Before we give you the list of winners for our 2003 – 2004 Fall and Winter Contests, we would like you to know that because of the massive response that we received for the Spring Contest we have not yet been able to complete the judging for that contest. We had not accounted for the massive response which we received during the last two weeks of the contest and because of prior commitments to the Fall and Winter contestants, we are still in the process of determining Regional Winners and Topical Winners for the Spring Contest, which closed April 15th.

We had originally stated that we would name 10 third place winners, 5 second place winners, and 1 grand prize winner. Because the Spring entries have not been fully processed we will announce 6 third place winners, 3 second place winners and 1 grand prize winner at this time. The judging for the Spring Contest will be completed by the end of July. Those chosen as Regional and Topical Winners will be allotted the month of August to respond with Certification Forms and Final Versions of their poems.

On Labor Day we will announce 4 additional third place winners, 2 additional second place winners, and 1 additional grand prize winner of the Easterday Poetry Award including another $1500.00 scholarship. All will be selected from the entries received for the Spring Contest. So while we are delaying the naming of some of this year’s winners for two more months, we are also adding an additional $1500.00 scholarship award. We are very glad to be in a position to this and to announce that next year we will increase the number of scholarships available and more than double the total amount of scholarship money to be awarded

We appreciate your patience while we work out these ‘growing pains’ and ‘Thank You’ immensely for putting us in a position where we are able to make such decisions without fear or compromise to the principles we hold dear. "Good students write good poetry and both should be rewarded." It is our goal to share that poetry as a way of making a connection between the hearts and minds of the students who write it and of the students who read it.


One last thing that needs mentioning before we give you the winners is that
we had OVER THIRTY THOUSAND, (that's 30,000!!!) entries during our Fall - Winter entry period.
If one person were to read them, spending two minutes reading each poem,
working 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, it would take them
26 weeks, or half a year to read them all one time.
That, my friends, is how many there were!!!
So stand up and cheer all of those whose names appear here,
because they are assuredly the best of the best.


Ladies and Gentleman,

without further adieu,

the winners from the Fall and Winter 2003-2004 Contests





Eulogy of Dreams

We walked on the edge of an empty field, malicious life flowing through
dreams' torrid memory. The sky was dull red, the color of dried blood.
I ran my hand along a broken paintless fence, afraid or unsure of your eyes.
We passed a small bird struggling against shattered wings to fly;
you said it was like me and dismissed it with a glance.
I reached for your hand, and our footsteps faded with the tears of flowers.

Across a dark whispering river we saw the gray sun, bleeding into a pale
distant sea like melting snow. I lowered my head and watched dead shoots pass beneath me,
wondering if they had seen the stars fall. The strangled breeze carried the
soft fingers of dandelions, and they clawed at my legs like a terrified child.
We paused and you looked at me, expressionless, as my shadow grew wings.

I heard the solitary voice of the Nightshade, and found you in my arms. You
were colder than the bleeding sky as you wept into my chest. I said,
"Starlight is only the breath of dreams," and the dim sun surrendered to a sightless night.

We shared a desperate, lasting kiss as we felt the world disintegrate. I held your shaking
form to me while the rusty field fell around us into the sepulcher of galaxies like rain.

There we remained, above the pit, encircled by wings.

I asked if you remembered the night we burned, and you kissed my tears.

I was truly happy when you said


Sarah Vitone, CA, Chatsworth High


The Swimmer
When we snapped your little pink roots,
Your dead sing-songy voice rattling, a dirty coin in a tin can
And we slapped our black heels on the wet tiles,
Singing right back at you
Awkward; our native tongues too swollen for the language of grief
Still learning our ashen shapes and our threadbare colors
From your pooling blue lips
Before your bowstring tendons and your electric blood crackled white lightning
And your nails ate half-moons into your chubby hands
You were asleep and dreaming when we snapped
Your little pink roots in the bone garden,
When we opened you up and sang down
The shaft of your reedy throat
Anika Khan, FL, Nova High School


a scorpion sits calmly
loaded with poison and ready to strike
power and passion rule her
emotions run deep like Marianas
she is an ocean
and yet she flies
on the soft white wings of her distant crane
steady and solid
but unmoving
and so the scorpion sits calmly
waiting for her crane to breathe life into her
and hoping he can survive her poison
Jessica Jennings, TX, Alief Taylor High School


A Smooth Tomorrow

If tomorrow the sea went smooth,
may I hold one more shell up to my ear
and hear one final soothing rumble.
If tomorrow the sea went smooth,
may I grasp one last hand of coarse, warm sand;
it will never feel the same again.
If tomorrow the sea went smooth,
may I finally find the perfect pebble
and throw it back to the dying sea.
If tomorrow the sea went smooth,

may I run my fingers over one more piece of driftwood;

tomorrow it will be a rarity.

If tomorrow the sea went smooth,

may   I   forget   all  of   the   yesterdays,
for tomorrow our ways will come to an end.
If   tomorrow   the   sea   went   smooth,
may I be there to watch the last wave
fight    its     way    to     the    shore,
then     both     our    hearts     shall     stop,
and     all      will     be    s    m     o     o     t     h.
Carol A. Daviscourt, OR, South Medford High School


I took a bath. With you.
I was the naked nymph, the body shivering, craving liquid warmth.
You were the metal faucet, the water raging out of you, onto, all over, filling.
I turn the dial to hotter. This water is our love.
I see the steam and can no longer decipher my reflection in the mirror. Moist, fog, breathe it.
You are filling the tub with water and love, and I want you to overflow it.
I want to see the water slither down the edges, tasting my toes, rising to the sink, the window.
Rushing cars turn over, No Parking signs no longer matter, for the town is flooding
And the state is getting wet,
And we don't care.
I want you to spill out love beyond beyond

Instead, I press into your head.
My robe unyokes
my hair lets go
my panties know
and I slow my feet my legs into the water.
You a fixed position. This tub our feast.
You. I know you are watching me, that watering can reflecting me.
Love licks me.
Under, Water.
Sarah Olmsted Thomas, Va, James Madison High School

I Write This Poem With A Vengeance
After years of verbal massacre, I write this poem with a vengeance ladies and gentlemen,
for all the phrases in the English language that have been assassinated by minds too idle
to complete whole thoughts and souls too artificial to seek originality. I write this poem
for clichés held hostage by every day conversations and helping verbs viciously slaughtered by the
spiteful jargon of human tongue. I write this poem for every teenager
who has raped definitions of their innocence and prepositions of their dignity. And still I
write this poem for the individuals, the esoteric and incoherent, who are homeless in thought, but never
seem to stop probing through the abyss of the vernacular alley, who never stop trying to reinvent
themselves in new and wholly original slang. And so I write this poem for all the deep and mellow
teachers who have ignored the circle of life and
prompted me to "think outside of the box", these same well-dressed clones that follow itineraries and
schedules with complete dedication and aren't in the least bit claustrophobic. I write this poem for every
genuine thought aborted and every vulnerable phrase held gunpoint by those with no imagination
and fingers too eager to pull the trigger. Ladies and gentlemen, I write this poem for anyone who has looked
originality dead in the eyes and has--with cold blood--assassinated it with the weapon of recycled
thought. I write this poem with a vengeance in hopes that redemption is not at a loss, in hopes that
before we utter yet again another half-wit cliché or poorly conveyed phrase, that we look deep within
ourselves and realize we don't have the heart to commit murder.
Janet L. Beyan, CA, King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science


steaming coffee stains our napikins
the color of aged photographs as
we daintily wipe our mouths

i stare
  at my coffe-reflecion and watch it flow apart
as i stab
  it with the stirring rod.
i tell you
  i can't take it anymore,
  that i never know what life is about.
i tell you
  i need more than this.
you throw
  your head back and laugh
 as you flip a page in your novel
you say
  that everyone needs more to life.
i tell you
  that isn't exactly what i meant
but again you ignore.
Tina Kirby, MI, East Jordan High School


The clouds never learn:
like bored school children
they drift lazily by,
smudging the blue windows
with stray fingertips,
refusing to settle
when the lights go down,

and though they are told
a million times,
they never remember
to duck under the beam
of the film projector,

every time apologizing on their way out
for spoiling the show.

Lauren Slubowski, MI, Mercy High School


A Mockery of Ashes

The particles fell from the bag like sand,
Danced wildly on the softest breath of wind,
And momentarily settled on the tense
Surface of the gleaming, diamond lake
Before a ravenous wave rose high,
Opened wide its rabid, foaming mouth,
And swallowed quickly, sending them
Swirling to rest at the bottom alongside
Scurrying crayfish and smooth black stones.

The rocking water only winked impishly,
Sunlight glinting off its many facets
And the clear lake innocently unaware that
A lifetime of memories were consumed,
Hidden in dark depths untouched by the
Feet of wading humans and hooded loons.

The cruel finality of deep loss was mocked
By those waters sparkling with complicity,
Flowing indiscriminately over birth or death
And crashing through both tears and smiles,
Washing heartache and love onto one shore.
Morgan Goodspeed, PA, Hershey High School


He reached over the small diner-esque table,
grabbed my lemonade,
and took a few huge sips,
all the while his eyes glued to mine,
waiting for me to react,
to say something.
His eyebrows were raised
as if to question me,
his eyes looking up at mine,
and I knew that if not for the straw in his mouth,
he would have a broad boyish smirk on his face.
But I just looked at him
and laughed,
and he put the lemonade down and laughed too,
and the glass left a wet streak as he slid it back over to my side of the
Marissa Schaeffer, CA, Santa Monica High School
(In random order)


Life’s Metaphor – Andy Zender – IL – Highland Park HS
Worn Wooden Box – Kendall Brunson – FL - Jacksonville Christian Center Academy
Rose – Rachel Gessert – CO - Cheyenne Mountain HS
"Pottery Barn sheet… - Katie Wallace – CA - San Dieguito HS Academy
An End – Sara Spaulding – MN - Anoka HS
Shougun’s Last Geisha – Cheng-ting Lee – TX - Bellaire HS
He Is, So I Am – Nicole Couillard – VT - Milton HS
Auguste Kirche – Sebastian Doherty – CO - Collegiate Academy of Colorado
Changing Destinations – Samantha Marie Carder – GA - Kennesaw Mountain HS
Summer Grapes – Stacy Jones – NJ – Piscataway HS
Puddles – Megan Robb – TN – White Station HS
almost like a Friday afternoon schoolyard romance – Jessalyn Wakefield – CA – Horizon Instructional Systems
Surrounded By Water But The Flames Still Burn – Kristi Alloway – TX – Temple Christian School
Rain on a Tin Roof – Whitney Anne White – CA – Victory Christian School
On Hemingway – Melissa Gray – MA – Fairhaven HS
The dusky rose light bathing his bedroom ceiling… - Megan Metzger – IL – Glenwood HS
Ennui – Patrick W Ward – NM –
Magniloquent Nudniks All – Brittany Marie Vogt – TN – Science Hill HS
Ode To Elizabeth – Robin Schweitzer – MO – Jefferson City HS
The Doll – Lindsey Moore – OR – Glencoe HS
Oak – Janine Toner – NJ – The Hun School of Princeton
The Piano Went Silent One Day – Rachel Filippetti – SC – James F Byrnes HS
What Will Become – LeAnn Alstadt – MN – Breckenridge Senior HS
Forbidden Fruit – Vanessa Peck – OH – Madeira Jr/Sr HS
iwasbornincocoabeachbutidon’trememberit – Kayleigh A Somers – MD – Perry Hall HS
Nirvana in a box – Laura Hopps – OK – Classen School of Advanced Studies
Exotic Flavors Seeping Down A Coupled Floor – Bri Mullis – NC – Walter M Williams HS
These Hands – Iza Wojciechowski – TX – Franklin HS
A Poet Is Dead – Emily Fincher – WV – Wood County Christian School
Oyster Shells – Kathryn Waller – SC – American School
Io’s Sonnet to Jupiter – Kelli Monhan – SC – Thomas Sumter Academy
Water the Desert – Lauren Clark – TX – Ronald Reagan HS
Garden of Airplanes – Mike Young – CA – Oroville HS
Hard Run – Rachel Burton – GA – Brookwood HS
Dreams to be Forgotten – Kerissa Kelly-Slatten – CA – Palos Verde Peninsula HS
tragedy of the Average – Inna Dykman – MI – Okemos HS
Uncertainty of a Tear – Kara Slattery – SC – Woodruff HS
The Winding Willows – Michelle Moabber – IL - McHenry Community HS
Googly Eye – Matthew Medved – NY – Brighton HS
roots - Janet J Oh – IL Glenbrook South HS
A Pomp Amaranthine – Brianna Reed – OH – The Schilling School for Gifted Children
The Lost Unicorn – Sierra Armstrong – PA – Warrior Run HS
SPIDER – Jessica Ebert – CO – Rocky Mountain HS
When the Master Has Fallen – Michael M Crandall – FL – Lincoln Park Academy
Price for a Serenade – Mason Gray – KS – Olathe East HS
Space Face – Shannon O’Hara – PA – Keystone National HS
Liquid Phase - Jim Cuzella – CO – Mullen HS
Across the Street – Lara Nicole Ruggles – AZ – Home Schooled
A Maiden’s Creed – Rachel Bauer – CA – Palmdale HS
Dismantling the Stone – Kaitlin Kalk – NC – Millbrook HS
Urban Nightfall – Lauren Ruth – IL – Clear Lake
Discovering Poetry – Rosanna Nunan – PA – Danville HS
When the Sky Bleeds – Brittany Ross – FL – Seabreeze HS
Winter – Brittany Javor – Co – ThunderRidge HS
The Orangist Manifesto – John Scarfutti – PA – Kiski Area HS
Henna – Claire Lauterbach – VA – Yorktown HS
Apple – Elise Ware – AZ – Amphitheater
Icy Cold Breath – Kharis Meggian Wilhite – GA – Woodland HS
Genius in the Eye of the Beholder – Emily Rock – OH – Sycamore HS
Passionate Intelligentsia – Adam Burnett – KS – Topeka HS
A Modernist Prometheus – Kacie L Henderson – CO – Mullen HS
Nightrise - Mikaela Kinsbury – CA – Analy HS
Shining – Michael Nelson – IL – Lincoln-Way East


Professional RandoMnEss – Danielle Hurst – KS – Overland Park HS
Lifehands – Rebekah Wilhelm – PA – homeschooled
Locker 249 – Kira Jordan – VA – Washington-Lee HS
A Sidewalk, Thirty-Five to Forty Minutes Later – Lewis Levenberg – NJ –
Innovations in Street Paving – Stefanos Chen – NY – Francis Lewis HS
Raspberry Daisy – Nancy Finney – MI – Howell HS
The Battle – Kristen N Kouttab – RI – North Kingstown HS
Ashes – Melissa May Karnaze – CA – Rancho Bernardo HS
a small spark… - Rebecca Boyle – CA – Homestead HS
All I Am – Brian Fouhy – WA – Bothell HS
O Conscience, wherefore have I lost ye? – George Chang – TX – Clements HS
Simply Put – Katie Stover – NV – Galena HS
Miscegenation – Kafayat Babajide – TX – George Bush HS
Monotonous Figures on Porous Skin – Michelle Monkress – GA – Lownde HS
The Hunter and Me – Nikki Gilbertson – WI – Verona HS
Worldpoem – Marie Wiley – CO – Paonia HS
Falling Leaf – Corinna Brewer – AL - Sparkman HS
Watercolors – Jessica Johnson – OH – Hawken HS
The Manifesto of a Hyperpower – Dionne Akiyama - Indonesia – Jakarta International School

Links to other sites on the Web

rules and entry procedures for current contest
Our Poetry Club on Yahoo

© 2004 Live Poets Society of NJ
email at "LPSNJ@comcast.net"