On Dec. 14, eighth-graders at Pagosa Springs Junior High held their first Poetry Idol Contest.
The producers of the contest were language arts teachers Pam Levonius and Treena Bennetts. Both say they couldn’t have put the contest together without the help of Dr. Nancy Murri, gifted education coordinator.
Leading up to the event, eighth-grade students wrote and selected poems for the Poetry Idol Contest. The poems were read anonymously to the classes. The students voted on their favorite poems, and the poems that were picked made the semi-finals. The eighth-graders voted again and the top 10 finalists were selected.
The judges were Mr. DeVoti, superintendent (aka Simone Cowell, Mrs. Reed, assistant superintendent (aka Paula Abdul), and Mr. Hamilton, high school principal (aka Randy Jackson).
Mr. Cowan, assistant pPrincipal and seventh-grade science teacher, hosted the Poetry Idol Contest. He was the “fake” Ryan Seacrest.
The 10 finalists included Sierra Condon, who recited by memory, “My Faith.” Her inspiration was the book “Twilight” and the judges were stunned. They loved it and had her recite it twice.
Cassi Dagnaughlt recited “Texting Jitters.” Her inspiration was a boy and the judges loved it.
Rosie Graveson recited “The Swing.” Her inspiration was an old swing back at her grandmother’s house in New Zealand. The judges were speechless.
Lorenzo Quesada recited “Chocolate Bar.” His inspiration was a chocolate bar that was in his pocket that his mom later washed. The judges said it was very creative and wonderful.
Savannah Kuen, also a top-10 finalist recited her poem entitled “Two Wolves.” Her inspiration was the fact that her brother is in Kansas and she misses him dearly. All three of the judges had a look of bewilderment, and were speechless, which was a good sign.
Mariah Mondragon recited “Listening.” She said, “I don’t have an inspiration. It just came to me.” The judges were all smiles and said, “What a lovely poem.”
Julia LeLevre recited “The One.
She as well did not have an inspiration, she said “It came from inside.” Judge “Randy Jackson” said, “Ah, love is in the air.”
Tiana Pico’s poem was titled “Hands of War.” Her inspiration is believed to be depression, as her friend said, but is unknown.
Aaron Nelson was the last to have his poem read. The title: “My Memory,” the inspiration unknown. The judges said they loved the ending — great, fantastic, twisted and surprising.
The last finalist was Kylee Bonnell, but her poem, “Those Days,” was not recited as she was absent.
While the judges decided on the top three, “the fake” Ryan Seacrest sang a love song. His inspiration was his wife, the librarian, Mrs. Cowan.
The 10 finalists received certificates and the judges reported that picking the top three was very hard, and that they all should have won.
Honorable Mention went to Tiana Pico with “Hands of War.” Third place went to Rosie Graveson with “The Swing.” Second place went to Lorenzo Quesada with “Chocolate Bar.” First went to Savannah Kean with “Two Wolves.” She said she was very happy and couldn’t wait to tell her mom. She was baffled. And then the bell rang.
Savannah Kean, first place.
“Two wolves separated by a fence of land
Brother and sister these two wolves are
A black as night brother with an uncertain future
Alone his howl stands through this still night
His snow white sister stands on the other side
knowing her future is with the pack
Her howl is longing for her brothers company
The sky of darkness covers the land in its unearthly blanket
still their howls sound through this cursed night.
Stars suddenly appear showing spirits of light
Both wolves look up and see the guardian of the sky
Black brother sings louder then ever before
His soul renewed with strength
His sister hears him and sings to him her own song renewed.
Then they sprint not resting or stopping for food or water until
they reach their final barrier.
Like a shooting star in the darkest night the sister hurtles herself
over the barrier.
Finally the two wolves are together. Together they howl up to a
faint golden moon. Singing their final song, their song of love.”
Lorenzo Quesada, second place
“This is my Chocolate bar
Delicious and brown
I got it at the store
The one down town
This is my chocolate bar
It satisfies my hunger
It’s in my pocket
No matter where I wonder
This is my chocolate bar
Warm in my pocket
I think it melted”
Rosie Graveson, third place
“I remember the creaky old swing
It hung high from a great big tree
I’d play for hours on that creaky
A smile would light up my face and
I’d be filled with glee
It looked out on the glistening sea
Just the old swing and me.
Tiana Pico, honorable mention
“Hands of War”
“The hands of war have wore and tore
Firing guns and running rounds
Cannons fly, gun fire shoots
Our honorable soldier’s saluted
The blood of many have been spilled
The many brave have been killed
But our men fight till the end
And our flag goes up once again
They lost their lives but found themselves
As they triumph they can hear freedom bells
They went as men
They fount as soldiers
And won as worthy, triumphant, and victorious
HEROES. . . ”
“This is my faith
Broken and shattered
On the floor
Beaten and battered
This is my faith
Trying to mend
Struggling to become
This is my faith
Ready for life’s
My heart skips a beat,
Your words get me through the day,
When you reply to my simple hey,
I find myself smiling as I read you
You just spilled syrup on your new
I reply with a little lol,
Not wanting to tell you how I really felt.
Scared of what you’d think
What you’d say
I keep my mouth shut
While I wait for my phone to buzz again.”
“I’m sitting here just listening,
Listening to the sound,
Listening to your heartbeat,
As we lay upon this soft and hollow ground.
This tree provides the shade,
A blanket of warm,
And you provide me with your love,
And this moment that never will be torn.
I’m listening to the wind,
That sings a gentle song,
I’m listening to you hum with it,
Like nothing could go wrong.
The river not too far away,
Is flowing gently by,
And just to hear the sound of it,
Sings a whispered lullaby.
The colors that greatly overflow,
This great and ancient tree,
Dangle from the branch above,
And flow slowly through the breeze
I’m sitting here just listening.
Listening to the sound
Listening to your breathing
As we lay upon the ground.”
“The look you give me as you walk away
It brought pain to my heart
You tell me you loved me
But now you don’t know what you want
The look was of anger, and pain, yet love
Like something was missing. Something
How can it go from being so perfect,
To something out of a bad dream
You used to tell me I was the one
But then things went terribly wrong
You told me you felt left in the dark
I guess I’ll never know what you meant
When you told me I was the one”
I can hardly breathe!
Okay you win, I concede!
But no my attacker won’t let me off that easy.
He gave me a chance to leave but I ran back when
he started to tease.
I wiggle and worm
It doesn’t matter how much I squirm,
This is horrible, I’m going to burst!
Wow this hurts!
I can take it no longer!
“Let me free!
Please dad stop tickling me.”
“I remember those days years ago
But sadly they just came and went
Playing tag in the long green grass
As time would quickly pass
Laying there on a sunny day
On a day in the middle of May
Man, how I miss those cherished times
Thankfully those memories are mine”
Mikaela E. Marchand is a student at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.