We are happy to announce the winners of our 25th Annual Poetry Contest. Which poems do you think should win first place in each category? (Click on the name of each poem to read it.)

3rd – 5th Grade Winners
Caution: Vegetation Ahead by Elliot H.
The Sun and the Moon by Ava F.
Two Little Ants by Amy S.

6th – 8th Grade Winners
Home by Cecilia G.
Where I'm From by Kate A.
Beauty is Reformation by Llorin P.

9th-12th Grade Winners
not a lot, just forever by Azariyah W.
Flower by Maryana P.
Wild Wildflower by Zoe W.

Adult Winners
Leftovers by Kristin C.

Thank you to everyone who participated this year and to our judges, for lending us their expertise and helping us choose our winners!


The contest has ended and the judges have sent in their lists - we are now ready to announce the winners of our 25th Annual Poetry Contest! Join us at our Woodward Park Library on June 9th at 2 PM to find out who won, and to celebrate all of our submissions! Thank you to our judges and a big thank you to the Friends of the Library for their continued support.

We appreciate all those who have participated, either by submitting poems or by reading the works of our talented community.

LibraryClub: Poetry Bingo Challenge

April is National Poetry Month and this year we have added a new component to our Annual Poetry Contest on our beanstack LibraryClub!

Sign up for the Poetry Month Challenge on beanstack to start playing Bingo and earning new badges. You can even invite friends and keep track of your reading all year long.

No Promises

Who’s to promise I was given love.
When no one gave me but an empty heart.
Who’s to promise I won’t be hurt
When I was shattered more than hurt

Though I loved her and wish to see her with my eyes.
Something stopped me to a halt.
Could I step into a dream?
Out of bounds from the world
Or reality?
Or did I get caught in my self with her?

People wonder why trust issues happen.
When promises can also be broken
Who can promise me a promised land?
When they can promote a shattered place
A place full of shame
The space full of guilt
The floor made of regret.

For the one and only place I speak of Is inside me
For it is the production of love
But the production of brokenness
To ease the pain of never having her
For whom I truly wanted out of her
though the image of her
the one I wanted.
never came to reality.
but must’ve known.
that I existed
because ‘she’ never truly existed

--Symon T., 9th-12th Grade

i threw it away

every second 
every hour 
every day 

i counted off the weeks 
i begged on my knees 
breakdowns leaning on the bathroom door 
staring at myself at the mirror in nothing but a towel 
wretchedly pale, face blotched red 
i sobbed for hours, i debated collapsing on the dirty floor
forevermore lying there, never waking up 
left my hair matted, stared at the sheets imploringly 
each puzzle piece of me picked away 
i recorded my breakdowns and watched them back with some masochistic gleam 
everything i did to avoid thinking about it 
the hot flames of my cheeks, standing in front of everyone in the room 
i’ve never seen the walls collapse so silently 
save me, i screamed, i begged so pitifully 
i sought out three day weekends and let tsunamis flood my cheeks 
i traveled to the furthest escapes and woke up with my skin glistening 
but i had no one to blame but myself 
these stirrings i found in the nooks of my body 
they attacked me so briefly and saddened me greatly
i never knew how to dealt with it 
i never did 
i never knew how to fix it 
so i threw it away

--Riley L., 6th-8th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide please seek help: you can call 866-629-4564 to reach a specialist with The National Depression Helpline. It’s a free, confidential, around-the-clock helpline for depression and/or anxiety. Or please call the CA Youth Crisis Line at 1-800-843-5200, 24/7 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Blood That I Bleed

The blood that I bleed
It is crimson in color
As is everyone’s

The tears that I shed
Are filled with melancholy
As is everyone’s

These emotions felt
Define my actions and thought
As is everyone’s

Who has injured me?
Who has injured me to bleed?
This is known as fear

What are these tears for?
Why must I feel such sorrow?
This is known as fear

Is this feeling real?
What am I feeling to them?
This is known as fear

Fear can disappear
There is no correct answer
Everyone must choose

However while deciding
Something is lost, forgotten
They forget one thing

What is the blood that I bleed?

--Ulysses S., 9th-12th

My Father

Sometimes I love my father.
He taught me to be strong,
He showed me how a woman shouldn’t be treated.

My father, a narcissistic liar.
His darkness which consumes my mother’s light.

His word was nothing like mine,
His world was nothing like mine.
Did I really have a father?

My father, a sociopathic fire
destroying the life within his daughters.
--Harmony H., 9th-12th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know has a problem with domestic / relationship violence please seek help: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 
text BEGIN to 88788.

Nothing Like Home

People often say:
“Oh you are my home” or “you make feel at home”

But to me,
You are nothing like my home.

Because for me,
Home is a mess.

It is full of screaming and crying and cussing,

It’s like the sounds of crashing pots and pans;

Accompanied by the screaming and yelling and lots of

It is nothing,

But a roof and 4 walls.

If you were like Home,

I don’t think I would love you all that much.

Because home is anything but a safe space.

But you,

Oh, how you , my love; you are my safe space.

You make me feel safe

You never raise your voice or throw stuff

You never make me feel guilty just by eating a cookie.

You never even make me feel bad for expressing my feelings
towards you

So unlike home,

You make me feel safe with your arms wrapped around me

feeling your soft touch and you telling me how much I mean
to you and how much you mean to me.

You are nothing like home

But in this case,

I think it’s a good thing.

Thank you,
For being nothing like home

--Felicity E., 9th-12th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know has a problem with domestic / relationship violence please seek help: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text BEGIN to 88788.