Poetry 99—high school
2015 high-school winners
High-school winnersFirst place
Ghosts roam my rooms,
the rent left behind is bitter pennies and tobacco pulp.
that like seatbelts, the wrong things
have made me exist.
What mass graves crack together in my knuckles?
Every animal remembers being small
Fight or flight, burn or bear
I have taken lives like a semi-sweet Chicago
and not even tasted them in the blur.
Every person, after all
is just a temporary place to sleep.
-Sylvia Pape, 18
Sylvia Pape has nearly always been a top finisher in the CN&R’s Poetry 99 contest over the last four years. The Inspire School of Arts & Sciences senior is an avid writer of poetry and flash fiction and even started a poetry group on campus, The Beat Nerds. After graduation, she plans to follow in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps by becoming a third-generation Chico State student.Second place
Hovering on the edge, between here and neverthere,
Dissolve the floors of memory.
Slip twixt the mists and the quiet trees.
Not a needle rustles; sweet is the night-air
In which diamonds glimmer, the pale moon gleams
On a dream-like figure, in starlight bathed.
She dances by silent pool.
Nightingale’s soft cry
Echoing up the timeless expanse.
Girdled by magic, kingdom eternal
Hovering on the edge between here and neverthere.
-Aline Ingelson-Filpula, 15
Even though Aline Ingelson-Filpula is an avid reader and enjoys writing poetry (and taking fencing and kung fu classes) in her spare time, The CORE Butte Charter student’s focus is on taking classes toward a biology major. This is her third time placing in a CN&R writing contest.Third place
Michigan Missed Again
in the dark, she thought of Michigan
it’s a little odd, going alone
call her a hypochondriac but
the thrashed sound of her breath
but her brother did it, he did it
his fault, his fault
Caleb left her, Kathy bereft
the kids, the kids
his fault, his fault
on a mass clash flash
back to the evening
shirts on their backs too thin… too thin
hey! sis’ grab, sis’ yank, squeeze
hush now, little ones
as breath sounds
before they stopped
it’s a little odd.
she feels nothing, in the dark
thinking of her brother
-Teddy Greenfield, 16
In addition to reading (Dickens, Tolkien, Gaiman, etc.), studying math, acting and writing poetry for “the sake of doing it,” Inspire School sophomore Teddy Greenfield keeps himself busy learning different musical instruments, from clarinet and saxophone, to bass to “pretty much” the entire brass section.Honorable mentions
For One Night Only
I have not lost all my anticipation,
but I have misplaced it from time to time
gripped it in my fists like open water.
When I go out I put it on a leash like a small child, the other parents flick ash.
The stories of my age caress
an idea of hidden worlds, quiet individuals whose words drag like swords of a higher quality.
Shove a nickel in the slot and watch the smoke screen secrets,
all this time I have been breathing in and
have yet to breathe out.
Lifeless, between the two forces,
realizing that I’ve drifted,
curiosity of the April mist,
dull, walking in the olive shadow,
distraught yet cold appreciation of my pride and
my dreams are always right.
That is why I’m continually available for the makeshift dull life;
I’ve wandered into incarceration.
she will knock, she will enter
she will slowly stock and fend her
off the cleanest raft sent floating
by her house, the tar is coating
up her ears all while she hears
their drumming flesh is beating
and the clash of knives defeating
that foul fish-exuded stench
as they lie dripping on a bench
while she passed, all but the last
never learned to do such things
as making hemorrhages or swings
she was only taught to sew
ever watching ebb and flow
into loud form, sift the foam
her wonderings to wait
’till culminates her wake
Emerald eyes, tiny lies
Wishing makes the heart grow fonder
Walking your feet hurt much longer
Listen to the click inside
A heart too stripped to coincide
An avalanche of rooted words
The buzzing earthworm gets no bird
Chimes of the melancholy carpenter sing
From drip dropping mine shafts with no gold to bring
Each silhouette figurine propped on a shelf
Watching an image of losing one’s self
Each strand of hair sticks on end
With a sky to crumble and bend
Then a person emerges, as nude as the day
Opens the door to say
“Let’s play Croquet”
-Zoe Karch, 15
Thought’s soft grey curtain edges fray,
Fate steadily stitches with needle and thread.
Time speeds on: bright race-wheels, ticking, ticking,
Two wills shall clash: Nature or Man?
Those marching lines! Illusatory
Gleaming Progress, straight, orderly rows.
Manifest Destiny here, not done.
Who is master: Machine or Man?
Still, wind whispers through pale shreds of banner-cloud
Licking amongst bright spears of sage grass.
In pale spring morning, under white chill foreboding
Storm weeps with heavy heart, bleak tale unfolding.
Is there hope? It’s in Fate’s devising.
Hand in hand, will mind succeed?
Will Progress give way to Harmony?