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Poet’s Playground – November WinnersTTM Editorial Staff

Poet’s Playground – November WinnersTTM Editorial Staff

Age 8 and younger

First Place
A Country Rain
Katie Wilson, Middle Tennessee Electric

When the leaves hang trembling
And the thunder growls deep growls
And lightning crashes to the ground
The rain is pouring down.
When the thunder growls some more
And lightning crashes again,
The rain is gently beating down
Upon the window pane.

Second Place
Falling Leaves
Fletcher Johnson, Upper Cumberland EMC

Falling leaves.
They collect raindrops on them.
I like to pour the water out.
When they dry, I like to crunch them.
They can be any color.
Yellow, brown, red, and pink.
The pink ones are hidden.
They like to hide behind other trees.

Third Place
Sylvia Yarnell, Middle Tennessee Electric

Leaves are falling,
birds are calling,
pumpkins are almost grown.
All the squirrels are
collecting nuts ready for winter snow.
Looking for food ants go about,
and bears will go fishing for
yummy river trout.
Let’s rake a big mound of leaves
I’ll jump right in with you.
Because in Autumn that’s the
kind of thing we always,

Age 9–13

First Place
A Superhero
Marleigh Jo Parker, Middle Tennessee Electric

One day, I was a superhero.
Well, part superhero,
part fairy,
part mermaid,
part princess,
part adult,
part still little kid,
part human.
Part me.
The playground became my imaginary world.
The soft stuff they use for floors on the elevated play area became an island,
the black, hard edge to the elevated area, the beach, rather small,
and the grass, the ocean.
The two buildings, with ladders and slides, were my castles.
The unstable walkway that connected them, a bridge above a fierce river.
I was the main character of the story, and the story?
It was mine.

Second Place
Tanasi to Tennessee
Ily Allen, Duck River EMC

Tanasi, Tanasi, a Cherokee name
Tennessee, Tennessee, the orange T state
Tanasi, Tanasi, a stickball game
Tennessee, Tennessee, a football great
Tanasi, Tanasi, serving their chiefs
Tennessee, Tennessee, Governor Lee
Tanasi, Tanasi, spiritual beliefs
Tennessee, Tennessee, Christianity
Tanasi, Tanasi, native foundation
Tennessee, Tennessee, 225 years
Tanasi, Tanasi, Cherokee nation
Tennessee, Tennessee, the volunteers

Third Place
Who is this?
Sophia Rogers, Meriwether Lewis EC

low high
low high
sweeping over the great blue sky,
free free over the lea into the woods that’s where she’ll be,
her feathers gray with a splash of blue,
they accuse her of mocking,
yet she always knew,
her song of life always changing,
a constant whirl and banging,
whoa whoa who is this?
you speak in rhymes I do not know,
could it be?
it ‘tis it ‘tis!
the mocking bird of course!
her song a rhyme no one knows, sweeping down too far below.

Age 14–18

First Place
Windblown Dream
Allison Ritter, Appalachian EC

A car passes, a brief moment;
Eyes locked. He caught sight of her
Riding along the winding road,
Her arm tapping to a rhythm unknown
To him, hair flying wildly about her face.
The look in her eyes, pondering a dream
He’s known before. Then she’s gone.
Or perhaps he was never there,
Never truly existed; a fantasy
Conjured by a lonely mind,
A dream, caught, set adrift on the wind.

Second Place
Lullaby of Starlight
Megan DiCello, Southwest Tennessee EMC

Eve nigh night now holds the waters;
Listen little angel, as the tides sing,
Of the ocean’s fairest daughters,
Who dance on starlight wings.
With eyes that pierce the darkest nights
And smiles that light the moon,
Hair like silken ice;
Tranquil they splash in sweet lagoons.
They’re voices sound of harps
As they laugh amid the seas;
Pure and sweet, with crystal hearts,
And songs like dazzling starlight beams.
So, sleep now dearest one,
Let their songs of laughter fill your mind,
For when the stars fall, they’ll too be gone,
Till more starlight there is too find.

Third Place
Tennessee Home
Audrey Brown, Appalachian EC

I see the sunset,
Pastel colors silhouetting trees,
Glowing Smoke in the mountains,
With home I’ve met.
I feel the chill of the air,
I smell the burn of the fireplace,
To the beauty I cannot help but stare,
At this paradise that is my birthplace.
With Mama in the kitchen,
And Granny pouring tea,
I set the table to pitch in,
Loving my home and family.
And in the cold evening, the wilderness will call,
Just as my Grandpa exclaims ‘hey y’all!’
At the beauty of outdoors, my heart will roam,
And I’ll smile at my sensational Tennessee home.

Age 19–22

First Place
I must soon return.
David Smith, Fayetteville Public Utilities

When it’s been too long since I’ve greeted the forest trail,
my heart weighs in my chest like the dead branch of an oak.
Low and bitter until I go back to the new life of the woods and the crisp songs of nature.
My soul is sluggish and unruly while I’m away,
and my mind races with no end while I linger outside the sanctum of the trees.
Like the need for a home,
a place of recollection,
I also am lost without the hope that the Tennessee woods bring me.

Age 23–64

First Place
Dance Of The Ruby Throated Hummers
Sherri Ownby, Middle Tennessee Electric

The celerity with which you soar sets you apart From your fowl kin.
With whipping wings at imperceptible speeds,
You glide ever so stealthily, nimbly and carefree.
I watch in wonder, mesmerized by your rhythmic dancing.
Scurrying on air from here to there, only occasionally landing before taking flight again.
Inconspicuously whirling wings set you in motion,
Briskly, effortlessly, floating on air, you leave behind the memory of your whimsical beauty, And a smile upon the beholder.

Second Place
Dragon Fly Cove
Jamie Farmer Oneida, Middle Tennessee Electric

When the creek beds are thirsty
When the magic of rock and root
Appear bravely
Along the river banks
When the clouds withhold
Their tears
A hidden place is revealed
In the
Tennessee woods
Dragon Fly Cove I call it
Only discovered
by dry river adventure
By foot not boat
A lush water jewel
Oval and perfect
with blue green ripples
Dragon Fly owned
Only shown to those who
Seek it
A secret, shimmering Avalon
Fading into mist and thought
When the rains come again

Third Place
One Red Brick
Debbie Salerno, Middle Tennessee Electric

One red brick
With one small chip
Was laid on the ground
Wondering where it was bound
Quiet and still
Feeling useless until
Another red brick
Lay next to it quick
Unsure of direction
With humble reflection
Appeared another red brick
Like a magical trick
Then more than two
They grew and grew
Feeling stronger than ever
They found purpose together
A table, a chair
They supported with care
Providing a space
Where fun made its case
For feet daily danced
On their surface entranced

Age 65 and older

First Place
After the Fire
Jane Bryan, Middle Tennessee Electric

The scorched trees still stand, desolate without their leaves —
Their gnarled roots holding them steady from nature’s breeze.
The symmetry of the mountains has returned —
The placid air cool — no hint of blazes that burned.
Wildlife scampers through newly grown underbrush
Free of the inferno’s past furious rush.
God has renewed all nature that was taken
And new life has silently awakened.

Second Place
Tennessee, the Giving State
Millie Ungren, Pickwick EC

If I could give you anything
Let’s choose a stary night
Wrapped around with silver thread
Torn from soft moonlight
A smokey mountain capped with snow
A waterfall or two
Splashing streams where brook
Trout play
I would give all this to you
I would give you a trail
That winds and bends
Climbs to the very top
Give you a view of a thousand miles
When you stand on lookout’s rock
Give you a rain
Soft and warm
The shelter of a tall pine tree
These are the things
I know you love
You’ll find them all in Tennessee

Third Place
Lakeview Cabin
Dianne Knowles, Caney Fork EC

I feel the calmness of the water like a blanket over my racing mind
The leaves gently flutter to the ground in an everchanging tapestry
The rhythm of my breathing and the tranquility of nature take over
Slowly creating an oasis to soothe my soul
It is peaceful, yet the strength of renewal is present
That sense of renewal causes me to feel powerful and strong
Not unlike the force of the wind in the trees
Or the never-ending ebb of the water against the bank
I am a force to be reckoned with
I am powerful
I am focused
I am strong

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