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Vote NOW: 9th Annual Poetry Contest, 2016

TO VOTE (April 21st – April 28th):

1) Click on the title of your favorite poem;

2) In the “Comments” box, explain why you think that this poem should win – be specific!

3) Please vote only once.

The three winning poets will receive their very own laminated posters of their original poems.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 2nd.


Poem #1 – The Stars

I see my thoughts in the skies.

A beautiful sight.

Like water in moonlight.

Under a starry sky.

The memories of my past lie.

They lie in the stars.

North of Jupiter.

South of Mars.

They remind me of when I was young.

When I laughed and played, what fun!

When I was innocent and didn’t have to run.

Momma said follow your heart.

So I did what she said, that was the start.

My dream was my own.

It made me think about life.

And lead me to stray from home.

Writing from the heart wasn’t enough.

My stories needed a change.

Inspiration that came from some place strange.

My dreams became distant as I moved.

But I knew they could come true, if only more people approved.

Cause Mama told me to follow my heart.

So that’s what I would do.

And nothing could tear me apart.


I finally found inspiration in the sky.

Looked up at the sky so bright and wished upon a star.

I wished that success wasn’t quite so far.


Then my wishing star gave me a wink.

And I started to think.

And I saw my thoughts in the skies.

A beautiful sight.

Like water in moonlight.


Poem #2 – Why Her?

Why does he like her?
Why does he look at her like that?
Why does he hang off her every word and trail after her like a lovesick puppy?
She isn’t special like he is.
She isn’t beautiful or kind, funny or good-natured.
She is nothing like him – she’s unspectacular.
Dull, normal, she, the average Jane.
But for whatever reason, she has him wrapped around her little finger.
It is something she doesn’t deserve.

She has crooked teeth, she does.
Crooked teeth and ears that are way too big for her face.
She has eyes the color of dirt and a smile that always seems twisted and sour.
So called ‘beauty marks’ taint her skin and thick eyebrows transform her expression into something ugly.

He says her teeth are perfect, though, and that he loves the way her ears turn red when he compliments her.
He says that she has eyes the color of a chocolate and a smile that similarly lights up the room.
‘Beauty marks’ actually are beautiful, or so he claims, and her eyebrows are simply another way to show how she wears her heart on her sleeve.

But she has ratty hair.
She has big hands and small feet,
There is no trim waistline on her, no matter how badly she wants it, and no long, slender legs.
She stumbles around in a haze, no grace about her.
So why does he love her so?

He says that she has silky soft hair, that it shines in the light.
He says her hands perfectly fit into his, that her feet are adorable.
He says the size of her waist doesn’t matter, and even if it did, she’s already perfect,
And he says her legs bring her to just the right height that he can kiss her on the forehead.
Her clumsiness is adorable and her lack of grace endearing.
“But she’s so much more than that,” he says.
“There’s so much more to love.”

I’m so confused.
She doesn’t deserve him.
He deserves the world.
He deserves the universe.
He deserves perfection, or the closest thing to that.
So why does he settle for her?
Someone who’s not the world?
I’m so confused.

I hold out my hand to her.
I hold out my hand to her and touch the cool glass.
My reflection stares back at me, all flaws and imperfections.
I don’t get it.
Why her, so unspectacular that it hurts?
Why her, who is to him as a simple stone is to a diamond?
Why her?
Why me?


Poem #3 – Where I’m From

“Where I’m From”

I am from glasses on the end table,
From the strangest places,
And the scariest worlds.

I am from the birds in the sky who always fly.
I am from the tundra,
From the snow
And from the pines.

I am from the “Forget-me-not”
The ferns.

I am from the make-believe sounds of war
And the real sounds of war, from Landowski
And Toepke, and Tangasdal.

I am from the embryo of another,
And from the passings,
From the gravestones,
And the scars.

I’m from the land of war,
Tea and scones.
From the Clarinet,
The cooking
And the PTSD.

I am from the good memories,
And the medals,
And pictures hidden away.


Poem #4 – Where I’m From

I am from the country,
From morning sun,
And nice people.
I am from the suburbs.
I am from sports,
from shooting practice,
And from the strong.
I am from the morning birds,
The oak trees.
I am from the board games with family
And Mom, from Dad
And brendan and evan.
I am from the intelligent
And strong.
From good morning
And good night.
I´m from Bismarck and germany,
steak and corn on the cob.
From the Emineth´s,
The Sengers
And the Bullers.
I am from family, past, present, and future.

Poem #5 – Where I’m From

I am from shoes used in running,

from Nike and Fila,

and Asics and Adidas.

I am from the small concrete driveway.

I am from kicking the ball from brother to brother,

from moving from grade to grade,

and from the fresh smell of rolls out of the oven.

I am from the slight, cold breeze,

the waving grasses.

I am from the family celebrations,

and greenish-brown eyes, from brothers and sister,

and Pitcher’s and Richard’s.

I am from the proneness to play sports,

and the impulse of fun.

From, “think first,”

and, “be smart.”

I’m from Provo, Utah and Norway,

from the salad and mashed potatos.

From the days I was at home,

the days in elementary,

and now the days I wander the hallways of Horizon Middle School.

I am from the warmness of my home,

the fun of my school.

From the times I’d walk around the neighborhood

and the days I’d run in track.

I am from the pictures lining the walls,

from my family and my friends,
From memories unchanging and the ones that are still being formed.


Poem #6 – Society


Go somewhere else

Hide in a corner

Or maybe under the bed.

But watch out,

Society is coming.

It won’t leave you alone

It will tell you you aren’t worth it.

It will come straight to your face,

and tell you you aren’t beautiful.

And soon enough you’ll start to believe it.

But why?

Why do we believe it?

Why do we let ourselves conform to society’s eyes?

Why don’t we just stand up and say,

‘Go away

I don’t believe you

I am beautiful

I am worth it’

Why can’t we just be ourselves?

Most people will answer,

Society won’t let us.

but what exactly is society?

We could go look up the dictionary definition but that’s a completely different thing, than what Society is right now Society is you.


The girl in your English class,

The guy you like in History,

Your ex in math,

Society is the world around us,

the people around us.

Now everybody is protected by the First Amendment, But what is society protected by?


Society can change,

It can become better,

But in order for that to happen,

People must change.

oh no.


A scary word.

but is it really that scary?

Scary or not,

Change would end the terrible,




Society we have established.

And then who knows.

Maybe that girl in English will smile,

That guy you like and history will talk to you, That ex will find someone who makes themselves happy.

The scars on your arms,


Even stomach,

Will fade away.

Your hair will grow back

Your legs will be fine.

You can eat again.

You’ll be happy.

Everything will be OK.

As soon Society can change.


Poem #7 – Sadness

Smells like the cologne of the man who broke your heart.

Tastes like the tears that fell down your face that same night.

Sounds like the muffled sobs into your pillow when you realized you weren’t good enough.

Feels like 1000 knives being thrown into your back.

Feels like the cold metal of the blade in your hand and the soft touch of the Kleenex in the other.

Feels like the sharp pain of shame when you realized you weren’t strong enough anymore.



Poem #8 – Depression

She sat on the floor,

Tears rolling down her face.

She swore and swore,

She just wanted space.


Her dad was square,

Her mom was scared.

The world just wasn’t fair,

She just stared and stared.


She put up her hair,

Opened a drawer.

Her arm was bear,

This is the last time she swears.


Poem #9 – Where I’m From

I am from old, faded photos,

from late night Domino’s pizza,
and home grown Cass Clay.

I am from the home-cooked meals and dinner prayers.
I am from many football games and multiple baseball pitches,
from inside jokes and painful tears,
and from the smell of essential oils and warm quilts.

I’m from the stubborn brothers,
And the scars from the hot summer sidewalk.

I am from the mouth watering smoked ham at Christmas time,
from the Schramms and Herrs and repeated stories,
the silly made up games in crowded rooms.

I am from Germans and Norwegians
stuffed with lefse, knoephla and kuchen.
I am from the good morning beautiful
And Jammie time jingles.

From the Arizona deserts,
to the Washington cascades.
And the rainy, windy days bringing wispy curls,
Bouncing through movie interpretations.

From the princess dresses,
to the dirty barnyard.
And the plays directed and acted,
by the strong-willed perfectionist.

I am from the strong oak tree,
and the Father that holds us together.