Fourth Place Winners


Piece of Mind

by Martina Preston, twelfth grade, Covenant High School

Prepare yourself to fight, take up your arms,
Align yourself within the plan of fate,
For you will need a clear mind when alarms
Come screaming in, invading every state
Of being, tearing what was intertwined
In grim, unnatural halves. War, pressing on,
And leaving in its wake this mangled mind,
Cares not for all the thought that now is gone
Cares not for all the rights that it has wronged.
It has no allies; all are enemies.
The joy of vict’ry only mournful song,
All jubilance is hollow, none are free.
For in the blood there part of mind is left;
Although some may survive, all are bereft.



The First Date

by Nada Cheaitli, twelfth grade, Mercy High School


Man—Point of View

I can’t believe it’s happening,
That this date is “the one”.
I’ve found my lifelong partner,
My lengthy search is done.

Her eyes are glittering with love,
I think she feels it too.
Her shy gaze downward is a sign,
I know our love is true.

Excitement is too much to bear,
I run out with my phone.
And soon enough my mom too shares,
My ample, cheerful tone.

I smile at her to let her know,
This isn’t a mistake,
I cannot help but simply stare,
Each time she looks my way.

My whispers in the waiter’s ear,
Conceal a great surprise.
A great dessert she can’t refuse;
Our love is on the rise.

As I return, my stomach turns,
There lies an awful sight:
My true love has left me alone,
To wallow in the night.


Woman—Point of View

I can’t believe it’s happening,
Another bites the dust.
This man thinks I’m the one for him,
But this whole date’s a bust.

Now my heart hurts in resentment,
And I’m about to cry,
I look down to hide all my tears,
I know he’s the wrong guy.

He keeps on leaving me alone,
To go to, God knows where,
Each time I look up from my food,
It seems that no one’s there.

He smiles at me quite creepily,
And when I look away,
He stares at me with great, wide eyes
I’m quite afraid to stay.

He whispers to the waiter now,
Therein his secret lies.
I know for sure within myself,
He’s plotting my demise.

I must leave if I want to live,
I turn back by the door,
And there his figure glares at me,
My choice is right, I’m sure.




by Jerry Dalrymple, eleventh grade, Seton High School

It began with a drop
Which swelled to a rush,
There was no way to stop
The movement of the brush.

The shapes began to form,
The lines began to smear
With the power of a storm
A work of color clear.

Waves whipped with wonder,
Bubbles frothed with strife,
Rocks tumbled with thunder,
The water moved with life.

One small breath of silence,
A glint of beauty in the twist,
The world knew no violence
In that peaceful place of mist.

It faded into space,
The time of life bequeathed,
A burst of water’s grace,
The artist’s pride unleashed.



Honorable Mentions


Icarus Indomitable

by Lauren Haines, twelfth grade, Jesuit High School, Oregon

O’ Flier, seize Her trailing moors
Heave-ho for Heaven’s prow
Brave salty tongues of deep-sea tides
Fright, ridicule, and doubt

Above your depth, the jealous Sun
Denudes your feathered back
Yet still, you leave the cooling sea
Awed, faithful, unabashed

His felting hand delivers you
Plucked draping from the brack
His soothing grip, which cannot fail
Holds shroud-like your topmast

O’ Flier, vault aboard His ship
Behold Her salted planks
And should Her deck unwelcome you
Hold your breath until the next



Light of Salvation

by Yoel Soibelman, twelfth grade, Yeshiva Ohavei Torah

Darkness and despair are all around thee,
Not a light or a hope for thou to see.
So thick, like a veil, one appears to be,
A silhouette of shadow standing solitary.

Then there’s a flicker, a fizzle, a glow,
A merciless thought to sadden thy woe.
Just a figment, a trick, a mere mind blow,
As it trickles in, thy sanity begins to slow.

But no, this image, it’s so plain in sight,
Its divine embrace, its glorious light.
A single flame pierces this endless night,
Its beauty and grace represents the just and their might.

Dancing bright colors waltz as it quivers,
The orange and yellow swirls and shivers.
A holy gift given by the giver,
That elegantly flows as if a golden river.

Though the flame seems forever and divine,
It flickers and fades and loses its shine.
But it did its job; it had sent a sign,
To spread happiness and hope that had never been thine.


A Treasure for a Lady

by Lucia Fisher, twelfth grade, Kolbe Academy Online

It was Midsummer’s Day; a knight renowned
Upon his steed tread down the path of fame;
For Destiny to be that day fair-crowned
With glory and with laurels chose his name
And so he down the beaten way did aim
In youth not caring whence or where he went
When of a-sudden he espied a dame;
A maiden fair in search of knights errant
Whom on a quest she wished one might be sente

As errant knights do always wish to charm
To her he rode straight on without delay
And soon conveying that he wished no harm
Of her inquired what she might have to say
Quoth she, “Thou far abroad hath gone this day,
But scorn thou not a damsel in distress,
A heart in bearing bold is all I pray
For no less could achieve this fateful test
To travel on the way and take no rest.

Then shall ye find a lake at which there stands
The knight of Speare, who jousts with passers-by,
The victor being free to own the lands
And in the lake a treasure great doth lie
It is a frog the color of the sky
To him who owns it one wish will it give
Yet none hath gained this prize though oft they try
The Speare knight will permit no man to live
And he doth not his enemies forgive

But thou I trow are not a coward knight
And gentle Honor surely bids thee go
To best this scoundrel in a jousting fight
Bring me the frog and wield the final blow
With heart held high the seed of vict’ry sow.”
He took her leave and galloped far away
And reached the lake with sunset skies aglow
The knight of Speare he challenged in this way:
“In combat mortale thou shalt die this day.”

With flashing spears and feisty steeds they clashed
The errant knight the better of the twain
Until at dawn the Speare knight to earth crashed
And never more did ride or rise again
Up to the lake his foe rode on the plain
And in full armor dove that knight resigned
To seek the frog in spite of fear or pain
No little effort did it take to find
The treasure that his damsel had in mind

At dusk he did at last return to her
In body worn but in his spirit light
Presenting her the frog, he made her sure
That here there knelt a brave and gentle knight
Who would not fail in quest of causes right
Then to the frog she whispered her request
She wished for endless wishes there that night
At last the hero might from travels rest
And ever more those two lived on the best




by Elizabeth Thompson, The Academy of Classical Christian Studies

The wind will often whisper— joy—
And dance with friends— the trees
They sing a murmured melody—
And laugh— at last at ease.

The breeze will lift and twirl the leaves—
Awaken friends: soar high
Forgetting stress— and cares of life—
To laugh— and twirl— and fly—

In such a wind— there stands a girl—
Too burdened to advance
Whose mind is stretched— heavy— dark—
And yet she longs— to dance—

To dance— and break her chains— and soar
Above the whirlwind storms—
To dance— where birds and freedom sing
To dance— in joy adorned.

She hears the laughing leaves’ appeal—
She longs— to gain a turn—
And yet her duty— still prevails
She waits— and hopes— and yearns—

For now— she stands upon the grass
With arms outstretched— a smile—
Content— on land to laugh— and hope
And dance with Wind a while—



This I Had to Do (A Sestina)

by Melissa Molano, twelfth grade, Bishop Kenny High School

You make all my thoughts go wild
When usually they’d be nothing but mild.
You make me want to go crazy
And make my eyes become lazy
Because all they want is to look at you.
They are searching for something new.

One day something appeared that was new
And seemed, compared to the normal, wild,
But still all I wanted to see was you.
This longing was nothing close to mild.
While everyone else was being lazy
All I could do was over you go crazy.

This feeling extended to places most crazy
In ways that some would see as new,
But somehow I was still too lazy
And would only imagine going places wild.
Somehow, by some miracle-not mild
The first one to approach was you.

As I sat and stared at you
In a way that on the outside seemed crazy,
I started to speak in a tone very mild.
I could tell that to you this was nothing new
But to me it surely seemed wild.
Then I noticed-you walked over as if lazy.

I began to worry that due to me being lazy
I had done everything but attract you.
Immediately after that thought I ran wild,
Ignoring the way I looked so crazy,
Ran toward the one and only you.
I knew my words could be anything but mild.

After the day’s failure nothing was mild.
I decided I would never again be lazy.
Although I did not get what I wanted I thank you.
On that day I began something new,
And I knew it would sound crazy,
And some including me would say wild.

Today I now go from mild to wild.
I once was lazy but now am crazy.
I decided to become a new version of you.



A Modern Republic (A Rondeau)

by Sophia Gottfried, eleventh grade, the Harker School, San Jose, California

We are the shadows on these walls
Our stories dancing down the halls
All flickers fading into light
Us specters stand against the night
Till quiet voice of void then calls.

The shapes depart in battles and brawls
In desperate dashes and brutal falls
The silhouettes get shot in fight
We the shadows.

Now one is struck but still she crawls
The unavoidable she stalls
At last she will be free of plight
At least she fought for what was right
As moral war always enthralls
We the shadows.