Student Poets


Student Poets

          Below are the winning student poems of the Poetry Without Paper competition conducted by the Gloucester Lyceum since the spring of 2003. The contest began as a celebration of poetry month, April, and has been an annual event ever since; over a thousand students have entered thousands of poems. Winners were recognized in three categories: elementary school, middle school, and high school.  The poems are headed with the winner’s name, school, and grade level at the time of the contest.


2003 Poetry Contest Winners   Cathy Cusumano First Place Winner, Elementary School St. Ann School, 5th Grade   Him or Her? Him or her? Whom should I choose? He is so fun and she is so nice. He takes me places where I like to go. She lets me come over and listen to the radio. When he is there I feel so good. When I’m with her hanging at the mall I feel right. So my question is, him or her?   Kate Bresnahan First Place Winner, Middle School Ralph B. O’Maley School, 8th Grade   Nothing Meet me, my name is nothing. I can predict, I can foresee. But no one ever listens. Even in a time of great peril:   I am alone.   A loneliness I can’t describe. Even those I am closest to Do not see me. They cannot hear me. Touch me, hate me, love me. That is why I am alone. Because they refuse to know me.   Nothing is a name I gave myself. My true name has no meaning. Because no one knows it. They never tried to know it.   I try to reach out But I must always pull back. I am not allowed to love them.   It is fate. Fate wants me to be alone. Unable to see, Unable to be seen.   I can hear, but cannot be heard. That is why I call myself nothing. My tears mean nothing My cries mean nothing My love means nothing: I mean nothing.   Andrew Bergeron First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 12th Grade   Flat Beer on a Sunday Night Flat beer on a Sunday night inspiring scribbled ramblings out of half-drunken spite.   The incense burns, the radio sings and on this notepad I confide. Out of language I wring   the hopes and fears modified into happy rhythms I despise and tired rhymes that have been tried.   Using things like clouds and red to symbolize, the strain and stress and frustration, writing soliloquy while my heart drip-dries,   frying my brain till its overdone, knowing my point, still unsung, will go over the heads of everyone.   2004 Poetry Contest Winners

Heather Boudrow

First Place Winner, Elementary School Beeman Memorial School, 3rd Grade   My Cats I have two cats I am glad to say that one is a little bit smarter. One bats the fish tank and the other one slides into walls. Milo is the one who slides into walls and Lily is the one who bats the fish tank. Milo has no brakes and Lily can’t wait for a snack from the tank. The silliest thing the two have done together is falling down the stairs. So which one is really a little bit smarter? I am not really sure!   Emma Chandler First Place Winner, Middle School Glen Urquhart, 8th Grade   Beach Day The summer sun bronzes my light skin as I lie in the sand. I concentrate on the sounds of the waves rolling over the sand, and then hear them gurgle and retreat back to the mothership, the whole ocean. It spreads out, never ending. I am covered in a blanket of sunshine and warmth. The ocean beckons, the small waves tease me, tickling my toes. I give in and wade in, letting the cold spread up my body, until it reaches the top, My head is under. The sound is gone. I can think clearly now, with just the bubbles whispering to me. I surface and breathe. The sun greets me as I lean my head back, it reflects off my home, making it shine as if someone has dusted it with diamonds I let myself sink back under and move with the current. I feel complete for a moment, while I am under. Not grounded by gravity, yet not flying out of control. I am suspended in a liquid of tranquility Not breathing, not suffocating, just floating in bliss.   Kate Bresnahan First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 9th   Out of the Window Out of the window The land so quiet The night bringing on its lust The noise of the wind beckons me And I can see the moon clouded over, hardly visible No light, no sound Only the wind and the faint glow of the moon The trees sway in tune with a silent song My hair flies out around me It’s as though I’m flying In this world that I have never seen before No more tears can flow from my eyes I can’t make that happen anymore Now that I have seen outside of my window And into this place I have never known The tears only come because of the sheer beauty I can’t hold it back It’s enchanting And with a last breath I come back from my window It smells different in the world I know It is enchanting, but not in the way I have just experienced It is beautiful But not breathtaking I now know what’s beyond my window How can I love that which I know now? Now that the world beyond has come to life I cannot appreciate the beauty I have created any longer So I look out my window again For that one breath Of sensational wind   2005 Poetry Contest Winners   Alexandra McKay First Place Winner, Elementary School Beeman Memorial School, 3rd Grade   Friends Everybody has friends. Even the stars have friends. They glitter with the moon in the morning light.   Everybody has friends. Even the sun has friends. The sun is bright and the clouds are white.   Everybody has friends. Even the planets late at night. When the astronauts come in from flight.   Everybody has friends.   Samantha Turner First Place Winner, Middle School St. Ann School, 7th Grade   Dreams and Nightmares Open and sweet with bright colors Anything can happen Flying over the highest cloud Dive into the deepest ocean Climb the tallest mountain Ride the fastest horse Chase the wind in a game of tag Peace is all around you.   Darkness overwhelms the light Pain consumes your happiness For just a moment everything is still   Then chaos erupts all over Shadows chase you to the brink of a cliff Volcanoes explode with giant rocks Floods and strong winds wash and scour the earth.   Fires burn with powerful heat Then courage comes and you fight back You wield powers of untold forces Passion to free yourself from evil fights   Light comes back You have won Warmth comes to touch your sleeping face You wake up from the night’s adventure To go on to the new day’s quest     Kaitlin Nicolosi First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 12th Grade     World Wonders


World wonders are small beauties, often lost in the blink of an eye. They are shadowed by the extravagant, the flash of riches that we see, It’s sad to know we often let the best things in life pass us by. Like a string of laughter which makes us double over and cry, Or even the soft curve of a smile one can so brilliantly foresee, World wonders are small beauties, often lost in the blink of an eye. A kiss so sweet and gentle that the lungs exert a sigh, Watching nighttime as the waves wash out slowly past the sea, It’s sad to know we often let the best things in life pass us by. Late afternoon swimming and early evening cookouts in July, The delicacy of autumn with burnt citrus leaves in each tree, World wonders are small beauties, often lost in the blink of an eye. A friendship formed where a shell was cracked in someone that was shy, Or genuine surprises that bring a glow to the cheek and a tremble to the knee. It’s sad to know we often let the best things in life pass us by. A face adorned with makeup is the beauty that you buy, But life is far more glamorous than a cosmetic will ever be. World wonders are small beauties, often lost in the blink of an eye. It’s sad to know we often let the best things in life pass us by.      2006 Poetry Contest Winners   Billy O’Donnell First Place Winner, Elementary School Brookwood School, 5th Grade   Aviation I left you far behind today, With your gravity-bound ways. I am now on top of the world, As light as a feather. I no longer have any earthly limits, Just the constraints of my remaining minutes. I feel happy, excited, and adventurous. I feel as though I am floating. Looking down on you, I am not gloating. I am in control of everything, Except for nature’s anger!    

Britany Diamondt

First Place Winner, Middle School Ralph B. O’Maley Middle School, 7th Grade     Ecstasy at the Beach Sitting Still sounds all around laughter fills the air splish, splash, the ocean pounds the rocks along with the squawk and mock of a gull soft, silky sand slipping down my leg along with the tickle of a crab faint taste of ocean on my lips can taste the salt in the slush with every sip sun shining from every angle my hair tangled wish the moment would freeze like the ocean waves can Breathing in, clean, crisp, coconut lotion sweet smell of burned skin refreshing and invigorating not a care in the world the sun is beginning to set sky looks on fire fire spreading now reaching the ocean within minutes the world seems to be caught up in flames fireworks of red, orange and pink everyday at the beach is a different story this one just happens to be my favorite     Erin McManus   First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 11th Grade      Blood Has No Doctrine blood has no doctrine when it spills   from the gun’s barrel our sweet stifled indignation is identical our wildest dreams are symmetrical beaten pulpy silence   blood not of mosques or temples or churches   Blood of the people Blood of our written Byronic heroes flows and flows   Blood,   red hand of mortality Oh blessed life! The soliloquy begins and terminates   us all the same     2007 Poetry Contest Winners      Phoebe Weissblum First Place Winner, Elementary School Harborlight Montessori School, 5th Grade   The Midnight Clock Tick, tock the midnight clock will life turn out soft, or hard as a rock? Tick, tock the midnight clock will the door to my dreams be open, or will it have a lock? Tick, tock the midnight clock can I pass through my troubles silently, or will I have to talk? Tick, tock the midnight clock it never ends, it never stops.     Kazira Slocum First Place Winner, Middle School St. Ann School, 8th Grade   I Dream with a Reason to Wake Up With a shy voice, sweet words are spoken. With calm eyes watching there is no stutter in the pattern. Breathing gently, with soothing gasps. Lying with compassion. Sleeping now with the sound of night. I hear inside my cry. The three words I have never heard before. Were spoken with truth. Within lying tears, I lie awake. Not wanting to leave my dream. I wake to a reality with your voice inside my mind. It rings in my ears; the three words I have never heard before. I love you.     Alexandra Lees First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 10th Grade   A Girl of the Sea The sky is a deep ebony the sea slaps the sand gently the wind is cold and biting the stars sparkle and dance the moon is pregnant with light   A girl lies on the beach her clothes, hair, skin are brushed by the wind she is shivering, but she doesn’t notice   She is part of everything, her skin is moonlight her hair is burnt dune grass her curves are the moon’s curves her eyes are the stars her breath is the waves   Her soul is the sea, swirling, gliding, caressing the earth, the creatures embracing the world in a blanket of peace     2008 Poetry Contest Winners   Lydia Anderson First Place Winner, Elementary School Beeman Memorial School, 4th Grade   Africa In Africa miracles come alive like spirits on a bike there are some animals I personally like from monkeys swaying in the trees to elephants stomping in the breeze there are even more even some as delicate as a glass such as chomping cheetahs in the grass and gentle giraffes looking around with a face of brass but my favorite is the warthog or pig as many people would say they always run but they just have a different way of expressing themselves in their land and I hope they will never ever die as planned.     Aidan Breen First Place Winner, Middle School Glen Urquhart School, 6th Grade   Where Are You? I try to feel your ghostly presence thinking of you. Are you there? I went to visit you at the hospital. I saw all the wires, IV tubes hooked up and blood rushing into your skin. She went over to see you that day. You smiled real tiny and started to cough. I remember the whole thing like it was yesterday. You started to cough real hard and Grammy got scared. She started yelling your name, “Jimmy, JIMMY!” You made it through that time so why not this time? I really didn’t understand what was happening then. When Mom told me to go away I knew something was wrong. I never thought this would happen to you. But I guess it did. So now you are really gone. I was at your memorial. Four hundred people were there. Everyone knew you, I suppose. It was all-quiet. Hushed. You taught me many things. Some as simple as throwing a baseball. I’d sometimes be afraid. I’ve always been shy. But there is one last thing I need to ask you, “Where are you?” All I know is that you are gone.     Alexandra Lees First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 11th Grade   Dreams on the Wind Spring day, sun shining, I walk alone, feet hitting the sidewalk, one after the other, I hear them as they scuff the pavement, The wind sweeps past me, sends my hair flying like a flag, It whispers, “I know who you are and who you want to be, I see past your imperfections, I see your soul,” “I hear your heart beating,” roars the ocean, “I feel the passion stirring within you, it pounds through you like the waves crashing on my shore.” The trees reach out their fingers to the light, reaching, reaching, always reaching ­out. “We have had death,” they rustle, “But we have also had life, Without hope, we have nothing.” The wind whispers, “Keep dreaming, Keep hoping, keep being.” My eye sees gold dreams and sweet winds     2009 Poetry Contest Winners   Jordan Gentile First Place Winner, Elementary School Veteran’s Memorial, 4th Grade   Earth Day The tree is tall, But its home is still cut down for a mall. The bird can fly higher than oil But its escape is foiled Because oil makes it unable to fly. Bug spray keeps the bugs away But makes frogs die A whale can flip a boat with its tail But if a boat hits it, its will to live fails. The worst thing for animals is pollution Which makes me come to this conclusion. Always help on Earth Day To help the Earth is the best way!     Meghaen Favazza First Place Winner, Middle School St. Ann School, 7th Grade   Love What is love? A mother’s care for her baby, A couple holding hands. From which comes life, Comes the ability to love. It’s not a must, Nor a need. Love is a privilege, an opportunity. What is love? It is intense and eternal, A difficult reality. How can you love? Listen to a person needy of a friend, Talk to a person needy of advice. What is a world without love? Nothing but a lonely shelter, A place of endless torture. What is love? Peace during a war, Forgiving a conflicted friend. That is love. Love is the strength, The intensity and courage of a relationship. And compared to love, Everything else is second best.   Lucina Fox First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 12th Grade   5 Ways How He’s Not Like the Water and 10 More How He Is got more than three forms: I’ve felt his ice, his rushing rivers, seen him evaporate, and then some. water’s not flammable but he lights me up burns right alongside me. so damn sweet my teeth ache. and pure? that boy’s a sinner: though I can’t say I don’t crave it. space between? a damn barrier. he couldn’t find a way from point a to point b. couldn’t move the dust and dirt to make a grand canyon yet I still managed to fall in or did I jump? oh, but his lips are cool like the river and his caress is omniscient like the lake he babbles like the brook but whispers like the waves. reminds me of summer, a force, to be reckoned with: could hold me under, could lift me up. thirst quencher (heart wrencher) the stuff of tears he filled my ears he slipped between my fingers.

2010 Poetry Contest Winners

Jemma Johnson-Shoucair First Place Winner, Elementary School East Gloucester, 5th Grade Hope Leaping, jumping, falling Soaring when the stars come And still flying when the stars fall Diminished by the rain’s tear And grasped again by the rich earth It is as true as truth itself And more eternal than all eternity Hope is hope itself     Alessandra Moceri First Place Winner, Middle School St. Ann School, 8th Grade   Gone With the Wind Sitting in what we believe is here Watching intently as motionless sounds roam about As the trees stand claimed and waters sing a silent song What is the place of where I cannot see? Only by the force of what is taken unexpectedly How we live and how we’re gone When I look I see it And then, I think if what I had just seen was a reality Not sure of what has been witnessed Making no promises It’s there and then disappears Right before I get the chance to collect what I had just seen Teasing figures and motions taunt me Fearless of what is to happen Waiting contently Hoping for the best Waiting for the worst to come One step at a time Coming closer and closer Seeing the unseen The best is to come But it’s gone with the wind.     Katina Tibbetts First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 12th Grade   The True Story Everyone feels bad for her But she’s no angel The true story is She stole my prince charming She is my step sister But I am not evil She is not so nice Underneath that innocent exterior That magical pumpkin   And mice the morph into horses Those are all lies And that beautiful gown she wore Well, that dress was mine. Along with my gown, She took my glass slippers too. She ran away to the ball Before I even knew. And after she wooed him I tried to explain She was nothing but a liar And a downright thief too, He wanted to believe me, So he said, “Try on the shoe.” I returned home To retrieve that slipper And as I walked in I heard that evil little snicker I didn’t realize how far She would go And then she went and closed The door on my toe. I couldn’t believe it My foot was too big My prince charming gave me A sad look and said, “Sorry, you’re not my perfect fit.” So this is my story You don’t have to believe me You can think, “Cinderella?! She wouldn’t hurt a thing!” But she did, she stole my prince charming.     2011 Poetry Contest Winners      Rumi Thomas First Place Winner, Elementary School Cape Ann Waldorf School, 2nd Grade   The Misty Seas Far away on the misty seas, where the whales come and go, where the sharks hunt their prey, where the seal pups play amongst the cresting waves, where the foghorns blow their low-pitched tunes, where the lighthouses shine their yellow light so the sailors may find their way home again far away on the misty seas.   Enzo Paganetti First Place Winner, Middle School St. Ann School, 6th Grade   Desk I am forgotten in the corner, Nobody to use me, no one to move me. I think about the life I’ve had As I wait inside the dark. I’ve seen the ages passing by, Seen the children grow and grow As I collect dust in the cellar. I’ve read the books stored inside me, Felt the work stuffed inside me As I remain in this tiny room. I remember the itching scribbles of pen; I long for it to happen again, But now I abide in this gloom. I’ve heard the lectures of the teachers; Now I remember them all. As I rest in this murkiness, The weight of books I’ll miss so much, I think of this and much more As I stand, expelled and rejected.   Jaclyn Canillas First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 11th Grade   The Eternal Gem (This poem was inspired by the Greek myth of the amaranth flowers – amaranth means “never fading” and is a symbol of immortality.) Ah, the eternal amaranth, stuck between the  tides, unable to complete the cycle of life and death.   Always in the sunlight, and never the shade, beautiful and lonely, an earthbound angel tied down to the seedlings of the ground, with no wings to carry it away.   A mere flower, elegant and warm as the sun above but reserve and silent as the stars.   Struggling to blow out the remaining flame of the candle, Afraid to lift the veil and find out what is on the others side.   A gem of the fields, A delicate beauty of the earth Just waiting to be set free.   2012 Poetry Contest Winners   Willa Lepionka Brosnihan First Place Winner, Elementary School West Parish School, 3rd Grade   Under the Waves  Under the lapping, dancing waves Is a world of water people With tails and fins and scales to swim Under the beautiful, wonderful waves. They play with dolphins, They sing with whales Under the magnificent, mighty waves. They swim with seals, They jump with fish Under the strong, lovable waves. They race with crabs, They dance with eels Under the churning, pounding waves. They take care of the shellfish, And they live with the lobsters Under the waves, The lapping dancing, beautiful, wonderful, magnificent, mighty, strong, Lovable, churning, pounding waves. But what they love the most are the waves, The perfect waves, Their home, the waves.   Aislinn McCormack  First Place Winner, Middle School St. Ann School, 8th Grade   Neither Nor They say I am too young But aren’t I much too old?   I’m too old to sleep with the lights on, Too young to go anywhere by myself, Too old to need help with my homework, Yet young enough to need help with major decisions.   I’m too young to form my own opinions, Too old to afford not to.   Too old to be so naïve, But too young to be so distrusting.   I’m old enough to see the shades of gray between the black and white, But I’m little so I can’t do anything about it. Furthermore, I’m big enough to hear about all the world’s suffering, Too small to make a difference.   I’m too young to take all these insults to heart, Too experienced to just deal with it, Far too old for such outbursts, Too young to keep them from slipping out.   Young enough to try my best, Old enough to know it wasn’t good enough.   Too young to be so knowing, Too old to be so ignorant.   I am not an adult Nor am I a child. I don’t fit in, Nor quite stick out.   I am me.   Whether it’s rain or shine, thick or thin I wouldn’t want it any other way.   Sarah Zuidema First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 12th Grade   Little Reminders Territories are marked with rainbow umbrellas, While wind blows hot sand against damp skin, Stinging on contact. Burns can be felt creeping onto cheekbones, And tanned hides are pulled taut with the salt and sun. The world’s giant mirror pounds the shore with its shards, Cracked piece of broken dreams left scattered along the beach. Chairs are left, tattered and worn, An assembly of soldiers Standing for peace, Beaten with rounded pebbles and stones. Sea glass shimmers in the sunshine, Colorful memories and souls, Hovering just out of reach. Friendly lspirits smile in the sea spray And dance between sunbeams. Laughter from summers past Rides the shite crests to shore, Crashing in giddy mounds on sandcastles by the waves. The seagulls mock, Their shrieks vibrating the air, Whipping breezes across the lonely crowd of people. Each thought waddle its way down the slit Where the hot sand meets the cold, The dry meets the wet, And the heavy summer air wrestles with the salty gusts.   2013 Poetry Contest Winners     Willa Brosnihan First Place Winner, Elementary School West Parish School, 4th Grade   The Waiting Drawer In a drawer, the waiting drawer, sits a tiny porcelain doll with a chip on her chin and grandmother’s missing diamond pin. A baby doll wishing to go to bed, a note that I have not yet read. An earring that is missing its match, a pair of jeans that needs a patch. A page torn out of a book, a poster of a wanted crook. A mirror that has cracked in two, a picture of someone, maybe it’s you! Waiting to be fixed, or used, kplayed with or just found. Waiting in the waiting drawer.   Mark Turner First Place Winner, Middle School Eastern Point Day School, 8th Grade   The Girl in the Window Her window is the perfect spot to sit. She sits there with her legs crossed leaning up against the concrete wall. Her wardrobe is a light blue collared shirt, thick brown belt, and a navy blue skirt that hangs four inches above her knees. Her long, luxurious, luscious, thick brown hair falls halfway down her back; not one strand hangs out of place. She’s tall with long olive legs and the perfect crisp face.   After six months looking at her I’ve found my courage to talk. I come around the corner, my legs wobbling. She is studying her biology text book. When I’m within five feet of her, She looks up and a subtle grin forms on her face.   Jordan Westling First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 11th Grade   175 Pounds I tugged hard on his hand once, twice, a third, And finally he complied. The low tide burnt my nose as we walked closer.   As I tugged and pulled His face remained passive. His hands were weathered from the years Leaving the end result similar to leather. His rough juxtaposed my soft Making it easy for my contours to catch his.   He outweighed me by at least 100 pounds But he allowed himself to be pulled.   The spot was nice, maybe not ideal, But neither was he.   He pulled out the rods silently, And I happily picked mine from his hands.   Despite my need to break the silence I kept quiet. Those were his silent wishes. I looked up at his worn face and saw the look of peace That had evaded his eyes for so long. A tug at the line interrupted my thoughts, moving my attention to the water. When I looked back up, it was different.   He was no longer sitting up with his rod. He no longer had slim weather hands. He no longer had a look of peace.   I looked up and we were back. Back to the uncomfortable white room, Back to him lying down, Back to his swollen dry hands.   Back to his worn face being obscured by tubes.


The poetry contest was not held in 2014.


2015 Poetry Contest Winners

George King

First Place (shared), Elementary School

East Gloucester Elementary School, 5th Grade   Blank Slate A blank page An erased whiteboard Inspiring, beckoning for thoughts A new Idea Forever captured In writing An Idea While you will not live Your Ideas live on A new idea for everyone to use and honor An Idea can make a dream Or destroy one Like knowledge Ideas have power Ideas make life An Idea has a purpose Your Ideas are your monuments Treasure them New thoughts, fresh starts Mean something A second chance To produce an Idea Old Ideas don’t always last They are burnt, thrown out Which can be good, it gives space For new ideas from the next generation But sometimes old Ideas are priceless With Ideas Everyone has a chance An Idea is special It can take a month or years Old Ideas evolve into new, better Ideas And you don’t have to leave Ideas to scientists You can have your own at home A new Idea may be good or bad But if you try, your Idea can be Whatever… An Idea doesn’t have to be known to be respected An idea does not have to be complete Other people can open it up Discover more Your Idea, when told to others Is not yours anymore An Idea is like an electrical charge Or a time bomb, ready to explode When your Idea explodes You have changed the world. Your Ideas, my Ideas work in harmony My Idea can take your idea further Ideas can be anything, change anything Built on Ideas the world becomes better Your Idea can be one of those An Idea with purpose is the best Idea of All but an Idea with hard work behind it Has its own amazing journey A person’s idea doesn’t have to be famous To gain its own kind of fame An Idea doesn’t have to be widely used Even if only one person likes it It has a place in the world And if nobody likes it You can create another A new idea Maybe just what the world needs.   Charles King First Place Winner (shared) East Gloucester Elementary School, 5th Grade   Fireworks   Big explosions in the sky, A matchstick’s all it needs to fly, Up into its burning flight, Up to the sky in the quiet night.   The sky a cloak of midnight black, It flies along its careful track, Then explodes in colors bright, Up in the sky in the quiet night.   The ashes fall right to the ground, Falling softly without a sound, A couple of sparks still burn bright, And there’s the sky and the quiet night.   All rockets gone but you still gaze, So long that your eyes glaze, There still seems to be a sacred light, That keeps you looking at the sky and the night.   Mila Barry First Place Winner, Middle School O’Maley School, 6th Grade Living in The Valley Green For a lifetime I Throve there, in brush Living When the sky turned cream When the rain came tumbling, sliding upon the dirt I saw Those nights of silk whisper And the days sing Oh the summers Which I did spend there Dancing with the infinite open stars Flying through gentle moonshine, twirling through the everlasting sun The world was smiling the whole time If only I had looked about and saw it Oh the winters Snarling pains Forever came snow And the winds screamed, threatened by a knife Such terror never leaves All the time the willows wept And hunched And with them cried along So long Forever is so long So went the years, whisked away By breezes ever sweet And ever gentle Far too many Memories rode like leaves upon that tinkling wind Never blowing back My life Is printed in that valley so green Though the sun has long since sunk beneath waves   Emily Ryan First Place Winner, High School Gloucester High School, 11th Grade   Loving in Reverse And I expected each goodbye To be forgotten eventually. And I dreamed that the rain Would fall back into the sky, Impregnating the clouds With tears they would never have to shed. That waterfalls would defy gravity, And their foamy cascades would land, Cushioned by the stars. And the blood a-playing through air backwards, Being sucked back into the pathways Of your brilliant, ingenious mind, Filling it, reborn, with the warm breath of life.   That the bullet that perpetrated The gates of your skull Would recede through its metal chamber, Back to its cold and lethal bed. And the chemicals ignited Would snuff out into packaged, manufactured elements Waiting for their destruction.   And the waltz we did before we rested Would be what we awakened to Each and every day. Our skin would grow tighter and fuller, And our hearts would ignite to the melody of love.   And I expected each goodbye To create the yearning For a new Hello.       


2016 Poetry Contest Winners

Sean Bergin

First Place, Elementary School

East Gloucester School, Grade 5

  A Mysterious Wonder I don’t exist, But I’m always here. Brave people fear me When I am near. The poor own me, The rich have known me. If you eat me, you die. I fill what’s empty, Yet I have no mass. I am more fragile than any glass. To most I’m an opportunity, A blank slate That carries a flamboyant fate. I am a secret That cannot be broken. I am Nothing.   Mila Barry First Place. Middle School O’Maley Innovation School, Grade 7   Spoken like Words on the Wind Hush, Hush Can you hear it? Rushing, rapid, through the reeds, Singing softly as it weaves. Can you? Can you? Shhh… Let the silence Whisper as it calms the violence! Let the quiet come. Can you hear it? Can you? Can you? Please, Listen! Grassy glades give way to sunlit days, Which stretch into forever. But only if you listen. Can you hear it? Can you? Will it come? Look, Towards the moon. The darkness is like silence. It is slippery. It is naturally. It will fill you with a peculiar emptiness, Bleach you paperwhite, Then allow you to be covered In light, noise; perhaps they are one and the same. Can you hear it? Can you, now? Feel it! Water trips over sandy stones, Sitting cool on earthen bones, Lucid as thoughts. Here it is, plain as day, Riding on the song of the river! Oooooooooo Can you hear it? Can you? Breathe! Sweetness is enfolded in the spring breeze. It will lie to you with ease! Let you believe that it will free you, Pick you up and watch you fly. But then, what is the difference Between believing and reality? So can you hear it? Can you? The truth Is an odd thing Because I know that you can hear it. So tell me, Tell me please, What do you hear?   Anya Fulmer First Place, High School Rockport High School, Grade 9   Autumn A battle is raging here; Chill gusts sweep fiery patterns up To freeze the soldiers so near. Beneath the high unforgiving blue, Golds and browns are taking this; A season comes anew. This weakened majesty trembles so, Shudders and sways in the wind, Bows his mighty crown that low, Bows from summer into dark, Crashing to the forest floor below, Red swirls to rest on a fallen monarch.