Winners of the Craven-Pamlico Regional Library Poetry Contest

Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to our winners!

The following prizes are awarded winners in each age group.
1st Place $35.00 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Place $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Place $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

We had an amazing number of great entries, and our judges had a very hard time picking winners.

We encourage everyone to keep writing and dreaming.

Here are our winners!

1st Place - Children Up to 12 Years Old
Liam VanStaalduninen

Will the railcar stick at the station?
Will it not carry the population?
Will it not get coal as its ration?
The long song of the whistle wants to be sung.  

The fate of this train will soon be found out,
Rusted alive or spitting smoke from the spout.
Wanting a conductor to drive him about,
The long song of the whistle wants to be sung.

Then the song that was desired so much,
It is ready to go, he doesn't need to rush.
The sigh of readiness, he's gone, doesn't need lunch,
The long song of the whistle is now sung.   

5 random words: stick, population, railcar, fate and sigh

2nd Place - Children Up to 12 Years Old
 Mathew Hall

My Favorite Library Book

Hedgehog has edges of spikes on his head
His shoes are cool and bright bright red
His blue fur is warm and his belly is tan
My name is Matthew and I'm a Hedgehog fan

Sonic the hedgehog has no dress to wear
Sonic has none but Tails has three long hairs
Defeating Eggman is his greatest goal
And saving animals is his role

He does not fear Eggman's loud loud voice
But battling Eggman is his choice
The mystery of Sonic Hedgehog is what does he eat?
Running faster than anything in the world with his feet.

5 random words: warm, edge, dress, mystery and loud

3rd Place - Children Up to 12 Years Old
Mollie Belangia

like rain falls, we all willy and wail
wine and cry swearing that we are fine
every person is alike in that way
some may say.

visions of fear and tear you
may recall, with an ocean breeze it is as if your soul may freeze
These chains of pain hold us down
every person is alike in that way
some may say.

but the ones that say these lies
have no true insight.
these people are made of sorrow
they ride solo and alone.

Their only asset is to cause pain and doubt.
Remember not all warm hands have a warm heart
and love and joy beats fear and tears.

5 random words: person, vision, insight, solo and asset

1st Place - Young Adult - 13 to 18 Years Old
Lily Bettcher


I say I am a dragon
I think that I would know
My shining scales, claws, and tail
All would tell you so. 

My breath ignites a fiery blast
My wings block out the sun
It’s clear I am a dragon
And a mighty one. 

My golden eyes glare from my head
Freezing prey with instant dread I revel in their fear-
Let them toss a hundred spears
None can touch me here. 

I have no name but Dragon
I am the only one
 Long ago the rest fell to
The hated hunter’s gun. 

Yet I remain a Dragon
And though I slumber deep
Never fear, the time is near
When I shall wake from sleep.

5 random words: dragon, toss, remain, no and am

2nd Place - Young Adult - 13 to 18 Years Old
Lori Beth Kalyn Dunn

Oh how I miss him
Talking to him for hours
Laughing over the things we used to say
Things we used to do
Who I used to know but no longer do
Day and Night his image haunts me with grief that I can't tell anyone to
So now I'm left all feeling all sorts of blue

I miss his eyes and his smile
I miss the way he made me feel worthwhile
He knew how to make me feel special and worthy of being loved
He was there when no one else was
He made me feel to be made of the highest quality
Like maybe he could actually love me possibility.

I had one foot out the door the whole time
Loving him through just felt like a crime
I couldn't commit
My feelings were split

Now I'm a broken mess
Like a cracked egg
Into a million different pieces
Permanently altered forever
Never the same again

He made me feel so unique
Like if even I had a twin he would still have chosen me
Losing him is something I couldn't have ever foreseen
I should have known though he would never wait for me
Fully and not just half-heartedly
After all those pleas
Begging to be with me
He was the one to finally set himself free

I wait for his return
But now my misery is just a slow burn
He's forever gone
With feelings that I never acted on
He's already moved on but I'm still stuck in time in the same place where we left off
When anyone asks what happened and what went wrong
I tend to laugh or cry or just plain scoff
I can't admit that he meant everything to me
When now to him I'm just a fragment of a memory.

5 random words: foot, egg, twin, quality and return

3rd Place - Young Adult - 13 to 18 Years Old
Darla French

Rainbow Roses

A red rose so bright and beautiful.
In its edition, such a sight. Brave
and vibrant, standing in a glowing
golden there it was among the
others, red and bright in the eye
of its light.

A profile so elegant and lovely,
A beauty that's truly divine. You don't
have to like roses, you can like
tulips, snapdragons, lilies or be like
me and like the flower many
people think is a weed, dandelions. Red
yellow, blue, purple. Could be green,
pink or black or white.

Roses can be any color you like
and check it

5 random words: red, edition, brave, check and profile

1st Place - Adult - 19 + Years Old
 Wendy Rivera


I commanded my ravished thoughts to stop bleeding over my dreams.
I walked into the shop hoping that the smell of freshly brewed coffee
Would remind me what inspiration and success tasted like.
Curled up on a leather chair I studied the patina
Wondering how many plans had been conceived there.
How many of them were stillborn.
How many were born under the dysfunction of their creator
How many died untimely deaths.
I kept wondering until I realized
My dreams were drowning and I
Had to learn to breathe underwater
Before I could

5 random words: shop, under, smell, on and heal

2nd Place - Adult - 19 + Years Old
Julia Castillo

Pink Ribbons   

Pink ribbons we tie to our backpacks,
the ones that we trade in dance class,
will wear with dust in the closets of our childhood bedrooms.   

Our fathers will scare us from suitors.
Our mothers will fuss over pinched bellies.
All the while, our brothers will gain favor.   

And when our sisters rifle through their hand-me-downs,
they will inherit more than just bartered trinkets
but tie ribbons around the outlooks we are forced to bear  
and pass with flying colors.

5 random words: sister, pink, dance, pass and outlook

3rd Place - Adult - 19 + Years Old
Christine Wager

I said goodbye to you amidst ancient headstones and newly turned dirt
Brushed off my knees and walked down the hill to cobblestone streets wet with rain.
A shop door, shaded under jaunty blue and white striped awnings, emitted 
the intoxicating smell of warm bread and cinnamon and chocolate. 

I ordered a coffee by the river and watched the waters glitter with sun-made diamonds.
I sat to heal under the Tuscan sky. 

5 random words: shop, under, smell, on and heal

1st Place - Library Staff
Andrea Britton

Music Man

Sweat sour like a lemon drips
The singer ramps up, prepares to bare his soul
Love and loss pour out - his big finish, a grand finale
Another smoky bar night to mark off, a calendar of life on the road
Guitar packed, throat raw he staggers to the bus
Weary, buzzed - another master class from this itinerant musician 

5 random words: mark, singer, lemon, class and finish

2nd Place - Library Staff
Brianna Leverenz

She greets morning's light with Monday haz'd eyes.
Blue screen and a scream assist her rise.
Pursuing a small bear through the doorway,
In a flash, she's at the blessed café.

Keep the plan and put out the draconic fires,
Fight the demons and put miles on the tires.
Her mind cannot feel the hours ticking by;
Podcasts and clocks still her truest allies.

She combats the lazy serpent once more,
To collect the bear and shark she adores.
Check the mail, relieve the hunger with snacks.
Fling the shoes on the shelf; time to relax.

True peace sets in after bedtime's decree.
Closet monsters banished, she is set free.

5 random words: fling, mail, keep, relieve, and flash

3rd Place - Library Staff
Alicia Dixon

Hidden in the harbor there
Along the waves unrelenting
Flight of seagulls unaware
Precious secrets I am defending.

Ocean waves toss kisses near
The lapping sound lulls my mind
I watch, I wait, and hope to hear
The approaching sound of my design.

I remain still, quiet, and calm
The waves glint orange against the surge
Softly I whisper to you a psalm
Guarding this clutch until you emerge.

A threatening defender, a protector with passion
No one understands my plight
A beast, a monster, to humans a dragon
To you, and adoring mother with love alight.

Someday you will hatch and soar
You'll cease the watercolor sky
Dive into the world and explore
And I'll relent a farewell goodbye.

5 random words: dragon, toss, remain, no and am