Student Poetic Journeys Prize Winners
5. HM: Loren Bell. League Academy. 8th Grade. “Mountains on my Mind” Teacher: Frank Powell
Clouds in the sky, Birds soaring high No worries in my head Mountains on my mind Listen to them talk As water flows off its rock Mountains on my mind Trees galore Leaves in my sight
Waiting for the breeze to ignite their flight The way birds soar Mountains on my mind Exploring everywhere Time is no concern of mine When the wind is rushing through my hair Mountains on my mind Trying to believe, In you and me
4. HM: Jasmine McCarroll 12th Grade. Berea High School. “Mountains” Teacher Mrs. Tisdale
I got mountains on my mind, A landform that rises above its surroundings Made of rocks that symbol rounded ridges and peaks. Mountains have slopes and slides, on my mind I have hills that are steep. Trees can grow on these mountains I am growing to give tourists a peek My mind is what tourists climb, and cut down as they please. See my mind was made for the scenery. Made to exist on every continent and every ocean Made for people to adore Made for people to express their devotion Made for people to explore. Distinguished myself from others like The Himalayas They named Me the World's greatest Like Everest And Crowned me for my rocky cleverness. My mind is a mountain rising above to kiss the sky People tread on my peak and still I stand with my head high People taunt and challenge me But, still I don’t erupt and cry-- because my
Mind is made of ridges and peaks Made for People to connect the adjective deep with me Made to give inspiration to Thee’ Because Mountains have slopes, but on My mind I have hills that are steep.
3. Third: Grace Brockman. 7th Grade. League Academy. ”Mountains” Teacher Mrs. Ritter. Parent: Timothy Brockman
In this world I live
Suppresses what I have to give
Because I am female
Females are controlled
Until our ideas mold
This is my mountain, I have to move
Push a little harder
Pull a little more
Girls will soar
People think I can't
People think I won't
This is my mountain, I have to move
Move the mountain
This right I must obtain
I must gain
Girls should be equal
A girl with brains is not an oddity
Girls can fight, a precious commodity
We should have the same rights as a male
Let us carry that heavy pale
This is my mountain, I have to move
This mountain is in my head, on my mind
I will keep pushing all the time
2. Second: Miriam Muriithi. League Academy. 8th Grade. “Mountains on my Mind” Teacher Allison Franke
Mountains on My Mind
from raging seas
to rushing brooks.
But by far one of her most
treasured wonders are the towering mountains
even, stronger than thunder.
For me the mountains are
a place of joy where the only thing that matters
is the whisper of the wind
and, whether you choose to listen.
The highlands you see are
one year you're gentle hills
next year craggy slopes.
But the feeling ever remains.
The feeling that only comes
from a top of snow capped mountain.
A feeling of love.
These majestic towers will
never let you down
although, some might say they
are bleak and barren.
But let their golden steeps be
a reminder that under
their brown blanket of leaves
they are so much more.
They are your childhood memories
of autumn and spring of the long hikes that ended
in triumph because of the majestic view
only they could provide.
So when you're searching for beauty
just look around
and, turn to the ones
who stood before you
who will stand with you
and you will remain after you
the ones who will always be in my heart
1. First: Sophie Young. Green Charter School. 8th grade. “Untitled” Teacher: Lauren Lehman
Giants clad in dove white armour Atlas holding the weight of the skies: I remember the days of mountains The great soldiers standing sentinel Over the city With weary clouds draped upon their peaks They called to me with their feathery thoughts Told me to dream closer, Closer Sung me to sleep with their Faint lullabies As soft as the very sprite’s laugh I remember the days of those heroes When we danced until the sun Drew up When we made friends with a woebegone storm Smoke would curl up in tentative tendrils Thrown away on an easterly wind Would wrap around my shoulders bare A hug from a saving grace These mountains would raise me Though I just a girl And they unshakable Bodies of stone I remember the days of mountains Those hands that lifted me up I recall
Through all that winsome while The times of giants and kings That sheltered me all the same These days like children’s fairy tales On the barren pale of paper Though these stories are not invisible.
Adult Poetic Journey Prize Winners
1. First Place - Joel McCollough - "Binding" Joel is a graduate of Furman University where he received two consecutive creative writing scholarships. His poetry and fiction have appeared in national literary periodicals and in two locally published poetry South Carolina poetry anthologies. He is an avid outdoorsman and cyclist, who frequents the Swamp Rabbit Trail and the trails of the Upstate.
Binding (LINE BREAKS COMING SOON)
After barking a blaze on a pine saplingI plunge trunk to trunk down the mountainto explore the gorge flooding with dusk.I go down to where the wild water speaks,the plangent granite tongue of the river,repeating itself but saying nothing the same.The sidelong sun runs upstream at this hour,and my shadow is a net cast from my ankles.A kingfisher’s daytime lightning flashes and strikes a silver spark from the current,but then a greater hunter rows into view,a red-tailed hawk cruising to her night-roost,lifting just beyond my fanned hand upflungbut touching me with the talons of one foot,the rusty keel of her blunt body a fulcrumupon which the inverted world tilts and pitches.She draws me over the falls into the dropwhere she does neither but sets russet sailsfor the smoky roadstead of blood sunset.For a few moments I go with her into deep air:I am a man-mote in the humor of her yellow eyesThat focus on everything beneath her mortal regard.Then I am back on the bank, bleeding and boundto earth as she cries twice and rises out of sight.
Note: In falconry, “binding” means to close upon and grapple prey in midair
2. Second Place -Bobbie Jean Shepard -"Fruits"
Bobbie Jean Shepard grew up in the foothills of South Carolina. She currently teaches High School English in Spartanburg.
My son chooses the most beautiful Navel orangesFrom the arrangement of tropical fruits At The Fresh MarketI pick over the apples, so many from which to choosePink Lady, Baldwin, Yellow NewtonTheir names distinct and covetedMozart or Tchaikovsky plays in the backgroundAnd I recall Hemingway’s story“A Clean, Well-light Place”We ignore all else, selecting from unblemished fruitMy mother taught me to choose ripened persimmons From those fallen on our gravel driveSo my cheeks wouldn’t turn inside-out with unexpected bitterness.She showed me how to eat around holes in applesFound under the old orchard trees,To sit bareback on my pony and reach the lowest pears Lightly sweet and crisp.Septembers, we stood in the back of our pickup,Shook the branches of the trees along the fence lineAnd muscadines showered down,Some seasons gathered in a 5-gallon bucket for jelly,Others, just our pockets.I cannot say I prefer one fruit to the other,One life or the other,But I know best the ground, the tree, the vine,And see my hand upon them even here.
3. Third Place - Tricia Kyzer - "Landslide"
Tricia Kyzer is an environmental educator and a naturalist and a mountain wanderer. She is deeply involved in what she like to call a geological love affair with these South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.
I felt the rains falling my heart was calling you didn’t answer. This permeation of our terra firma I tried to hold on, You tried to hold on We did hold on. All summer. But that last rain was too much. Everything we were came crashing down Plunging through the valley. I heard the echo resounding my heart was pounding you weren’t there. This earthfall bringing down our landscape I opened my hands, You opened your hands We opened our hands To let go. Layers of life washing down This exhausted mountain revealing barren ground Casting away fractured pieces.
4. HM: Elaine C. Hill – “Jump Off Rock”
Currently living as close to the country around Charlotte, NC, as possible, Elaine Hill writes during naptimes for her two girls, ages 4 and 2. Raised in Hendersonville, NC, with her mountain-grown husband, Elaine’s idea of perfection is a perch on the side of Little Pisgah Mountain, a perfect view of Chimney Rock, with a mountain bike, a journal, and a pen.