Earth Day Poetry Contest First Place Winners 2008

Grade K*

1st: Francis Mullins, Owl, Teacher: Julia Sheridan, Highland Free School


Feathery, Scary
Flying, Hunting, Hooting
Big, Long

*The contest was for Grades 1-6 but we got entries for Grade K and couldn't resist..

Grade 1

1st: Jamie Pajuelo, Wind Poem, Teacher: Ms. Rietz, Whitmore Elementary

Wind Poem

I can't see you, Wind,
But I know you are there -
Blowing the flowers.
Bringing in a storm,
With all its might.
You might make me cold,
But you are good for a kite.

Grade 2

Photo of Jordan Rios

1st: Jordan Rios, Desert, Teacher: Linda Down, Manzanita Elementary


Skeek, skeek, I am a mouse
I live in the desert with
Everyone else,
People stamp the ground while I sleep
I look for cheese, but very sneaky.
Woosh, woosh, I am an eagle,
I look for prey
While I fly,
When I have my prey I go to my nest
To feed my babies.
Flit, flit, I am a moth,
I come to the light to play
And have fun,
Smack, I'm gone.

Grade 3

1st: *(tied Overall winner) Matthew Zamora , Octopus Agave, Teacher: Ms. Greer, St. Cyril

Octopus Agave

Today I sprouted a big green stalk
Like a steeple pointing high
Inch by inch, flower by flower
I grow until I reach the sky.

When I reach my greatest height
I just can't take it anymore
My roots break and then let go...
And I topple to the desert floor.

Without roots, I will die
But this is the way it should be
On my stalk there are many seeds
To make a brand new me!

*Overall winners in the Tucson area received a free Desert Museum outreach program to their school.

Grade 4

1st: Heather O'Reilly, The Desert, Teacher: Mrs. Wright, Lyons Elementary

The Desert

As the desert lies down on the earth,
The sun goes round and round,
In keeping the desert alive.

Saguaro cactuses are wearing lines of shade,
As a scorpion and snake go slithering by,
On this wild animal desert parade.

With jumping force the rabbit's feet strike down.
They go pitter, patter! Pitter, patter!
They always keep the sound.

Thriving in itself once again,
The cycle of the desert is like a clock that never stops,
Repeating the cycle of life like a lock,
That holds the desert beauty.

Should we ever trash such beauty?
Well, the answer isn't all with me, but with you.

Once again the desert lies down. Once again the earth goes round.

Grade 5

1st: Jakob Austin Bruck, Desert Wonders, Teacher: Ms. Terri Zarling, Casa Niños School of Montessori, Inc.

Desert Wonders

Intense heat from the scorching sun,
blockeD out by immEnse towers of rock.
WindS and rains, the causE of the
twists and tuRns in the sandy dunes.
Giant stones plummeT down the
Walls of magnificent gOrges.
Nightfall is approaching and
darkNess is closing in.
The sounds anD the noises
light up the night.
Nocturnal creaturEs scavenge the desert
until the moRning comes,
and the large predatorS awaken.

Photo of Anza Wiedenkeller

Grade 6:

1st: Anza Wiedenkeller, The Sweet Desert Night, Teachers: Teresa Rodriguez and Gina Balibrera, Highland Free School

The Sweet Desert Night

Standing in the drippy light of the moon.
The warm air wrapping around you like a soft blanket.
Bright stars floating in the sky
as if they are sparks from a fire.
The yellow flash of an owl's bright eyes.
The soft weep of the wind
whistling through the palo verde.
A shooting star flying through the air
as if hurtled by great force.
Suddenly a massive cloud hides the innocent moon.
All at once it goes dark and cold,
and a chill runs down your back.
Photo of Matthew Zamora and Gabe Salmon

1st: *(tied Overall Winner) Gabe Salmon, The Sonoran Desert, Teacher: Julie Cieniawski, Pima Elementary School

The Sonoran Desert

The startling howl of the desert at sunset
Piercing dry air like an arrow
Coyotes sing their intricate duet
And awaken the twinkling night

The silent, deadly slither
Of a diamond studded rattlesnake
Leaves a mark of danger
Upon the sand in its wake

The whirling, wise murmuring
Of a stray tumbleweed
Whispers all the chaotic secrets
That are now freed

The jagged, sharp exclamation
Of the cacti's lairs
Thorns, bristles, spikes, and burrs
Find their way everywhere

The soft swoosh of wings gliding
A predator's eyesight pierces the night
The owl hoots sleepily
Sharp curving talons strike

The creosotes' oils
Mix with precious rain
Refresh all senses
Making an aromatic plain

A myriad of mysteries
A home of dangerous beauty - or a safe abode
A place of deceptive mirages...
The Sonoran Desert - at a crossroad

This exquisite place is ebbing away
Like a tide returning to sea
Will we preserve it?
Or ignore its plea?

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