Greening Up the Mountains
Student Poetry Celebration,
This marks the third year for the Greening Up The Mountains Poetry Contest.
The contest celebrates our mountains
and our connection to them in our everyday lives. All Jackson County students in kindergarten through 12th grade were invited to participate.
We offer special thanks to our judge this year, Ms. Darnell Arnoult,
poet, novelist, short story writer,
and professor of English and creative writing at Lincoln Memorial University.
All of the students who participated in the contest are to be commended for their creativity and effort.
We also appreciate the participants’ teachers and parents for encouraging them to write and share
these wonderful poems with all of us.
Kathryn Byer and City Lights Bookstore
FINAL JUDGE: Darnell Arnoult, poet, novelist, short story writer, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lincoln Memorial University.
Sponsored by City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC, and Kathryn Stripling Byer, NC Poet Laureate Emerita.
With invaluable assistance from Jackie Methven, Smoky Mountain High School Media Coordinator.
Brittney Davis, 11th grade, SMHS, Dedicated to Dianne Gholson.
COLORS OF THE WORLD
The world is shaded in many colors.
Each contains emotion.
And that emotion is significant to each and every living thing.
Pacific blue; the rapids of the sea with beauty and veracity.
Mahogany; the wood floor you pattered on as a child.
Outer space; wonder in a universe that we have yet to know.
Robin egg blue; the memory of your numerous Easter holidays.
Sunset blood orange; the unspeakable gorgeousness as the sun goes down.
Scarlet; the color of lust and secrecy.
All hold the world's secrets.
You just have to be willing to uncover them.
Kelly Morgan, 10th grade, SMHS, Ms. April Bryson’s class
She said to him: tread carefully, my love,
For the weight of our feet can break the world.
He said to her: I will walk on a beam of silver glass
Treading carefully, for all the world below.
A girl whispered to her friend: I cannot,
It is too much to hold in a single hand.
Her friend whispered back: take it,
You can, you need not use only your hand.
The brother cried: onwards! to the sky!
Brandishing his mighty silver sword.
His brother yelled: let us charge!
And pressed his fist against the mighty sun.
Rocking back and forth, she crooned:
Lullaby, lullaby, I will carry you to the moon and sky.
I will wrap you in stars, my little one,
You will have all the world spread below.
And the child in her arms lay with eyes closed,
Small fingers curled around her hand.
Brandi McDonald, 9th grade, SMHS, Ms. April Bryson’s class
A Blank Page is a Playground for Imagination
A blank page is a playground for imagination
you can go on the journey of a lifetime
or find your true love.
You can do anything,
or be anything.
Go travel the world,
or maybe other worlds.
Go as far as your imagination
can take you.
or whatever your mind can create.
There are no limits in this new world
you can do whatever
you set your heart to do.
Enjoy these days on that playground
it will fill up with dreams
but you can always
get a new blank page.
Become that knight again
travel the world again
just don't stop dreaming.
Let your imagination
flow through you
and be happy.
Dan Hacskaylo, Fairview School, Ms. Pamela Martin’s class
We would braid each other’s hair,
Twisting and knotting.
We weren’t allowed around sharp objects, like scissors, so our hair grew long,
But that’s okay because you always wanted me to have long hair,
And I loved the way the caramel feathers fell soft around your face
We would run through the rain,
Skipping in puddles and racing for awnings,
Laughing when our braided hair got wet
I didn’t like being damp, but that’s okay
Because it just meant huddling up in duvet forts later in the afternoon.
We would weave daisy chains,
Building them into flower crowns and knisthing each other in turn
I didn’t deserve to be prince,
But that’s okay because you though I did,
And the glittering assurance in your eyes was hard to resist
We would gaze at the stars,
The unfathomably distant fairy lights making us feel small
I would breathe into your neck and know that someday I would lose you,
But that’s okay because you would be happy,
And that’s all that really concerned me.
Sarah Grider, 8th grade, Cullowhee Valley, Ms. Paula Fox’s class
Winter is Coming
See the world through different eyes
Not of another person
But from the eyes of the world itself
See the trees sleep during a freezing winter
Dreading the aching cold it brings
Hear the selfish birds calling
Mememe me me mememe
Look up and see the clouds
And how they look like they’ve been painted on the sky
Hear how the water is calling
Calling everything to its freezing death
The trees are burned a darkened coal black
Waiting for the cold to drown them in sorrow
They cry tears for the flowers that will
Never bloom; and the dry air laughing at the world
The trees are alone, a ripple
A simple drop of water in a lake
Lane Owen--8th grade, Cullowhee Valley, Paula Fox
I am a Fraser Fir
Up high I stand
Hidden in plain sight
Six or seven feet tall when young
Sixty to seventy feet tall when mature
I am known as the Mountain Balsam
With pinecones all in my spiked up hair
My skin is pale as if I were a ghost
The blisters on my skin, ooze a sticky sap
It is sweet honey to some creatures
Popular as I am
Celebrations are what make me who I am
Attacked by enemies I might be but
I stand tall
Gazing over the mountains and seas
Up high I stand
Looking out at the populated land
Keanu Ammons, 8th grade, Cullowhee Valley, Paula Fox
"A Sightless City"
And I walk
through the peace and quiet of nature
as the wind booms through the mountains.
It is soft and forgiving as it flows through my hair.
The crunch of sticks beneath my feet is sharp,
like chips in a blender. I see the grass flow in the wind
and watch as a leaf falls to a small pond
like a city on water, it stays.
a single cloud in a bright blue sky
like a zeppelin spying on me,
could it be what I see it to be?
I hear a sharp buzz of a nearby power line
its sound is quite like a spaceship coming in for a landing,
its sound leaves an echoing buzz in my head.
I hear a harsh rumble of cars on a highway
blaring and screaming along the way;
I can hear the vibrations from far away.
A clanking sound of a truck is loud and almost disturbing.
The truck is an earthquake
rumbling through the highway.
I see a large and powerful city in the distance,
it’s along the mountaintops,
it’s in the flat plains bright and standing tall.
A towering space elevator litters the skyline.
A wingless plane darts effortlessly over my head; Is it possible?
It’s an impressive sight to see for those who can see it.
Buildings are towering leaving there impressive shadow over me.
Then I realize it’s a sightless city
darker than the darkest night
for those who try to see it with their eyes,
it’s always been here but only until now have I noticed it.
Madelyn Tracy, 5th grade, Fairview, Pam Martin’s class
There is music in the mountains
The mountains make the music
I hear the music of the mountains every day
It will be in my heart and in my soul forever
But not everyone knows the music of the mountains
They don’t know the swaying of the trees
They don’t know the rushing of the river
Or the tweeting of the birds
That’s what makes the music
The music of the mountains never dies
Just like the love for it.
Jared Mincey, 7th Grade, Cullowhee Valley, Kristin Caplinger
My grandpa taught my dad how to fish
He passed it down through father and son
Jack Cabe taught my dad
How to tie flies
Fishing has taught me
Many life lessons
Fishing has taught me about my dad
My dad taught me to from age 12
Through all the catches
All the hangs
Through all the ties
And all the flies
I haven’t given up
On me and my dad fishing
One day I hope
To pass it down
And it starts over
Nicholas Boone, 6th grade, Scotts Creek School, Ms. Kim Fiskeaux’s class
"Little Rusted SailBoat"
little rusted sail boat
you sit on the shelf
rusted and torn
you watch the toymaker
make and fix shiny new toys
when will it be your turn
could it be
there you go...no
wait for me!
Emma Fox, 6th grade, Cullowhee Valley, Kristen Caplinger
My mountain solitude.
Sparkling dew in the morning.
Shadows in the afternoon.
The place where I was born,
My love laced in the rafters
Of our house,
Others might love people,
Some might not.
I love the solitude where I can sit and
Write, and hopefully
Freedom Franks, 6th grade, Fairview, Ms. Kirsten Morgan’s class
Rain is an amazing weather
You feel like someone is there
The rain has emotions
Soft rain is sad and hard rain is mad
When it rains it feels like someone else is crying with you
Rain feels like a person and it changes moods
Sometimes it feels like the rain understands
Sometimes rain can be like a comforting hand
Sometimes it feels like rain listens to you
Rain is a good weather because when you cry no one can tell
Rain is like a mom’s or a BFF’s shoulder
They’ll let you cry and then they’ll wash you up afterwards
Raindrops look like teardrops, so people mistake tears for rain
When you cry in the rain, the rain washes your face like a wet rag
When it rains your hair gets in your face and hides your face from other people
Rain is beautiful
It’s transparent, which can take color of anything
Rain looks like teardrops which are special because they are like snowflakes
Each one is unique
In the moonlight raindrops twinkle and glow like fallen stars
I love the way raindrops look on a spider web
It’s saying, “Look, God gave you the opportunity to see something amazing”
I also love the way raindrops look on a rose
Rain always makes things greener
At night in the moonlight the raindrops look like silver tears
Bailey McMahan, 8th grade, Cullowhee Valley, Paula Fox
Nature at its Best
The sun shines brightly on my back
a gentle breeze blows though my jacket
as I stroll down the gritty path
the trees, soldiers, stands tall
as the eagle flies in the a clear sky
boys on the baseball field crouch
in anticipation of a pop fly
they wait for their chance to shine
a plane roars over head
cars zoom by on their journey to their destitution
my heart, a box of chocolates, waits to be consumed
by the girl of my dreams
Berkley Albritton, Fairview, Ms. Holly Rowan’s class
The deer are out in the spring
and the flowers are growing it’s such a beautiful thing
when the flowers are ready to be picked I go and pick them
and when I’m done
I give them to my parents and they give me hugs
and I hear birds singing
and I sing along and it’s such a beautiful song.
Autumn Coggins, Fairview, Holly Rowan’s class
In spring the grass turns green as the tree leaves.
The sun is bright as burning hot lava.
The clouds are like cotton balls floating in the sky
the wind blows on my face like it is sahing hi.
People laugh like it is Christmas.
People get andy like it is Valentines when it is Easter
The flowers are beaming little baby animals are born
The birds chip like beautiful music.
Larry Hernandez, Fairview, Ms. Holly Rowan’s class
The grass is as soft as a pillow.
The sun is as warm as a jacket,
Sunflowers are are a bright sun.
The golden finches were a flying loop of school buses,
Bees are getting the honey,
The butterfly is getting the nectar,
The bees live in the beehive.
The flowers are purple gems.
The people are playing in the rain,
In the grass there is a bunny in the hole,
It is warm outside and kids play on a slide.
Miguel Cisneros, first grade, Smoky Mt. Elementary, Ms. Clement
Spring makes everybody happy.
Playing in the park
Riding on my bike in the spring
In spring I always play in the dirt.
No more school soon, summer break
Good flowers in the spring.
Damien Hermida, Fairview, Holly Rowan’s class
I have a power like a flower.
I’m a bunny that is very funny.
I’m a deer with one ear.
I’m a clover so scoot over.
Is a monkey
Is a monkey
So very, very funky.
It’s raining pigs and noodles.
It’s pouring frogs and hats.
Banana brooms and poodles.
I think I have a crack.
Janet Juarez Torres, Fairview, Holly Rowan’s class
In spring bees sting me.
In the spring I bring cookies to my mom.
In the spring I sing.
In the spring I bring things to school.
In the spring animals look for food.
In the spring flowers are colorful and pretty.
In the spring deer look for food.
In the spring I see a snake crawling in the grass.
In the spring I see worms in the mud
Addison Blankenship, first grade, Smoky Mt. Elementary, Ms. Leah Clement’s class
Sunshine outside gives warmth
Pretty flowers smell so good.
Rain showers and sunshine make rainbows.
In the spring it’s so pretty!
No more winter.
Gardening is fun.
Elle Williams, first grade, Smoky Mt. Elementary, Leah Clement’s class
Sunshine makes me warm.
Playing on the rocks.
Riding my bike is fun.
Insects are cool bugs.
Now it’s time for spring.
Gardening makes me happy.