Students earn scholarships as part of poetry contest
By MARY STEVENS DECKER
Redmond Reporter Reporter
May 7, 2009 · 10:31 AM
The New Poet’s Society announced winners of its 2009 poetry contest at Eastlake High School April 26.
The Judges’ Choice Award, sponsored by Redmond Rotary Club, was a $1,000 scholarship given to Karla Cortes, a sophomore at Redmond High School (RHS) for her poem “I am from ... .”
David Berg, a senior at RHS, won a $500 scholarship for the poem “Shrouded Sands.”
Chelsea Leonard, another RHS senior, won $500 for her entry, “Things You Never Should Have Taught Me.”
Sari Radecke of Eastlake High School won $500 for “Split” and Sarah Epstein of BEST High School received the $500 Mark L. DiRe Scholarship for “Familiar Lullaby.” All finalists, including RHS senior Michael DeYoung, also received gift certificates from SoulFood Books in Redmond and Parkplace Books in Kirkland.
New Poet’s Society president Rick Smith honored the RHS students in the school library on the morning of May 4 and all contest winners were recognized at that evening’s LWSD Board of Directors meeting.
Thanking the students for their participation, Smith noted that, even in this tough economy, “employers are looking for people who can write well.”
And this writing was very special “because it’s from your hearts and souls,” said creative writing teacher Jennifer Mauck who encouraged her students to enter the contest.
Smith agreed, “When you do poetry, you’re sharing part of yourself with the whole world.”
Working in the library before Smith’s visit, Leonard said she thinks “poetry is coming back because of our busy way of life.”
People are always on the move, impatient and distracted. Yet a poem, quickly read on the bus while commuting to school or work, can have great emotional impact, she said.
Just weeks away from high school graduation, Leonard plans to attend University of Oregon, Berg will go to Bellevue College and DeYoung will go to University of Washington-Bothell.
The New Poet’s Society will continue to ask young people to write and to reward them for their excellence, said Smith. He hopes all high schools in the LWSD will enter the poetry contest in 2010.
Following are the scholarship-winning poems from Redmond High School students, for the 2009 New Poet's Society High School Poetry Contest:
• "I am from ..." by Karla Cortes
I am from gunshots
From a broken doorknob and shattered glass
I am from an obscure life
I am from the tears of my mom's heart
(Transparent, they tasted like salt)
I am from the happiness of my parents,
Two baby's in my mom's arms
One my sister and the other one, I.
I'm from the nurse in the hospital and the security alarms.
From my sister that was found in a cardboard box
She was bright red, from the cries of her little mouth
I'm from knowledge of the years
And examples of my old grandma
From the work hard and look beyond
I'm from the still body of a great man,
From the pale skin,
Cold body, like stone
I'm from the high heads and the be proud
From the if you fall get up and wipe your pants
From the cut in my right shin
Under my bed hid my golden secrets
Dry roses, teddy bears
And the pictures of all the ones I loved
I am from those moments —
From the memories of the past
And from the lessons to be learned in the future of my life.
• "Shrouded Sands" by David Berg
There are bombs, fallin' around the town,
Crashin' burnin' buried in the ground
Families don't know when,
The blood will start flowin',
As our leaders start sowin' the seeds for the broken.
Mothers, are cryin', children, they're dyin',
We say we gonna help, but of course we are lyin'.
And so from behind, the flag we shall stand,
Spittin obscenities at their Jihad.
We don't the power, that the shower,
Of death holds, rainin' down at this very hour.
So let them behold the bloody massacres,
Momma sends her children away from her,
As the shells explode.
IMPLODE. RELOAD. UNLOAD.
Innocents cry out for a savior to deliver them from the battle zone.
Quick N' Painless, no room for the shameless, the motto of this empty,
Oh God, Please save us.
And in the middle of it all, I'm here standin' tall,
Watching civilizations crumble and mighty cities fall.
Walking silently through the ghostly streets of the gaze strip, I trip.
I try my best to keep my hand on the gun on my hip.
My brothers walkin' with me, keepin me right on track,
Dog, these kids have been with me, twice and back.
Or maybe not all back.
As I'm thrown to the ground by the force of a blast;
Now there's BODIES, BODIES
Litterin' the streets, how long will this last?
• "Things You Never Should Have Taught Me" by Chelsea Leonard
Tiny tokens of my appreciation
Are you appalled yet?
Tell me what all this taught me.
Unforgiving, forgetfulness, now thoroughly my fault
This anger aghast me
Leading lives and lending lovers
Taught me tyranny
Shouting, showered, shattering endless shingles
Let's learn ... shivering shame?
Sadness of severing seesaws, screaming in my sanctuary
Thanks for that loving lesson
Walls waning from hasty hits of hostility
Restless, don't think I don't know of ruined remains
A blundering babble of behaviors
Jumbled and jinxed, jutting, daring me to jump
And what if I had?
Now are you appalled?
You should be.
Tell me what all this taught me.
Appreciated.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Mary Stevens Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 867-0353, ext. 5052.