Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest youth winners

Poet’s Seat Tower in Greenfield.

Poet’s Seat Tower in Greenfield. Recorder File Photo

Published: 05-31-2024 2:17 PM

Youth Co-winners, 12-to-14-year-olds

“Lessons from the world” by Summit Wicks-Lim

Once upon a time the girl could not hear her own heart,

So she stayed quiet
softly spoken, speaking only to her heart which had no answer.

On most days she would look at the sun for answers, thinking that maybe if she went blind she
could listen more closely,
( to her heart of course. )

Her eyes were already wrapped in an undecided blindfold of all of her fears which had been
keeping her up late at night recently.

You would think no one could walk around blind but she is special unfortunately.

She goes on with her life but every sip of water she drinks she gets more and more washed out
she gets paler ( and ) she gets more diluted in every sense possible.

She drinks juice to balance her appearance but it only makes her sticky and weak.
Soon she is translucent and almost falling over.
But now we can see her heart.

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Let me tell you this is not a normal heart in any way.

It is a crooked shape, bumpy, sticking out at the wrong angles and her heart, it’s a neon pink,
brighter than ever and her heart only gets brighter and brighter the more she becomes nobody.
Soon it is not neon pink or any other color imaginable but you could see from wherever you are
in the world
in the galaxy.
You can see it right now.

She told me to let the whole world know that now she can hear her heart.


“Life lines” by Christian Keeney

The river picks up at the white water
Like a father’s anger rolling.
The deeper parts fill me with dread.
The rocks are losing people.
And the rocks are responsibility.
And the rocks are suffering.
The water slides past them
And it feels like pushing.

A fisherman, wading in the shallows
Sends out a line into the deep water
And does not keep everything he catches.
He throws back a two-faced walleye.
He throws back a big mouth bass, screaming secrets.
He throws back a lamprey, sucking vitality.
He keeps a carp with good advice and luck.
Meanwhile, the river keeps flowing.

Youth Co-winners, 15-to-18-year-olds

“Man vs Mind” by Calvin Scott


and what isnt?

listen or not
flip open and click
that is real
a handful
of paper
and ink
is decidedly

you will feel it
so open
page 5
past poorly cast shadows
in graphite
i write
and underline

deny it
of yourself
defining is feeling
and a man cannot do that
so men
don’t write it

or fight it
but good god don’t talk
cry- don’t.
but feel it

glassy behind placid eyes
and smoke it to silence
is language
and i am not fluent
although i was versed
by those flash cards
i ruined

a man
only closes
and windows
have never
been meant
to be open

open google
and search

most men
dont research

it hurts
but with order
is madness
most anger
is sadness
and writing
is something
i think

make a wall
with that thing
something hurts
keep it in
because men
aren’t meant
to be women

women talk
and a man

and avoid
and explode
and deploy
until old
because men die
of boy


“Note to Self (but not my own)” by Calvin Scott

i used to keep you locked
like some secret liturgy
perhaps bound in my chest
painstakingly performed to internal audiences
unwilling to hear myself through someone else’s ears, or worse
watch as eyes glance and go on, not noting worth or reflecting value back
like a broken mirror almost becoming a question
(god, do i look good in the mirror these days?)

now it’s exactly that
freely reading from black pages
and brandishing my brain like a decorative sword
to any adult who would listen for even
five minutes, just give me five minutes and i can write something better i

promise me something you could never do
at least make me feel less alone in my
am i still in Missouri?
thought i left dust and party size buckets of fireball
bawling, the sky bearing down as we depart from gas stations with glass delicately packaged
into my box of secrets,
along with needles and

i ripped pages out of my journal to wrap them,
is it wrong to steal from your brother’s state?

no statement of truth i could make would compare
to biblical declarations
made, as you write the word
into my brain
your brain- well, your bible
it’s something else, and i’m not invited
write as many pristine breasted letters as
one woman with no breasts could write,
but i will never be
someone who could pretend
for long enough to trick you

but i did trick you
so i will confess
may the good lord have mercy on me,
for with this body as my witness
i am no woman