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Poet’s Playground – December winnersTTM Editorial Staff

Poet’s Playground – December winnersTTM Editorial Staff

Age 8 and younger

First Place
Nashville Zoo
Ashlyn Allen, Duck River EMC

Let’s go to the Nashville Zoo
First, let’s visit the Hyacinth Macaws
The Stanley Cranes have really long legs
The gibbons are swinging from the trees
The meerkats always put their paws up
A kangaroo keeps its joey in its pouch
A tiger has beautiful stripes on its back
Watch out! The alligators might bite you!
The lemurs were roaming before humans
Do you hear the clouded leopards purr?
There’s the pokey porcupine peeking
around the corner
Flamingo babies start out white before
they become bright
The reptile room is fascinating
Now it is time to go home
And let the zoo animals roam!

Age 9–13

First Place
Fall in the Foothills
Lilian Umbarger, Duck River EMC

Autumn is the time of falling flames of fire
Seeming to come from higher and higher
In colors ranging from auburn to gold
Defying the grip of nature’s hold
How do the leaves fall?
Like being plucked by an invisible hand
Spreading a flaming carpet across the land
In the morning covered with foggy dew
Across the wind they flew
On hazy wings of autumn glory
Never lasting to tell their story
Nothing but the skeletal frames behind
No sound or trace which calls to mind
The foothills are whispering the legacy of
the leaves

Age 14–18

First Place
Professional Thinker
Kendra Simpson, Meriwether Lewis EC

Like a crack in my spine,
the inevitable excruciatingly persists.
My mind plays tricks on me by
throwing me back in time and
twisting outcomes.
Did things really happen that way?
Mixing dreams with reality, I stumble in
my thoughts.
There are better, more professional ways
of thinking, I’m certain.
Ways that don’t hurt, but are pure,
untampered thoughts that the mind
doesn’t play with.
But what about us amateur thinkers?
How do we become pr-pr-professional?
Are we stuck in the deep thinking pit that
got us a little too deep?
Let’s make this a profession.

Age 19–22

First Place
Nothing
Mary Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities

They say, my past does not define me.
“Then what does?” I ask.
They say, I am not my mistakes.
“Am I my successes?”
They tell me I am what I believe I am.
“But how can I be nothing?”
They inform me that I am an adult.
“When did I grow up?”
They yell at me to become something, do
something, they tell me
“How can nothing do something?”
I ask questions but I receive no answer.
Nothing continues to exist the same as
before.

Age 23–64

First Place
The Christmas List
John Young, Middle Tennessee Electric

Their names spoke out from echoes past…
Their voices singing…
and memories clinging…
While they are not with us now…
I hesitated…
To mark them off…my Christmas card
List…a list…now so profound.
Seasons greetings are still the same…just
not as many on that list I found.
Their names ring back at me as I smile to
mask the tears.
You see…friends and dear ones lost…while
not here to share our joy…
Reach out to us from the past…
Our love bonds so strong…
A love that was so sound… a love to
everlast.

Age 65 and older

First Place
The Perimeters of One’s Imagination
Ronald Butterfield, Southwest Tennessee EMC

Deliberately exploring the perimeters of
one’s imagination involves far more than
determining the direction of the wind and
the setting of one’s sails.
The journey requires the unleashing of the
meditative wondering of “What If?”
Possibilities considered options explored,
consequences taken into account.
Launching an excursion of the mind need
not be extravagant,
Sufficient being a soft breeze, a pillow,
and blanket under a billowing cloud, or a
lingering melody.
However, supposing that this universe is
not flat, one must still be careful not to
fall off its edge.

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