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. Canvas 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 Wind 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.