Poetry 99

Junior-high winners

Elizabeth Ober

Elizabeth Ober

Photo By jason cassidy

First Place


Buttons yellow and blue
Gold stars and sugar free gum
My mind is the pocket of my coat
Cluttered and crumbly

Zippo lighter, Mod-Podge, red wax;
My hands are sticky and scarred

George John Paul Ringo
Marcus Sid Chris
Songs that get stuck
Like a sword
My mind an ancient stone

-Elizabeth Ober, 12

This was Elizabeth Ober’s first time entering Poety 99, and the Chico Country Day School seventh-grader took first and third place! A fan of poetry and short-story writing (and reading as well—everything from classics like Catcher in the Rye to contemporary science fiction), Ober is definitely a chip off the old block. Her dad, Richard, had two poems chosen in the adult category this year—one honorable mention, and one for first place!

Second Place

A Sorrowful Moment

Tall dark piles of smoke line the city,
The color of grey is all you see.

Heart break is arriving among the unhurt,
the whimpers of the injured
echo in the distance.

A woman is sobbing loudly amongst the crowd,
you have nothing else to do
but collapse and sob along with the rest.

-Chloe Ferraiuolo, 11

Every year, Egling Middle School teacher Pam Giuliano has her kids enter Poetry 99, and every year some of her students’ work makes it to print. This year is no different, as one of her kids received an honorable mention (see Lincoln Forry at right) and Chloe Ferraiuolo took second for her “sorrowful” entry. Ferraiuolo says that she’s started writing “a lot” of poetry since getting into sixth grade, and also says that she enjoys other artistic endeavors, such as painting and crafting.

Chloe Ferraiuolo

Photo By

Third Place


Can you see me as I stumble
Your perfect image
Of a girl
I never was
With only one slip of
My foot
All that imaginary potential
Out the door

-Elizabeth Ober, 12

Honorable Mentions


There I was, just a child.
A child longing for a father’s playfulness and a mother’s warm touch.
I had to love them, my so-called parents.
I had to love them even though they did not love me back.
There I was, all alone.
The trailer park a ghost town, the sky gray, the clouds heavy with rain.
No one was there to tell me it was going to be okay,
No one was there to hold me tight, to fill me from head to toe in warmth and happiness, no one was there.
All alone.

-Lilli Golde, 13
Forest Ranch

Wonderfully Weird Me

Frogs jump like the lump in my pillow,
In the wind, trees billow.
I like to sniff rainwater up my nose,
While eating hair bows.
I like to balance paper clips on my toes
And dance on lawnmowers when people mow.
When I play basketball
I get hit in the face,
So mom takes me to the hospital place.
While I wait in my mother’s briefcase,
With my head touching my toes
I silently pick my nose.
When I get bored I climb a Willow,
Because frogs jump like the lump in my pillow
In the wind, trees billow.

-Jasmine Norris, 10
Red Bluff

In Space

Here I am surrounded by
the intolerable presence of nothing
Here I stand gazing
At the earth’s unseen movement
I am somewhere floating
Wondering if my life is real

-Devin Kern, 13


The warmth of his exhaling breath,
The radioactive streak
Of heat
As he sprints through woods

Leaving everything he skins
Ablaze, until he dies out

All of the ash from the trees and the vegetation
Flows into the sky scorched
To a black pulp

Lincoln Forry, 12