14th Annual (2015) GCC Student Poetry Contest Winners
Left to right: Cierra Hand, Justine Kenney, Cheyenne Zaremba, Dennis Bleier, Harald "Jay" Rothmund
Not pictured: Matthew Cray
First Place: Justine Kenney for Freedom's Bond
Second Place: Cierra Hand for Soldier Poem
Third Place: Cheyenne Zaremba for Wanted: One Mind, Lost
Honorable Mention: Matthew Cray for Window Seat
Honorable Mention: Harald "Jay" Rothmund for Look at Yourself
Best Haiku/Short Form Poem: Dennis Bleier for Haikus for You
Freedom's Bond by Justine Kenney
It’s fickle, really
Constantly slipping away
Close enough to see
But suspended just out of reach
You take the reins
It’s impermanent, you know
A small drop of taste
Enough to get you obsessed
Not nearly enough to sustain
You settle in the irons
Found in many ways, actually
A passion for adventure
Or an escape from the world
But is never stays
You come along for the ride
It can be borrowed, you see
Easily held in our hands
Comforting as silk
And near impossible to see
You watch the wind
A concept to be embraced, indeed
The air whipping
Thunder on the ground
Petrifying to most
You share the same spirit
My undying desire, genuinely
The throw of mane and tail
Painting the sky
This is how it’s sated
Through the bond of horse and rider
Soldier Poem by Cierra Hand
I am an American soldier.
“I’ll be back soon”, that’s what I told her.
I am willing to give my life to protect my country.
I miss her eyes, as blue as the sea.
We are soldiers, and we stand as one.
Her beautiful blonde hair, lighter than the sun.
With my troops, we unite together.
The way she dances, light as a feather.
Tall and strong is how I shall be.
I will always remember that day I asked her to marry me.
Protecting our country thousands of miles away.
I love her more every single day.
Forgotten by the many, remembered by the few.
I wonder if she’s thinking about me too.
We march into battle, ready to fight.
How I wish to have her in my arms tonight.
The gunshots and screams bombard my ears.
Will she cry when they tell her? Will she cry wet tears?
I am an American soldier.
“Our condolences ma’am,” that’s what they told her.
Wanted: One Mind, Lost by Cheyenne Zaremba
Where is my youth?
I think lost it among the
rows of identical houses—
all white, and clean, and
perfectly spaced like
I left it under one of the beds.
I can’t remember which.
Where is my fear?
I’ve looked under
couches and in closets
and found no monster.
I’m not complaining,
It’s not like I’m afraid
anymore—I just sleep with
the light on out of habit.
Where is my mind?
I can’t remember if
I lost it or if I’m just asleep.
I found a key in the
attic under a picture
of the aunt who looks like
me, but isn’t. Now I
have a two locks to find.
Where is my imagination?
Somehow I imagined
this would go differently,
but I haven’t slept since
the fall semester and
I can’t remember if I’ve
forgotten how to dream,
or if I never knew how.
Window Seat by Matthew Cray
...exhausted bipedal reaction
Warmth of a sun drenched cushion
...entertains posterior intrusion
On a slant
Enjoy a shower
Nature’s provision expressed in double-pane separation
Comfort by design
As icy fingers tap on once molten sand
Time may witness
Look at Yourself by Harald "Jay" Rothmund
Look at yourself, a friend once said.
You look exhausted, you look a mess.
You’ve got to slow down, enjoy the day.
That ain’t no life, all work and no play.
Look at yourself, my father once said.
There’s work to be done and you’re still in bed!
You’ve got to work hard to be the best.
No time to sleep, no time to rest.
Look at yourself, society screams!
You’re just a number, part of the machine.
Work all your life, you never can win.
Too late to change, too late to begin.
Look at yourself, my doctor said.
Your hands are shaking, your eyes are red.
It could be your job, the push and the grind.
It may be that drugs are destroying your mind.
Look at yourself, the bartender said.
What is your problem, what’s wrong with your head?
Just pour me a double, don’t worry ‘bout me.
I can’t feel the pain when I’m too drunk to see.
I look at myself, but what can I say?
Just living my life, day by day.
I can’t please the world if I can’t please myself.
So quit looking at me ‘til you’ve looked at yourself.
Harald "Jay" Rothmund
Haikus for You by Dennis Bleier
Many growing mounds
What was once pure, now dirty
Is this snow or life?