Winning Poems 2018-2019

The Sun
by  Daphne Apitz,  age 9

I am the sun
I watch you
In the light of me
Dawn till dusk you play or rest
And when you can’t see me anymore
I am sleeping
Tucked in tight
In my blanket of black
Teeny tiny white polka dots

Snow Trees
by Clare Pollock, age  8

Pine trees
Oak trees
Snow trees, too

Hear the owls sing
As they coo

Pine trees
Oak trees
Snow trees, too

Listen to the owls’ tunes

Pine trees
Oak trees
Snow trees, too

The owls are dancing
Just for you

Pine trees
Oak trees
Snow trees, too

Spring is coming!!

by  Dulce Valdepena Aguilar, age 9

Azul es el cielo.
Azul es tu mirar.
Azul son las olas, 
jugando en el mar.
El mar es frío
niños van  corriendo al mar
Y los niños van a tomar un helado
El mar sigue azul como el viento y
Brillante el sol en el cielo.

Blue is the sky.
Blue is your look.
Blue are the waves.
Playing in the sea.
The sea is cold
children are running to the sea
And the children are going to take an ice cream
The sea is still blue like the wind and
the sun shines in the sky.

Note: This poem was translated originally and literally from Spanish. The rhyme is found in the original language.

A Sea of Leaves
by Max Holifield, age 11

As the
leaves fall to the ground,
with a crunch under winter boots,
you are reminded of falling into
your bed after a long walk.
You sink into the rusty sea
and are embraced by
only the loveliest lucky leaves.
With just a jump into
a pile of them, you
feel exhilarated
as a single snowflake
lands on your nose.
This, however, tells
of the coming
and for just one moment
sadness engulfs you and your
maple leaf friends.

But then, like a rekindled
flame, the blend of colors
beneath reminds
you of here and now.
You turn over and
hug them back, taking in the
cool air and cherishing this moment,
never to forget that through any winter,
spring waits on the other side.

How I See Myself in Nature
by Devon Plotz, age 11

In nature I see myself as a tree. This is a short tree with lots of leaves.
This tree is in the middle of a park.

I am a tree because i’m calm
I am a tree because I like to play outside.

All the people would look at me and my mighty height.
They could get close, I don’t bite.

The kids would climb up my trunk and hang on my branches
And the parents would be writing stanzas.

They would be writing about my age, and counting my rings when I

And doing reports on how all the children would climb up my trunk and
hang on my branches.

And those parents
Were the kids who climbed up my trunk
And hung on my branches
And swung on my leaves
And climbed higher and higher
Until they couldn’t climb anymore.

In nature I see myself as a tree.

In Nature I See Myself as the Wind
by Aliya Winters, age 11

In nature i see myself as the wind

because i'm everywhere Don't stare. I have a secret lair
you won't  find it. but if you wanna know you gotta go with
the flow
Often sometimes i haft to take it slow you know. but
sometimes i'm just so glad i don't like to see people sad. to
me if your sad  its bad. i do get sad when i do get mad and
i form into a tornado but after that it's all okay tho.

I blow my wind so far i could flip over a car. Blar, Blar
that's the car siren gotta go i haft to start taking it slow.
You cant see me but you can feel me. i see you but you
don't see me if you don't believe me go ask the trees all of
them were there. There  everywhere. They seen.

Also the sun and the moon seen even the baboon. Still
dont belive go ask the raccoon. And the cow that jumped
over the moon  and the dish who ran away with the spoon
And that’s why i see myself as the wind but its a difference
between me and the dolphins fin.

by Kayla Gonzalez, age 13

I AM an intelligent lion
Very determined and powerful
A leader not follower
Born to protect its family

I AM a strong elephant
Ready to fight
Friendly, but don't mess with me
Calm and sweet when needed

I AM a funny monkey
Silly and playful
Loving and joyful
Acting foolish in a good way

I AM an incredible eagle
Smart and knows it’s way around
Safety comes first
Family is everything

I AM a sweet hummingbird
Singing all the time
Brilliant and bright
Smooth and fabulous

I AM beautiful nature

In Hope of a Great Return
by Anthony Gotcher, age 13

Heat and light
So very bright
Burn in stars so far from here
Yet humans meet
With light and heat
The trees and so they disappear

Waves and foam
For fish a home
Dolphins too are common here
Yet humans pave
This foam and waves
With trash so fish they disappear

Wind and breeze
Great birds and bees
And other winged things fly here
Yet humans sin
So breeze and wind
Let many shot birds disappear

Dirt and clay
Wherein worms stay
Many roots are buried here
Yet humans hurt
This clay and dirt
And make rich soil disappear

Yet all of these
The birds the trees
And all the things now dying
Were made for us
And so I trust
We’ll strive to stop their flying

My Eyes Only See What Nature Sees!
by Yamiah Phillips, age 14

My eyes only see
What they want me to see
My eyes want me to be
What I only can see
Nature is what I see
What a good way to bloom
There’s no way to fix it without
Light or a path
Dark is the path
Light is the sky
Nature, nature
There’s no way to defy
A lot of people always die
But nature never knows why
It’s because nature can’t rely
On rather they should lie or tell the truth
The truth is it because they were not
Meant to lie but to comply
Or rather a bird should fly or die
I think that he or she should fly
Cause I know why, when a person
Tells  you that they can’t deny the fact that you lied, you tell them the truth and say:  you know what I never lie
It’s depressing to not be able to fly as you continue your journey there’s an image in my head that I can’t break bread
There are so many people that are dying out here
But nature never has played a part instead
Fire under my head
I can’t understand why they had to die rather there’s man to man or man to feds
Let’s bow our heads!
Dear heavenly father, we all just want to come forward to you; mother nature, we all think you're dead but only in our head
Nature, nature let’s all stay ahead

by Stella DaQuisto, age 16

I am anchored here: four walls and a kitchen
from which a holy spring flows, imbued
with chlorine, fluoride, and trihalomethanes,
words which sound like spells without
the rhythmic bounce found in nature.
That sort is extinct in the wild, overhunted
by the people who brought you industrialization
and other popular products, like AR-15s,
which have become the new birds, their
ringing dirge replacing the songs of sparrows.

I want to fly away on the wings of something
other than a gun: public transportation
is dead these days, so I have no choice
but to make my own wings, melting wax
into something resembling feathers, so

I can soar into an updraft, let it take me
to the places I can find only in my mind,
where the trees look up at me with souled eyes,
where the sky ripples like a flag as the wind tugs it,
where I can run my hands through leaves as I
pass over, feeling their collective individual energy,
feeling my reality wane as my imagination waxes,
like the moon, whose pull on the ocean is
as strong as its pull on myself, as strong
as the pull which this earth has on it,
all of us hurtling through space,
chasing the marathon of light the sun throws at us.
They say three hail marys but we’ll never catch it.

It won’t matter; I can feel its warmth from here.
I can feel it in everything, as if all is light
and infinite reflection: a universe of mirrors

Nature's Testimony
by Thaddeus Gotcher, age 17

I am a tree. My branches spread
Out from my trunk to left and right.
On them the smoke-hued squirrels tread.
From them the feathered birds take flight.
Upon my bark that faces North
As green as grass there grows the moss.
In Spring the leaves from me spring forth
Which in the Fall from me I toss.

I am a bird. I nest in trees
And there to all the world I sing.
I soar aloft on balmy breeze,
And to my young, fresh worms I fling.
In Winter, when the days turn cold,
Unto the Southern lands I fly.
Then I return when I grow old
To find my nest and there to die.

I am the earth. I change not fast.
All things that live call me their home.
But they will fade and I will last.
I’ll stay when they no longer roam.
My mountains reach prodigious heights,
My valleys far, far downward go.
On high the eagles dwell and kites,
With wrens and sparrows down below.

I am the sky. I spread above
Those things that on the earth do dwell.
Beyond all earthly hate and love,
My tempests bite and breezes swell.
The birds fly freely through my air,
And men and beasts from me draw breath,
So let them think before they dare
To fill me with their fumes of death.

by Mara Staples, age 17

If only you could see
The flowers that bloom within me
Open up my shell of terra-cotta
And see the marigolds and roses
That bloom from my lungs and my heart

The basil that bursts forth from my eye
Forget-me-nots in my throat
And long deceased daisies
Purple iris, peonies
And anemones
That bloom from my brain

See, from the cracks in my clay
From my knuckles, elbows, knees; splay
In bouquets around my hips and below

If only you could see
The flowers that bloom within me
All you can see
Is a shell of hard terra-cotta