2014 Student Poetry Contest
Horses by Bridgette Rupp Ebony, cream, chestnut, and caramel streaks race across the immense beach, scattering sand behind them, galloping with the wind, spreading across the sand in the open, empty night. Only the sound of hooves against the warm earth in the humid, summer night fills the air around the sweaty beasts.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Bridgette Rupp
Rain by Linnea Geenen Tapping against the glass, tears fall from the sky, as a river of sadness overflows. The clouds cannot contain their sorrow. Blanketing the world in darkness, the sky lights up, as screams echo through the air. Dark gray turns to black. Anger bursts forth, as the clouds breathe out, loud as a lion's roar. The storm goes on. The screaming softens, to a moan, and tears flow out again. There is one last sniff ... Then silence.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Linnea Geenen
My Heavenly Mother by Mary Esposito The sun Waves her dancing limbs Sheltering my planet And showering warmth Upon the frigid corners Of the world. I bask in her glory Absorbing her presence Observing her radiance Like an angel from Heaven. The sun lifts me up And cradles me in Her rays of hope and light. My heavenly mother Always watching over me In her golden kingdom bright.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Mary Esposito
Nostalgia by Ann Zhang In a disgraced and polluted city near the old orphanage, where he grew up the old man lives in half a cardboard box and as they walk by they taunt him; tease his muddied clothes, the crooked way he walks Their words become the wood to the fire of his suffering But my dear, burning takes time, and he lives, not dead but dying No one knows the old man’s name they blow smoke into the air and explode with laughter around him they shatter bottles of alcohol against the sidewalks But despite their wretched doings, the old man gives He gives every last bit of his life and pours it into those around him He fills the empty hearts of the children, when their father is drunk in the cellar and their mother ran off to some boyfriend’s party He expects nothing in return for his tender deeds The old man makes us wonder why we, those who have so much cry in vain over such lesser things, so blind and ignorant and those with empty pockets have fuller hearts and love with more honesty than we could ever buy Today, I think wistfully of the old man as I throw a bitter rose onto his grave
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Ann Zhang
Fear by Allison Regenwether He was disgusting; His nails grotesque and long as they raked through my hair; His breath horrid as he breathed down my neck; Close your eyes; take a deep breath; Open those eyes, but he’s still there; He’s always there; Always waiting, always watching; Ready to pounce at any second; Whispering as I shake; Persuading me to quit; To join him; It would be easy, oh, easy would be nice; His voice dripped with malign as his words grew; Louder; Louder in my head; I step forward; His voice fades; I clear my throat, I feel proud; But he’s always there, always watching.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Allison Regenwether
Prophecy by Eleanor Wikstrom Past windows of filth where light struggles to breach On a floor where hatred and turned heads have bred cruel markings of 'the greater good' Lies a woman under the deep sleep of oppression. Ubiquitous on her skin is a barcode that lets the others know she's hopeless In her dreams she calls out to the family she's lost and wonders how she can get them back. She remembers the forks in the road for opportunity that were always closed when she reached them A taunt that turned into bullying, bullying that turned into reality, reality that turned into a dream. The belaying rope snapped before she could reach the top Hidden, like a diseased child, she awaits for a time to escape her bounds Reveal her ferocious roar, a roar of injustice, lost chances, and a leader's fear. To regain what she lost in a land where all the doors are closed Possibility a Heaven that she will reach. A woman, the unwanted meal of the justice system Phosphorescent, shuddering with anticipation, smelling eternity Prophecy.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Eleanor Wikstrom
Evolution by Veronica Enierga She was built upon concrete, compacted sand The gilded metropolis with all its secrets hidden within flashing lights Look stark naked to the penetrating eye, Perversity, lingered in the dark alleys smelling like must and lust alike, the similarities It lingered, the heavy perfumes that covered the city Blocking God’s golden whips of fire that burned the clothes right off her, Leaving her bare to stand before judgment, like Eve and Pandora before her She let her streets run rampant, as if willingly, seducingly Letting the poisons she calls wings burn through her veins, charring her to her roots Now she stands in rubble, grotesque disfigured glass No angels guard her gates of entrance, but all leave willingly Alone, the metropolis cried displaying her atrocities to purify under the golden sun- It was instant, leaving nothing but ash and dust in her place Simply she disappeared, as if Death had not kissed her but consumed her with all her sins Leaving nothing to grow but a single blooming 'shroom, Gray, standing for nothing but for humanity in its most savage form. Lying in dust she dreams, once she stood on concrete-
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Veronica Enierga
Abuelo by Olivia Loehr My hands move across the lines of yours, young on old, soft on scarred I know these hands, they've played ‘go-fish’ and bandaged knobby knees I know these hands, but I never really knew, how these hands carried a young man's dreams how they trembled when your father yelled, as you hid them in the pockets of your jeans how the ring threatened to slip from your moist palms as you bent down on one knee how your fingers shook as you held your daughter for the first time how the sun beat down upon your back as you lay the bricks, to make a home Every crease of your skin shows the strength it took to build a home, to stay, and the courage summoned to leave, leave it all behind To bury your broken dreams with the dirt of the land you loved To begin again in a place of new language and new labels. These hands, picking your pride off the ground Scrubbing floors and painting walls These hands carrying dreams, for your children, of your children My hands, so small, so frail, rest in yours, so strong, so still I hold this legacy, I hold my dreams, hands full with the promise of what waits for me
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Olivia Loehr
The Battle (A Dedication To My Mother) by Emily Kosker She enters the ring ready to fight The battle will be tough, but she has God on her side Determined and ready she gives the first swing And with a powerful blow she knocks it down But it bounces back up; it hits her hard She stumbles a moment but doesn’t quit Though tired and weary, she battles on A warrior against a cancerous foe She fights for her family; she fights for her life We, the spectators, are all on her side Looking at me, she gives a fearless wink Then summoning all that’s left of her strength There it is; the knockout blow; This one is just for me
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Emily Kosker
Home Alone by Brittany Loveless Damp wooden planks lie staggered across the floorboard, bent rusty nails keeping them in place. she hides in the corner leaning; holding up what's left of the wall, and it pushes back; holding up what's left of her. hunched over with her knees molded to her chest, huge sobs rack her body, taking over, like an irregular heartbeat. gripping the picture, she'd do anything to go back to that picture, that picture, no matter how it makes her mind scream in agony torn along the edges, the slightly faded image marked in fingerprints, covers up the deception of an 'All-American' family. posed ... with quiet smiles plastered onto their silhouettes, showcasing pearly white teeth, painfully positioned next to each other. artificial laughter, suspended, in the air, in that moment, to cover up the hushed lies that are so clear now that there's nothing else to see. Strength drained from remembering the nightmare, she regrets letting the weeds of lies grow out of the picture and tangle in her reality … too late, once again. The fire, thirsting for fuel, doesn't always get rid of the wood in the process of burning, but scars it, scorches it, and then pushes it to the side leaving a smoky reminder of what it never was.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Brittany Loveless
Bombay Slum Evening by Shaloni Pinto The old woman sits wobbling the child on her venerable frame. Her paper hands cover the child's portly fists in a warm embrace as she croons an age-old lullaby midst the russet red dust coating the barren roads and the skeleton remains of a town, now exuberant with hued and crowded tents. The evening sunset sinks, trailing the woman's chair and animating her shadows which fall into haze of angled rubble and uncharacteristic putrescence that envelops the pair. The child gazes at the crinkled face of the woman, warbling in tones only known to harmony of their off-pitch voices. The blur of daylight combined with the screaming children and desperate parents has assuaged to despondence visible in the yearning looks of the meager children, who with bones sharply protruding from their bodies, lay their heads on their mothers laps' dreading the days to come. The nimbleness of the lullaby seems to escape the constricting air, the mass of growing shadows, the rubble of an exhausted town till all who are packed in clusters of weary masses attune their ears to hear the nearest concept of a foreign notion named hope.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Shaloni Pinto
Etcetera by Evan Fishburn There she is, over there, the one outfitted in the artless gown made of cotton, and the lace apron made of cambric – see her? The one with the paperbound book balanced delicately on her knee, with a good head on her shoulders and a pristine Bachelors in English framed on her apartment wall? Yeah, that one, with the wispy white hair and limbs – thin and frail – and the pallid skin and mellifluous features so delicate they look sketched on this very afternoon; the one who wants to write for the – Times and get swept away by the success of her own anonymity, and live in the city, and pass the Sunday markets and buy a parcel of sweet rolls and honeydew and chrysanthemums (even though she's allergic); she wants to stroll past the tuileries in April, wearing those designer shoes by –, and pose for the flashing cameras in her mind … See her hands tremble as she turns a page? And her head turn toward the women entering from across the room? She isn't like them, tied down to a reputation or a man who sells stocks. No, she'd rather embark on an expedition of an extravagance worth keeping. She'd rather be the nameless face, reading, alone, afraid to lose it all.
Poem Copyright © 2014 by Evan Fishburn
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