Thank you to everyone who submitted their poetry! It was a difficult decision to choose just three! The top three poets will receive a gift certificate and will have their poetry entries published in our May newsletter. The winners of our national poetry month contest are:
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" by Elliot Finn, "The River Bank" by Gordon Dubois and "Books" by Kaitlyn Gable. Congratulations!
See all of the entries below!
* When Johnny Comes Marching Home *
By MSG Elliot Finn
US Army (Ret.)
In a strange foreign, land far away
in a pool of blood my friend Johnny lay.
Johnny! Don’t walk into that bright moonlight!
Ha, thought the sniper, he’s in my sight!
Shot by the hostile from a hidden lair,
whomever he shot, he did not care.
Hold on! Johnny! Hold On!
Sergeant, I’ve got to go to him, you see,
we’ve been buddies since age three.
Before High and even Grammar school
we were always together as a rule.
Through the bad times, over a score
and the good times so many more.
Hold on! Johnny! Hold On!
Stay here Soldier, ‘til we get that sniper
and when we find him, he’ll pay the piper.
Wait here, I’ll let you know when to go.
I know you want to, but take things slow.
But Sergeant, he’s out there going fast.
I don’t know how long he can last.
Hold on! Johnny! Hold on!
The pop of rifles, The shouts – it’s done.
The sniper has had it, the day is won!
Can I go now Sergeant, Johnny’s so grey.
Sure thing Soldier, be on your way!
I jump up and run fast to Johnny’s side
hoping that I find him still alive.
Hold on! Johnny! Hold on!
His skin is so pale, it can’t be good.
He is lying face down, covered with blood,
I turn him over to see a hole in his chest.
I reach for his pulse to give it a test.
His eyes blink open, he lets out a sigh.
I hear his low whisper, “Buddy – Goodby.”
He’s gone! Johnny! He’s gone!
Johnny’s not marching home, you see
in a flag draped wooden box, he’ll be.
Six uniformed Soldiers carry him home
and I’ll be there so he won’t be alone.
I must walk beside him, you see
we’ve been buddies since we were age three.
We’re home! Johnny! We’re home!
* Books *
by Kaitlyn Gable
My lines are full of more
than words, like the worn patch
on page 57 where nervous
fingers rubbed away the rough
edges and made them soft.
Of the tear stains on 107
that recall the ragged sobs
of a wounded creature.
The bug on 63 that
flew too close on a sticky
summer's day, at a rough
table beneath the sun.
The memories in words:
49, half way down, holds
a nightmare, trapped in a
93, a smile and laughter
from family, calling her
from my embrace.
These pages, when opened,
release a voice.
I am more than words,
I am life.
* The River Bank *
By Gordon DuBois
Water rushing by underfoot,
Signs of high water lay about: trees, boulders, sand, silt.
Sheets of ice cover the river and granite cliffs,
Winter closing in.
Ancient broken trees cling to the ledge,
Tree trunks riddled with holes from woodpeckers
Searching for a tasty delight.
Roots undercut by the rushing water.
Ancient rotting branches
Reaching with outstretched arms for sunlight,
Trying to stay alive.
Beech tree pocked with warts,
Moss crawling up the trunk;
Shelf fungus taking hold of the rotting bark.
A small hemlock seedling
Emerging from the dying tree.
Green needles show off brilliant color,
As they rise like a phoenix.A sign of new life,
Replacing the old and dying member of the forest.
The circle of life never ending.
by Russell Rowland
While the age of many,
in obituaries black and white,
I have yet to release the firefly
I cupped in my hands, a child
of ten in Connecticut at night,
in a moist meadow flickering
with thousands of its kind--
my palms not burned
or even warmed, no more
than Moses by a burning bush;
than my skin by the full moon
of my tenth July: moonlight
without heat, as in the face
of a beloved who doesn’t love
you back. That spark I held
intensified, till I could see
fingers’ veins and bones.
All ten fingerprints,
circuits of charged wire.
I wondered if everything
I came in contact with
would catch contagious fire,
yet be unconsumed. A boy
began to understand how cool
to the touch is poetry.
I’VE SEEN A WEASEL IN THE WILD
by Walton Stockwell
We come to this place called Bretton Woods
With heavy parka, gloves, and hoods
Our main intent… to have some fun
In the shadow of Mount Washington
I’d no idea of what I’d see
Of Mother Nature’s scenery
This place is special, wild, and cold
Much wildlife here, so I’ve been told
We’ve skied here many times before
And read about the region’s lore
And seen the tracks of snowshoe hare
And looked at the tree bark, moose stripped bare
And heard the birds that winter here
And followed tracks of many deer
But this day brought a wondrous sight
Of Mother Nature’s white on white
Skiing along the river trail
My eyes always scanning each little swale
When across my vision…a fleeting view
A privilege given to precious few
A weasel dressed in winter coat
Pure white twixed black tipped tail and snout
Scurrying under the abandoned house
Seeking to feast on tasty mouse
A wondrous creature, sleep and swift
Giving my spirits a joyous lift
A short-lived glance is all I get
But in my mind I see it yet
I feel among a privileged few
To be accorded this fleeting view
Forever in my memory filed
I’ve seen a weasel in the wild
By Art Abelmann
LIGHT SLUSH DARKENS
DARK SALT LIGHTENS
FRESH SNOW HIDES
HEAVY RAIN WASHES
THROUGH THE WASH
THEY SHINE AGAIN
I Love You
By Cynthia Leonard
Did you ever wonder
Why I love you so
There are many reasons
Some you’ll never know
One of them is caring
Which you always do
That ones most important
That’s why I Love You
Sunlight is Here
By Art Abelmann
lest you forget – all must remember
daylight left us back in December
we endured darkness – shorter days
strong granite stater’s – patience pays
days go by, negative temps, snow, ice and rain
cold winter days add to our aches and pain
daylight saving arrived – longer as each passes
celebrate, fill them up – raise your glasses
a toast is in order as winter residents cheer
brighter temps, warmer days – sunlight is here
A Capacity to Forget
By Brian Hayward
Children for not the death of guns die
Though shocked and alarmed some see us grieving
In modest falsity.
Tempest Torn we reunite rising
Above of Ivory Towers Shining
New symbols of redemption and trust.
Soon in the dust we once again crumble
Fragmented, shattered, rage choked and humbled
Upon our foundations of rust.
As young adults the cry to rally calls so
We shoulder our burdens and board buses
The lives of a New Generation are birthed
In the blood of a grateful Great Nation.
Children for not the guns of death die
Yet the politics of absurdity
So convincingly orchestrated
Create a Swan Song Symphony
For those who would perpetrate it.
To the children:
Let us make ourselves clear
Making Amends we hold dear
There is no need of us to be greedy.
When we demand our Seconds
The Seconds we count while
Grasping your lives in fear
The Librarians and Library Aides of the Meredith Public library: Erin, Chris, Matthew, Karen, John, Cherie, Joyce, Jessica, and Linda. Please check out our Staff page for more information.