FIRST PLACE WINNER
$500 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZE
You feel empty, that’s for sure.
The teacup shatters and you are thrown into reality.
The knight you envision is nothing but a phantasm,
A mere reflection off the bent-glass windowpane.
You finger the remnants of a holiday long forgotten:
Rainbows and flowers are nothing but
Makeshift words of a half-eaten language.
Dregs of illusions float up to the surface
Burnt and hanging from the wick.
That death would only last a little while and winter
Would someday melt into spring –
It’s only strings of fantasies your heart likes to breed.
Make them make believe
Make them make believe.
You wish that were possible
Lumin Shen, PA, Henderson High School
SECOND PLACE WINNER
$300 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZE
It’s the sound of your mother’s high heels against the floor,
Sweeping around in her perfume aura and dangly earrings,
And in your father’s arms,
Both hearing the music in their footsteps,
Both reliving the moments that not even time could take away.
It’s the sound of your fingers unlocking the windows,
And smiling to the November sun,
Whose rays dance on every drop of morning dew
And sprinkle the sky with mirrors of blue.
It’s the sound of your daughter’s three hundred piece jigsaw puzzle –
A map of the world, actually –
Land with water, continent with continent,
The earth joined together by a single twist of the wrist.
It’s the sound of our fingernails scraping the hospital doors,
So that we might sneak a look at our grandchild,
Her face dotted with your freckles, and my eyelashes –
A mixture of our own histories upon her tiny face, holding wonder like a cup.
It’s the sound of all of our generations
Making our marks into the past,
And setting the stars to light the future.
Linda Yu, NY, John Jay High School
THIRD PLACE WINNER
$150 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZE
Dark Vader he awaits.
And sometimes marches along the tidal strides.
Some say he can be defeated, but yet he never dies.
I am infatuated with him.
The obscure depths of the most brilliant minds.
Through the prefrontal cortex and down the cerebellum as he reconfigures the system that runs the robot and drives the mechanic genius.
Coal colored shells.
Piercing his body.
The placidness of his white persona cools his exterior.
He kills the body and takes the soul that is his criteria.
Do not confuse his manners with being unorthodox.
For he is well aware of his misdeeds.
Because this is moon madness, at the pinnacle of blasphemy.
Christian Locklayer, GA, Ola High School
old father, at home
counting his gummy nickels.
lima bean soup on the stove,
ham bone steam trickles
on your own before the retirement
home, where skull steam fizzles.
In the wicker chair
his fingers look like pickles.
weathered men fum-
ble with their buttons,
shirts, with their mud-
dled zippers snag and clip
questions: He our shepherd
or I, mutton?
the lima bean pole is getting old,
the beans look like his ears.
As I pull the dry pods off the fence,
on the other side,
tell me what you hear.
Samuel Pelczar, MD, Gunston Day School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED WINNERS
A Breath of God - Chelsea Tanis, MI Hudsonville High School
12:01 AM - Andi Fink, MO, Park Hill South High School
Deaf - Shireen Cheng, CA, South Hills High School
wings - Amanda Fox, MO, Chillicothe High School
Epiphany, Engulfed - Patrick Huang, TX, Bellaire High School
Mariposas Y Secretos - Amethyst Sanders, TX, John Paul Stevens High School
Ice - Raka Chaki, NJ, Marlboro High School
The Bunny - Sharon Smaldone, CO, Green Mountain High School
Shakespearean Sonnet of New - Alyssa Dowler, AP, Nile C. Kinnick HS (Japan)
Spring - Tatianna Kufferath, CA, Ernest Righetti High School
Vishnu - Adrieanna Coco, IN, Portage High School
Lenses - Anna Renken, MN, Central High School
Wake - Nestor Collazo, NJ, Pionert Academy of Science
Birth to a Son of Eternal Abandonment - Shree Agrawal, NJ, J.P.Stevens High School
Please, Excuse the Makeshift Kite - Weslie Lechner, CA, Agoura High School
You Are the Young One - Catherine Graham, WA, homeschooled
Wake - Victoria Lang, CA, San Marcos High School
battered butterfly - Anna Winters, NY, Duanesburg Central School
A Traveler's Song - Alec Phillips, CA, Valley Center High School
Beauty - Gabrielle Richardson, MS, homeschooled
The Eternal Departure - Krishna Metivier, FL, College Academy at BC
The Purple Cycle of Thy Foolish Heart of Red - Varun Prabakar, NJ, S Brunswick HS
A Tweeting Tribute - Sasha Weiss, NY, Jericho High School
The Butcher - Jordan Dubinsky, NJ, Barnegat High School
My Mercury - Shannon Markiewicz, WI, Bay Port High School
Poetry - Branden Odum, FL, Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School
The Reader - Julia Schlesinger, NY, Hunter College High School
Dust - Nia M. Allen-Lee, NJ, Parlin
Walking Through Those Weary Ways- Ryan Burks, GA, Academy of Richmond County
How high the moon on autumn nights like this - Dylan MarcAurele, CT, East Granby HS
Halcyon - Adiba Khan, WA, Skyline High School
Natural Emotion - Lauren Manning, CT, Convent of the Sacred Heart