Poetry 99: junior high winners

Word warriors

Kaiya Struyf

Kaiya Struyf

First place


Your eyes are exposed to

the unique charm of Chapmantown.

Where there might be a house

with 100 cats or a fence made

of a branch and the sidewalk is

slanted and cracked.

And the roofs

look shattered like broken glass

and there might be some people

that give you a gasp.

And there might be some

chickens along the way but

that’s just Chapmantown’s way.

The houses are colored

according to the day and

as you walk through Chapmantown

you feel something

the adventures you missed out on

and the ones that are new

but that’s just Chapmantown.

-Kaiya Struyf

Sherwood Montessori sixth-grader Kaiya Struyf has many interests, but she is most drawn to one activity in particular: “I am a dancer,” she says. Kaiya also really enjoys writing stories, reading (currently the Harry Potter series, among others) and doing “athletic stuff” like going on hikes in the park with her family.

Meadow Mavis

Second place

Hungry Sun

The Sun is hungry.

He licks his lips beneath the horizon.

The moon waits fearful with his glittery descendants.

He’s done this since the beginning of existence.

And now, it’s time.

The moon gives in as the sky bleeds to the West.

As light consumes night, stars drip from Sun’s lips to the next one.

-Meadow Mavis

Judging by her choice of attire during a photo shoot for this issue—a sweet Carpenters T-shirt—Meadow Mavis’ musical tastes run wider than the average 12-year-old’s. In fact, the Chico Country Day School student writes and sings her own songs and admits that the styles she’s interested in run from alternative to classics to local faves the Mother Hips.

Maya Klein

Third place

Cloak of Stars

Cloak of stars

Twinkling; represents

Mystery, metaphor

Cloth made of fine fabric

As thin as an onion skin

The veil divides reality from

A whispering land constructed by the mind

Under the cloak and the veil

Is the peaceful dell

And the summer breath

And the summer humidity

Trees whispering, wondering

Talking, questioning

“Why?” and “How?” and “When?”

The cloak above

Growing darker still

The sun says goodbye until next time

Hiding like a diamond in the rough

The moonlight reinvents itself,

framing the earth in a spotlight

Of quiet tranquility

Innocent, but responsible

Under the cloak of stars

-Maya Klein

Poetry 99 is not the first publication in which Maya Klein’s writing has been featured. The Wildflower Open Classroom sixth-grader had her fiction published in the print version of New Moon Girls magazine. “I like to write stories, mostly realistic fiction,” she says. She also loves reading and drawing (mostly people and animals).

Honorable mentions

The Bird

White wings float on the wind,

Small speckles of brown dot them.

People look up and point,

The bird ignores us,

flying on

A victorious cry escapes him.

He dives, for what, I know not,

I only know that he is a silver-white missile

Streaking towards the shining surface of the lake

Gulp! The lake swallows him whole

With all that speed, you would expect a splash,

Yet only a ripple shows.

Now he emerges, silver scales glinting from in his beak.

Mightily flapping his wings he rises up.

The bird flies on.

-Sky Wolf, Chico, 11



That button I wished for

like a child’s birthday before the candles go out


I can redo those first impressions

Those 9 letters that call out hopefully


I finally don’t look awkward


-Colin Bailey, Chico, 14


Bumpy lumpy road

Try to find a camping


Off in the distance

hear the sound of

wonderful music

it sounds like a

forest of wind chimes

Amazing place Worldfest

The smell of pine trees

and dust

It feels great when you

spray water on your face

Under the hot sweltering


We get to wear fun

Summer dresses with

Head scarfs that mach

after all this fun we

Must leave on the

Bumpy lumpy


-Calla Cox, Chico, 11

Stuck Door

Empty desert sunshine makes moving stay

Silk ribbon fire heats the pavement

and touches me with a hint of anger

I walk onto sandy property

Opening a tragic door

realizing I was stuck

-Cedar Bailey, Chico, 11


I will forever remember two weeks in Greece with you. For a long time after I wondered how such a small girl can make such a big difference in my life. Your country was bombed, you were living in a tent, your mother was pregnant and sick, but you still smiled and laughed and the sparkle in your eyes wasn’t dimmed. One girl and one smile can make a difference.

I miss you.

-Isa Anderson, Chico, 11