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.