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2019 Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Campbell Library

Cupertino Library

Gilroy Library

 

Los Altos Library

Milpitas Library

Morgan Hill Library

 

Saratoga Library

 

 
CAMPBELL LIBRARY

Middle School Winner


STARS ARE
 
Stars are the last speck of hope  
Peeking through a velvet of blank darkness 
The very core of human creativity  
Opens holes for light to find it’s way 
 
Stars are the glowing 
Fish of the many galaxies 
Crowding the light of newborn 
Dreams in an abstract reality 
Moving back and forth between  
Our vision of light and dark 
 
Shooting stars are the eagles 
Their wings like iron gods eyes 
Forged from the twinkle of possibility  
Looking for a way to amuse every dimension 
Glinting off the bright twinkling 
Wings that fly for freedom to fly freedom 
Going at at the speed of human capacity 
  
Stars are the idea of  
The young bursting into the brains  
Of children all over the world 
Reminding people that there  
Is always more and to go  
Forever to the end of the  
Beginning 
 
Stars are the holes from the war gods blade 
Which god uses to sew the Universe back to life 
When he takes a break there is 
Life in jeopardy to either live or die 
And he isn’t in control 
Carter Cormier
Rolling Hills Middle School
Grade: 6

(top)

Cupertino LIBRARY

High School Winner


Memories
 
A reminiscent taste that floods your tongue and carries into your mind 
A familiar scent that makes you pause and breathe in deep 
Or a look back at the painting from grade school that brings a gentle smile upon your lips 
 
Each young memory is as alive and real as can be— 
Spurting with color, warmth, and emotion in its boundless spirit 
As you close your eyes the vivid picture is painted once again 
Like masterpieces created before your very eyes  
Van Gough’s starry swirls, Monet’s lucid water lilies, and Cassatt's careful strokes 
 
Weeks and months weave into years and decades  
But memories will linger 
Living in the museums of our ever-changing minds  
 
Our bodies will grow old  
Our bones will become brittle  
Our skin will wither 
And our outer shells will mold into something different  
 
But our minds will still carry the memories that  
Taught us who we are  
Taught us what is right and wrong  
Taught us that what is right is not always righteous 
And what is wrong is not always wrongful  
 
And when we find ourselves in a dark place that  
Seems devoid of life and hope  
Remember that we carry the very origins of our life within us  
We are forever bound with our memories  
They are all we will have left 
When the world around us has changed 
Their essence remains timeless  
Vardaa Molasi
Monta Vista High School
Grade: 10

(top)

Cupertino LIBRARY

Middle School Winner

 
Worthless
 
I’m worthless 
It’s not true that 
I’m beautiful 
And I know that 
No one cares 
You are so wrong if you say 
I can do all things 
I’m drowning 
And you can’t convince me 
To stay afloat 
I won’t hesitate 
If it takes me away 
I will survive 
Only a little longer 
My pain will last 
Forever 
My hope will last 
For a second 
I don’t doubt myself 
When it comes to weaknesses 
I’m an absolute loser 
No one loves me 
Nothing anyone says could make me believe that 
I am worth something 
Now read the poem backward. 
 
 
With a different perspective, no matter how bad things are, you will find the beautiful things in 
life. You are loved, cherished, and special
Sahana Nayak
Miller Middle School
Grade: 8

(top)

   
los altos LIBRARY

High School Winner


Mother Nature
 
I notice 
these winds 
have been picking up lately, 
 
These 
hurricanes 
and 
wildfires 
are a daily routine. 
 
These temperatures, on 
a rollercoaster ride, 
 
Do you understand what that could mean? 
 
Humanity’s decrepit mother, 
in her regrets, and stormy tears, 
 
Lashes down her fitful fury, 
a warning 
so plain, 
so clear. 
 
Yet, 
we’re oblivious to her message, 
shooting gray into the sky, 
 
Isn’t it quite ironic, 
that both our minds- 
-and our world- 
have gone dry? 
 
So listen to the howl of the winds 
To the storm, and to the flame 
 
Mother Nature is in need of great help, and 
It’s up to you 
           to change the game. 
Suhrith Bellamkonda
Mountain View High School
      
  Grade: 9 
(top)

Los Altos LIBRARY

Middle School Winner


Sunday
 
If time froze at 8am, 
Warm, clumsy hands finding each other, 
Groggy good morning’s 
And morning breath complaints 
If time froze at 9am, 
Oversized glasses and soft smiles and shared quiet, 
Still squinting through 
The blurry haze of sleep 
If time froze at 10am, 
Burnt toast and coffee with way too much sugar, laughing because 
I’m so glad that I’ll be spending today with you. 
If time froze at 2pm, 
Screaming with the radio because our song came on 
Then out of breath and laughing with the windows down 
If time froze at 9pm, 
Lights dimmed and windows open, 
Furniture moved to make way for 
Shy slow dancing to the faint song of the 
Night birds outside. 
If time froze at 10pm, 
Scary movies and microwaved popcorn in colorful pajamas, and 
Clammy hands gripped tight underneath piles of blankets. 
If time froze at 2am, 
Insomnia and darkness and deep, emotional thoughts 
The dark outline of your figure, the gentle sound of your breathing 
And the delicate curve of your mouth in a small, blissful smile 
Everything fits just right, 
Like the way your head fits snugly in the crook of my neck, 
Like pieces falling into place, 
Everything is perfect, everything is right 
 
Audrey Shen
Blach Intermediate School
Grade: 8
 
(top)

Milpitas LIBRARY

High School Winner

Hi
 
Simple yet meaningful 
 
Like a motor vehicle 
 
Initiates a friendship 
 
As fast as you sharpen a pencil tip 
 
Strangely a beautiful word 
 
Never going unheard 
 
Like a two letter miracle. 
 
Although this may not be empirical, 
 
It can powerfully break down any barrier 
 
And make anyone a little merrier. 
  Makenna Ma
Piedmont Hills High School
Grade: 9

(top)

Milpitas LIBRARY

Middle School Winner

 
Seasonal Daydreams

As she goes on and on, 
Speaking into a blank audience, 
A sea of heads sink, 
And eyes narrow, 
Into an endless reign of boredom, 
But the colors filter and flow above my head, 
Arranging into the beautiful gradients of, 
Summer, where the foamy sea softly washes onto rocks, 
Leading to Autumn, as the beautiful gradients of leaves, 
Fall into a deep pile beneath the tree, 
And winter, in which the delicate flakes gracefully land,  
In my glove with a cold tingling sensation, 
At last spring where the colors weave and fuse, 
Into a wave of butterflies,  
And as they fly, 
The color drains and fades, 
As they fly far south, 
And slip right out of my,  
Daydream  
 
Tvisha Nepani
Merryhill School
Grade: 7

(top)

Morgan Hill LIBRARY

High School Winner


Inside

There is poetry in my veins
Flowing hard and fast
Waves of song flood my soul
Churning and crashing within the walls of my
brain While I remain a placid lake 
On the outside
There are verses woven into my muscles Chords
etched into my bones
Vital as breath
My heart keeps the rhythm
So much inside
I ache as it fights to come out
No way to express
I can’t explain the worlds of wonder
My mind explores
I can’t do it justice
Letters and words aren’t enough
They’re trapped inside of me
And every night my mind swirls and crashes  With
beauty and words 
That will have disappeared by dawn
And I will be left with the scars of
All the melodies, songs and words
That are in my being
That are my being
My soul has written a poem
And my life will sing it.
Normandy Hays
Homeschooled
Grade: 11

(top)

Morgan Hill LIBRARY

Middle School Winner

The Sun

The sun
It fills our earth with light
We need the sun
To keep on hoping when we can't
To show us how to keep shining when we don't know how
We need the sun
To flood us with warmth when we are blue
To bring us spring
To give us rainbows
To fight through
Rain and
Storms and
Hurricanes for us
We need the sun
To make our lives
Brighter, happier
To make the sky change colors when it says goodnight
To catch our kisses
Catch our wishes
To hold on to our dreams
To remind us of happiness when we forget
To love us and ight us up no matter what
To do what we can't do
We need the sun
  Doris Chiang
Jackson Academy of Math and Music
Grade: 6
 
(top)

Saratoga LIBRARY

High School Winner

 
vertigo
 
refuse to sleep in a castle of cast-off bones, 
bones that hold up his throne the way they once held up a soul. 
instead, sleep between the trees in the garden by the river, 
ear pressed to the mouth of the banks, and listen. 
sleep among the pomegranates fallen from 
a tall tree with blood red fruit. 
 
wake. split one open. look down at the seeds. 
feel the vertigo you once knew from tipping your head back and facing the stars. 
 
all stories are the same: fresh themes on old melodies of 
fathers’ fates, mothers’ machinations, sisters’ sacrifices, brothers’ bargains. 
 
you, too, are a story, and it is one you have heard before. 
 
your first day here, you met a woman lovely as late summer and just as bittersweet. 
imagine for a moment that she is your mother, bearing crown and torch. 
she is not — but kneel in front of her nevertheless. listen. 
 
like you, she welcomes flowers and bids them farewell as that great hourglass turns, 
her voice gaining sound only after passing through someone else’s lungs as 
breath, stolen. 
like you, she walks with shadows and shades for company in the gardens. 
it is a different garden, growing different things, but a garden all the same. 
 
once upon a time, she reached up — hungry — and picked a low-hanging prize from 
a tall tree with blood red fruit. 
 
unlike you, she had never yet seen barren hills,  
rolling like an unkempt sea during an almighty temper — a reminder to 
pay tribute. give thanks. make offering. beg pardon. 
so she consumed the flesh of that fruit and left the core on the ground to rot. 
 
my dear, listen. then remember. 
with stained fingers, seek answers. 
sink ankle-deep into the first cursed thing you can find. palm a pomegranate. 
crack it down the middle with all the force that carves trenches into the earth’s crust. 
pluck out the seeds, fit them beneath your teeth, and break them. 
 
Kyra Jee
Los Gatos High School
Grade: 12

(top)

Saratoga LIBRARY

Middle School Winner

 
Still Blue
 
Someday, I'll learn about loss;  
But he's still a spirited soul,  
Lively eyes sparkling with youth.  
Brown spots on white fur welcome me,  
A toddler without worries, to giggle and chase him  
As we celebrate his first birthday.  
 
Someday, I'll learn about loss;  
But he's still a sportive soul,  
His muscles surging as he jumps in the air.  
A white streak, he blazes through the house;  
And I grin near crazed, a youngster filled with sugar  
As we celebrate his sixth birthday.  
 
Someday, I'll learn about loss;  
Slower, he's still a friendly soul,  
His stumpy tail still wags like a sleek jet  
While his graying face gives a noble look;  
Yet I, a growing youth, still laugh and pet him  
As we celebrate his eleventh birthday  
 
One day, I learned about loss;  
Though his fur and soul are now gone,  
I persist through my tearless grief. 
Though ashes remain in a box, my memories stay;  
That day I stared ahead, refused to accept the news  
As we neared his fifteenth birthday. 
Channie Hong
Redwood Middle School
Grade: 8

(top)

 

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