1st Place Long
My poems used to be tragic.
My words were full of depression.
I used to breathe in darkness and spit its bones onto my paper in a somewhat beautiful structure of rhyme.
I associated tragedy with beauty,
An odd pairing that tends to walk hand in hand
down the street of the rubble that fills the hearts of writers everywhere.
That was before Someone.
Someone taught me that although darkness is powerful,
Light will always overtake it so long as I uncover it.
Someone taught me that tragedy and beauty are popular
But beauty and spontaneity are mesmerizing,
Someone taught me that I no longer have to trip over the dusty boxes of depression
Which sit in the middle of my streets of rubble
For I don't need to take that path.
Someone taught me that I can walk off the path,
Someone taught me that I don't need to follow the structure that many have set before me.
Someone taught me that people are interested in tragedy but that people value happiness.
Someone taught me about hope and laughter and love.
Now, my hope trumps my fear
My laughter overtakes my tears
And love is the light that that fills the darkness.
Someone loves me.
Someone is my light, my laughter, my love.
Someone said that I am his world but
I know that Someone and I share the world
And together we make it spin.
Now, I write of light.
I have no structure but am immersed in the joy of spontaneity.
Now I no longer write underneath the ground but rather I write amongst the stars,
Twinkling and scattered with a random pattern that is more beautiful and brighter than anything I've seen.
Now I write of happiness.
"In Bed with Literature"
2nd Place Long
I finally resolved to read no more
My brain could not handle
The building pressure
What will I say?
How do I tell them I can’t think
I shrug it off.
I crawl into bed
And there They are there
Chunked up between the covers
The ancient drawling stories
I’ve been avoiding
Come to bed with us
I want to but I don’t
I moan back
I pick them up
They’re so heavy
I don’t have the time
I don’t have the guts
I don’t have the feeling
You want me to
It’s hardly something I could fake,
Sleeping with literature.
3rd Place Long
They are supposed to be happy,
They are supposed to be getting ready
For prom, ACT, SAT, college, and Friday night games.
No prom, no ACT, no SAT, no college, and no Friday light games.
They are supposed to be ditching prom and go get high instead.
They are supposed to be making a play for Friday’s game.
They are supposed to be kissing their mothers and fathers’ goodnight.
They are supposed to be locking themselves in their rooms and studying.
They are supposed to see pencils and erasers on the floor
Not their friends.
They are supposed to meet their mom after soccer practice,
Not lay on the floor in a pool of their own blood.
They are supposed to be going to class and falling asleep during the lectures
Not going to therapy and being scared to close their eyes.
We are supposed to be raising awareness
This can happen anywhere.
We raise our flags midway, but do not say a word about it.
How can we get used to this?
They were young.
They were teachers who cared for them.
They had a family back home,
They were supposed to sit down at the dinner table and talk about their day.
Now their families sit down at the dinner table and stare at the empty seat.
They were terrorized in their own front door.
How many more until we say no more?
Their names are were
Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenburg, Chris Hixon,
Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alania Petty, Meadow Pollack,
Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, and Peter Wang.
"A Knock on the Door"
1st Place Short
A knock on the door
A hand on the knob
A welcome and smile
A door closed
A heel on the hardwood
A briefcase on the desk
A family photo in the wallet
A suit on the floor
A dress soon to follow
A missed call
A hospital unable to reach
A man busy with
A woman not his own
"Written on the Bus"
2nd Place Short
He held winter
In those palms
Cupping my jaw
A bubble of 80 degree
Floating in the
And we were slowly
"Take Me Home"
3rd Place Short
I see the gleam in your eyes,
As you move from person to person at this damn holiday party,
And I can’t help but feel sorry for you,
You say, “This is my date.”
And you drag me to meet people who see the differences.
You are like a rose and I am the thorn,
You are the sunlight and I am a cloudy day,
You are the life of the party and I never leave my room.
And I can see the yearning in your eyes for me to suddenly pop to life
But that’s the thing,
Your world keeps turning on and on while I’m stuck here.
You have been to China,
You have met famous authors and singers,
All I have ever done was meet doctors who simply tell me the same thing over and over again.
But I hope you don’t leave me in the cold,
Because maybe one day I will be like you,
Maybe one day you’ll be proud to take me home,
Or maybe you’ll fade away like all the others.
I see the gleam in your eyes as you introduce your new lover only a year later at your engagement party.