Middle School Poetry
1st place – Hannah Waggoner – Westfall Middle School
“A Word Document”
What if your life was a Word document and you were the author.
It begins with your birth and ends with your death.
Every period is the end of a moment and the beginning of a sentence is a start of one.
When a word is Italicized it displays a word of meaning, an impact towards something or someone.
A bolded sentence or word shows the bittersweet conflicts between family, friends, or betrothed.
A semicolon to show that hope is still there.
Moments of happiness are colors of peach and lavender.
Every now and then a picture appears, a picture to remember;
Not to be forgotten.
In the beginning of your document a peachy color appears, a sign of happiness;
Your innocences is still there.
As you go on with life the peachy color can transition into bolded words;
You realize what the world is like, troubles of health, feud and war.
In the middle of your life peachy pictures appear of family.
Daughters, sons, grandchildren, and loved ones.
Pictures to be remembered.
At the end of your life peachy and bold words mix turning into lavender.
Lavender for the love you gave and received.
Finally a semicolon appears, you’re in a better place.
2nd place – Carter Hoffman – Homeschool – “A Winter’s Night”
What can compare
A winter’s night
Oh, what a sight
The moon alight
The stars so bright
The curtain of dark
Oh, yes so stark
Black clouds so right
Black clouds so light
The moon under siege
The stars disallieged
The sun departed
The night just started
The night will reign
The sun will wane
A cold winter night
What else is right
What else is better
Than a cold winter night
High School Poetry
1st Place – Nissi Yorke – Columbus Preparatory Academy – “The Way Home”
The way home
With gardens of my sorrow
With thunderstorms and ache
And longing for tomorrow
With little time for daydreaming
With little time for sleep
With what I have to leave behind
And what I have to keep
The way home
Of oceans of regret
Bound to all my struggle
Surrounded by my debt
With restless nights, and restless days
The past sometimes unclear
With strength I need to overcome
My worries and my fears
But in the end
With tired legs, and weary heart and soul
In this place, all strain erased
I finally feel whole
The way home that overflowed
With loneliness and tears,
Everything was worth it
Now that I am here
2nd Place – Emily Shankland – GC Christian – “How to Lose Your Homework”
I did not do my homework.
I was going to. I swear!
But then my mom disposed of it.
And when I told her, she didn’t care!
You say that you’re not buying it?
Alright, give me another shot.
My dad was having a garage sale.
He set it out, and it got bought!
My sister’s cousin’s best friend’s aunt,
Once or twice removed,
She gave it to her dying mother.
Soon to the graveyard with her moved.
My brother’s frog, he ate it.
When trying to catch a fly,
But, of course, it really happened,
Although it sounds like a bizarre lie.
My grandparents they took it,
With them on their cruise,
It must have fallen overboard,
Because with saltwater it oozed.
Now I’m out of reasons,
Go on and take your pick.
WHAT?! You don’t believe me!
This homework makes me sick.
Middle School Fiction
1st Place – Carter Hoffman – Homeschool – “The Guardians”
“This is a message to the Inhabitants of the galaxy Wayfront. Our beloved leader Calista has turned on her own people and declared war on all inhabitants of Wayfront. I, Ashion, and the other six former Guardians of Calista have vowed to defeat Calista at all cost. If anyone receives this message, come to our aid.”
Sixty-four cycles (sixty-four days) later: “Dreadknots and my fellow guardians, Calista will be here in half a cycle. We must be prepared to fight to the death. The odds are against us; the ancient prophecy of Malcolm states that Calista will eventually hold all the rings. Some of you may not know who I am: I am Ashion, one of the seven Guardians who once served Calista, and leader of those Guardians. We originally served Calista loyally, and she used to be a good queen, but after the destruction of Mallon, she has turned. Each of the seven has a ring. Each one of the rings controls one of the forces: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Storm, Gravity, and Life. Some are more quiet forces, but they are all forces. This will be a hard fight. Prepare yourselves for what is to come.” The soldiers began to disperse.
“Ashion, her forces have landed half a mile away from the front line of the camp,” informed Clara, Guardian of Gravity.
” Good, make sure Senari has taken charge over the land battlements,” ordered Ashion.
“Of course, Ashion,” replied Clara. As Clara marched to fulfill her orders, she looked up and Calista’s forces had begun to march. Each soldier and each officer looked at each other. We all knew the time was right. Garlets, Gracions, field soldiers, blaster forces all were at arms. As we started to fire, the field soldiers rose up and slowly maneuvered across the battlefield in response. Calista’s forces started to fire and their drones, droids and Star Soldiers advanced. The chaos of the battlefield had begun.
At this point, most of the Guardians had joined the battle, and Malachi, Guardian of Earth, soon joined them as well. As Calista had not yet appeared, the battle was clearly on the side of the Guardians and Dreadknots. Five of the Guardians were destroying Calista’s forces like they weren’t even there. The battle raged for 1/20 of a cycle (1 hour and twenty minutes). By this time, the Dreadknots had had heavy casualties while the forces of Calista had doubled. The Guardians themselves were covered with blood and sweat and were fighting hard and had used up most of their strength. Even with just three of the Guardians and one-fourth of the Dreadknots left, they still overwhelmingly outnumbered Calista’s forces. It seemed Calista would lose.
And that is when the ground beneath their very feet began to rise. Vines sprang up and strangled Dreadknots forces, and water and fire destroyed others. Calista finally appeared and slaughtered a fourth of the remaining Dreadknots in seconds. The Dreadknots forces that had retreated to camp quickly took their fallen comrades places. The other five Guardians that had remained behind joined the battle and quickly tried to combat Calista, but she was just too strong, especially since many of the Guardians had already exhausted their strength. Ashion recalled the Guardians for a meeting leaving the Dreadknots stranded.
“I have figured out what Calista wants,” Ashion informed them. “She wants the rings, not just to give them to other loyal servants but to use them herself. She is planning to use the Death Flame to morph the power of the eight rings into one. But without the power of all eight rings they will burn up, and the power will be lost. All we need to do is keep her from getting all of them.”
Ashion dismissed all forces and met with Calista alone. “Calista,” Ashion painfully said, “If you agree to leave this planet and spare the rest of the forces, I will give you the rings.”
Calista haughtily laughed, “ I figured you would see my reason, my loyal servant. Give me the rings and I will spare your forces.” Ashion handed over the rings. She pulled off her ring and placed them in the Death Flame. They flared and rose higher and higher and the rings were gone.
“What? What Happened? What did you do with the rings?” Calista screamed.
“You forgot Calista,” Ashion powerfully said. “The rings have always had the ability to invest their power into another object. I invested the power of our rings into our swords.” Ashion pulled out his sword and declared, “By the power of the ring that lies in this sword, I exile you to the cursed planet of Kattawyia. May you never be seen again.”
2nd Place – Cordelia “Cordy” Watkins, Holt Crossing Intermediate – “The Shadow”
Beatrix is not the most enjoyable kid in the neighborhood. But she most definitely is the most spoiled. Every time a new phone version comes out, her parents know to buy it for her, because they know if they hesitate their beloved daughter would throw a tantrum. No one liked hanging around with Beatrix, because she would always tell you about her life, and nothing else. Beatrix started every day the same way, going into her bathroom and taking an entire hour doing “spa” like things. She never took the time to eat breakfast, or do basic necessities, because her parents were at work and couldn’t remind her to do it. Her parents were to busy working their multiple jobs, to afford their daughters pricey taste.
Most kids on the block thought that Beatrix was a rich girl. But they weren’t, they were simply people who gave their daughters everything. But, since Miss. Beatrix was so spoiled and a tantrum thrower, she never thought of what she was capable of doing. So instead of thinking through it, she found out the hard way.
Alex is more on the humble side. Her parents offer to buy her all of the cool new fads, but she always simply says,
“I have everything I need.”
In return her parents work one job for only half the week. They always have a nice breakfast together. Alex was one of those girls everyone wanted to hang out with. They knew that she would never hurt them in the way that Beatrix would. So she was always in a pleasant mood, but Beatrix was jealous.
Jealousy and rage is what brought Beatrix to my corner in the subway. She told me that day that, “I have everything in the world except friends, and they always hang out with Alex.”
I replied in my voice, “I can change that if you do me a favor.”
She seemed to be so overjoyed, but she didn’t know that she wasn’t talking to any regular person. You see, I’m that type of thing that builds up in your mind. That makes rash decisions that most people regret. I am the fear you hide. I am the shadows in your mind. But Miss. Beatrix didn’t know that. So I continued, “I require the girl you are most jealous of. I need you to bring her to me.”
The smile on Beatrix’s face faded just a tad, “ ..If I do that, then you’ll give me friends and popularity…right?”
“Of course, just bring her here, tomorrow night. Then all your problems will be solved.” I concluded.
Beatrix left that night with a plan. A new determination to make a popularity for herself. So of course over night she complicated herself with strategies. In the end she figured, “ I can just ask her to come she’s dumb enough to do that.”
So Miss. Beatrix slept soundly, unaware of the troubles ahead.
The next day, Beatrix put together the things she needed, her bike, her scooter, and a smile. She walked over to Alex’s property around 5:00pm. She told Alex, that she was invited to go on a walk with her for this one time opportunity. Alex, being the kind of person she is, accepted the offer with no hesitation. They departed at once, with no attempts at conversation. Alex had a suspicion that Beatrix was up to something but kept it to herself; she knew she had no evidence, so she kept walking. They drew nearer to the subway, and Beatrix seemed to be over excited.
In the subway Alex looked over at Beatrix to only see a hard faced grin. They had arrived at the subway corner just in time. The two girls heard a noise and then my voice, “Are you sure you want to do this Beatrix?” I asked
“Positive, I brought her hear. I want my popularity now.” Beatrix snorted.
“Very well” I finalized as I grabbed Alex.
The look of utter fear and hatred had adapted onto Alex’s face. I grabbed her and put her next to me. She was frozen in time. Beatrix told me one last thing, “I didn’t mean that…”
I had delivered Miss Beatrix to another location. She now was the most popular girl in town. The only thing is, Alex was sacrificed for that life. Beatrix lived in regret and fear of me for the rest of her days. But popularity made her somewhat happy. But Alex now is sadly gone. All because, of the jealousy and rage that Beatrix felt on that one afternoon. But Alex is not lost, she is simply hidden. Only when someone else comes in a jealous rage, can she be let out. Because I am your fear. I am the shadow.
High School Fiction
1st Place – Francesca Lanese, Grove City High School, “Life of the Party”
I’d often wondered if there was an eternity.
My life had always been bleak. The endless aisles whispered my fate. The cold, metal shelves I sat on were all I’d ever known. The image of death was in the back of my mind at all times.
One day, in the middle of a conversation with my friends, two customers approached us. This scene had already played in my head many times, though never as grey and colorless as it was now. One customer reached his stubby little hands at me, yelling “This one, mommy! This one!” I panicked. Thrashing and squirming, screaming and crying, I fought. It was of no use for I am an inanimate object.
Dirty hands dragged me throughout the only place I had called home, although now it seemed more like a house of nightmares. The shelves I had lived on looked like the sharp blade of a guillotine. Still weeping, I was placed on the conveyor belt that I had seen so many ride before. Then came that high-pitched beep, screaming out sorrows for me, and just like that, I was theirs.
For a brief period after that, I lived in a suffocating plastic bag, awaiting my execution. Despite the grim death sentence hanging above my head, the only thing I thought was “is eternity after this?”
The hole in my back was opened. It had always been there, but never before had it been opened. I felt sweet treats being dumped in, pounding against my stomach. I fought for one last desperate wiggle. Alas, I am a soulless and lifeless being, so I could not move.
Hours. That’s all I had left. I was emotionless as they strung me up from a tree, surrounded by many gleeful faces. Their colorful clothes and smiles only made my pain that much worse. The once-green shrubbery surrounding me was now grey; the vivacity of life had been drained from everything. Pairs of beady little eyes looked upon my tired, weak body with excitement, as if I were the main event. An anonymous partygoer introduced a black baseball bat, and I heard the shrieks of excitement from the young children. Then a single emotion flowed throughout my body. Fear. It controlled me in that moment. Fear. I was unable to move limbs I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to move. Fear. The owner of a disgusting, chubby, sticky pair of hands tied a blindfold around his freckled face. But even with cloth covering his eyes, he could not shield himself from this horrific deed which he was about to commit.
He swung the bat. He missed. People around us laughed, mocking my anticipation. It wasn’t until the fourth stroke that the bat made contact. It echoed throughout my small body. I tried to cry out in pain, for I had never felt anything worse, but I could summon no sound. More devastating blows, then the crowd cheered. I knew what had happened. They had finally broken me.
As the treats so cruelly stuffed inside me flowed out, small faces gathered around, delighted with their slaughter. I moaned and I groaned. I prayed to God to destroy those who had destroyed me. It was useless. There I was, still hanging from that cursed tree. After several excruciating hours, I was taken down.
For the minutes following, I saw the cold world through only glimpses as I was dragged to the trash. Too soon! I was taken too soon! Seconds left. My thoughts were dripping away, drying up like a river in the desert sun. As I lost consciousness in that filthy trash bag, I remembered the words of the great artist Edvard Munch. “From my rotting body, flowers shall grow, and I am in them and that is eternity.”
2nd Place – Skyler Watkins – Central Crossing High School, “Rhiannon”
The holding cell was small and dark and dirty.
I shuddered to think how far I’d fallen. Only a few months ago, I’d had a life of my own. But my family was gone now.
Not that that mattered to me. I’d never been attached to my parents in the first place. But it was inconvenient- I’d spent a considerable portion of the last year wandering around, starving, stealing to get by. I wasn’t the only one- the country had been devastated by the war, and people were being turned out to the streets everywhere.
It seemed, though, that breaking into a military outpost in search of food had been too ambitious for me. I’d easily found my way in, but was caught eavesdropping on a group of officers.
And so I’d landed myself in this cramped little room.
I wasn’t particularly worried- I had a way with people, a way of understanding more about strangers than they did about themselves. It gave me an advantage in difficult situations.
I straightened as the sound of footsteps approached- two sets of footsteps. Sure enough, two shadows fell upon the floor, and then their owners came into view.
They were no older than me, I guessed. The girl looked thin and very short. The young man next to her was tall and lean. Both looked harmless, but I knew better- their reputation preceded them. These were the King’s best generals.
As fierce as they were said to be, I saw through the strong facade they put on. It was obvious, how dependent these two soldiers were on each other. How desperate they were.
“What’s your name?” the girl demanded, and her aggressive tone only confirmed my initial impression of her. She’d fought to get where she was, which meant she was not as unaffected by this war as she appeared. She could be manipulated.
“My name isn’t relevant, Melissa,” I mused. Her eyes flickered with alarm.
“You were eavesdropping on a private meeting,” the young man said, sounding reserved. If he hadn’t been a soldier, he’d be the quiet, bookish type. “You’ve been accused of spying.”
“If was a spy, I’d have fought back,” I pointed out. “Eavesdropping, yes. But I have no political motives. At the moment.”
Melissa gritted her teeth, clearly irritated by my responses. Rolling her eyes, she turned to the young man (whose name, I’d overheard before being caught, was Mackintosh).
“She’s got our names,” she sighed. “And who knows what else she knows. We can’t afford to keep her around-”
“Wrong,” I interrupted, and was pleased to see both of them cast a curious glance my direction. “You can’t afford to lose me.”
I was bluffing, but the statement caught their attention.
I struggled to think of a way to fool them, hurriedly piecing together fragments of information. The country had been at war for years, and Mackintosh and Melissa had been greatly affected by it- otherwise, they wouldn’t be in the military so young. They’d obviously struggled to gain the reputations they now had, as shown by Melissa’s aggressive nature. Therefore, the threat of losing what they’d worked for would cloud their judgment. Hopefully.
If I talked my way out of this and made myself useful to them- and, by extension, to the King- I could build myself a life better than the one I’d lost.
Mackintosh studied me suspiciously.
“Explain,” he said.
“Did your guards report seeing me enter your outpost? Did you realize you were being eavesdropped on before I was caught?” When the generals glanced at each other, I laughed.
“No, you didn’t. I wasn’t even trying to hide. The fact is, if nobody happened to walk into the corridor, I’d have gone unseen.”
“True,” Melissa conceded. “But not relevant.”
“But it is,” I pressed. “How long have you been at war?”
Neither of them moved to answer.
“You’ve been fighting your entire lives. Am I right?”
Mackintosh crossed his arms, glaring. “Your point is?”
“That you need the war to end. You need a spy of your own, or your fight will drag on even longer. I can be of some assistance, and you both know it.”
The generals shared a look. I’d won- they were entranced by the notion of ending the war. Of leading their own lives. Even though they must have known it was hopeless. That I could be of minimal help to them (although I’d benefit greatly from their trust).
But people believe what they want to believe, and Mackintosh and Melissa wanted to believe in a time of peace.
When they finally turned back to me, I was already smiling.
“Very well,” Mackintosh said. “But if you’re enlisting in the military, we’ll need a name.”
“I suppose that’s relevant now,” I conceded. “You may call me Rhiannon.”
Breck Award for History
Carter Hoffman – 8th grade Homeschool- “From Farmer to Founding Father: The Legacy of Adam Gantz”
Adam Gantz was born May 10,1805 and died December 16, 1887 after seventy-two years of supporting the city he loved, Grove City, Ohio. This amazing man accomplished so much in his lifetime at a time when our country had just started. He served as Justice of the Peace of Jackson Township for six years and was a successful farmer his whole life. He was active in building Grove City and without him many of the roads, building, and even many of the people that have served this country, county, and city would not be here today. His life was a full one throughout his 72 years; he had 14 children and 67 grandchildren at the time of his death. Many of these descendents would later help to further the growth of Grove City.
His father Andrew Gantz and mother Margaret Haran were also pioneers for Grove City and were among the major farmers in their day. This man was born of humble beginnings in Washington County, Pennsylvania and his family moved to Franklin County in 1817 and immediately purchased land. Adam grew up in a somewhat prosperous family and he eventually started off on his own and married Catherine Penix in 1830. In 1831 he had his first child, Elizabeth Gantz White. He purchased 100 acres from his father in 1832 for 7.5 cents per acre and thus began his own prosperous life as a farmer. He built a brick house on this acreage that is still standing today. Because of the rich soil of Ohio, Gantz began to prosper as a farmer and he prospered even more when he became Justice of the Peace for Jackson Township in 1836 and he remained Justice of Peace until 1842.
Around this time Gantz began to get involved in the “small town” of Grove City. He began to be given duties constructing buildings and most of all roads; many of the roads we now have are because of Gantz. They have been modernized but still much of his work lives on. Even though he was now employed by the county, Gantz never stopped farming even though doing both was sometimes a taxing duty. As Gantz’s children begin to leave home and marry, the farming industry was rapidly changing through what many may call the “Industrial Age of Farming.” Gantz knew he did not want to be left behind; he quickly started modernizing his farm. Planting corn and most other seed was now done by equipment. Although this new equipment had replaced much of the manual labor, there was still much to do with hand labor.
As he was beginning to age and his life had reached its close, with 14 kids and 67 grandchildren, his impact was evident in Grove City, Jackson township, and in the lives of many others. Adam Gantz died on December 16, 1877, and was buried in the family plot where his wife had been buried just 3 years before. Adam Gantz’s legacy continues to live on through Gantz Park and the Gardens of Gantz.
Shawn Hannon Memorial Excellence in Writing Award
Francesca Lanese, Grove City High School – “What Patriotism Means to Me”
Patriotism, in its simplest form, is love for one’s country. It is pride, allegiance, and respect for a community that shares a common set of beliefs. Citizens can express their love and support for America in many easy ways. Every time you vote, you’re being patriotic. Many other people are contributing to society and being patriotic, even when we don’t realize it. The cop you passed on your way to work today is a patriot. He protects his community and upholds the law. The Girl Scouts who made an educational video about how to properly dispose of flags are patriots. They are using their time and energy to preserve the flag and the meaning attached to it. The lawyer you saw on TV defending the Constitution is a patriot. She tirelessly works to ensure the rights of her clients are not infringed upon.
What does patriotism mean to me? I have always admired citizens fighting for American rights and beliefs, in any way, shape, or form. Ever since I can remember, I’ve known exactly in which way, shape or form I want to serve America. I want to enter the Armed Forces. Deep in my gut I know that is what I was made for. Although undecided about which branch I plan on going into (I think it’s between Navy and Air Force), I have decided this is what I want. The military is how I can help my country. I believe everyone can do something to make the US a better, safer nation, and this is what I can do.
Patriotism, to me, is not only your love for your country, but also what you will do for it. Some will fight from the inside to protect its laws, other will strive to educate its citizens. My goal is to help America by fighting to protect her from threats to her well-being. That is patriotism to me.