The winners for the 2020-2021 Christopher Valdenegro poetry contest:
First place: Lou Ong for "Wildfire" (grade 11)
Second place: Aniston Sarabia for "Andrew" (grade 10)
Third place: Evelynn Dang for "Seasons" (grade 9)
I do not exist to be passive,
For mere flowers and tea cakes.
No, I am untamed.
I am heavy eyes,
Vindictive lightning striking down mighty oaks,
The unforgiving seas and her jagged rocks.
I am tempest,
Unsightly and unrestrained,
Devouring the hell you made for me.
I am erudition, eloquence, epiphany.
I am ineffable, I am immortal.
I am the pomegranate and waxen wings.
I am stardust, dragon born, infinite.
I am the spark of rebellion…
And I will become the wildfire of revolution.
Class of 2022
You were my best friend.
Together we skipped back from recess,
Like we were flying.
Our arms spread out like wings at our sides
Two young planes soaring down the halls
Piloting the universe together.
The hum of imaginary engines left our lips
As our Skechers squeaked against the tile.
Your smile leaves a permanent imprint in my brain.
You hid your pain behind a curtain of innocence
And your thinning hair under your favorite hat.
Your wings look different now,
More feathery than metallic.
You take flight beyond the stars
And leave me to roam new halls alone.
Class of 2023
A leaf in the fall
Brittle, little, from a thin tree
It lies still after all
A calming sight to see
A leaf in the tropical sun
Living, and the weather is warm
As the children rest, race, and run
The leaf prepares for a storm
A leaf in the cold, trying to call
All of the other leaves to see
The great snowstorm befall
They are left covered, and no longer free
A leaf’s suffering done
Begins flowers that transform
Around it spring has begun
As the bees begin to swarm
Class of 2024