Poetry 99

Teen winners

Sylvia Pape

Sylvia Pape

Photo By meredith j. Graham

First Place

Right Brain
I painted a picture of your mind.
There was an entire empire of aqua,
essence of a midnight breeze,
heart flutter of secret passion,
faint orange of happiness.
And with a cat’s whisker
the dank, violent reds of life,
overlap with a brush much thicker,
the wet sob of purpled need.
The morning eye wince,
the laugh less beautified;
True love is ugly green.
The whisper hushes
in a silent child.
Betraying yellow glowed and burned
deep streaks of foulest sanity.
Trailing lightly like a wish,
faint hues of pale blue
outlining, quietly defining
every sixth sense and blessing.

Sylvia Pape, 15

Sylvia is either following in her mom’s footsteps or leading the way—we’re not quite sure. The sophomore at Inspire School of the Arts & Sciences loves to write, so when she saw a flier her teacher brought in advertising the Poetry 99 contest she decided to give it a whirl.

Second Place

Kestra Lira Carroll

Photo By jason cassidy

Strictly Biblical
This is a minimalist’s sermon: naked priest standing with his
obscure hymns thickening the air. He has a beaten tongue.
His diction is saturated with disdain,
handfuls of sinners standing before his bare anatomy,
fine-grained sexual turbulence smoldering between
thin walls and sheets of stained glass. It is not uncommon,
unorthodox would-be virgins sacrificed for The Greater Good
while Your God and his conspiracy theories
grin through the damp-mouth of a minister with
dry lips and hands hunting for a savior.

Kestrel Lira Carroll, 15

To avoid discouraging other local poets, we won’t tell you how many times Kestrel has made it into our Poetry 99 and Fiction 59 issues (OK, this is her fifth time). The talented Chico High sophomore has been writing poetry her whole life and says she’s been trying her hand at prose as of late.

Third Place

Jacob Erickson

Photo By jason cassidy

Cold empty and alone
she is an empty glass
cold to the touch
her bones showing
through the hour glass
figure we call perfect
she feels alone
isolated by the world
she is so desperately
trying to impress
with her tight
trimmed shirt
falling seemingly
flawless on her
surgically enhanced chest
to her size zero waist
and her tight
jeans showing the
world so much more
than she wants
or needs to know
I hope you are happy
she is killing herself
to impress you

Jacob Erickson, 16

Jacob is a sophomore at Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, where he is class president. He wants to be a therapist one day, and says that he loves writing poetry and essays and is seeking out more writing contests to enter.

Honorable Mentions

On More Tear
A half acre full of fresh flowers, fruits and veggies.
Picked to perfection.

A piece of toast with pomegranate jam on a chicken plate.
In the kitchen of paintings and gravy boats.

The smell of something burning in the microwave again.
A little burned crumbs never hurt anybody.

The sound of playing cards being shuffled on the dining room table.
Getting ready to play solitaire.

The headphones for the TV so that he could listen to his shows,
For he lost his hearing long ago.

One more tear shed on my pillow.

Jordon Sacks, 14

Fishing in the Morning
Waking up at night to go fishing
To the cool breeze do I depart
Onto the dock for the pole and tackle

Kissing the water ever so lightly
Till the largemouth bass bite

With the risen sun I start
Back to the dock with my catch I cart

Stowing the pole and tackle
Tying it down tight

Back to bed I go with the anticipation of
For breakfast a warm apple tart

Evan Yip, 14

Smoldering Souls
“Got a smoke?’
She asks.

With a curt nod
He answers

Passing the cigarette
Wondering if they are alike
Hoping for a kindred spirit to carry some of the weight.
All he says is
“Need a light?”

He’s answered with a
She’s wondering who he is
And why he’s so alone
on a chill December day.
“That’d be nice.”

Two strangers
Connected by a thread of cigarette smoke,
A lifeline of abandonment-
Their lights go out in the gathering dark.

Fiona Murphy, 15

Staring at the beautiful colors
Under the dusk sky
Nothing could ruin this moment
Sweet as apple pie
Eating up the colors

Randi Apel, 13