We invited young people up through eighth grade to enter the Seattle’s Child kids’ poetry contest in honor of Poetry Month, April 2021.
Wow. You’ll really want to spend some time with these entries. They are creative, emotional and thought-provoking.
Picking winners could not have been easy for our judges: Bryan Wilson of The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, Alicia Craven of Seattle Arts and Lectures, and Nathalie Marver-Kwon, 2020-21 Youth Poet Laureate Public Outreach & Exposure Ambassador.
Here are the entries by the top winners: Niuniu Z., Anthony C., Maggie V., Jiya J., Chris M.
Find more amazing work here: The honorable mention winners.
Our thanks to everyone who entered. Keep up the good work!
The Cottage in the North
Grade 5, Woodinville
There is a cottage in the North. Sitting on the horizon in rural hills. Small and cozy, a fire burns in the hearth. A knock sounds at the door. Knock, knock, knock. It sounds familiar, like the passing of time. Echoing a familiar tune, the cold whisper of a lullaby. The whisper that is the wind that weathered this sweet cottage, until all that is left is swept up in the summer’s breeze, as if it never existed to begin with. Laughter is carried on that breeze too, one from a girl whose name will not be remembered a thousand years from now. As years pass laughter will carve valley in her face, will make it easy for saltwater rivers to flow down them after her friends were sung to sleep by that very whisper. Raindrops falling from her cheeks, sobs that sound like thunder. The pitter patter, the same sound of time raining down on the Earth. Yet do not fear the thunderstorm, it too will disappear. Just as the world will in a trillion years. The marble of green and blue will crumble into stardust, swept up by the universe as if it never existed to begin with. Following time as easily as that small cottage, as easily forgotten as that small cottage. Time does not pity anyone, not even the universe. For time knows nothing is infinite. Only time itself.
School in Covid-19
by Anthony C., Grade 6, Kirkland
Moving into middle school is hard enough,
and with COVID-19 it’s more tough.
Online learning is not so smooth at times,
technical difficulties can feel like crimes.
But we can talk and be seen,
even if it’s through a computer screen,
and we can learn our equations, condensation, civilization, reading
comprehension and even physical education
through our online meeting sessions.
Even when we physically meet,
it’s kind of bittersweet,
because our faces are covered in masks,
so it really is quite a task,
to make a meaningful connection,
in our socially distanced situation.
The problem is more like a monsoon, and it always ends soon.
by Maggie V., Grade 4, Seattle
Please be simple.
Please be nice.
Not on your life!
I will have feelings!
I can laugh or cry
if I read a good book
from my shelf!
And if someone is treating me bad
or bullying me, I will stand up
Please, when you laugh or
talk, don’t be too loud
And always keep your eyes and
Sometimes if I want
to talk in a loud crowd
I have to yell
if they just aren’t quieting down!
And when I walk into a room,
I proudly hold my head high!
I don’t really care how they react!
And when I or someone else is
speaking, I will make eye contact!
If you should solve a hard
math problem in class, don’t
go raising your hand and
waving it in the air around your head.
Wait for a nice boy to answer instead.
And if you have a question,
forever you will ponder,
for it is not polite for a girl to ask questions,
so just forget it by tonight.
No way! I get all
A’s in math and science, half of it
And if I have a question, straight away
I’ll ask the teacher, no waitin’!
A lady should have a tiny waist,
dress with full skirt,
only men should be allowed to
wear pants and shirt.
Girls come in all shapes and size,
wearing a dress every day
would be my demise!
And I like my T-shirt and jeans!
It only takes two minutes to put on and take off!
Not three hours with the help of five others, and
ten plus pounds of underwear,
that’s a lot! And too hot!
The only thing women are
good for is having children and doing chores.
It is just outrageous to think of them doing
Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace,
just to name a few,
are women who went out and changed the world!
Is this getting through to you?
Some people never change their minds
on subjects like this,
I am sad to say,
but there are many women on the list
of people who saved the day.
And I’m sure you’ll be on it too, someday,
and if you already are,
go out and do something new!
Go ahead, the sky’s the limit!
Women’s rights forever!
by Jiya J., Grade 8, Woodinville
running running running
can’t stop now
breathe in out until
it hurts to see and vision
is like the seattle morning in spring
cloudy with bright light
c l o u d y
until i stop and to feel myself
f a l l i n g
rambling scrambling for the
i need the Pause
Pausing to sift out the shallow shallow breaths
it’s cold pausing to grab gloves
the run tapers out to a walk
as i look to see the light shifting around me
a young woman walking her dogs ahead of me
and the golden retriever seeming heavenly as the light hits them with an astoundingly perfect angle
looks back at me every minute
just to make sure i’m still there
and the ducks near the tiny pond
flap their wings as always
fly across the sky and
the blossoms of the cherry blossom tree
start to bloom
and i Pause
time stands still until
and time to start running again but this time
c l e a r
g r o u n d e d
by Chris M., Grade 6, Redmond
The waves, the waves, move up and down.
Waves that wash away the town.
Go to the beach and stand on the shore.
You will see many waves galore.
And round the waves, there is land
With caves and bluffs and weeds and sand.
Says the weeds “I even bear,
Some dandelions in my hair.”
Says the cave “As you may know,
I house a sapling, soon to grow.”
And then the sand, though small in size,
Still strong, pretty, and grand in my eyes.
The sea is a wonderful place to live.
Because it does not take, it only gives.