And the winners are...

In October, we invited Kidspace readers from kindergarten through high school to submit their best poems for our ninth annual Young Poets Contest. We received almost 1,000 poems from across the United States and the world. Topics ranged from drinking a Slurpee to being grounded, and even math! We were impressed with your work. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Judging was difficult, but we finally settled on the poems printed here. We felt they stood out for their high quality, originality, and (in some cases) their sense of humor. We'll send extra copies of this issue, special certificates, and "I'm a poet" buttons to these authors soon.

For those of you who sent us a self-addressed stamped envelope, look for your "I'm a poet" button in the mail next month. You can still receive one of the buttons if you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (with 49 cents postage) to: Home Forum Young Poets Contest, The Christian Science Monitor, Mailstop P02-20, One Norway St., Boston, Mass., 02115.

Thanks again, everyone! Watch for next year's poetry contest in the fall.

The cat conducts a symphony

My neighbor's cat
walks along my stone fence in the morning.

He enjoys the wall,
and sits with his back to me,
the tomato garden,
the one he ruined last summer.

And I delight in his presence there,
he wakes me with his routine dance,
a ballet,
and like the north wind
he marches to his own beat,
a symphony
of his own creation.

It's a fair trade.
I let him
bask on my sun-laced wall,
and he dances for me,
an opera
of crescendos
every morning.
I'll have to learn his name.

Margaret Sarsfield
Bellmore, N.Y.
8th grade


Airports are busy places,
filled with many different faces

planes soaring
jet engines roaring
people snoring.

People sitting on hard chairs
almost look like ruffled bears

coffee shops
security cops

Snow is flying, wind is blowing
planes are sitting, no one going.

Phoebe Marcinek
Bend, Ore.
9th grade

A frog's song

I am a jumpy frog.
I live in a bog.
I love to catch flies
with my tongue.
I sing my song
with my vocal bag.
It goes like this:

Fly, fly, sis-boom

Michael Thorburn
Marquette, Mich.
2nd grade

Recalling every meal

I scoured the bed of the skillet,
tearing away at the scorched stains
from a thousand singed nights.
My arm worked doggedly,
fingers raw,
knuckles stubborn white.
I batted at naive suds
frolicking in my frenzy,
and in the name of cracked dishes
and spills in the aisle
my elbow thrust against the steel until,
at last,
in the spatter of light gasping overhead,
I could see the glint of my lip in the pan.

Kirsten Crowley
Stamford, Conn.
11th grade

The northern lights

(after a painting by Tom Thomson)

The northern lights with that radiant blue reaching
like a hand to the moon

glowing in the night sky. The world
with its dazzling, magnificent light

stunning as the stars.

These lights pulse in the night
ever changing,
ever shifting.

They are never one place too long.
When dawn comes they disappear

like ice melting - the northern lights.

Christopher Thorburn
Marquette, Mich.
6th grade

On a Sunday afternoon

On a Sunday afternoon
an old pine tree whispered
and the orchids laughed.
They looked toward the lilies
who passed it along,
and signed it to the mockingbird
during his song. He twittered
to the heron, who shivered in fright,
then heron called to owl before
her midnight flight.

Mary Mucci
Naples, Fla.
4th grade

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