2015 Pen Women Poetry Contest Winners

Group 5 Winning Poems 2015 


Group 4 Winning Poems 2015



Group 3

1st Place


Katie Sherrin

We cry.

Not because we are weak,

But because we have been strong for too long.

We sing.

Not because we are musicians,

But because we want to be free.

We dance.

Not because we are ballerinas,

But because we cannot fly.

We laugh.

Not because we are happy,

But because it hurts us too badly to cry.

We die.

Not because we are old,

But because we feel it is impossible to stay alive.

Group 3

2nd Place


Lajencia Brown

A Plane that doesn’t Fly, A Year without July, A Stream

which became Dry. A Match without Fire, A Circuit

without the Wire, A Car without a Tire. Shoes without

Laces, A Sentence without Spaces, A Nerd without

Braces. A Phone without a Dial, A Face without a Smile, A

Clock without a While. Socks without feet, Fire without

Heat, A Heart missing its Beat………

Group 3

3rd Place


Lily Allen

I often think, of things that trouble me.

I often think, of why this could be.

Of bullies, the words that they say,

The jokes that they play.

I often ask, why me?

What have I done? Why am I the one?

I often think, of those who are like me.

Those who cry the tears of the rejected,

The tears of the lost.

I often think, what is the point?

Why am I here? Why must I live in fear?

But now, I often realize,

Of how I can stand tall, just like a brick wall.

I am better. I am stronger.

Stronger than they will ever be.

And now I see, that I am me.

And I am great. I am good.

I have proved more than they ever could.

Before, I wanted to escape, to run away and pout.

Now I often think, I am proud to be me, inside and out.

Group 3

Honorable Mention


Maddy King

Her words like a volcano.

Keep pouring out,

never ending.

Burning words

like jalapenos.

Big or small.

Weak or strong.

Burns them all.

Then it stopped.

No lava left

to hurt anyone.

No lava left in this mouth of a volcano.

Group 3

Honorable Mention

End of Counterpoint

Katherine Martellock

Autumn’s cold is like a scythe,

It rat-a-tats on your window,

For fear of the wind’s blow,

Brings sickness and pain as sharp as a knife,

With the taste of blood, treats, and malice,

On the blade,

As cold as ice.

Winters cold is warmer still,

Carrying man’s good will,

Warmer than the seasons past,

Making all the memories last,

Of the silent joy and laughter,

Kept inside,

Forever after.

 Group 3

Honorable Mention

The Holiday

Lexi Emmi

Finally it’s almost here

Time for all the love and cheer

No, not Santa on his sleigh

No celebrating New Year’s Day

It’s not about a ghost or mask

Trick or treat you do not ask

No presents, no candles on a cake

No bunnies or eggs for goodness sake!

It’s not about turkey, stuffing or pie

You’ll see no fireworks in the sky

It’s not about your mom or dad

But there’s no reason to be sadThere will be

candy and a card

So by now it should not be hard

To figure out by this line

Will you be my Valentine!

Group 3

Honorable Mention


Emma Brewster

Light filters through the canopy.

Soon the air is filled with the gentle hum of life,

that will turn into a roar of existence.

Every meal symbolizes the tight twine of life,

binding predator and prey.

The steady swing of life here is the earth’s pulse,

radiating the vibrations of the love God shows.

A day in the jungle is a chance to stand truly in

the circle of life.


Group 2 1st Place

Morning Song

Grace Irish


Have you ever woken up to hear the Morning Song?

Have you ever heard the little birds tweeting right along?

As the sun begins to rise do you hear the hum

as you neighbor turns on his car, the motor is the drum?

Do you look out the window

and see a chickadee

perched on a twig

chirping oh-so happily?

It really starts your day off bright to hear this lovely song,

Time to do YOUR part in the morning song.


Group 2

2nd Place


The Dog Star

Kiru Morrissette


When you lay your head down,

Very far away,

The Dog Star

Winks at you.

You happily smile back,

Eager to go to sleep.

“Come for a ride little child,

I shall take you to places unknown,

You will have fun I guarantee,

If only you come with me!”

Says the Dog Star.

Travelling through unknown galaxies,

Learning about space and time,

If only you could do this forever,

You would feel extremely happy.

If only you could do this forever,

You would feel extremely happy.


Honorable Mention

Group 2



Tyler Figueroa






















Honorable Mention

Group 2



Bella Vigianno


Hippity hop, hippity hop, we found her all alone.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, I wanted her as my own.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, her color was all brown.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, most gorgeous one in town.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, her eyes did sparkle like a star.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, I came to find her from afar.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, I knew she was so sweet.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, my heart was glad that we could meet

Hippity hop, hippity hop, from the shelter, I bought my bunny.

Thumpity thump thumpity thump, I brought her home to be my honey.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, now she is my best, best, friend.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, I will love her to the end.




Group 2

Honorable Mention


Playing Outside

Mary Jerred


Parents tell us to go out and play,

And that out there we will stay,

We follow their commands obediently,

Outside we make snow figures perfectly.

Much time has passed by,

The sun setting in the sky,

Casting an orange glow,

All over the sparking snow.

My toes are extremely numb,

We have had so much fun.

Inside it is so very warm,

The heat enclosing us like a swarm.

We sit by the fire warming out toes,

As we drink hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Later we curl up on the couch,

Nobody’s feeling like a grouch.

We are done watching our holiday movie,

But now it is time for bed you see.

We snuggled in our warm beds,

While we dreamt about our day in our heads.



Group 1

1st Place

What I Like to Do in Summer

Carmella Fairbanks

The winter is such a bummer

I can’t wait until it’s summer

No more books, school is out

Hotter weather is what it’s all about

In summer we can play outside

Even go for a bike ride

To a camp and on a lake

A nice boat ride we can take

It’s so hot we can swim in a pool

Now we feel nice and cool

At night marshmallows we will roast

Tubing behind the boat is what I like to do the most

Those are things I love to do in summer

This winter has been such a bummer



Dear Pen Women:
We hope to bring back the Friend Award for this, our 60th year of the Contest.  I have agreed to coordinate the nominations, selection and preparation of the actual award.  This Award can serve to both honor deserving individuals and organizations and to promote recruitment of new members.  While “Award” suggests one winning nominee, we have given two awards in the past.
It would be wonderful if we have several nominations.  Please use the attached form so that we can assure transparency and adequate review.     Thanks for
helping to make this a truly commendable award, maybe even prestigious!
Mary Gardner



To honor an individual (or organization) who has creatively, consistently, and collaboratively advanced the cause of art, poetry, or music composition in Central New York, thereby having a significant impact on the quality of life for individuals and groups at organizational, community or regional levels.


The CNY Branch of the NLAPW will be solely responsible for managing the nomination

and selection process for this Award. The frequency of presentation of the Award and determination of the Award category (e.g. poetry, fiction, art, composition) will be at the discretion of the Branch, operating through its Poetry and Art Contest Committee. It will be the responsibility of the Committee, acting together or through a sub-committee, to announce and receive nominations, and, based upon the nominations received, recommend the winning nominee. The Branch will determine the budget allocation available for the award.


The Friend Award Committee will draft appropriate press releases in collaboration with the Contest and/or the Branch Media Chair, so that information about the Award is carried forward as a part of the annual NLAPW Awards Program and Ceremony.

The Friend Award Committee will review all nominations, select a winner or possible winners, and recommend their decision to the Contest Committee. A decision will also be made and carried out regarding an appropriate prize and the presentation itself. Publicity about the award will be coordinated through the Contest Chair and Branch Media Chair.


The Friend Award will be presented as part of the annual Contest Ceremony.


Please submit the Nomination Form and any supporting information by February 20, 2015.

Send to: Mary Gardner, 2411 Wave Way, Skaneateles, NY 13152 or to mlgardner37@yahoo.com

Please click on the following link to open and print the nomination form:

Friend Award Nomination Form


Alert! Pen Women Art Exhibit

Below is the information that you will need for the opening at  Baldwinsville Public Library.  I will also print out and disperse paper  copies to those who attend the November meeting. ( These public displays  and performances of poetry readings and visual arts are part of our membership  outreach and active participation in our community.  They are work for us  all, but are free for the most part).
Receiving date:    November 30, Saturday, from 10am-noon
Opening and Poetry  Reading:   December 5, Thursday, from 6-8pm   Poetry reading at  7:30pm
Take down and pick up:   December 30, Monday, from  4-6pm
Each visual  artist may send one large piece, two 20×24 or smaller, or three 16×20 or  smaller All work  must be wired or otherwise ready to hang
Framed  poetry or writings will be appreciated and readings sought!  Please notify  Mary Kester if you will read at the opening (email me at kester@bci.net or call 638-4036)
Business  cards, brochures, books for display and one page bio or resume will be  displayed
Labels will  be filled out and attached upon delivery of work
The library will  serve punch, cheese, crackers and fruit for the opening.  We have no  obligation for this.  I do hope that most of us will participate at this  busy, festive time of year!  Please let me know if I can facilitate any  part of your joining with us! (kester@bci.net or  638-4036).
Mary Kester