Poetry 99: kids winners

The words are in good hands

Isa Anderson

Isa Anderson

First place


I stare out my window

at the ugly stone wall

covered in discouraging graffiti

I think about what it used to be

I remember a stone house

filled with cheery light

a dignified brown door

with a pleasant face answering

then I remember the cozy little room

and the laughter that filled it

But all the good memories

are replaced with bad ones

Bulldozers, guns, and angry faces

Cedar Bailey

then I look at the wall

a small pile of rubble still remains

a single tear rolls down my cheek

-Isa Anderson

Sherwood Montessori student Isa Anderson leads a well-balanced life. In addition to writing, she enjoys soccer, drama and traveling the world (Hong Kong, Palestine, El Salvador and more!). Regarding theater, she’s already performed in California Regional Theatre’s production of Annie and is currently rehearsing her role of Tiger Lily for Peter Pan.

Second place

No Bird Can Fly

Wind roars against my face,

as if screaming

My wings flutter rapidly

I soar over the houses

of those who have rusted my life,

extinguishing my instincts

The blazing sun almost makes a truth with my back

-Cedar Bailey

Another Sherwood Montessori student and another Bailey kid (see brother Colin in the junior high division and sister Clover here in honorable mentions) in the winner circle. Like his brother, Cedar Bailey has placed in so many Poetry 99 and Fiction 59 contests that we’re running out of things to say about him. The latest activity that the skateboarding fanatic has taken on is unicycling. When asked how one stops when riding a one-wheel bike, he said simply,“You fall.”

Third place

Bandonie Avenue

One afternoon Timmy went for a walk

on Bandonie Avenue.

He saw oafs with loafs of bread.

He saw Mr. Brown dressed as a clown.

He saw people’s eyes looking at the sky.

He saw balloon hats and kazoo sacks.

He saw thunder clouds and gumball clouds,

Starbursts and heart bursts, Jell-O and people

saying hello.

He saw backpacks and hunchbacks.

He saw erasers and the Pacers.

Then he realized he did not get permission

to take a walk on Bandonie Avenue.

As he turned around he saw the most

terrifying monster ever … his mother.

Timmy never went back.

-Alison McKeown

Alison McKeown

Marigold Elementary student Alison McKeown enjoys writing, but it’s only her third-favorite subject. Math and history are her top choices, but even more than the courses at school, Alison is interested in the classes she takes at HYPE Dance Studio, where she spends 10 hours every week doing what she loves.

Death’s Poem

Crushing, cold stabs of shock

your hourless days run astray on my clock

your life folded down, a faceless card

cold and merciless like a frozen ice shard

while claustrophobic, volcanic smoke

fills your charred throat

in the sea of souls your life jacket barely keeps you afloat

your years turn to months

and your months to days

the sun burning your red, raw skin

with her powerful rays

and you hear your bell’s final ring

and the fates cut your final string

-Savannah Cresswell

Fossils everywhere there under your feet

Maybe you don’t know it

But they’re down there

You can find what you believe

Like a plesiosaurus

Or a mammoth, too

If you’re a fossil hunter

You’re in luck because they’re

Everywhere and you know it, too

So get a property by the creek

Go mining by the sandstone

You might just find something

So bye folks, this is the end

-Ashton Price

Silent Space

The darkest dark that darkness

can be

The coldest cold that cold

can be

The quietest silent that

silence can be

a nothingness that goes

on forever

But suddenly there’s a tiny

pinprick of light a little

glimmer of hope in the

world of dark But then

it’s gone and everything

is back to normal

-Isa Anderson

Dark Halls

In the dark halls

I hear clapping

from the outside

I can hear the echoes

The clock ticking

Front flip

Bouncing trampoline in the rain

Riding bareback

Excited in my room

She’s making little braids

-Clover Bailey


Fear holds me down

to an ash filled envelope

I get mailed to no address, just a stone

Courage and excitement,

it all fails me

I rewind but it never helps

All falls behind my back

There’s no turning

A small fire still burns in my soul

But blackness oversees it

-Cedar Bailey