneath footfalls.

Pumpkins
Made of autumn dreams
And the happiness of children
Litter the doorsteps of suburban homes,
Faces carved into them.

Lanterns
Made of steel and warmth
Hang from posts and doorways
Joyously screaming of crisp nights
And family fires.

Country Lanes
Made of hayrides and pumpkin picking
Of happiness and harvesting.
A place for late-night drives
And fun with family and friends.

Evening fires
Made of warmth and laughter,
Of roasting marshmallows
And telling stories.
A time of friendly bonding.

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