Live Poets Society of NJ

Winners Fall - Winter 2006

Eternal Decay
Desecrated, stripped, torn bodies standing tall
Alone, but with each other, ripped from their home
The smell, that smell, perfumes the room
Sickly sweet, rotting, and strong
As though upon this ground, a battle was fought
And all the dead left for the carrion birds
Most limbs have been hacked or fallen away
Their faces peeled to roast in the sun
All the rest taken and crushed with a stone
If ever they were beautiful, none could tell now
Green, dried, brittle bones staring at a wall
They came from the fields to die in a jar
Departing from the land they loved for the joy of few
Leaving behind and after death, a scent of spring and must
That hovers with those memories
Clouding all dreams that pass through their tomb
Stiff books of the warriors open with a sigh
Released with their own stories are the remains
Pressed petals that were stolen, fall upon the floor
Mourning lost stems, that held them up as roses
 Sarah Stitt, GA, Starr’s Mill High School

Season Change, Wounded Heart (a triptych)
Mister Sunshine fell upon my brow in the form of refreshing laughter.
I doubt I’ll ever know how to be such a narcissist as he, for he wanders about the looking glass—
And yet his light only recoils from the mirror to strike him in the pupils.
He turns away and looks to me, his broken iris shedding starlight onto my shoes.
I flick the glitter off the patent leather and my lips curl towards the apples of my cheeks.
“Would you like to share with me?” He says.
This night is dipped in gold and dripping of class, and we could be ever youthful, together—
“Could I osculate the words that are dripping from your lips?” I ask.
“Would you justify them otherwise?” He replies.
A quarter-moon floats politely above the urban decay, spilling itself into a smoker’s filmy smile.
I am so charmed by the screaming beams of brilliance that I fail to identify the change in climate.
My stare is tugging hard on the mocking creases of his mouth when it starts to fade.
Sunshine, he sank down and tugged on my heartstrings as he kissed my lashes—
My eyelids pulled away from each other to find him missing, the starlight sipped from my shoes.
The ants crawled away to hibernation and cackled amongst themselves, smirking in my direction.
Time seems to melt itself away, charring the faces of first dates and swallowing them whole.
I was so inspired I thought I knew myself, but I only know my mistakes
Suzanne Exposito, FL, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts


If only we knew
My body is the housing
that facilitates the muscle
of your desire. The object
of pining seems but miles away
in an unattainable refuge.
But what you dont know is
that every ounce pumped
through these arteries
is a liter of love
devoted to you.
May soon we shall confess
our parallel affection.
I pray this levee of interim
collapses to deluge admirers
with empathy--enabling us
to embrace one another,
clinch for eternity.
Beneath the skies, welkin
shall let us breathe
the same breath.
Kyle Kress, IN, Heritage Hills HS

One Speaks of Poetry
One speaks of poetry: yea, the glowing flowers of a dusky evening's garden,
                  the aromatic fragrances of love, passion: poetry. Their scent whispers
                  up beneath the beautiful words of so many rhymes.
One speaks of poetry: yea, the wild thrashings of a summer thunderstorm, the madman
                  glare of a harvest moon, red and ripe with the year's reap. O show me one of
                  those lovely, perfumed writers who can capture the untamed portrait of the
                  soul of the wilderness: Barbaric to the core, the wolf shall rest with the
                  wood-dove, innocence incarnate! 
One speaks of poetry: yea, a thing unscented, unseen. Brainchild of the soul, nursed to
                  life: suckled with the blood borne of pain, reared on the fear of the dark,
                  sustained on an underlying ghost of hope that wishes shall be granted. 
                  Empty tire-swing, rotten-down house, graves lying amongst the weeds:
                  Lonesome figments of memories, producing a freezing of the heart.
Cry your understanding: yea, poetry if life through the eyes of the soul! Selective,
                  unique in each specific case: perfumed, wild, or intangible.
O sound your truth: yea, poetry shapes the world, is the understanding of dreams,
                  is the perception of existence: For there is no existence without breath, and
                  poetry is nothing but the collective sighs of humanity, whispering,
                  whispering to each other the innumerable wonders of life.
Sam Franklin, IN, Cascade High School

In a meadow far from here there is a dark tree
set ablaze with crimson-
a dark clustering of roots and
topped with a hue so stark
it is as if all of the sunlight and shadow
want nothing but to feed me with their warm hands.
Carmen Garcia, CA, Rancho Buena Vista High School

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[You cannot wipe the slate clean once you've stained it red]
"Mommy, am I different"
"They all say so"
"It's all right"
"I forgive you"
(Don't play with [her], children)
([It] isn't like you)
"I tripped"
"That's all"
[Red Marks]
[They control the slate]
[For you, there is no clean]
Elyssa Farina, MD, Owings Mills High School
(in no particular order)
Of Stars – Amy Eveslage, MN, New Ulm HS
Art Project in the Psycho Ward – Kelsey Whitesell, CO, Evergreen HS
Breath of a Winter – Nelly Medina, NY, West Hempstead HS
Momento – Alex Yang, NY, Herricks HS
Synapse to Synapse – Dawn Kim, CA, Diamond Bar HS
Willpower – Kristen Hammaker, OH, Beavercreek HS
Apologies in Autumn – Shara Esbenshade, IL, University Laboratory HS
Untitled – Erica Thompson, OR, Crescent Valley HS
Dream Deep Before it Ends – Kendra Granniss, NC, Apex
Culture Vacuum – Jenny Fan, TX, Bellaire HS
Myopia – Lisa Merkhofer, CA, Monte Vista HS
The Tree’s Dead…So What of the Apple? – Adele Costa, NY, Glenn HS
Meditations on a Red Thread – Stina Attebery, ID, Pocatello
Here Under the Sky’s Sighing Stars – Jessica Templer, CA, Newbury Park HS
A Letter From November – Anna Eveslage, MN, New Ulm HS
Tracks – Miranda Gipe, PA, Bloomburg HS
Columbia – Daniel Miller, WA, Homeschool
(Untitled) – Jonathan Andrews, NY, Mount Sinai HS
Sundered Summer – Kelsey Reeves, WA, Battle Ground HS
Ghosts and Blossoms – Sam Lay, FL, Pace HS
The God in the Earth – Rachel Cabrera, NY, Long Beach HS
Frozen Feather, My Solitary Soliloquy – Amanda Johnson – IN, Corydon Central HS
The Walnut Tree – Sterling Ulrich, MS, East Central HS
trivialities – Grace Ramswick, CA, Rancho Buena Vista HS
The soul in the stanza – Elliot Karl, IL, Downers Grove North HS
To my father – Hillary Neal, WA, Sequim HS
Airless Apex – Adrienne Deshaies, CO, East HS
A Sinner’s Dream – Augustin Phung, CA, Oxford Academy
Neon – Erin Jaeger, NH, Keene HS
i can’t stop you from falling in love with her. - Kayla Satmaria, CT, Cheshire HS
Compatible – Ellen Doornbos, MI, Grand Rapids Christian HS
Delicate Veracities – Claire Phelan, PA, Merion Mercy Academy

All poetry copyright 2007 by Live Poets Society of NJ

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