And the winning poems are ...

Back in October, we invited "Kidspace" readers from kindergarten through high school to send in their poems for our eighth annual Young Poets contest.

We were delighted by the response!

We received nearly 1,000 poems by e-mail and regular mail from across the United States, as well as from Canada, Wales, Austria, Jamaica - even Egypt and Nigeria. Many thanks to all! Our judges had a difficult time deciding among the poems, but here we present the ones they felt were the most successful and original. We will be sending extra copies of Tuesday's paper, a Monitor calendar, and some "I'm a poet" buttons to those whose poems are included here. We'll also send free buttons to those who sent us self- addressed stamped envelopes.

Watch for our next Young Poets contest in October - and many thanks again to everyone who participated.

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are squeaky.
You need some grease.
Guinea pigs are fluffy,
Just like fleece.
Guinea pigs are hungry, hungry for some hay.
Guinea pigs nibble. Ouch! Hey!
Guinea pigs squeal! Squeal! Squeal!
Squeal!
Guinea pigs also eat apple peels.
Guinea pigs are very cute.
Guinea pigs, I LOVE YOU!

Christopher Miner
Grade 4
Indianapolis

The dance

It was dark
the strobe
lights
were on.
No one asked
me
to dance.
Did I care?
I
don't
know.

It was dark
it was magic.
Then it ended on
"Yellow Submarine."

The lights
came back
on
the magic was
gone.
And we were
just a bunch
of kids with
too much
makeup on
standing
in the
Middle School Gymnasium.

Kyla McDonald
Grade 8
Trumansburg, N.Y.

The sun

The giant goldfish of the sky,
Swimming easily, leisurely, between the clouds,
For there is always a tomorrow,
Serene, quiet,
Diving slowly, gracefully,
Into the pools of the West,
Darkness following in its wake.

Molly Barth
Grade 4
Takoma Park, Md.

Toes

Ten tiny flags saluting;
Round, stunted, like sausages;
Pink Tootsie Rolls,
Wriggling like worms,
With shiny, painted hats -
Insects on parade.

Emma Kennedy
Grade 12
Warren, Vt.

Red Converse

Bottoms
Bumpy caramel
Under the
Curled
And
Flopped
White laces
Over the
Long red tongue
All around
Firetruck red
Snug high on each side
My red Converse.

Katie Magnus
Grade 12
Waterbury, Vt.

Low tide

Tide pools set like
Mirrors into the stone.
Pebbles, smooth and round
as pearls, as raindrops, as dreams.
Mussel shells, shades of violet and indigo
The color of dusk.
Sea glass, blue and red and green
Tossed and turned in the rolling waves
Until its sharp edges are softened.
Colorful starfish cling to rocks
Shining stars in saltwater skies.
Tiny snails in moving homes
Where's the fun in a stationary house?
Tide comes in, bringing with it
The end of pools as still as mirrors.

Rebecca Hawkins
Grade 7
Hampden, Maine

Untitled

My Dad is unbelievable!
he's so generous and always gives;
His No. 1 priority,
has always been his kids.

He's such a hard worker,
his hands are always callused;
His hair is brown (with some gray),
but overall he looks OK.

Sometimes his feet really reek,
enough to bring tears to your eyes;
He may overdo the cologne,
but usually he smells just right.

He coaches baseball for my brother,
and basketball for me;
He takes us to the lake,
where he taught us how to ski.

My dad means the world to me,
in every single way;
I wrote him this poem,
to wish him a Happy Father's Day!

Alisha Lingle
Grade 5
Kalispell, Mont.

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