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Pagosa Springs Junior High School Eighth-Grade Poetry Idol

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”

“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

“Chocolate Bar”

“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

Hand selected

Warm in my pocket

I think it melted”

Rosie Graveson, third place

“The Swing.”

“I remember the creaky old swing

It hung high from a great big tree

I’d play for hours on that creaky

old thing

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. . . ”

Sierra Condon

“My Faith”

“This is my faith

Broken and shattered

On the floor

Beaten and battered

This is my faith

Trying to mend

Struggling to become

One again

This is my faith

Fully restored

Ready for life’s

Open doors”

Cassi Dagnaughlt

“Texting Jitters”

“Buzz buzz,

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.”

Mariah Mondragon


“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,

The grass,

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.”

Julia LeLevre

“The One”

“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

You want

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”

Aaron Nelson

“My Memory”



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.”

Kylee Bonnell

“Those Days”

“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.