Online Poetry Contest

Read the winning and notable entries.

Kids (ages 5-12)

Winning Entry

Heart Stop

Claire R.


Heart stopper

Life taking

White lines

and green numbers


I'd never thought

I'd be here now

Waiting for the beats to run out


Death awaiting

Body shaking

The clock is ticking

My life is fading









Beating till the heart stop


Every lie comes with a cost

20 percent of lives are lost

The cost of the smoke

The fire

The flame

As my world burns out

and I'm left with shame







Beating till the heart stop


Paper gowns and flashing lights

Paper thin withering life

protruding bones

and ghostly ribs

blacking out as my strength runs thin








Beating till the heart stop


Tearing eyes

and strangled screams

My body transforms

a bloody crime scene

Salty tears mix with blood

soaking in pain of all that was done


Paper clips

and stolen stones

In and In they make it go

In In In the numbers grow


It'll make you strong

Protect your heart

but I don't care

it's worth the heart stop









Beating till the heart stop


Our story is ending

This chapter is failing

Parents cry

Through every good bye


Gone are our dreams

Gone is our life

They say you'll leave before your time


Everynight I watch my breath

Wondering how much breath I have left

I watch my heart and shallow lines

As silent tears leak from swollen eyes












Now I"ll have the heart stop




I won't let my heart stop


Notable Entry

Stay Strong

Harper Z.


Falling short,

making a Wish,

taking Ten Thousand Tries,

But it’s Farther Than The Moon.

Still being Shattered,

but Even If We Break,

I Can Make This Promise that the Only Road to success,

isn’t thinking about All The Things That Could Go Wrong,

By taking the Full Ride, Being Brave, and finding the friends you are Meant To Be with,

You are living your life to its full potential,

So Slay the day away.

Come And Find Me,

while I am Gone,

I Am Still Alive,

so Don’t Stop Now,

Blue Skies will come.

Notable Entry

In the forest all alone

Allison S.    

Leaves are back on trees 
Spring comes to make peace and love 
But I’m left alone

Teens (ages 13-17)

Winning Entry

Ode to the Root

Grace F.



as the strands of eternal life grow,

the routes reaching endlessly

into a dark abyss.


On the surface

above the hidden architect,

the underground kingdom

with a network of streets,

lies a simple organism.


A lofty tree,

the boughs blooming

with colorful leaves,

such elegant complexion

flowing throughout,

seeking for attention.



resilient wanderers

keep the plant anchored

absorbing water,

as the fresh scent of nature

drifts up.


Unseen heroes,

the backbone of the tree,

while one marvels

over the heavenly site.

Petals blooming,

like awaking to the sun’s delicate fingers

after the dim surface of dawn,

but little did they remember

the foundation of all that stands in front.


The roots of this plant,

what aids the growth,

what aids the strength,

yet what is simply forgotten.


Notable Entry

What I Want

Mia T.


Pockmarked, scarred, blemished skin

A bulging ashy fiber crown

Thick skin

An obtrusive and intrusive body

“Cosmetically challenged”

Lump gripped and dripped skin


Light licked and bit skin

Seedless needless

Bloated and distended zipper-skin

Rumination germination

“Butt ugly”

Confusion protrusion

A repugnant sun in my palm


I wonder if a dekopon,

Shiranui mandarin,

Sumo orange,

Sheds its peel

Willingly because it has so much to give

A sweet note

Acidic bite

Sun savored sap on my tongue

But afraid of when it puts up a fight


Its little cousin, Clementine Cutie, could not possibly understand

It is too easily digested

Appealing, even

A gift to the beholder


However, when I dig into its shell

It squirms and struggles

Poreless and smooth I cannot get a grip

Jabbing the side with my thumb

Under my nails its scent claws into my fingertips

Unfolding fractured and frail


I could not want it

It does not want me


Give me the sumo

Let it roll and fill my hand

Let it give its love to me

Thick skin aside

Let it kiss me with its light

Drip on my chin

Stain my lips


Give me something I want

That wants me too.


Notable Entry

Where I’m From

Reya V. 

I am from skies of muted pink hues and bright orange glows,
of sparkling stars and marbled milky moons.
I am from pages of my own book,
from frosty evenings spent playing soccer,
softly whipped mint ice cream instantly melting into my tongue,
dying of laughter with my family about everything and nothing at once.
I am from glittering lakes and oceans
filled to the brim with hope and hard work,
hours of Karate, homework, and book-writing.
I feel the gentle wind pushing me forward with approval.

I am from scrapes and sprains and wins and losses,
never-ending bruises and muddy cleats that sit uncomfortably,
like a pair of comfortable fluffy slippers,
pleading to be worn again.
I live in a whirlwind of wonder and magic,
where cherry blossoms fall in May and cats hide from FedEx trucks.
I am from fantasy games outside with friends,
my hands tracing the edges of the mighty rock named Helma,
and the hammock that sits below the spy house.
I taste flavors of the future,
exhilaration, sorrow, and success,
hoping for a sunflower life of lavender and daisies.
I feel the gentle wind pushing me forward with approval.

I am from the powdery snow I misplace while gliding,
gracefully down the mountains on sunny days at Snoqualmie,
marshmallow puffs bobbing like buoys in creamy chocolaty goodness.
I am from two cups of flour and a teaspoon of baking soda,
the chocolate chip cookie recipe I memorized.
I feel calm in the dancing storm but crazy in the flowing breeze,
happy in the chaos but blue in the bittersweet silence.
I am from summer swim team and strawberry smoothies,
a blender mashing everything into one.

I live in a whirlwind of wonder and magic,
with monkey trees and years of rock-collecting.
I yearn for flames of warmth to comfort my soul,
I pretend to know where I will go,
I fear the distorted shape of my fan in the dark,
a shadow coming to haunt my nightmares.
I dream of flying,
I can almost feel the gentle wind pushing me forward with approval.

Adults (18 and older)

Winning Entry


Karen Bradbury


My grandmother

Is like water

Wrinkles ripple on her skin

Thin lines like vibrations from a pebble

Breaking the surface


She is wavy, distorted

Like a tree reflected in the mirror of a lake

The edges of her soft, undefined

So that I cannot see her clearly

Warped by too much time


She stares at me,

And I at her,

Through sepia toned paper

Like a muddy river running both towards me and away

As I try to cross

Shadows swirl in the depths

And light sparkles on the swells

Revealing questions that cannot be answered

And memories that dance through my watery eyes


She is the ocean

Inviting and comforting, yet mysterious, boundless

I wade into the shallows

Let the tides wash over toes, as waves crest and crash

Then ebb away from me with a soft sigh

I can only stand at the shore, the deep dark areas

Now out of my reach


And she is a swimming pool,

The one at her old apartment building

That I swam in until my fingers and toes

Wrinkled into raisins

And she wrapped me up in a towel

Squeezed the water from my pigtails

Leaving puddles of pool water

To dry up in the sun

Slowly fading into gray concrete


She is liquid

Languidly drifting through my mind

Sometimes clear, sharp

Sometimes silt filled, grainy

She moves through me,

Like a river through a valley,

Blood in my veins.


Notable Entry


Florence Card


this is not a haiku--

there are far too many words

crowding behind my teeth

clamoring to exit


when they spill forth

it is in an unanswerable utterance

and i am surprised to discover

that there is no language at all

but rather

an exaltation of larks

and my lips are dripping

with bits of eggshell

and tufts of feather


shaking my head in disbelief

clears neither my thoughts

nor my throat

as my startled body issues forth

another exuberant flock

Notable Mention

Woman who looks at her other self

Maria Vignau-Loria


Am I still the woman that I was before coming here?

What happened to the woman that I could have been if I had never left home?


The woman that I am today,

who has been living here for so long,

is both a dear friend and a hostile stranger,

and I can only imagine what “she” would think

(she, the one that never left),

if she saw me walking my walk, talking my talk, feeling these feels.


The fancy glasses that I nonchalantly wear,

the wistful smile that reflects the joy of living in this cold place by the sea,

the dark clothes that dress the evidence of love and loss,

and the melancholic silence that fills the miles between my two homes.


And if they met,

the woman that I am today,

who left

(and lost while seeking to thrive),

and the woman that would have been,

who stayed,

(and struggled in passionate haste)

If they met,

would they recognize each other?


Notable Entry

Monarchs Flutterby

Margot Richardson


As a spider, I’m filled with elation

to witness the Monarch's migration

of orange and black wings,

the most exquisite things,

as they flutter to high elevation.


And while these bright creatures look tasty

I’ll remember to not be so hasty

For while it is true

That I’ve sampled a few

They tasted of milkweed, so pasty!


So instead, I will never deny

That their journey's a feast - for the eye!

Winging thousands of miles

in fluttering freestyle

sparks of flame in the deep azure sky.

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