spring-summer 2006

Dear World,
If I were a doctor,
Sapient and bearing,
A prominence my good name would sustain,
And within the walls of hospitals, luminous limelight shines where
So dexterous would I lacerate the harbingers of pain, and still
Would juxtapose my gallantry with subtlety and unassuming grace;
With ivory overcoat that sways so cavalier
As I would stride composed down the corridor that is determinant--
Life 'round one bend, Death contaminating the other.
I would capture all the seeming of omnipotence,
And still so chaste would hone a pewter-bay mien,
Oh, the pastures I would pace that dress in cool white silkiness,
And shed warm bastions o'er seas infectious and overgrown.
If I were a doctor,
Boundless glory of celestial reach would forever reverberate,
Greatness through fidelity my soul would sweetly sate.  But not so--
For I am but antimatter
Which the good doctor-- unconcerned-- did annihilate
Before I came to be.
James P. Elliott, NY, Maine-Endwell Senior High
Instrument Allegiant
Shadows dance with dust throughout the hall,
Filled with shattered remnants of long strife.
Arrows, spears and shields line every wall,
Few remaining whole 'midst wreckage rife.
I have been a broken sword re-forged.
Tall and pale, a tower stands alone,
Girded 'round with ruins once as proud.
Darkness rages loud about the stone,
Seeking its white pillar to enshroud.
I have been a watcher at the door.
Rainclouds sweep across a withered moor,
Battling with the night and shrieking wind.
Black storms furnish all they can conjure,
Unchecked in their wrath, undisciplined.
I have been a fiercely blazing torch.
Sword and watcher, bravely-flaming brand,
Must accomplish their appointed task:
Guarding all the strongholds of the land
'Til the one they watch for comes at last.
I will be rewarded evermore.
Helen Primozic, NM, Tyndale Academy of Engaging Scholars


Silhouettes in Saigon
Impoverished, soiled hands of poverty
amidst a dust-filled third world country I used to know
shattered into a scene of oxen sauntering
through thick rice paddies and stork-like
silhouettes gracefully hovering ao dai dresses
above copper-red mud
Regrets faded into Polaroids of cherished moments;
hardships thawed into a cup of lavender tea
at my favorite café.
A world played in slow motion,
slowly identifying pieces of the
Technicolor mosaic of my life:
the bohemian stepping on the cracks of asphalt sidewalks
in the metropolitan twilight--drawn to nothing but the
neon-lit scatter of moving vehicles.
the architect of new ideas on the gently-swaying swing sets—
plastered in front of a backdrop of rustling autumn leaves.
the shadow of a thinker sitting on an ancient fire escape—
contemplating the significance of Baroque art and
waiting for something more out of this kalaidescopic life
Tri Chiem, TX,  Langham Creek  High School

Naught but These Revere Repose
The gift of respite from a day
For which exhaustion breeds its home,
See naught the welcome face display,
But that of weary figure’s moan
Of pleasure, now the toil done
In mid of mindless midnight scene,
A shaft of droning light succumb
At last, lethargic torpid dream
Reward the narrowed pupil seam,
Screaming silent, anguished hate,
Defunct and dry of lashes wean
To meet a union, fall and meet.
When body’s arms – inert and dead
Have reached demeanor void of use,
Their tendons now a somber lead
Exhaustion now their pulse profuse.
Appear this time, nocturnal shift…
Discernment now – it’s wit to close.
To be, can be a blessed gift,
For naught but these revere repose.
Kevin Smith, NY, Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. HS

Train Tracks IV
there is nothing here but you and I
Facing the folds of time again
passing us by like some sort of ghost train
Flashing spots of black then fading into white
We’ve followed these tracks for months and we keep going
but they never end, of course.
We’re only waiting to end up where we started.
But I’m sure we’ll end up in the junkyard covered in rust.
When the sky is light grey and the air is soft and sharp
My hands are dry and cool and the water is only calm
you’re skipping over the holes in the bridge but
you have to catch me when I fall through.
the years pass and the cycle continues.
history repeats itself and so do my words.
we speak in redundant tongues and neither of us will ever leave.
your mouth spews an eloquent flood but I shut mine too long ago.
we speak our so-called love again and again and neither of us will ever leave
this cycle of tracks and trees and gaping holes in the bridges.
each day we pass and pass and twilight fades to starlight, and
time is irrelevant.
Kaylee Frick, NY, West Seneca West Senior High School

Some Free Verse
Bored, brittle-with eyes kaleidoscopic
They've shoved the color out of these cities
Swept it to the coasts where it clings
to the buildings and the seawater -
and my mouth is wet with warm pacific
and my chest burns up the rise and fall of atlantic cold.
Yes, with eyes kaleidoscopic -
The sidewalk is refracted, but gray,
it is thunderheads in broken glass
and I think i'd cut my feet if it meant
I'd spare a starving curb a splash of color
Red is a violent comfort and it smells like home
Bored, brittle - and I'd like to be split in two,
I think - perhaps in four or eight;
to spread my legs and arms and receive the world
and bruise under her bent hands - violet; violent too.
And if the world will not come calling
the next tall thing with poetic eyes
Will do.
Rubilly DelaRosa, OH, Lebanon High School

(in random order)
Track Memories and Train Thoughts – Maria Newkirk, CO, D’Evelyn HS
young girls -  Conor Meara, NJ, Princeton Day School
Milo’s Town  - Patricia Sazani, CA, St Joseph HS
English Sanctum – Kathryn Flowers, TX, Arlington HS
Refrigeration – Angela Rivera, IL, Oak Park HS
Persephone – Kenzi Shelby, OR, Corvallis HS
The Janjaweed Stampede – Robin Sena, NC, Southwest Guilford HS
black tea – Amy Huang, NJ, Stuyvesant HS
eastward – A. C. Morris, TX, Garland HS
Candles – Laura Whiteside, CA, Bishop Union HS
Father Brown Leaves the Clergy – Kristen Patrow, MN, Northome School
Escape into Reality – Kenny Taylor, GA, Marist School
Sorry! – Karen Singletary, ID, Boise HS
The Servitude Having Ended - Madeleine LePere, MA, The Lawrenceville School
Uncertain Hue – Mitchell Shanklin, WI, LaFollette HS
green. – Lindsey Coleman, NJ, Lawrence HS
words for the louvre – Justin Friello, NY, Schenectady HS
kentucky tuesday – Allie Fleder, NJ, Westfield HS
Office Space – Ingrid Sjostrand, MI, Clarkston HS
A Silent Moon – Renee Reder, NH, Nashua HS South
Mist – Sarah Yeung, NJ, Piscataway HS
The Innocence Plague – Ellen Underwood, MD, La Plata HS
Atrophy – Hallie Rane, CA, Orange County HS of the Arts
and this end is a beginning – Natalya Carrico, IL, Oak Park/River Forest HS
Eternal Night – Jessica Mina-Aguilar, TX, Jesse Jones HS
A Pause, a Sadness, a Fury – Gina Rodriguez, NJ, Nutley HS
Autopsy of a Childhood – Lauren McConnell, TX, The Oakridge School
7:26 P.M. December Eleventh, 2003 – Jay Markson, MA, Apponequet Reg HS
Listening to Creole – Taylar Hart, LA, St Martin’s Episcopal School
Crimson in the Mist – Alaine Reichle, MI, Valley Lutheran HS
Numb – Cara Murphy, MO, University of Missouri–Columbia HS
FREE to feel, FREE to fight – Hunter Richards, AR, Jonesboro HS
The Stragglers – Tyler Lucero, NY, Rush-Henrietta Sr HS
I’m going to fly… - Bonnie Krejci, TX,  Billy Ryan HS
Midnight – Samantha Vrhel, CA, Escondido HS
Toothy Grins – Corey Clark, MA, Tahanto Reg HS
Paint the Trees – Erin Jaeger, NH, Keene HS
Deal: v., n. - Heather Leonard, NC, First Flight HS
Ending the Thirst – Kassie Turner, MO, Diamond HS
Poem 3 – A.F., CA, Taft HS
The Last Sunset – Bess Meyers, NJ, Cherry Hill HS East
Poplolly – Hannah Hughes, AL, Vestavia Hills HS
The Land of Enchantment – Levent Aker, CA, The Bishop’s School

What’s to Come… - Carla Ruiz-Velasco, CA, Otay Ranch HS
Mozart’s Song – Lauren Bloom, PA Hampton HS
Divinity and Her Martyrdom –Christine Barclay, WI, West Bend East HS
From the Ashes – Jonathan Dieter, NJ, Orchard Valley Middle School

Thanks to all of you for helping to make this year’s contest
the very best that it could possibly be.

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