May 6, 2022
Poetry Contest Winner Announced!
In our April issue, we advertised our poetry contest for the month of April. We had four students share their poetry with us. Mindy Kronenberg, a mentor in the Humanities and the Arts at Empire State College served as our judge. In addition to being faculty at the college, she is also an award-winning poet and writer whose work has appeared in hundreds of journals and books and has been included in art installations worldwide. She is the editor of Oberon poetry magazine and the author of Dismantling the Playground, Images of America: Miller Place, and Open, an illustrated book of poems.
Congratulations to Ann Lee with her poem, Imagine One Love Rising/We are All Fallible!!
Thank you to all who submitted a poem. Ms. Kronenberg said it was a pleasure to read your submissions and that all poems were poignant, and thoughtfully expressed.
You can read Ann’s winning poem, along with the other submissions below.
Imagine One Love Rising / We are all Fallible
by Ann Lee
May graceful cheer lighten losses, soothe sorrow, past & present, without & within.
Skip the doom scroll, the pundits’ polls ‘cause coin can flip with a kiss or a whip.
So sway away the layers, flicker flame, blaze bright with self-discipline to shine
on unencumbered. Let’s right the course. Lend a hand towards a stumbling man.
Oui all began somewhere non? with silver spoon or ping pong care; learning to walk
or surprised to have survived this wilderness thus far; at times tear streaked or with
a wry smile. Fear to err stifles, but shirked responsibility, gaslit accountability
entrenches ghostly delinquency and wanton misdeedery. What happened
to integrity? Regret merely mental reverie. Without the gray of compromise;
the unacceptance of unfairness, both perceived and in fact; what is rage but
childish hate grown up. Contemptuous disdain; the lash of an ego frightened.
Commenced experiments (some mis-takes) ain’t cause for shame—perhaps
a tool weaponized with a fiefdom’s thumbly boots and eyes, wielded wickedly.
Just as a ‘Big Up’ can tame the little reptile brain that blinds the mammal’s heart
by imposing static labels to reality that’s ever changing. So at least, Don’t Kick Down.
Savor life’s lessons and joys; passed on, on a road refined steadfastly; for those yet
to be and beyond this mortal coil and for us—We are Here Now. For generations that thrive
together because we strive together united in hearts and hands and minds with ancestors’
actions quietly apparent. Is the story written? Fate a reason to bow? Let’s write the course
yet bend like a lively river. Tend the land then share at common square communal meals
prepared with harvest bounties, watch the table grow. Love thy neighbor & every stranger
who alights upon your path because we create the narrative with word and by deed.
Cast aside the worldly lie of ‘winner takes all’ set upon us by greed to divide.
We see. Can be. Wise, we Rise when we are One in All in One Love.
Lucid dream astronomically. Imagine.
John, Bob, Maya, Beau.
Thank you to our other students who submitted poems. Our other submissions are featured here:
Neurodivergent in the Land of the “Free”
by Matthew Berge
Is America the land of the free?
If you are neurodiverse, toe the line.
Is it a crime to think differently?
Maintain the status quo, all will be fine.
Is there hope for those stuck at the bottom?
Struggling day after day to make ends meet,
Anxiety lingers, there is no calm,
Pull up your bootstraps, or sleep on the street.
Going bankrupt from a hospital bill,
Just another day in the USA,
Fall off the wagon, pop another pill,
Someone, somehow, just take this pain away.
I don’t know if I can keep on going,
As long as there is a line for toeing.
Until We Meet Again
by Muriel A. Reyes
There is nothing but emptiness that fills up my heart,
Ever since I lost you that horrible night.
In that hospital room for all those days,
I can only imagine how lonely you felt.
You seemed always so strong when I was around,
But I knew you were ready to say your final goodbyes.
In such a short time you taught me so much.
You opened my heart and lifted my soul,
And showed me what love is supposed to feel like.
I still try to enjoy the things that we did,
But it does not feel the same because you’re not there.
Every day I wake up I just wish I could see you,
and sit by your side as we set up our game.
I hope you enjoyed the time that we had,
As right now your memories is all I have left.
I thank you for all the things that you did,
And I hope someday we’ll be able to dance again.
I’ll love you forever until I can’t anymore,
And then after that I’ll love you some more.
You will always own a piece of my heart,
And I look forward to the day when we’ll be able to reunite.
by Harley Madden
White velcro sneakers
Band-aids and retirement homes
Bins in the attic, projects left unfinished
Ink elephant on her ankle
I cannot remember the faces
Only their absence
Funerals are no place for children,
They can’t grasp death
Just someone they can’t see anymore
A little red backpack,
Watching a father sob into his wife
It feels like decades ago,
It is possible to miss strangers
Old jewelry and a metal cross
Quilts and old plaid bags
Memorial tree in Ocean City
You are all gone,
Two scattered north in warm waters
Leaving me with only pictures
For one lonely grandchild
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