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Winners of Poetry Contest, 2016

  • 1st Place:  “Make it Stop, Mother” – by Carla
  • 2nd Place:  “Dear Society” – by MaKenna
  • 3rd Place (tie):  “Kingdom” – by
  • 3rd Place (tie): “Where I’m From” – by Rachel

Congratulations to all the talented beatniks!

Winners will receive laminated posters of their poems.

We will also have  the winning poems on display by the Innovation Den.

Poem #11 – Make it Stop, Mother

It’s happening all around
Beating kids down to the ground
Effective in most ways
Where some go away
There’s nothing I can do
Just think about the views
Gosh, I’m screwed
I shouldn’t have to fear if there ever came near
The words they say are bruises that don’t fade away
They’ll judge and judge yet who are they to make me budge
3:20 bell, just then I hear kids start to yell
Feet fast on the concrete within seconds you can’t beat
Home Sweet Home
Nope didn’t think so and then I start to moan
I choke to the smoke, “ Make It stop mother.” is all I can manage
12 years of the pain
12 years of the hate
Speak up because one person is all it takes.
Why be that way when you can make someone’s day ?

Poem #17 – Dear Society

Thank you for telling me to be myself,
Then judging me when I am
Thank you for stealing my pride,
And in its place putting insecurities
And when I get an ounce back,
Thank you for calling it conceited
Thank you for telling me to stay young,
Then forcing me to grow up
Thank you for telling me to love myself,
Then hating when I do
You lied to me so many times I finally stopped believing you
Then I found something else to believe in,
Because the world was big,
But we were bigger
The bullies were strong,
But we were stronger
The challenges we faced,
The fears we confronted,
We beat them all!
It isn’t about the falling,
It’s about the getting up
So thank you, Society, for pushing us down
Because each time we were pushed down,
We didn’t break,
We stood right back up
Life doesn’t remember the times we failed,
Life remembers that one time we succeeded!
So, thank you, Society
For telling me I couldn’t do it
Because I LOVE being right
Society, you may be bigger and stronger,
But we are better
So, I’m sorry, Society,
But THIS time,
It was ME that told ME what to do.

Poem #14 – The Kingdom

Somewhere far away, unknown

Meadow, mountain, kingdom, home
Icy, fragile, all alone
Nothing comes and nothing goes

I walk through woods as if in a trance
White snow twirls in a delicate dance
Dark birds glide from branch to branch
No one ends up here by chance

Evergreens stretch into the cold
Very tall and very old
Delicate, elegant, strong, and bold
Draped with jewels of ice as precious as gold

Between trees, a winter stream trickles by
Clear water leaps from low to high
Rushes down mountain waterfalls under the sky
Trips over rocks and into the night

Somewhere far away, unknown
Meadow, mountain, kingdom, home
Gorgeous, fragile, all alone
Nothing comes, and nothing goes

Morning dawns, the sky is blue
Clouds are light, if very few
Grounds glisten white from snowfall new
Birds sing out, so sweet and true

Afternoon, the sky is white
Snow ever so gentle, floating in flight
Swirling, swaying, cold but light
The stillness, the silence, feel so right

Evening dawns, the sky is free
Dark night, bright stars as wild as dreams
A hush falls over shrouded trees
No one’s here but you and me

Somewhere far away, unknown
Meadow, mountain, kingdom, home
Icy, fragile, all alone
Nothing comes and nothing goes


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.


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.