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Poet’s Playground – January 2022TTM Editorial Staff

Poet’s Playground – January 2022TTM Editorial Staff

Age 9–13

First Place
Just a Dream
Hayden Thompson, Middle Tennessee Electric

I reach to touch
a familiar person
my papa
but I can’t.
He’s no longer here.
Flashback from Biltmore
to California
to Destin
to Hawaii
and accomplishments
in my young past
when he cheered
me on. Unless it
came to the peanut
M&Ms when he’d
say, “Hayden, you’d
better save those for me.”
Alas! The mourning sun
streams through my
window and I realize
it’s one more day
without him.
Just a dream
back in Tennessee.
Yet he’s still with me
not only on an ornament
atop my Christmas tree,
but living in my heart
where he’ll always be.

Age 14–18

First Place
The journey of a wind
John Hancock, Middle Tennessee Electric

A gentle gust of wind
Is born amongst the trees
It drifts through the leaves
And out to the pasture
Where it lazily floats
Past the drinking pond
It glides past the barn
And waltzes through the house
Before soaring into the sky
And filling the wings of an eagle
It then retires to the woods
Dancing amongst the trees
Before settling in
To the gently falling leaves

Age 19–22

First Place
Highway 68
Molly Wilson, Appalachian Electric Cooperative

I’ve never seen so many stars
A tiny Appalachian town
No smoke or smog or billboards
Just winding roads and a tackle store
Overwhelming mountains
and trout filled rivers
Lightning bugs and barefooted kids
Sun burnt cheeks and fishing lines
Rusty pickups and the smell of bonfire
A thousand stars and a green eyed boy

Age 23–64

First Place
The Autumn Leaves of Monteagle
Reed Omary, Sequachee Valley EC

Yellow is Green electrified,
stereo to Green’s mono,
a playful child to grownup calm.
Yellow laughs in the present,
Green dwells in the past.
Yellow’s sportscar revs past
Green’s family sedan,
its playful puppy teases Green’s wise owl.
Yellow is devil-may-care.
Green knows this could go down
on our permanent record.
Yellow is mercurial, prone
to periodic tantrums of joy.
Green smiles rarely,
and only when amused.
For Yellow, every day is a snow day.
Each autumn, Green stumps for weekends.
After all, we need to rest from these
seasonal comparisons to Yellow.

Age 65 and older

First Place
The Value of Paintings
Joan Binkley, Cumberland EMC

That landscape over the sofa
no matter how small or wide
Offers eyes a visceral benefit equal to
have’n just walked outside
The painting will tell the eye
if perspectives are bonafide
To travel the eyes for miles over a
distant mountain and back to a seaside
F or, when all day these ‘ole cooped-up
Tennessee eyes’ focus is only on near
objects plied
The eyes can then rest themselves as for
miles on the seascapes and landscapes
they can tide.

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