National Poetry Month - OPL Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered our National Poetry Month contest. Here are this year's winning entries (as chosen by collection staff):

Juvenile (6 - 12 yrs):


By Danielle Linkletter

I grab some carrots
Get ready to go
Visiting the best horse,
Defender of man
Is what his name means
I call him Ally
Ally the supreme.
He’s a short horse,
He’s black as night,
He’s a friendly horse,
Don’t worry he won’t bite.
His back legs
Are stockinged in white,
 A little white patch on his face,
He is full of excite.
He is your friend,
When you’re in sight,
He’ll defend you form things,
With  all of his might.
Pats behind the ear,
Are truly the  best,
He’ll snuggle you lots,
He won’t let you rest.
He’s playful,
He’s fun
He’s friendly
And  loves the sun.
He’s not the tallest,
But among the short,
He makes funny noises,
 He even snorts.
He really likes to tro,
And won’t let carrots rot.
Not saddled,
But rode only bareback,
 A wagon horse he’ll be,
Pulling  people and sacks.
I grab some carrots,
Get ready to go,
Visiting the best horse,


Teen (13 - 17 yrs):

Life Cycle

By Paul Grahame
The crow flies
Light as a feather
Holding on by only a tether
To this world we call our own.
The crow spies,
Secret  as clever
Holding on like only the weather
Of this world we call our own.
The crow lies,
Stealthy as heather
Undetected, a lie perfecter
Of this world we call our own.
The crow dies
Falling in header
Undetected, a small whatever
On this world we call home.


Adult( 18+):
Bad Poetry?
By Marius Oelschig
There are those who will disagree but, according to me, there is no bad poetry.
There are no bad poets – some are simply better than others;
Far better, perhaps, or just with greater skill. We can’t all be Babe Ruth,
Or Tiger Woods, or Garth Brooks, or Shakespeare for that matter, but we can –  
As best we can – express our thoughts and feelings, articulate, through poetry,  
In the common words we say, the passion and the pain that drives our everyday;
Like playing baseball with friends, or playing a round of golf,
Or singing a favourite song, or losing a job, or being dumped by the only girl
That you have ever truly loved, or spilling hot coffee all over your
New pants at the first sight of … the new girl in your life, who
Doesn’t even know who you are. Can that ever be bad?
If a man, who is not a carpenter, is asked to build a bench, perhaps
Decides for himself to build a bench, and if he should make something
That looks like a bench, feels and smells and is used like a bench,
Is it not a bench? Is he not a carpenter? It may not be the finest bench
In the village or town. You may not want it or like it, but it is a bench.
And if a man, who is a poet, decides to write bad poetry,
With the purpose, intentionally, of writing really bad poetry; to scoff,
To deride or to goad. Were he to succeed, would you agree that he
Has written good poetry?
And if a man, not a poet, is moved to write a poem to tell the world
That he has fallen in love, and someone – having never read poetry –
Is moved to tears, remembering that he, or she, was also once in love,
Can it be a bad poem?
Everyone has a story to tell; a unique, wonderful story that
Only they can tell. There is no shame in being unschooled,
In fumbling with the tools. One can always learn. Are we ever too old to learn?
For it is the story that people want to hear; of everyday life,
In words that they know, recognise, comprehend; that bring them joy,
Which they may repeat when their own scabby life beats them into retreat
From the joy they once knew. And if the teller were to choose poetry
As the method of telling, can that be wrong? Does that make the poetry bad?
What would be sad would be the failure to tell the story, to hear the story,
Whether in elegantly crafted, flowing, magical poetry, prose or rhyming verse
That will cause even the snotty poetry snob to pause – to listen to the story.
And when the story is written or told, the poet – good poet, bad poet –
Will feel and grasp that same liberating, addictive, exquisite joy of
Creation ... of poetry.