Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Annual Teen Poetry Contest 2022!!

Group 1
1st Place: Ascension by Nayis M.
2nd Place: Untitled by Olivia X.

Group 2:
1st Place: The Midpoint (spoken word poem) by Peter L.
2nd Place: In the Wreckage by Kiran B.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their poems this year!! There were lots of amazing poems and it was great to see many different formats of poems! Since this is an annual contest, be sure to look for our Teen Poetry Contest next year in April 2023. Here are your winning poems:

Group 1 – 1st Place: Ascension by Nayis M.
When She smiles She makes me want to die
(I want to watch Her from heaven with omniscient eyes)
But She’s far
(Exalted.), and I’m myopic.
I look up to Her.
She sees me in two dimensions
(In my white, In my black)
Out intoxicated by Her hand-brewed wine
But I know (that it used to be water.)
She’s Midas (touched my heart)
Now my bloodstream lusters.
My devotion never falters,
She told me love was blind
(So I gouged out my eyes).
I speak in tongues and
(She speaks in revelations.),
So I’ll lose all senses.
There’s nothing more for me to see,
(Her presence is theophany)
Nor hear,
(because Her voice is a hymn for my hungry ears)
Nor taste
(because Her name will never leave my mouth in vain).
I cut hearts on each vein.
I love Her to half-death.
(She makes me want to die.)

Group 1 – 2nd Place: Untitled by Olivia X.
I watch with my friends sadly, as the clouds grow dimmer,
not noticing how the rain made everything shimmer.
The wind blew in our faces; our wet hair fluttered,

My eyes locked with his, and we were so close,
the butterflies in me, yet again they rose.
His smile is captivating, sweet but yet sly,
“If only he felt the same way,” I sighed.

Hands shaking, I handed over my report,
their brows furrowed,
showing no signs of support.
My father’s eyes were disappointed, my mother’s; angry,
“If only they’d stop looking at me,” I thought in agony.

Now the sun shines bright, and the birds overhead sing,
these flowers bloom brightly
but I’m missing something.
The sun cannot disguise tears flowing with pain,
or heartbreak beneath,
if only it would rain.

Now it’s just me…and my spotify playlist,
as I stare at the walls,
would I ever be missed?
I wish you’d stayed away,
could have spared me the heartbreak,
if only you and I hadn’t felt the same way.

Now my grades have gotten better, finally a hundred percent.
But they fuss over my sister,
who means more than I’ve ever meant.
And so I watch from my corner, leaving them be,
still thinking to myself,
if only they’d look at me.

If only, if only, and if only once more,
If only he liked me,
If only I was adored.

Deep down I knew,
that someone would care,
and as I looked in the mirror,
she was right there.

So maybe her eyes would be bloodshot and red,
perchance she’d look like she’d rather be dead.

But she’ll learn to strive,
with nobody else,
if only, if only…

if only she’d learn to rely on herself.

Group 2 – 1st Place: The Midpoint (spoken word poem) by Peter L.

Group 2 – 2nd Place: In the Wreckage by Kiran B.
I would like to begin, by saying I found
the bed; empty.
the garage door; open. I found
You; parked.

outside someone else’s door.

And for the first time, wandering down our street, I saw past the gloss and the glamor and to
the treads on your tires, and to the wreckage               you leave on , the streets you
cleave                  through. Half moon circles; spilled milk on sunless pavement, reveal nothing,
but in the day, the road is alight with glass and metal, stains of red rust.                              A
slowly decomposing museum of all the accidents you caused along the way.

forwards you travel, as you must; blame the accidents on jay-walking. Not carelessness–you
only looked away for a second.
You never stopped           once                  to think that you might be to blame, you

 –your course. like you always do, you
drink in asphalt and
exhale smoke. it leaves
me choking         in your wake.
Like you always do. You’re
racing to catch up to a future
that goes up in flames when
you touch it. Do you wear
your collection of broken
hearts strung across your
bumper like newlywed
nuptials? Or do they come
out of your exhaust pipe in
bits and broken pieces?
Never running out of fuel, never braking to stop running. I can’t just rot in your wreckage.                         So

I won’t stand outside my doorstep to bid you goodbye. The words ‘drive safe’ will nevermake it past the driveway,             
they’ve already been burned up, you used them as fuel to fill up your tank