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Young poets, winning words

January 10, 2006



What a joy it is to announce the winners of our 10th annual Young Poets Contest. We received more than 1,000 entries from students in the United States and from many countries around the world. We were impressed with the high quality. Congratulations to all who entered!

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Elizabeth Lund, a poet who served as judge, had a difficult time choosing the winners, but finally settled on the eight printed on these pages as the most creative and original. We will send copies of today's newspaper to the winners, along with a special certificate and an "I'm a poet" button. Those of you who sent us a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the poetry button will receive it next month.

Thanks again, everyone! Look for the announcement of the next Young Poets Contest in the fall.

Waterslides

I plop in
And get the signal.
Go.
I push off,
Like a squirrel from a tree.
It begins.
I sway, back and forth,
Dipping,
Turning.
Under one moment,
I gasp the next.
Suddenly jet-black
I plunge,
Unknowingly.
Then materializing,
I am blinded.
I hit a wall,
Under once more.
I slow,
Swirling.
I surface.
It's finished.
Excited, I rush back,
For just one more ride.

Luke Barthelmess
St. Louis
8th grade

Laura the Jump-Roping Queen

L is for Laura, lollipops, and laughter
A is for Anna, the sister I came after
1 Hip 2 skip 3 hop-scotching.
U is for Underdog, my super swing hero
R is for rings and things sitting on my bureau
4 slide 5 ride 6 sledding with Santa
A is for ABCs, 123s, and Do-Re-Me's

Laura Mack
Waitsfield, Vt.
12th grade

Melanie

A friend to me
My book reader
Likes candy
Gives hugs
And kisses
The best teacher in the whole wide world
We are allowed to call her Mrs. Maiola

Jack Whalen
Marshfield, Vt.
1st grade

A Phoenix

A year is a phoenix,
Fiery bright,
Energies spark,
Dreams take flight.

From cold ash,
A tiny bird,
In spring's warmth
Its song is heard.

Blossoms on trees,
A fledgling grows,
Flowers to leaves,
Fire flows.

Summer's heat,
Dancing flames,
Freedom and spirit,
Never tames.

Summer nights,
An orange moon glows,
Fall's touch comes,
A cool wind blows.

Brilliant days,
Auburn nights,
Trees ablaze,
Scale new heights.

Winter comes,
Cold strikes,
Pile of ash,
In aurora nights.

But up from the ash,
In a spark of flame,
Rises a phoenix,
Bright again.

Sasha Zawadsky-Weis
West Lafayette, Ind.
8th grade

A Bright Sky

Today, I'm a sea
spreading along Waikiki Beach,

tomorrow, a bright sky
inspiring children to play
outside Geiger Park.

Once I dreamt of smooth clouds
swirling through the damp air
over Nuuanu Valley.

Today, I'm a garden
of beautiful music inspiring children,

tomorrow, a gentle ocean of watercolors
sprinkling over Kailua.

Yesterday, a vast sea of diamonds
blending on the shores of Waimanalo.

Tomorrow, I'll be an io
flowing in the hazy air.

Kamri Oguma
Honolulu
6th grade

Monarch in Haiku

Monarch butterfly
You flutter over evening
as the wind wanders.

Monarch butterfly
You promise to be gentle
as silence rises.

Monarch butterfly
Your small wings fly to music
That glimmers kindly.

Monarch butterfly
I remember the mountains
Where sky light sings hymns.

Monarch butterfly
Tell me thoughts of clouds and rain
As I pray for you.

Malia Brooks
Honolulu
2nd grade

Ode to Sharpie

O Sharpie,
your ink sinks
permanently into the paper,
leaving an unattractive mark
that will never disappear.

Your aroma of ink
wafts around the room,
and for a few seconds,
it reminds the class
of your oily smell.

O Sharpie,
your rounded tip constantly
scritch-scratches,
scritch-scratches.

O Sharpie
your tip never lingers,
for fear of leaving
a vast, growing dot
that bleeds forth.

O Sharpie,
you out-mark and out-darken
all other markers.
because you,
only you,
are permanent.

Holt Perkins
Bath, Maine4th grade

Snow

The snow
is powdered sugar
soft, light, sweet.

Falling from
whipped cream clouds,
onto the soft
ground below.

Gillian Reny
Boston
5th grade

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