REGIONAL WINNERS 2008-2009
The Wayward Tide of Eternity: A Nocturnal PortraitBlessed ever be the stillness the heartbeats of sleep
While the marrow of man eddies drunkenly
Around riven remembrances that titter and weep-
Rejoice in the shanty of the soul lithely.
Three winks the temporal wavelength the fabric of dreams
That pass in the course of a stygian trice
Where in haste a will-less reverie reams and reams
Of quaint affairs or of phantasms of vice.The bells knell yaks (it must be) twelve.
The bells knell lax (it must be) two.
-Alo alass, aladdin amobus!
-Behold, begog, bacchus, baemon!The blitz of mislaid memory caterwauls
Then soughs in the mildew meadow of the brain
Softly, sweetly, still slumbering absolute in the dun nightfall-
What is time but immaterial and vain
When it flutters in the fitful breeze of absurdity?
Joseph Taylor Randolph, OH, Black River High School
Two SleepDroplets of oyster's flesh lacing the black velvet sky
dangled loose from granite
shoulders and spine.
The angel of death waits on her sun-bleached steed,
sickled and wreathing…Her downy form under draped dress.
Inferno in, that ivory skin, gleaming.
beneath bundled amethyst.Resting her head in my lap, finger's tips tracing on the small of her back.Beneath wings,
black and featherless.
Beside an ocean
of flowers, grayscale and breathless
in the fading darkness.Sound asleep with a sea of sunflowers, with magic, with machines, with the lamplight of
a rising sun in that heady, shadowed room.
Rouge-auburn hair strewn, about her shoulders in peaceful dream and disarray.
David Alexander Beame, WA, University Preparatory Academy
Jim Harrison, (3)I’ve always hated the snow. Michigan boy, why am I where you
should be? We’ve cut ourselves off from lifelines, undid the rope,
strand by strand, and watched Yesenin’s body collapse like
the way my suitcase slammed shut after I first locked
my bedroom and kissed the decorated door
goodbye with my finger tips. You grunt and I understand that we
have to take the body out to the lobby. You grab him at the legs
not wincing at the smell of his soiled pants and I am too weak to
pick up his pinky. I look for where Yesenin got the blood to write
his last words. Did he cut his finger? His chest? Or stab into his pants,
the real heart of men? You start to drag his body without me, his head
slightly bouncing Yes. And I think of all the questions that might have answered.
We push his body down the stairs and gravity works like it did the night he tied his
noose. In the lobby we replace the rope with a chain and hang Yesenin from a chandelier
to illuminate for all, that final question.
Rana Tahir, MI, Interlochen Arts Academy
Surrenderamber knees on colorless carpet
rest in tacit resignation;
the dusty yellow filters through silence.
for is not the breath mute?
but the heart, it sings:
unlocked love thus unsheathed
communicates a soundless clamor,
transcending the transience that is.
so the ephemeral, surpassed,
flutters and fades, and death yields.
celebrate, and merit eternity.
speak stillness into the vulnerable;
open blind minds, whose plagues
foment the temporal.
with cryptic quietude proceed.
and rightly so,
for that which knows truth understands.
at last bowing knees rise;
with compliant palms uncurled,
Ari Mason, CT, Glastonbury High School
The Red RibbonThe red ribbon twists
Binding the feet
Of the twittering, tottering old Chinese ladies.
It grows vines
Entwining ballerinas, rooting them in place.
The masqueraders’ parasols twirl, hiding bent and hidden hearts
Forming wilting flower arrangements,
Perfect centerpieces for afternoon tea.
Their feet trail, carving a deep red river,
Where boulders can tumble free-fall
Into the rushing of a hundred bulls
Charging with their horns from all sides
To the rift of that lone valley,
Their black iron hooves cracking
The moon’s celadon glaze
In a race staining the cloth of our picnic table
With small slashes that emit the echoing waves
Of bleeding paper cuts.
Carissa Ratanaphanyarat, CA, Gunn High School
subways of New Yorkwas always taught that
the individual has weight
is something meaningful: a tangible concept
to hold and gauge in the palm
all parts equal to the sum: all people equal to the masses
but then – what are these underground iron planes?
that meldmoldweld all spaces and anti-spaces
into one sweetly-smooth mass called
the subway.the cities that lie on plates of earth
contain diagrams of lines
superimposed: all units of stars singularly confined
in bricks of rectangles and squares
there is a vision, somewhere, prophesizing
one day the stars will lift up tightly-locked windows of the buildings and
splitting planes of sharp air, shattering smooth images of
sweetly tipping moon and clouds tohangbare legs swinging in the sky.Wendy Chen, MA, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
All Other Certified Regional Winners from the
Spring Summer 2009 Contest
Lay Kodama , OH , Upper Arlington HS
Carl Davis Phillips , NJ , Lakeland Reg HS
Allister Nelson, VA , Jefferson HS for Science & Technology
Kiara Mae Flint Whitney, CO, Loveland HS
Nai Liu , MI , Troy HS
David Campbell, AZ, Horizon HS
Ji-heuk (John) Kim, MS , Oak Grove
Drew Sinha, OH , William Mason HS
Sylena Tanner, PA , Pennsbury HS East
Jeffrey Yoon, NY, Jericho Senior HS
Liana Nicklaus , IL , Illinois Math & Science Academy
Sarah Cocuzzo, MA, Needham HS
Damiana McGraw, MO , Francis Howell Central HS
Chloe Benson , AZ , Red Mountain HS
Jenni Ashcroft, MO , Smithville HS
Christina Heinzen, MN, Burnsville Senior HS
Megan Cotter, IA, Waverly-Shell Rock HS
Nikki Lewis, IL, Mahomet-Seymour HS
Leah Sahmlian, VA, Oakton HS
Liana Bandziulis, CA , Paraclete HS
Rachel Vanderbeek, NV, Churchchill County HS
Yeon Hui Kang, AL , Brewbaker Technology Magnet HS
Debbie Dickinson, TX , Lamar Consolidated HS
Jalene Herron , AK , Bethel Regional HS
Ninoshka N. Perez, VA, Stonewall Jackson HS
Lizabeth Sidlov , NJ , Pompton Lakes HS
Jayme Morrison, TX, John Paul Stevens HS
Hailee McElroy , IN , Heritage Christian School
Joshua Zimmer, NJ, Roxbury HS
Cheri Philpot, TX, Rowlett HS
Cody Carson, IL, Homewood-Flossmoor HS
Ryan A. Etienne, LA, East St. John HS
Jacob Arluck, NY, Minisink Valley HS
Shelley Picot, VA, Edison HS
Joseph Contreras, TX, Antonian College Prep HS
Yamini Nabar , NJ , The Pingry School
Rosa Gandler, NY, Palham Memorial HS
Alicia Ruth Baldelli, NC, Millbrook HS
Hannah Dierling, OH, Hilliard Darby HS
Romir Chaudhuri, NJ , Randolph HS
Eleanor Ellis, OR, South Salem HS
Brittany Morley, IN, Homeschool
Sierra Smith, AZ, Horizon HS
Jesse Boggis, MA, Hopkinton HS
Caitlyn Schumaker, WA , Redmond HS
Luka Glinsky, PA , Homeschool
Alyssa Kervin, NH, Conant HS
Lisa Cheung, CT, Mark T. Sheehan HS
Lauren Poss, MT, Fergus HS
John Adam White, GA, Central Gwinnett HS
Laura Toperzer, MN, Hutchinson HS
Taylor Bush, TX, The Hockaday School
Kaitlin A. McCully, MD, Albert Einstein HS
Joanne Ko, CA, Mission HS
Monica Grabijas, IL, Maine South High School
Judy Wu, TX, Bellaire HS
Adam Samson, NY, Spackenkill HS
Miranda Ashlyn Babb , MO , ABeka Academy
Lisa Ann Sinks, NC, Seventy-First HS
Meghan Woolley, CT, Coginchaung Regional HS
Myles Teasley, CA , Harvard-Westlake
Caitlin Kaldany, NJ, Eastern HS
Nadya Primak , MN , John Marshall HS
Hanna Rajabi, MA, Waldorf HS of Mass Bay
Jacqueline Fraca, MA, Medway HS
Samantha Bollman, NJ, Voorhees HS
Scott Alexander Streitfeld, CA, Nigual HS
Melanie Tolomeo, NJ, Passaic Valley HS
Kira Withrow, CO , Glenwood Springs HS
Rebecca Lee, CA, Claremont HS
Katrina Wiecek, IL, Huntley HS
Rob Standley , AZ , Pusch Ridge Christian Academy
Matisse Hack, VT, Thetford Academy
Kayley Freshman-Caffrey, WA , Cascade Senior HS
Cung Tran , MA , O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science
Nicholas Nussen, OH, Green HS
Maiying Yongkao Her, CA, Bolsa Grande HS
Camille Coppolla, MA, Longmeadow
Laura Yu, CA, Galileo HS
Nicole Padula, NJ, Park Ridge HS
Keely Bakken, NV , Faith Lutheran HS
Gabriela Dobkin, NJ, Bruriah HS
Michelle Lam, NJ, Parsippany Hills HS
Emily Toffol, AZ, Desert Mountain HS
Jodi Berkley, IN, Jefferson HS
Maggie Lin, VA, Oakton HS
Inesse Day Bueneman , SC , Hilton Head Island HS
Esther Lho, NC, East Chapel Hill HS
Fall - Winter 2008
FIRST PLACE WINNER
Now He’s Eating the Dollar
for Orkief, who did it to his lunch money
No matter how you looked at it, torn is torn, yet--
how to explain. The shreds didn't exactly flutter achingly
to the ground, catching the sunlight all the while
like some skeins of flying fish; afterwards,
there was to be no full moon hanging above the Italian rooftops
like a note of music following your green coup,
no bark uncurling itself from the noses of trees and falling
in scrolls about your feet. Who would shear the bark
as from some horny, wooden sheep, anyway?
No, there was no post-coital cigarette after hours
of marionetting in a hotel with soundproof walls.
If you did things impulsively, then that was okay,
fine, even. The sun still set
like a tasty piece of roadkill on the windshield.
Pebbles still winked at you, sledgehammers still hurt.
Everything was fine, and the young man, having burned
his fortune, could retire contentedly. And the “meaning”
was crawling away already while we spoke it so that we had to stare
after it leaving its trail on the grass
like somewhere water has just run.
Qing Zhang, NJ , Tenafly High School
SECOND PLACE WINNERS
It would be brazen of me to announce that
I have finally and completely reached a decision
on the color lukewarm chartreuse.
Lukewarm chartreuse reminds me (and probably you)
of Russia, among other things like Wednesday 2 P.M.
or even the one time you sat alone, cried, and finally thought
of pickles— an image which successfully ruined
the solemnity you had worked so hard to produce.
It's brazen though, really.
David Martorana, HI, Iolani School
Life as the City
The day wraps around itself - graying petals raise the walls of a secret garden
around the sun, baring their water-plump underbellies to the world.
The sky tips back in tremors of laughter, water draining
from its eaves, spreading the city over a lightless sky and dousing it in shades of gray.
A puddle of silver satin sheets squirms beneath me. Knees rolled
into my chest, arms draped around them, my eyes averted past the tear-
stained windows. A tube of beer-battered light tunnels from the streetlamp,
the edges siphoned away, leaving a haze where warmth meets damp night.
The sheets follow my feet to the floor -- they don't make it
past the bedroom. A bellow of thunder greets my hand at the front door.
Night and rain replace my skin in folds. I am the city.
I taste the perspiration fill my lungs, feel thousands of lights embed themselves
in my body, hear rippling voices tuck the kids away from the storm.
The cool rain drips through thick fingers
of tar into my veins, and my heart beats erratically, in sync with a million others.
Tangerine wicker claws at the back of my legs, and I'm drawn back
away from the world. The wicker chair is new, not broken in yet - like this Minneapolis
life. It needs to be tested, sculpted, softened. A private smile
creeps out into the city; and I let the people do the breathing for me.
Allison Malecha, MN, The Blake School
THIRD PLACE WINNER
Memoir of a Wannabe American Troubadour
Greyhound stationways on the out out skirts of town. Streets littered with long skirts, short skirts, torn skirts: the souvenirs and remnants of days that I don't remember--what is memory anyway?--Nothing if not a false sense.
(Amphetamine fueled crosscountrydaze)
on the green wall
of the bathroom stall
with a ballpoint cap (sharpened with teeth)
Gonorrhea on the sink,
carpet burn branding poetry
into my personified flesh.
The tongue to the roof of my mouth
of a generation.
"I'll speak it and breathe it."
Katharine Derrick, AZ, BASIS Tucson
THIRD PLACE WINNER
This is Poetry
The sharp, sanguine tang that gushes out
from the raspberries you rapaciously masticate,
the paint that stains your lips and
dribbles down your chin in a crimson pink torrent. This is
The enclave of Apis Mellifera Linnaeus and their utopian honeycomb,
which dangles perilously from the gnarled fingertip of the oaken willow,
which shudders with every baby’s breath of sighing wind
directly above a scarlet-marinated face, your own. This is
The bashful glimpse of the melted margarine Sol,
whose radiant luminosity severs holes through the whispering olive foliage
and fabricates a kaleidoscope of rainbow hues that pirouette and plié
amongst the ascending jessamine and spidery brown lichen. This is
All these things, woven as one; ripe ruby raspberries, pregnant with delectable juice
that quenches your Saharan thirst entice the honeybee coven whose hexagonal abode
clutches for purchase to an old man’s thumb and dangles right over you as shards of
sunshine glass slice through the summertime air and set the universe on fire. This is
Shannon Markiewicz, WI, Bay Port High School
THIRD PLACE WINNER
I’m not gifted with foresight to determine, in some great act of jurisprudence
Whether that earth is yours, mine, ours.
It's such a shame Epimetheus saw not the two of us,
Draped in bright yellow raincoats that ran gray in torrential rain,
As we raised our voices above thunder over who would clear the gutter.
In waters that ran black with murky darkness
I thought I saw a flash of silver, a charm from childhood.
But you, you saw the concrete box that framed the urban river
And commented on how it reeks with a delicate sort of hauteur.
In the type of gust that forces a hand on your head to keep your hat from lifting off,
We're muttering our hate of Spring and feverishly scratching at
Clumps of natural pollution, those baby green leaves,
To liberate the rain river snake.
The two of us are urban tadpoles, I think;
We're swimming in a pool of Oceanids, as if
Oceanus and Tethys really did fill the world with their love.
It makes me a cynic to push the blasted leaves aside and watch the water flee.
I was hydraulic.
Jenny Fan, TX, Bellaire High School
in random order
Precinct - Timothy Anderson, TX, Franklin High School
Minuit - Jessica Laurent, FL, Bartram Trail High School
untitled - Andrew Occiano, CA, Westview High School
A Grand Stage – Ryan Collins, IN Ben Davis High School
Lights of Amber – Samantha Giehll. WI, Memorial High School
Helix – Stephanie Vecellio, CT, Lyman Hall High School
dreams – Elizabeth Chin, CA, Mira Loma High School
Water Works – Eric Saulsbury, TX, Texarkana
God’s Sun – Lanly Le, AZ, Hamilton High School
Pareidolia – Olivia Waring, NJ, Villa Walsh Academy
Apology – Emma Stanford, WA, Anacortes High School
Inner-City Kid – Eleanor Ellis, OR, South Salem High School
naïve – Sean Fujimori, NH, Phillips Exeter Academy
A Hedgeside Rebellion – Jeff Fenoli, WA, Juanita High School
Jerusalem of Aureate – Faraz Yashar, FL , Seminole High School
All of the poems contained inside this anthology are absolutely fabulous.
In our opinion, on any given day any one of them could be an Honorable Mention.
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED REGIONAL WINNERS
Katelyn Bodwell , FL , Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Evangelos Razis , NY , Farmingdale High School
Allison Cavanaugh, PA, Avon Grove High School
Connie Shang, CA, Saratoga High School
Christina Maycann, TN, Center for Creative Arts
Lauryn Wright , VA , Princess Anne High School
Vanessa Diaz, CA, Maywood Academy High School
Stephanie Bardales, FL, Cypress Bay High School
Stephanie Reyes, FL, School for Advanced Studies
Anna Mae Elizabeth Robinson, VA, West End Christian School
Casey Bacci, MD, Decatur High School
Connie Selden, DC, Bishop McNamara High School
Tyler Lee Cox, FL, East Ridge High School
Isabella Watts, CA, Saint Paul High School
Jennifer Thompson, OR, Newberg High School
Charlotte Tregelles, NJ, Northern Highlands Regional High School
Audrey Li, NJ, The Pingry School
Cierra Goldstein, CA , Stellar Secondary Charter High School
Gema Mora , FL , Miami Senior High School
Donald Browner, MD, Clarksburg High School
Lindsey Mitchell , GA , McIntosh High School
Crystal Cordero, NJ, Monroe Township High School
Christine Rhoades, IN, New Albany High School
erika higgins, FL, Mount Dora High School
Emily Horodko, MI, Fraser High School
Robyn Wright, IL, Saint Charles North High School
Josh Harm, IL, Oak Forest High School
Lindsay Schleifer, VA, Loudoun Valley High School
Warda Nawaz, CA , Mira Loma High School
Christina Scott, OH, South Webster High School
Jessica Weinstein, PA, MaST Community Charter School
Megan Cain, MI, Swartz Creek High School
Vy-Vy Dang-Tran, CA, Mission Viejo High School
Benjamin Cleveland, VA, Hanover High School
Dashell Laryea, VA , Flint Hill School
Anthony Tran VA, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Elizabeth James, IN, Heritage Christian
Rachel Lytton, OR, South Eugene High School
Chelsea Ringquist, IL, Northside College Preparatory High School
Jonathan Wolf, OH, Homeschooled
Heaven Lindsey-Burtch , CA , Turlock High School
Matt Floyd, MO, Clearwater R1
Garrin Martinez , CO , East High School
Genevieve Ruiz, CA, La Puente High School
Katie Chase, WA, Southridge High
Faith Blocker, AL, Pelham High School
Elizabeth Klein, MI, Pewamo-Westphalia High School
Lauren Osman, OH, Troy High School
Anthony Douglas, MD, Brookville
Adela Wu, CA, Polytechnic School
Sarah Hannah, CO, Castle View High School
Kim Miller, CT, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
Kristofer O. Von Ahnen, IL, Loyola Academy
Rachel Huth, OH, North Royalton High School
Alejandro Bolivar, PR, Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola
Jane Carper, MA, Academy of the Pacific Rim
Julie Boerner, NY , Greece Arcadia
Leah Shamlian, VA, Oakton High School
Dawn Bennett , TX , John Horn High School
Christine Suk, CA, Andrews Osborne Academy
Kiersten Gazelka, MN, Willmar Senior High School
Polina Burmina, NY, James Madison High School
Angela Cosentino, AZ, Tempe Preparatory Academy
Laura Gibbon, TX, Azle High School
Isaac Heyman, OH, Monroeville High School
Johanna Pugsley, MN, Pugsley Homeschool
Lanly Le, AZ, Hamilton High School
Jason Santos, CA, Westview High School
Tina Hanae Miller, FL, Ransom Everglades
Mirin Fader, CA, LACES
Sarah Elshafie, CA, Newbury Park High School
Kelicia Phelps, NC, Mount Tabor High School
Lily Lai, IL, Lane Tech High School
Maria Regina Lopez, AL, John Carroll High School