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Web Exclusive: Poetry contest winners

| May 19, 2009 12:00 AM

Following are entries that earned recognition in the Lincoln County Poetry Contest.

ADULT

1st Place

Untitled

By Katy Waxbom of Libby

Go West.

   Get away from the birth of man,

   the bed of the sun’s rising.

Go forward—

   find your fortune, your future, your worth

   each step forging its own path.

Don’t quit,

   even in weariness, lack, or sorrow

   for each step is new.

Go on to the golden setting

   at this journey’s end.

And then—

   Go West.

Beyond everything you think you know,

   beyond every step you’ve ever made.

There, to meet your Maker,

Go West.

2nd Place

“Going West”

By Lynn Emerick of Libby

Going West

At seventeen the boys all talked about leaving

our northern mining town and moving west;

it had to be better there, they said. They heard

the women were prettier out there, and would appreciate

men like them. They said this loudly

so we would hear, a group of girls around the fire

shivering a little, not dressed warmly

against the cold wind off the lake. We knew the rules;

you waited until the beer was gone. Then they’d come over

and throw an arm across your shoulder; only then

would you be good enough. But until then

they debated California, Montana, Idaho:

everyone had heard of someone

who had gone out west, and showed up back in town

with a new Corvette, and enough cash

to buy all the kegs for a week or two;

somebody’s cousin, or that guy Frankie’s friend,

never anyone we really knew.

In their stories girls like us never left,

especially not like I did, not telling anyone,

in a third hand car and a compass needle stuck on west,

steering toward the sunset and stopping only

when there was nowhere left to go.

I heard most of them never went, but they still talk about it

as if they will, as if they still see themselves,

faces young again in the firelight,

the world wide open in any direction.

Honorable Mention

“Oz”

By Linda LaCrosse of Libby

She wasn’t really wicked,

just misunderstood.

She wanted to fit in, but

her complexion made her different.

She became bitter,

and in the end

melted into oblivion.

Honorable Mention

“Grandpa and I Go for a Hike”

By Karmen McKinney of Eureka

Grandpa has asked me to go for a hike

It’s an adventure, the kind that I like

I’m really excited, I’ll do my best

To climb that high mountain here in the west

“Think you can make it?” He asks with a smile

“It’s a long climb and will take quite a while”

“Yes, I can do it” I say with a grin

“All the way up and then back down again.”

The trail starts here and goes out of sight

The sky is clear and blue, sunny and bright

Up the tall, tall mountain is where we’ll go

He’ll show me the things he wants me to know

Already we see a squirrel that’s small

With tiny hands and feet and tail tall

He’s chattering loudly to all around

A warning of the strangers he has found

“Want to keep going?” Grandpa asks again

“There’s more to learn where we haven’t yet been”

“Yes! I’m sure I can do it all the way!

“Up to the very top” is what I say

The trail goes on—and up around the bend

There are trees everywhere with shade to lend

Needles and bark differ on every kind

Pine, fir, larch and many more we can find

He shows me up ahead a startled deer

She has a small spotted fawn that is near

She raises her tail as a sign to show

Danger is near and so quickly to go

“Want to keep going?” Grandpa asks again

“There’s more to learn where we haven’t yet been”

“Yes! I’m sure I can do it all the way!

“Up to the very top” is what I say

The trail goes on—and across a small stream

The water babbles, talking it would seem

It’s very clear and very, very cold

Rocks at the bottom are gray, green and gold

We see a bird flying high in the sky

The red tailed hawk has a piercing cry

He is circling up there to spot his prey

Finding food for his family today

“Want to keep going?” Grandpa asks again

“There’s more to learn where we haven’t yet been”

“Yes! I’m sure I can do it all the way!

“Up to the very top” is what I say

The trail goes on—and to a marshy pond

A place where Candaian geese are fond

There are turtles sunning themselves on sticks

And mallard ducks are gathering their chicks

Out in the middle a moose is chewing

Looking curious at what we’re doing

The bottom of the pond has things to eat

All kinds of grasses he thinks are so sweet

“Want to keep going?” Grandpa asks again

“There’s more to learn where we haven’t yet been”

“Yes! I’m sure I can do it all the way!

“Up to the very top” is what I say

The trail goes on—and on and upwards still

We see wild flowers all over the hill

Indian paint brush, lupine, lilies too

Red, purple, yellow; there are quite a few

Now we see a black bear over yonder

Into some bushy shrubs he does wander

He must have found a huckleberry patch

A meal of wild berries nothing can match

“Want to keep going?” Grandpa asks again

“There’s more to learn where we haven’t yet been”

“Yes! I’m sure I can do it all the way!

“Up to the very top” is what I say

The trail goes on—but now we’re getting high

We’ve reached the very top and my oh my

Looking out there are mountains all around

The breeze is blowing with faint, quiet sound

Now Grandpa and I stop and take a rest

It has been a long climb, what a great quest

It’s really amazing how blessed we are

To see so much nature, both near and far

Grandpa looks at me, a smile starts to grow

“You’ve done really great; I want you to know

“You never gave up and I’m proud of you

“Look what we learned and the fun we had too”

Up here on the mountain that is so tall

I suddenly didn’t feel quite so small

“Thanks Grandpa” I say and stand by his side

With a grin as big as the world is wide

“Want to keep going? Grandpa asks again

“There’s more to learn where we’ve already been”

“Yes! I’m sure I can do it all the way!

“To the very bottom” is what I say

The trail goes down—and now leads us both back

Along the way we discover a track

It’s not from the wildlife, what could it be

A foot print-and it’s the one that fits me!

Before we know it we’re at the trails end

A wonderful day in time that we spend

Looking, listening, discovering too

Nature of the west with a friend like you

YOUTH

1st Place

Untitled

By Courtney Pils of Troy

When you look outside what do you see?

Clouds that sleep?

Mountains watching time creep past?

Trees staring off into daydreams?

Snow playing tricks on spring?

Or maybe you see the wind playing with the leaves that fall.

I see it all.

2nd Place

Untitled

By Destiny Tallmadge of Troy

Snow slowly melting

Into spring on those

Mountains standing tall and proud

As the clouds floating

In the sunlight pass

Trees swaying in the wind.

Honorable Mention

“Sullen Puddles”

By Blair Adams of Troy

Abandoned playgrounds and parking lots,

No one is playing

No one has their heels clicking on hard pavement

It’s empty, lonely, and dark.

The sullen puddles ripple and toss angrily

No child’s foot has splashed in them

No car tires stirring up excitement

They sit and wait for some type of attention.

Anguish as they feel themselves leaving bit by bit by the process of evaporation.

“Come! Come!” They cry. “Someone let us know we still exist!”

The puddles’ anger grows and grows,

As they become smaller and smaller.

The desperation breaks and they lay still.

Their one wish ringing clear

“Oh bring us the children splashing, the cars sending us everywhere, the people on their

cell phones as they casually step around us. Bring us people who make the music

humans do, so that we may die happily.”

For the rest of the night the sullen puddles became mist and returned to the air.