Poetry 99: Junior High

Junior-high winners

Gwen Henson

Gwen Henson

Photo By jason cassidy

First Place


A curved sharp stick

A long soft white string

An extensive arm draws the bow back

An aim so perfect the force would rip you

A young fawn trots by

A small cry, then it lies down, still

Gwen Henson, 12

Sherwood Montessori sixth-grader Gwen Henson is starting to make a habit of being in the top spot. Last year she came in first in the Kids division, and this year she makes the jump to Junior High. She said she loves to read and write fiction and perform in community theater. She recently played the part of Madame de la Grand Bouche in the Blue Room Young Company’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. at Laxson Auditorium.

Second Place

The sun, the moon and the stars

Are like a twilight counsel

The sun does not agree with the moon

The moon does not agree with the stars

The stars don’t agree with the sun

When we’re here on Earth

The world seems so utterly large

But when we’re in nothingness

When we’re plunged into space

Our home is somewhat like a blueberry

And we happen to live upon it

Lia Puser, 12

Sherwood Montessori kids are on fire. With seventh-grader Lia Puser taking second place, they own the top two spots in the Junior High division. Puser said she likes to write stories “out of my own little dreams in my head.” She also likes to draw and read fantasy-fiction, especially Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon Series.

Third Place

So Many Summers Ago

When we were younger,

Lia Puser

Photo By jason cassidy

And you were still here

We spent every minute together

Mirror images of each other

I loved climbing over your fence

Using the gate was too tame

And balancing on top

Feeling like falling

Inside the fence

There was too much to do

New people we could be

For an hour or two

And while the yard is still there

the fence is too

And I’m sure if I looked

I would see some remnant of you

Not much has changed here

Except one small thing

You’re gone now

And you took summertime with you

Lilly Ober

Photo By jason cassidy

Lilly Ober, 13

Lilly Ober is continuing her run in the Junior High division, adding to her first- and third-place finishes in 2012 with a top-three finish and an honorable mention in this year’s contest. The Chico Country Day School eighth-grader loves writing poetry and reading, and is focusing on the classics—like Uncle Tom’s Cabin—in her Book Club class. She’s also a member of the school’s cross-country team.

Honorable Mentions

Empty Souls

Empty souls, empty brains

Dark hearts, evil faces

What’s next? Could I be concerned?

I can’t even think.

Like a zombie I am so boundless,

I don’t even know how to function,

I can’t even feel pain or be cold.

I wish I were human,

To have fun or walk fast or talk?

I wonder if humans will be scared or even run from me?

Jeremiah, 13

Spilled Ink

Ink coats my hands,

As if the night decided to turn to liquid.

It puddles around my feet like a cloak.

And it slowly creeps up to my neck,

Giving me a warm embrace.

I am now the spilled ink that you wipe up,

As if nothing happened.

You pretend to wonder where I am,

But you know.

And yet you forget about me.

I’m nothing now.

Molly Lane, 13

I Could Be Gone

No wandering eyes

Will ever fall upon my face

Look me up and down

And decide I am not worth it.

No intent ear

spoiled with juicy knowledge

will ever hear my voice

and wonder what else I have to say.

No outstretched hand

will ever clasp around my fingers

and pull me back

from this ledge I stand on

No one will ever reach me

And no one will ever care

No one will see me laughing

And know that I am happy

I’m beyond your grasp

And I am beyond your words

I could be gone forever

Lilly Ober


The soldier walked away from the brutally fought battle.

His hands red with the blood of those he tried to save,

And of the ones he killed.

His gun was hoisted high but his heart was not.

He would never be able to walk away from that.

Mud caked his face and clothing

But inside his pain washed it away

Medals and ribbons were pinned to his uniform,

But none were to his soul.

Life would never be the same.

He held on not wanting to die and see those he killed.

Soon the soldier walked away from life.

Molly Lane