Poetry 99

Kids winners

Gwen Henson

Gwen Henson

Photo By jason cassidy

First Place

Memory Waste Land

A cold snowy night
My companions fur growing
Whiter by the second
People passing by
Shudder as I walk past them
Sometimes they remember me
Sometimes they don’t
A cold dark fire runs
Furiously through the waste land
Just as though an expiration
date had gone off

-Gwen Henson, 11

“I like to drink iced orange juice.” First-time Poetry 99 entrant Gwen Henson is a girl of specific tastes. In addition to liking her OJ super cold, the Sherwood Montessori fifth-grader says she likes panda bears and wearing ties. She also enjoys reading fantasy fiction, with her favorite titles including Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson & the Olympians.

Second Place

Fire of the Phoenix

In the smoke and ashes,
lying beneath
and speckled with soot
is an egg quite rare.

The light is dim,
the egg cracks open
and out emerges flames
with heat so intense.

Fire becomes a phoenix,
almost unreal,
feathers of flame
shimmer with heat.

Taking flight into the darkness,
frighteningly beautiful
is the king of Fire,
for he has shown me my will.

-Fiona Cutler, 9

Fiona Cutler

Photo By jason cassidy

When Fiona Cutler bounced into the CN&R offices in her purple cape to get her photo taken, she was disappointed that she forgot her “pet phoenix.” Of course the phoenix is actually her speckled chicken, and one can only imagine that the chicken’s new persona came after her poem. The poem was actually born during the weekly writing group started by Fiona and her friend, Sage Bell, whose poem is one of this year’s honorable mentions (see right).

Third Place


Love is like lightening and thunder

Lily Sajadi

Photo By

the way it hits
you can’t take one breath
without seeing that person
Love is like ying yang
all you see is black and white
until you see that person
Love is like hugs and kisses
you can’t love until you
see that person
Love is like PB and J<
will never be so zesty
and taste so good until you
see that person
That is love

-Lily Sajadi, 11

If Sherwood Montessori fifth-grader Lily Sajadi didn’t already have enough inspiration for poetry-writing, she is probably now fully stocked after going on a trip to Paris that started the day after she was notified of being chosen as winner in the Poetry 99 contest. She says she loves writing a lot, and that she entered her poem at the urging of her literature teacher.

Honorable Mentions

Swimming to the End of the Pool

I walk into the pool
I pause
then leap
going hand-over-hand
clinging to the wall like a barnacle
I push off
struggling at first
then striking smoothly through a hidden world of ripples
almost there
I grab onto the edge of the pool

-Sage Bell, 10

Under the sea

Where the waves are calm
where lots of fish
are in a coral reef
where a turtle lies
On the sand
lots of little yellow fish
nibble on its back at night
a hungry eel
swims out of its cave
any fish it finds
will become its midnight snack
in the morning
the eel swims home
sea cows eat sea grass
sting rays
flap their wings like birds
if you sail for miles
a huge blue whale
sings a lovely tune
and another whale sings back

-Kylie Grinton, 8

the beauty of forests

have you noticed the beauty of the forest,
the sun shining through the trees,
the green trees,
the golden leaves scattered,
the dirt hills,
the rain drizzling down,
the animals wondering,
the birds singing,
rivers pattering,
leaves crunching,
the pine smell along with the fresh air,
that’s the beauty of the forest grounds.

-Danica Gronlund, 9

Lightning Storm

The sun is turning black
I feel sad
I cannot see
Lightning strikes
flashing, flicking
Trees hula dancing
thunder –
wind –
raindrops –
Shh! Shh!

-Nikki Sitter, 8

The Toy

Black, white and silver
The colors drip down the toy
My finger tips touch the dark souls
My fingers turn dark purple
I touch the souls that have played with it
I drop the toy
My mom holds me
and I am sad for the people

-Gage Waltz, 10