Teen Poetry Contest 2019 - Winners


6th Grade Winner


The Forgotten - Abby Pulvermacher

Winner Medal We are thrown out like yesterday's trash,
We cry,
Not tears of joy and rejoice,
But tears of fear,
On what will happen next,
To us.
We are lost in a sea of darkness,
With nothing but love to keep us alive.
We are ignored,
From the depths of the ocean,
To the tallest mountains,
We are ignored.
We are the forgotten,
And we rise today,
To make a change,
To make a difference,
To make history.

7th & 8th Grade Winners


A Small Truth -  Darby Elo

First Place Winner Medal What is a riddle that boggles all men’s minds?
A lie without words or words that don’t lie?
Is it the meaning of life all covered in silver?
Or the meaning of life so sinister some quiver?
Yes, it’s life we all wonder about.
A truth some are scarcely ready to shout.
What is life’s meaning, some do ask.
A three- year- old understands it as an old man stands.
Grown men and women don’t see the truth.
So listen closely, so you hear it too.
Life is the feeling we get from the wind.
The value of a small candle’s whims.
The delicacy of a hummingbird's wings.
The first word a baby sings.
The last breath before a phoenix’s death.
And the stories we love as well as those we regret.
Yes, life is the balance of all things.
The truth we fear, and the change it brings.

Dementia - Peyton Milligan

Second Place Winner Medal My mind is a sun
It burns bright
I am healthy
I laugh, I love, I learn

One day a small cloud drifts by
I couldn't find my keys
More clouds come and go
How do I play this game?
Where is the way to go?
Why can't I remember?
I don't know what to do

Bigger clouds come
Storm clouds
What month is this?
When is my birthday?
A giant cloud passes
Who are you?

One day the sky is gray and

Who am I?     

uncontrollable van - Isabel Yu

Third Place Winner Medal perfectionism is a common drug
and i am an addict.
i take too many portions
too many that i’m dizzy

i’m always so naive
letting my reckless sister take the wheel
her name, perfectionism
i’m cowering in the trunk
while the back seat passenger keeps chanting
you can improve.
this is not good enough.
your standards are too low.
the sound envelopes me,
thrumming in my ears

faster than my heart beat
i need to run, quicker, with longer strides
because if they catch up
i’d be the same as everyone else
but i don’t want to be
i need to turn my head
to block view of those farther up the hill

i should stop and rest
but my mind is fast asleep in its cave
my heart, lungs, body cannot wake it up
to realize i’m already far ahead
i can wait days, weeks, and no contestant
will pass me
i can press pause for the aux cord
i can kick through the car trunk
i can strangle this driver
and go a separate lane
where i can be happy at where i am

except my legs are not strong enough
except im a coward and cannot fight this driver
except i will lose control of this wheel
except i will never be perfect
but i can be me
will that ever be enough?

High School Winners


you will get up - Isabel Kelsh

First Place Winner Medal another one down
swallowed by the static sound

mourned by a youth long ago
when we were light and full of soul

we began falling one by one
our eyes are dull our nights are long

our bones all ache
from the chill we make

behind our eyes from the frozen unshed tears
the ice numbs our constant untold fears

sometimes it takes a safety pin
to make us feel alive again

our jokes are only covers for our frothing mess
but sometimes our fake faces peel and we have to confess

like feeling pain is some kind of sin
and you are weak-willed if you let the demons in

even those who seem untouchable
those whose glasses seem sloshing-over full

have a spinning darkness inside of them
ripping tearing biting from within

sometimes the voices get too loud
and there goes another one down

but it's not over sisters, brothers
jokesters, emos, smart kids, cutters

to my friends and their friends and their friends
we're fighting our battles but they aren't our ends

one day your shadows will turn to light
you will love yourself and let go of your spite

when that day comes you'll be helped up from the ground
hear whispers of triumph-there's another one found

Sonnet 143 - Ganesan Narayanan (Tied)

Winner Medal Thou art unlike aught else in this realm;
Elegant Felicitas is less’r to thy grace—
Even the beauty of the sea thou’st overwhelm;
This mortal world is not thy heavenly place.

Ignorance is bliss, and yet my humble devotion
I pray deserves some divine attention;
Thy poise is such like that of the ocean
That mine is quaint, not worthy of condescension.

Doest thou not care for my peasant pleas
And art thou not impressed by my valiant toils?
No matter my traveling of the seven seas
Or gifts of other lands’ conquer’d spoils,

I look to thee, but thou doest not return my sight:
I am but a minnow, and thou art Amphitrite.

Fred the Cockroach - Quintin Peterson

Winner Medal There once was a cockroach named Fred.
He ate trash like old fruit and stale bread.
He was stepped on one day,
And was ended that way,
So now our dear cockroach is dead.  

Meta - Aleena Rehman (Tied)

Winner Medal These words are not my confessions.
They are the creations I set before the world to be
judged, criticized, and belittled.

(my sacrifice to the gods of pretension)

But now my writing is less than recreation.
I write to satiate my fantasies.
I write to own something.
I write to boast.

(Please praise my literary deftness!)

My words must be genius from every dimension,
but pride nabbed my complexity.
I remain flattened under my expectations.

(Stale, empty thoughts--give me back my flavor...)

I scribble the same monotonous beats against a page,
hoping to find someone new,
but I never will--not until I break the metronome
tick-tocking in my head.

(My teeth buzz against my voice; I think we’ll shatter if I say too much.)

I’m despicable.
Even these cries must marry my ego.
I can’t be proud of these scratches,
as if the world looms above my forehead,
dissecting my ineptitude,

I am too young to stop now.

( )

So let them judge.
These thoughts remain under my domain,
and I refuse to abandon them.
When judgement has stripped away my authenticity,
these words will remain.
So read these syllables and acknowledge
the mirrors I have chipped.