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129 Seamon Road, Suite A, Farmington, ME, 04938

2019 Poetry Contest Winners and Winning Poems

Winners of the 2019 Annual Literacy Volunteers Poetry Contest

In collaboration with the Farmington Public Library and Sponsored by Walking Books Library, Western Maine Financial Services, and the Fritz and Susan Onion Foundation.

Contest Categories:

Age 0-10

First Place: Wyatt Dorr, Darts

Second Place: Henry Renauld, untitled

Third Place: Gavin Tompkins, What If


Age 11-17

First Place: Holly Cutler, ‘You’re My Hamlet I’m your Ophelia’

Second Place: Daniela Cundick, untitled

Third Place: Avery Jessen, In Syncopation


Age 18-26

First Place: Mikayla Brown, Long Road


Students of Literacy Volunteers

First Place: Anna Crockett, You ask me those words

Second Place: Gina Oakes, Renta-Center Coming

Third Place: Matilda Holt, The Dad I Knew



First Place: Ashira Knapp, This Thing Between Us

Second Place: Greg Zemlansky, Tuscany






Trees shoot up into the sky like darts,

the sun pierces through the clouds above like a needle through cloth,

When the sun makes its trip around the world

the moon takes its place


by Wyatt Dorr




Happy as ever

in the future

walking into the spaceship

Rumbling beneath me

Yipping with joy

the rumbling getting louder

Encircling us in smoke

My mates and I nailed to our seats

As we soar into space

Under the black

it was all a dream.


By Henry Renauld


What If…


What if you had dragons as teachers or

Pencils were alive

Water bottles filled


What if doors opened without a push

Pictures got painted without a brush,

Stuffed animals roamed the earth just like

You and I.


By Gavin Tompkins 

‘You’re My Hamlet, I’m Your Ophelia’


As soon as we both mean the “I love you” we’ve said

I can gaze and poke at fossils that float in your head

I can watch flowers grow and laugh and die

Petals twisting like fingers towards the sky

I can feel the stone, so cold it burns the


It belongs to the grave your mother’s body lies in.


As soon as we both mean “I love you”, I’ll know

The pain you feel when I leave, when I


I can see all your layers, whether gold or


Like cabbage leaves that I’m peeling


And on the days where I feel too unworthy to eat

You’ll drive me to a trucker stop and pull out the


I’ll stare down at the counter, you’ll entangle our legs

You order for me; make me happy, buy me sunny side up



As soon as we both mean “I love you”, we will


Our hearts, the guilt and regrets we buried


I’ll dig your fears up, choke them down, burn the


Let my body feel the pain; you’d do the same for me

Redecorate our hearts and paint the walls of the


Carve our initials in the ventricles, painful place markers


As soon as we both mean “I love you” we will


An old woman’s blind eyes feeling the warmth of the sun.


By Holly Cutler




The leaves turn yellow

in the near standing hot sun

burning fast, gone quick.


By Daniela Cundick


In Syncopation






Of words

That we shall call

A novel





That appear


Endless pages




Harmonic words

That dance together

In their

Word jubilee


Flitting in and out


Hide and seek

Like children

Or the faeries


These magnificent words

Like angels from books

Greet us

With open arms


To be








Our senses



And our





by Avery Jessen


Long Road


A long gravel road

“Welcome to…” a sign greets

As counselors stand by

Greeting cars with clipboards

In their hands

After the speedy hour

It takes to get settled in

And right as the first swim hour

Of the week approaches

I finally make brand new friends

And at the end of the six days

Us girls are all

Utterly inseparable


By Mikayla Brown


You ask me those words


It was Saturday my day.

Off for work

Catch up on housework

Tune up music loud

It was hot out

You asked me those words

I was in the kitchen

My door wide open

Air out this house

I saw two men

Why were they coming

to my door

Looking nice and neat

You asked me those words

I was walking slow

To the door

To see if I know them

No one I know

Nowhere to escape

You asked me those words

You gave me your name

Chris Grimbilas from

Faith Way Baptist Church

Can I asked a question

If you could get a promise for God

That between now

and the time on Earth is done

Nothing could keep you

Out of heaven

Would you take that promise

You ask me those words

All I could think about

Just go away

Why would I

I was mad at God

He take my Byron away

He’s in heaven

I am not

You asked me those words

I took that promise

That day I was saved

October 7, 2012

Those words changed

my life that day

You asked me those words


By Anna Crocket


Renta-Center Coming


have to leave class

early four a new recliner

while in class got a phone

call saying my new

glasses are in got to find

a ride

    excited I can see

the t.v. and maybe see my son’s

butiful face without blurs.


By Gina Oakes


The Dad I Knew


Dad knew he didn’t

have to adopt us.

Three girls and a boy,

Our real dad didn’t

want us.

Three girls and a boy,

laid out on  a bed with chickenpox.

All over our heads.

Tenting, fishing, playing, swimming

at the campground, he took us.

Berry picking, zoo, museums,

Aquarium attractions, he took us.

He did a lot of things

for us.

He didn’t have to adopt us

but he wanted to.

By Matilda Holt


This Thing Between Us


Time to bust open

This thing between us

Sift through broken shells

And shards of glass

See if there’s anything worth

Picking up again.




Tuscany region remains pure

and untouched.

Tuscan clouds encircled the snow-

capped mountains.

Full of life church bells ringing


Romance alive like the flowing


Walking the stepping stone streets

beneath heaven’s blue.

Museums bring back the time

era of the Renaissance.

Cinque Terre descended stairs

with a lopsided view.

Pisa tower leaning with many

steps to the ambiance.

Many small towns of ancient

streets and cobbed ways.

Marble mountain peaks of white

looking like snow.

Sacred figures and Holy shrine

icons from long ago days.

Artworks by da Vinci, Raphael,

Botticelli and Michelangelo.

Street vendors and beggars with

poor faces to greet you.

Bullet trains on rail from city

to city flew.

Tuscany stars shine on the sea

of the Mediterranean a beautiful

sight a night.

Tuscany memories to last a life-

time of wondrous delight.


By Greg Zemlansky  2019