Poetry 99: kids winners

Young, and wild, and free

Liliana Rodriguez

Liliana Rodriguez

First place


My hair flows through the wind, then tangles like vines;

And I hope it dries before I brush, brush.

Hair strong as an ox and grows like a forest.

Brown like dark chocolate and soft and frizzy but has cruel curls.

My hair bounces like a rabbit and as big as waves.

Pulling and pulling twisting in a knot I scream; “My hair, my hair!”

Finally it unravels and turns beautiful like a horse’s mane.

-Liliana Rodriguez

In addition to writing poetry, Liliana Rodriguez says she enjoys fiction. “I’m writing scary stories,” she says. When she’s not working with words, the Wildflower Open Classroom student likes singing, mostly pop music but also a little country.

Second place

The moon and the sun together as one

Sun and moon so lonely and sad

moon loved sun

sun loved moon

they couldn’t see each other

one would be up

the other down

every day

waiting for that very moment

where day and night meet

they searched space for solutions

through many days they searched

till finding a strange planet

an old man lived there

and asked what they’ve come for

they said for a solution

we never get to see each other

the old man said

Arlee Sheehan

he could not make them stop moving

but he could combine them into one

so they took what they could

-Arlee Sheehan

Arlee Sheehan has a well-rounded range of interests for a 9-year-old. She likes to play with Legos with her friends, read graphic novels and play with her two cats, Smokey and Ocho (so named because “he has eight fingers on his front two paws”).

Third place

SNORKLE (Acrostic)

Swim real slow.

Now follow me.

Open your eyes. See the fish.

Red, blue and yellow.

Know what’s darting all around.

Look, don’t touch the coral

Even turtles fly above.

-Mona Hendriks

Poetry 99 first-timer Mona Hendriks is already an internationally published writer. With her grandparents living in Japan, she’s submitted writing while visiting them. Back in the U.S., her “SNORKLE” poem is included in her self-made collection of drawings and poems titled Ocean Poetry.

Mona Hendriks

Honorable mentions

My Friends

I hear talking

Nice feet walking on the ground

I jump in the trampoline

And play board games

We pretend to play mailman

We dress up as different seasons

We give each other scores

We try to hide from our mom and dad

-Clover Bailey, Chico, 7

I Saw a Cat Make a Cake

I saw a cat make a cake

he put very random things in it

He put a bell, a book, and a box.

He put a dish, a deer, and a door.

He also put a fan, a fish, and a flea.

A gown, a game, and a guitar.

A hand, a hat, and a house.

And that’s what happens when a cat makes a cake.

-Chloe Onstot, Chico, 9


There is a cluster

A blossom outside, blue, red.

Taste like grass honey.

-Julio Alvarez, Chico, 8


Legos are really awesome when you build something big.

You can build houses, mouses, people, and shovels.

I once built the White House.

I like the “click” of the brick against brick like a button being pressed.

-Kai Herzog, Chico, 11

I Am Poem

I am curious and kind;

I wonder what is outside of space;

I hear whistling of sirens;

I see a crowded street with people bustling from around the world;

I want everyone to be more cautious about the earth;

I am curious and kind.

I pretend I can talk to anything;

I feel a cool breeze on my coat;

I worry about the future;

I am curious and kind.

I understand that not everything is fair;

I say “you can do anything with enough time;”

I dream anything;

I believe no one is perfect;

I am curious and kind.

-Emma Nikolai, Chico, 11