A Celebration of National Poetry Month

Poetry Contest for Teens

The winners are in!

This April is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month, and in honor of the occasion, the Johnson County Library held a poetry contest for local middle and high school students. It was open to all teens in grades 6 through 12, whether they attended public school, private school, or were homeschooled. 

Participants did not have to pay a fee. They could write on any topic, and were allowed to submit submit up to 3 poems for consideration. We received 6 middle school and 23 high school entries.

Congratulations to the winners! Special thanks to the Patricia Marton Memorial fund for sponsoring the contest prizes. 

Honorable mentions are as follows:

High School Division

   Danielle Zimmerschied, "Scars"

   Hollis Mantle, "Love and Other Poetic Nonsense"

   Deckyr Farris, "San Fermin"


Middle School Division

   Gretchyn Farris, "Boundaries"


1st Place – High school division


By Deckyr Farris

O’Crab, why?

O’crab, why do you have such colossal claws?

O’crab, why do you walk sideways?

O’crab, why do you snap all day long?

Snap, snap, snap, snap!

O’crab, why are you so pokey, like the dreadful thorns on a rose?

O’crab, what do you see with those big black eyes?

O’crab, where have you been in that ice-cold sea?


2nd Place – High school division

“In August You Would Find Me Frozen”

By Massimo Haas

A Sunday feels a certain way,

when power’s out and wind blows wild,

when all one’s youth returns one day,

with sunlight gold and autumn mild.

The same silence still makes its rounds,

from the kitchen and through the hall.

The house is nothing but its sounds,

the clocks and creaks make perfect fall.

To dwell or ponder does no good,

seasons, like wind, must run their course.

And like this desk is only wood,

I have no strength against such force.

        But could I remain in one moment,

        in August you would find me frozen.


3rd Place – High school division

“Do Not Despair the Winter”

By Easton Phillippi

Do not despair the winter

As cold and frightening as it may seem

Hold out hope for warmer days


When the wind blows cold

Find a warm shoulder to lean

Do not despair the winter


When the spring winds blow warm

It will be time to clean

Hope out hope for warmer days

When the days grow cold again

And the snow has a lovely sheen

Do not despair the winter


The trees blossom and bloom

And the whole world turns green

Hold out hope for warmer days


Do not despair the winter

As the beauty is unforeseen

Wait until the geese convene

Hold out hope for warmer days


1st Place – Middle school division

“The Defeat of Calamity Ganon”

By Milo Hansen

T’was the night of the Blood Moon,

Hyrule’s end was fast approaching,

then—when all had lost hope, a boon;

The knight of the princess, wielding—


The Master Sword! The hero’s true

blade! To strike down the darkness,

all Hyrule to save. But a truly

worthy foe, was the Calamity Ganon.


Even harder was the challenge,

for the hero had not all Divine

Beasts freed. But despite the

odds, he did prevail, Ganon’s


attack naught but fail, But

wait—what is this? Calamity’s

true form had yet to reveal…

A Beast of pure malice, void


of soul, for only one purpose: for

the whole world to fall! But one

final weapon, Light’s Bow! In the

hands of the hero, one final blow…

                …and peace to all Hyrule,

                        forever more.


2nd Place – Middle school division

“Simply Majestic”

By Lori Leach

The eagle saw two bull moose fight

As over the mountains he flew


The sky so blue

The canyons grand.


The beauty of the Wyoming land,

The trees the animals the meadows.


In the nighttime shadows,

A mountain lion hunted in the fading light.


A hawk hunted with his sight.

Looking over the Wyoming plains.


Through the forest squirrels played their games,

As an elk bellowed his mating call.


The lakes with fish big and small.

Where a bear was fishing.


In all the time I’ve been around,

All the places I’ve seen,

There’s nothing more beautiful than the sight and sounds

Of Wyoming


Simply Majestic



3rd Place – Middle school division

“The Erie Dog”

By Lori Leach

The night was dark and dreary,

On the shores of Lake Erie,

One dog walked alone,

Looking for a home.

With nose in the air,

He searched for a lair,

For a place where he’d be warm,

Searched the dog forlorn.

He saw a house and wagged his tail.

And cocked his head hoping for a meal.

He barked once to let the owner know,

He was so hungry, Oh!

A man opened up the door,

The dog’s tail brushed the floor.

“Git!” the man yelled,

“Git on off my porch!” he yelled.

The dog whined and cried,

And looked at the man wide-eyed.

The man sighed and opened up the door,

The dogs hope grew more and more!

“Come on in,” the man said,

Then the dog bounced in, and got fed.

“I’m goin’ on a sail Wednesday,

Which means you can’t stay.”

Said the main looking sternly,

At the dog watching earnestly.

Come Wednesday a man and dog,

Boarded a ship…