2017 Award Winning Poets

BORDER VOICES POETRY WINNERS 2017

Here are the winners this year, and the poet-teacher.
There are two divisions, a total of eight winners.

LOWER DIVISION:

FIRST PLACE:

“Cabo San Lucas” by Shane McNulty  
Spreckels Elementary
Poet-teacher Seretta Martin

SECOND PLACE: “God’s Angels” by Sioux Trivette  
Sprenkels Elementary 
Poet-Teacher Seretta Martin

THIRD PLACE:  “The Goddess” by Dorothy Mau  
Spreckels Elementary 
Poet-teacher Seretta Martin

FOURTH PLACE:  “The Adobe Church” by Finn Mueller Spreckels Elementary 
Poet-teacher Seretta Martin

UPPER DIVISION

FIRST PLACE:
“Me and the Ducks” by Janson Xiao
Spreckels Elementary 
Poet-teacher Seretta Martin

SECOND PLACE:  “The Terrifying Truth”
by Hamsa Mohamed, Carver Elementary
Poet-Teacher Claudia Poquoc

THIRD PLACE:  “A World of My Own”
by Danahi Martinez, Carver Elementary 
Poet-teacher Claudia Poquoc

FOURTH PLACE:  “My Evil Cousins”
by Daniel Romero Carver Elementary

Poet-teacher Claudia Poquoc

POEMS

First Place, Lower Division

CABO SAN LUCUS

from a photo

In the middle of the ocean
the rough rocks make a huge arch
where high waves break through.
Whitecaps are crashing on the rock
where I’m standing.
I jump off into the foam.
The water is warm and clear.
Diving down I see
a turtle swimming next to me.
It blinks! It winks!

Shane McNulty
Grade 3, Spreckels Elementary
Poet-Teacher: Seretta Martin
Teacher: Millie Weil

                            Second Place, Lower Division

GOD’S ANGELS

from a painting by Frederick Judd Waugh

There’s a dark river between steep mountains
where I go to see God’s angels who hover
and watch over the water at night.
The place is beautiful with pine trees
and clouds that look like powdered sugar.
The air tastes like fluffy clouds.
When the angels glide down and touch me
it feels like I’m floating with them.
They are holding candles and praying
for the man in a boat that’s about to sink.

Alexandra Sioux Trivette
Grade 3, Spreckels Elementary
Poet-Teacher: Seretta Martin
Teacher: Millie Weil

Third Place, Lower Division

THE GODESS

from a painting by Thomas Blackshear

In an unseen world
there’s a dark, dark place
where the goddess of life and death lives.

In her skeleton hand she holds a match
that signifies life and her black kingdom
represents death.

Her dress is sheer like a flowing river
and her hair is like the petals on a daffodil.
I’m waiting in the dark for a light to find my way.

Dorothy Mau
Grade 3, Spreckels Elementary
Poet-teacher: Seretta Martin
Teacher: Elizabeth Stewart

Fourth Place, Lower Division

THE ADOBE CHURCH

Warner Springs Ranch

On a hill in the desert
there’s a smooth, white brick church.
Joshua trees lean next to the tower.
When it is time for a sermon
bells ring and people stroll in.
I can smell the fresh, minty air
and sage brush from my place
here on the ground.
I am the grass growing tall
on the hilltop by the cross of Jesus.
This is his home and mine.

Finn Mueller
Spreckels Elementary, Grade 3
Poet-Teacher: Seretta Martin
Classroom Teacher: Millie Weil

First Place, Upper Division

ME AND THE DUCKS 

Boston Public Gardens

Its raining in Boston in the public gardens
Birds are singing and pink tulips
are blooming near the brick wall.
Wet ducks waddle down the old stone sidewalk.
The ground is a dull gray like the sky.
I’m the kid in a yellow raincoat and red boots
walking with the duck family.
I’m carrying my rainbow umbrella,
and I can smell the far away flowers
opening their petals in the rain.

Jansun Xiao
Grade 4, Spreckels Elementary
Poet-teacher: Seretta Martin
Teacher: Elizabeth Stewart

Second Place, Upper Division

The Terrifying Truth

Monsters . . .
slimy creatures with rotten breath,
spiked animals and millions of them.
The most deadly one is an adult human.
Their mouths drip with poison called gossip.
They shoot word bullets at your heart
and stab you with their eyes.
The worst is yet to come.
Their most powerful weapon is to lie.
Children learn to distrust them quickly.
Luckily, not all people are monsters.
But if we discover we have a bit of monster
inside us, it’s best not to feed it.

Hamsa Mohamed
Grade 5, George Washington Carver Elementary
Poet-teacher: Claudia Poquoc
Classroom Teacher: Rhonda Sloan

Third Place, Upper Division

A WORLD OF MY OWN

Whenever I see a test,
I wish I could fly to a world of my own.
A test makes me feel like
I’m drowning with problems,
like my ears are plugged
and only my eyes work.
Whenever I hear or think of a test,
I get chills all over.
But then I think of my own world,
and how if you don’t
know the answer to something,
you can hear a voice
out of thin air with the answer.
If I could change something about testing,
especially state testing,
it would be the subject. Instead of math,
it would be social studies.
What I don’t want to hear is people
saying it’s too hard or that
they want to give up. Why?
Because it’s not hard to make up
a world of your own.

Danahi Martinez
Grade 4, George Washington Carver Elementary
Poet-teacher: Claudia Poquoc
Classroom Teacher: Carolyn Frumm

Fourth Place, Upper Division

My Evil Cousins

What I don’t want to hear is
my cousins playing weird games
near my ears.
They are so annoying, and they
always cheat at games.
This is just to say that
they are troublemakers.
They always make a mess.
Then when they’re done,
I have to take the blame for their mess.
And they always demolish my stuff.
If I had freezing powers,
don’t get me wrong, I’d freeze them,
then take them to Antarctica
and leave them for one month.
I feel calm, peaceful, and safe
when they’re not in my house
I’m the egg and they’re the fire
that’s going to cook me.

Daniel Romero
Grade 4, George Washington Carver Elementary
Poet-teacher: Claudia Poquoc
Classroom Teacher: Carolyn Frumm